Icad and germs and fabric journals

Those two words in the title don’t go together at well, but my germs in my house are not well behaved at all, and while Sebastian is back at school today my germs seem to have grown overnight despite telling them they only had yesterday.

I spoke to the HR person from my interview tomorrow this morning (because I was shortlisted for another role!?) and she gave me some more old wives tales to try and vamoose the germs.

So now I am off my soapbox that I was on this morning (that was one of the posts saved to drafts that is now OFF my to-do list I am going to show the latest two index cards, that are nothing special and I stuffed up both of them, just to prewarn everyone, but they were completed while sick so I look at both of them and feel victory, so I freaking adore them despite all imperfections :).

ICAD 27My favourite perfume in all the world is Ralph Lauren Romance, that until the last couple of years was ridiculously hard to get here and remains ridiculously expensive.  So you can imagine how close to the surface tears were when I discovered Victoria’s dolls and soft toys were drowning in it after she decided they needed a bit more glamour in their lives.  She did however make me realise that saving it for special occasions was mad, if soft toys could wear it just around the house, so I use it a lot more often now (and I can also better keep track if I notice that the level is evaporating terribly!  :))

ICAD 28I completely stuffed up all the pen lines and the colours are not how I saw them in my head but the card is finished.  I did reconsider redoing the card, but there are still more cards to come, so this is the definitive card #28!

I am currently as I type this post part-listening to our houseguest (introduced here) on the phone “organising” his affairs (I use the word organise very loosely), and I am resisting the urge to grab the phone out of his hands and take over to expedite the process or to just slap him.  I am so grateful for my beloved and grateful to our houseguest for reminding me off one hundred times a day on a daily basis at the moment. :)

I love our houseguest, and he has a big well meaning heart, but I have never known another person to complicate things so much that seem so straight forward, or to make decisions to spend an extra $1200 now to save $600 in two years time?!? $1200 that he can’t spare, and that comes at the expense NOW from his children.

I have to keep reminding my beloved it is not our life, so we shouldn’t comment (even though he still does in his typically blunt way), but now I am having to repeat that to myself in my head (and considering physical violence :)).


With that venting out of the way, I feel so much better (thank you for listening), and here is a fabric journal I made from old denim jeans a few weeks ago, after thinking denim would be a lot like canvas to paint on.  My sewing skills are so very, very limited, so it is not the prettiest looking journal in the world, but it will hold together which is the most important thing.  I did every alternate page with crazy stitching and then a layer of gesso before I get to the paint.

Denim book pages - crazy stitching and gessoed

Denim Book cover - gessoed

My intention is for there to be some painting and some hand sewn stuff and embroidery on the pages so the finished pages will be full of juicy goodness that you just want to touch (and also use up all the bits of lace and ribbons and beads and sequins that I have hoarded but never used).

Here are the first two pages that have been painted so far:

Fabric Journal cover

Fabric journal portrait

So clearly lots still to do, but a good winter project and a start has been made! :) In my head, I see myself sewing away on stormy nights in front of the fire with a mug of tea by my side, I expect the reality will be a lot different and slightly more real with curse words muttered under my breath and blood drawn as I prick my fingers repeatedly with a needle. Hence why so far there is no hand sewing that I can show! :)


What are the “RIGHT” art journal supplies?

Self Portrait - Who am I right now?

Recently I witnessed a conversation on Twitter where an “experienced” art journaler was talking about what supplies were good for art journaling, and clearly there were people relatively new to art journaling who were asking about supplies and making notes (that was my impression).  The experienced art journaler completely rebutted the use of a few supplies in art journaling.  Supplies that I have actually used on some of my pages.  And nothing blew up or exploded through the use of those supplies.  I didn’t necessarily like the effects of all the supplies, and some I won’t use again, but it unsettled me a little to think that there were now people out there who were never going to use certain art supplies in their art journals because someone “in the know” told them not to.  Because the point for me of an art journal is that…


There are no rules.

Mane Girl

You can use whatever you want to, and I think you should.  Because what someone else likes you may not like, even if they have been art journaling for 20 years.  Art journaling and what it means for everyone is different.  And there are no wrong ways or right ways, and unless you experiment with whatever takes your fancy, how do you know whether you will like something or not?

When I first began art journaling, what I did, was quite different on every single page, as I worked my way through different styles and different techniques.  It was not until the end of the book where anything approaching what I regard as “my style” comes through on to the pages.

Even then, what is “my style” changes, and morphs over time, I go back to things and then move away again.  Pretty much the only constant is that I love paint.  LOVE paint.  I also love covering writing up and drawing and sketching and mess, and texture and oil pastels and intuitive mark making and expressive painting and drawing with my non-dominant hand and writing with a bamboo skewer and gesso (be still my beating heart).  For right at the moment.  In six months I may like other things entirely.

