Friday, March 7, 2008

Journals, Crusades, Junk, and Journals - Hold On To Your Hats! It's a Long One!

I can't believe it has been almost 2 weeks since I last posted. Well, it has been hectic here. Sickness (2), birthday parties (4), doctor appointments (multiple), deadlines (2 - that I, sort of, made)...I could go on and on. Yawn........I'm boring myself.

In any case - I'm back in the land of the blogging! I've got a lot of sharing to do, you'd better go get some hot cocoa...

Well, after all the sickness that swept through our house over the last month, I managed to catch up enough to only be a week behind. Whew! These first pics are of a journal I made for a swap in ZNE's Artists and Poets group. I was lucky enough to draw the name of my blog-friend Gina! Then it turned out that I was more nervous making something for someone I know!

(Front Cover, Gina's Journal)
I started out with the idea of making something entirely different than the end product. Light colors, more whimsical, more modern, lots of hand drawing and painting. Basically the opposite of what I ended up with. How did that happen? Well, when I went looking for a suitable paper to serve as the base for the cover I couldn't find what I wanted. While looking I found this beautiful Mulberry paper (the photos really don't do justice to the beauty of the color) and awesome Japanese paper and I fell in love. I bought them and then everything just went on from there.
I didn't want to impose too much personality onto the journal. The purpose of this project was to make something that people could really use to write poetry or try out art journalling. I decided it would be best to keep it fairly simple and let Gina make it her own.
Inside, I affixed a small-ish mulberry paper envelope in a dusky blue-green to the first page and stuffed it full of paper ephemera. I attached the cute, metal flower to the flap to give it a little more interest.
I included a telephoto shot of the pseudo knot I used in the binding. I wouldn't really consider it a knot. I just wound the strands of cording back through themselves and then tied the single knot that you see on the left to join the two strands. The green bead is a handmade, glass bead from Africa. The two hematite-gray beads are Czech glass.
For the inside pages I used a mixture of heavy, white, watercolor paper; thick,cream cardstock; and patterned scrapbooking cardstock in shades of blue, green, and brown. I inserted some images and phrases in a few pages throughout the book.
(above left, close-up of pseudo-knot; below, overview of pages)
On the inside of the front cover, I printed out the following poem by Cautrell:
Statement of Purpose

I do the work because I want to.
I do the work because I like to.
I do the work because I know how.
I do the work to explore myself.
I the work to engage others with thought, word, and deed.
I do the work because I have something to say.
I do the work because I have seen something beautiful.
I do the work because I have seen something ugly.
I do the work to be the kind of person I want to be.
I do the work to earn money.
I do the work to stay when I must go.
- Cautrell
I have always loved that. It seems to me to be a near-perfect recitation of an artist's motivations. After I took this picture, I also affixed an image to the inside of the front cover - in the upper right corner, it seemed a little bare in the picture. - Then I forgot to take another picture of it!

Inside the back cover I affixed a stamped, green, cardstock library card holder and filled it with more paper ephemera and two sheets of hole reinforcers - one of which was inked in coordinating colors. The quote on the inside of the back cover is that lovely one from Emile Zola, "There are two men inside the artist, the poet and the craftsman. One is born a poet. One becomes a craftsman."
The paper I used on the inside of the front cover is from Gail's Shabby Cottage Studio store and the paper on the inside of the back cover is one of the free collage papers included inside an issue of Somerset Studio. Additionally, the small bird on the back cover, below, is also from a Somerset Studio free collage paper. The quote on the back cover reads, "Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance." It is uncredited there, but it is from Carl Sandberg.
Speaking of journalling - boy did I fail at Art Crusade # 17! The assignment was to create a "journal kit" or portable toolbox for journalling that would include all sorts of things you find necessary to visual journalling. It would be something you could easily carry around that would make it easier to do journal pages whenever the inspiration strikes. Well, I got off to a good start. I bought doubles of a couple of pen colors that I can't live without; Picked out my favorite colors of mini inkpads; bought a second pair of mini, microtip scissors; picked out the most useful of my smaller stamps; filled an envelope with bits of paper ephemera; and started painting black gesso on a thrift store box that was the perfect size to fit in my handbag. Then I decided to put everything into the box to see how much room I had for the ephemera-filled envelope I was affixing to underside of the lid. Here's what I got:
Notice anything wrong with these pictures? Like...the lid won't close and the pens are too long? Well, I had to abandon it in order to finish Gina's journal, but I'll go back to it and probably figure something out in a new, longer, box.
On the other hand, I've already started on Crusade #18:
We are to "build our own tool" for this crusade; Either a stamp or a stencil (or both). Well, I was fooling around and made a butterfly stencil. It's pretty rudimentary, but I like how it turned out. I used some chalk ink on a make-up sponge to dab color inside the stencil.

