Wednesday, October 14, 2009

the long-awaited NEW art journal!!!

long-awaited by me, i mean! i do not think the world at large has been bereft in the absence of my having a daily visual journal--but i have really missed this habit and i'm excited to be getting back in the swing of it!

in the past, i've either used existing blank books (usually adding in my own pages, too) or made my own out of chipboard and index stock hung from a giant book ring. this time i've done something different, it's kind of a cross between art journaling and altered book. i found this 1947 "girls' mystery" at a library book sale for 50 cents. i fully admit buying it for the title and cover! while contemplating the start of this project, it suddenly came to me that i'd really enjoy using it every day and then getting to keep it--in an utterly different form--when it's full. i confess i am very slightly worried about the spine standing up to 6 months or so hard labor...but as my friend josh likes to say, "we'll burn that bridge when we come to it."

since i'm not sure i want to alter the fabulous existing art on the front, i figured i'd make a nice title page instead of a fancy cover for my book. mick-n-keef, the custom monsta stamps my lovely friend gina, of tyggereye art* carved for me, seemed like the perfect hosts for this sort of least that's what THEY SAID...and they're pretty convincing!

(mustard moon, basic grey, ki & creative imaginations patterned paper; staz-on & colorbox inks; zig pen; text typed on avery clear labels)

text reads,
M: welcome to my book!
K: duuuuuuuude! *OUR* book!!
M: whatever.

of course, after the title page, the most important preparatory page of ANY volume is the fruit sticker page. so obviously that was the next thing i made:'s a work in progress...

my plan for this book is partly to save memories or ephemera i love from day-to-day life, partly as a sort of "technique lab" to try out and experiement with new supplies and effects, and partly to have a place to use some of the weird little ideas that just really aren't going to work in more traditional projects.

naturally i love it when i make a page that's gorgeous and clever and perfect, but secretly...shhhhhh!...i kind of love the "ugly" pages even more. ugly pages tell me that i'm being REALLY free and having fun and trying new stuff whether or not i know if they're gonna "work". in a kinda sorta way ugly pages me... THE POINT of art journalling! in this spirit, i thought for once i'd share a couple of mine with you.

ugly flower page:

(vintage flowers and ribbon; colorbox inks; copic outliners; making memories eyelets; ranger stickles)

ok, this reallllllllllllly did not come out smellin' like a rose, did it? ...BUT...i learned A LOT of stuff this day! i learned that my pale chalk green ink is far too pale to make a visible/appealing background over text (which it emphatically DOESN'T obscure...good to know...) and under flowers. i learned that my pretty vintage silver flowers SEEM quite textural, but don't really have enough height to be used to "stamp" a flower image; however, if you outline and embellish them afterwards with more ink and black stickles they do look pretty cool...though optimally this wouldn't be done over text or failed stencilling experiments. and finally i learned that my idea to ruffle vintage silver ribbon and add silver flowers secured with eyelets, actually *IS* a good one...but again, a bit too much when layered on the same page as the other ideas.

ugly text page:

(heidi swapp alphabet stamps; provocraft roller stamp; vinyl letter sheet from staples; dymo labels; colorbox & psx inks; zig pen)

again, i had A LOT of ideas that i tried out all at the same time. almost all of them sort of work, i think...they just don't really work TOGETHER. but at some point in the future i will use the background of a sheet of vinyl letter stickers as a stencil again. and i love the look of the heidi swapp funky alphas stamped multiple times and then outlined a bit wonkily in pen. also, i think i've proved that if you use a big bold font and dark ink over book text, you can read it just fine. good to know.

on the other hand, some pages do come out rather well. and that doesn't actively UPSET me! :)

new york collage page:

(mrs. grossman & sanrio stickers; magazine bits; uhu gluestick)

one of my immediate FAVORITE parts of using a pre-printed book is the opportunity to incorporate the existing text. chapter one, which is entitled "new york" begins, "new york glittered in the sun on this fine sunday. what a city!" i couldn't agree more or improve upon that statement in any way. so i just added some stickers and bits of magazine and called it a day!

collage made entirely from the ziplock bag of
mysteriously saved objects:
(miscellaneous ephemera; red giftwrap; bam pop logo from tear strip; dymo labels; ek success butterfly & circle punches; tombow mono runner & uhu gluestick)

when i say i am a "paperholic" it's true that like many crafty types, i LOVE patterned paper and art paper and giftwrap. but i also love claim check tickets and old packaging and clever advertising that comes in the mail and fortunes from cookies and mysterious labels and... i am a paperholic, ok?! seriously. but would i be willing to create an entire book-length, six-month project purely in order to justify saving all of these things and glueing them down and calling them "collage ephemera"?? of course not.** it IS a nice side-benefit, though, dontcha think??!

*she has a fabulous blog AND a lovely shop! and YES--she takes custom stamp orders!

**yeah. totally.


  1. Oh sista...this is really coolio...what a fabbie on-going project!!!

  2. How cool!
    How very very cool!!
    How AMAZINGLY cool!!!

    You are cool.

    What a cool book!
    I quite like that text page.
    I love the randomness.

  3. ♥ cool ♥ fabbo ♥ inspirational ♥ amazing ♥ makes me smile

  4. Such a cool book to use and 50 cents!! Wooza! Very awesome. Love the monsta cover page. Very cute! I'm so glad you like my monsters. :) and thanks for the shout out.

  5. When I grow up I wanna be like you!! This just rocks on so many levels. Way to just let art be art for YOU! ♥

  6. Cool, cool, cool! I still cannot see ME altering a book, EVER, but this IS a cool project (for you). ;-)

  7. I enjoyed your book post so much...YOU make me smile, Miz Lauren, just because you are you. It was not surprising to see monstas, fruit stickers, bits of magazine, etc. You know the monsta page is my fave!!!

  8. Awesome!! This looks like such an amazingly fun project! I love that you love your "ugly" pages (although I find the text page oddly attractive)what a great learning tool! And that book is too funny! Totally kitchy cool! Can't wait to see more!

    (-: Heiid

  9. Oh Lauren! This is wonderful! What a fab idea! Super fun!

  10. Well, this just looks like TONS of *fun*!
    What a very, very cool idea. Might even make me get over the automatic CRINGE when I see a book being *gasp* damaged!
    But then, I have too many books. My husband says so.

  11. Wow this is VERY cool. I often see books like that at the markets. What a fabulous idea!!

  12. Hi Lauren. How much do I love that book???? I love it so much and love your ideas! I am cleaning out my house right now but I will save a few of my coveted books. I am totally going to do this! Thanks so much for your inspiration!!!


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