Air Spread 3

BUT I could not give you the list of what I like without the playing and experimenting in my journal.  I for instance am not a fan of spray inks, I just don’t love them, but I have used them (albeit homemade ones, and I do want to try a bought one to see if it makes any difference), however I really like spray paint.  I prefer a bamboo skewer to my brush pens at the moment.  I don’t like mod podge, though I know some people rave about it, and so my daughter who has a gluing addiction, uses it instead.

The only reason I even keep it with my stuff, is that it makes it more precious to her if she is using my stuff, and not hers.  Because I am manipulative like that clearly (having realised how awful that sentence makes me sound)! :)

But getting back on track from that little detour, I just really think you don’t know really what you like and don’t like without giving it a go.  I thought I would love spray inks.  I like inks, and I like spray paint, so match made in heaven…but not so much.  And I tend to use gesso on most pages, so had no bleed through problem, they just don’t turn me on (but my daughter thinks they are the greatest thing I have ever made, and again, they stay with my art supplies so she uses them and doesn’t borrow other things).

Cult of stuff Ephemera Adventure

So this is a very long winded post to say that there are no right or wrong art journaling supplies.  You may want to worry about the archival nature of products, and if that is important to you then take that into consideration.  I figure if my daughter can glean who her mother was, and they may pass some wisdom down to her when I am gone, then that is enough archiving for me.

And having friends who lost nearly everything in a fire last year, you never know what is around the corner, and that event has made me more conscious of worrying about keeping everything and not using anything up.

Embracing my Shadow

So use your supplies, and play and experiment, and if people tell you what not to use, rather than just what they don’t like then I would make an effort to use that for myself and see if I like it.  Don’t take other people’s words for gospel.

And while I am on this little soapbox I also want to say that just because a product says it can be used for one thing, or a tool, that does not mean it is the only thing for which a product can be used.  I was recently involved in another conversation where a tool was suggested for another use other than what was originally intended, and was a little taken aback to have someone say in black and white terms that that was not what the product was to be used for and it wouldn’t work.  EXPERIMENT on our pages.  Have happy and unhappy accidents and play.  Your style is found in those experiments.  And it is a journal, you can close the journal and not show anyone, or call it a layer and bring out the gesso.  Art journaling should not be kept in a small neat box, there is room for everything.

Celebrating Joy

ICAD reveal and random musings from the past week

Enfolding Within

This was an old page, that I was reminded about yesterday, and when I went to look for where it was, I realised I had never shared it. It also sums up perfectly where I have been for the last week and so I thought I would use it for this post (despite the spelling mistake that is especially irritating to a spelling nazi, but I embrace that too :)). And it gives me somewhere to point someone too, so it is especially perfect!

Where has the last week gone??  Much of it has been taken up with a houseguest that has been here for over a week now, and is still here for a little while I think.  And he has brought some challenging issues with him, as much as we love him dearly.  The oldest friend of my beloved, friends since they were 6, and drifting at the moment.  I think I can safely say he is drifting, if not quite a drifter!!  :)

And I missed out on my dream job because my level of Maori language was not fluent, which still seems gutting when they were apparently more than impressed with what other skills I had and I had provided a solution, yet now when I think about it, it feels so long ago since the initial heartbreak when I first heard and the box of tissues I used up.  Maybe the decision was for the best with the benefit of reflection and perspective.  The difference in a week!

Yesterday I found out I had another interview, which was unexpected and gratifying at the same time.  Not quite a dream job, but perhaps that is better.  Though my confidence took a knock last week, and I had a moment yesterday.

I have had so many posts written in my head, and now I have time, I am filtering what to leave for another post (besides the two saved to drafts which were started, if not finished!).  Because there is also a tonne of catch up photos for ICAD.  Which I have done everyday, despite other demands around me.  Even on the days when I really wanted to sink into the couch and not move.

The children have both had at home days in the past week.  Only a few more days until the last day of term, and Victoria had a Mental Health day on Monday (which I saw coming last week, but with all the days off she has had this term with her asthma I was hoping she would last) and Sebastian is home with a cold today.  I woke up with the same cold, so I have allowed us today to be sick, and then it is to go tomorrow, because I have things to do and an interview on Friday.

I have felt really bone tired all week.  Especially yesterday, but I haven’t let myself get stuck there, I automatically think it is my thyroid and keep on going, making sure I have had the correct dose of my thyroid tablets in my head. Now I am sick, I see the tiredness was probably a sign, but now I always self diagnose it as my faulty thyroid.  I coughed once this morning and felt a popping my throat where it immediately began throbbing.  When I heard Sebastian cough about three minutes later and then give a little moan I knew he was home today as well.  I also wonder why it is that the children always get sick when my beloved is away for work.  Considering he is away every week, I guess there is a good chance of that happening, but I wish their bodies would plan better to account for my maternal limitations.  :)

And on for the ICAD reveal :)