When I go for 3rd Friday (if I can, DH has been sick), I will see if Liisa will help me carve a stamp. She has made several that I know if and of always insists that it's really easy.
Lastly, I thought I would share pictures of some of my latest junking finds. Despite everything else going on, we've managed to hit a few of the regular places and I found some great things. Particularly the metal countertop cabinet - it pretty much matches the other two medical cabinets we have. The handle on it is a little earlier, and possibly a replacement handle.

This gorgeous red handbag I picked up at our local flea market from a woman who used to have a store called Fritzi Ritz - isn't that a great name? I didn't realize it was her until she told me who to make the check out to (of course I didn't bring enough cash). I used to get vintage handbags from her all the time - at the very least I probably bought ten handbags from her store! I decided I must have been meant to get this bag.

I got these for my DH on Craigslist. He likes to store art and vintage bike parts in vintage suitcases. He probably already has 15 and they are all chock full of stuff. I would have saved these for Father's Day, but our house is so small there is absolutely nowhere to hide them!

Lastly, I got all these great goodies at various places. (there's a couple more things, but I started putting stuff away before I remembered to take a pic.) Everything is for a future assemblage piece - except the shoes. Those I'm giving to Judy Wilkenfeld of Red Velvet Creations for her upcoming project. If you haven't visited her blog yet - go, go, go! She does the most phenomenal work. I may have used up all the usual superlatives in describing what she does, so I'll just promise you that you will not be sorry you went over there to take a look.

In closing, and speaking of journals, I was brainstorming ideas for my Etsy for Autism contest piece and I did this in my art journal:
I think something of this nature will be perfect for the project. I will do something like this on a small canvas and also add the phrase, "Childhood is a journey, not a race." I will post it here, of course, when I finish it. When the Etsy for Autism group's contest goes live, we will have a treasury named Etsy for Autism posted for your viewing pleasure beginning April 1st. It is a contest in that the item with the most views wins the contest. Don't let that stop you from buying something you want on the first day, though! The main purpose of the contest is to raise money for Autism Speaks. The head of the study that Rexy is in, Geraldine Dawson, has actually been hired as the Chief Scientific Officer for Autism Speaks. They will be doing more research into causes, therapies, etc. I will be reminding you about the contest as we get closer to it.

Whew! That was a lot! Of course there's more, but geez! I can't imagine this post being any longer.
I'm glad to be back.


Anonymous said...

I love your butterfly!! I don't think it is rudimentary at all! It's perfect!

I can't believe all of your finds, either!! WOW!!

(I think it is hilarious how you mentioned your erasers are starting to look uneasy! LOL)

ArtKat said...

Very nice butterfly stencil! And I think that you should still get credit for Crusade No.17 - you made the kit, it's not your fault that the pens were too long! (Put a large elastic around the box to hold the lid on, then slip the pens under the elastic - you're done!) Thanks for visiting my blog! :)

michelle ward said...

Laurie - I think I navigated away from your page before the comment posted so I'm back again. Great butterfly - never would have thought of using ink with it - I always use paint of some kind. And hooray you have started assembling your kit. ANYTIME is good for getting that done - you'll thank yourself. And thanks for the heads up on the Autsim/Etsy event. Bravo for joining. I will tune if for sure.

Ro Bruhn said...

What a great post, so much to take in. I love the journal and look at those cases, Judy will love the shoes for her project.

PocketSize said...

Beautiful work! I love that journal. Your stencil may be simple but it is beautiful all the same.

Ariel Gill said...

I love your butterfly stencil - it reminds me of "flutterbys" that we used to make as kids. Lucky lady who gets that beautiful journal. You really did a fantastic job on it. Love to see your work. Ariel

Laurence said...

I want a butterfly too ! It's trendy, lol!

Gina2424 said...

Hi Laurie-Thank you so much for the journal-I love it! And I love that it is from you!! I saw your message yesterday and was just about to peek, but I had to go to work. Then, the real thing was here when I got home!
Thanks again for all the hard work-it is very evident! And I love the poems-the front cover it also so appropriate since I am in an I Hate My Job phase right now.


Casey said...

I think the stencil will serve you well and I love your journal page! Your finds rock, but I would die for that metal cabinet and the (sigh) red handbag. Your swap partner was very lucky to receive such a beautiful, inspiring journal.

Ursula Clamer said...

The journal looks great and I love the butterfly simple but so effective. I really like your finds, particularly the medical I want one!
Your idea for the Etsy for Autism looks great and the quote is perfect.

Kim Tedrow said...

I love the stencil, I could find a couple of dozen uses for it. I'm spring-green with envy over your finds. Go for the Etsy for Autism and let us know when you do! -Kim

Anonymous said...

Oh my that book is just gorgeous! You have a wonderful talent and style.

Brandy said...

Oh my that book is just gorgeous! You have a wonderful talent and style.

Anonymous said...

Such a great post and so much to look at. The journal you made is so pretty and I am sure your friend will love it. The butterfly stencil is great. My favorite thing is the journal page you did....awesome. I love the quote you will be using when you make the piece on canvas.