Peony and Parakeet

Smash Book or Hand-Made Journal?

Art Journal page, traveling, Smash book

I have now used my pink Smash book as an art journal for so long that I can summarize my experiences of using it as an art journal. During the time I have used my book, I have noticed that other brands too have published similar kind of books with pre-decorated pages. I am certain that many are tempted to buy them but wonder if they really work as art journals.

Good Jumpstart

I started my “pretty art journal” about a year ago. I also have other art journals but I have noticed that I grab this one more than others. I think that one reason is that it offers easy jumpstarts for doodling and writing. Sometimes they can be annoying.  Like the page with a map background, seen above. I never liked that spread until a few days ago when I wanted to journal about the places that I want to visit. The background was perfect for the theme.

Art journal page, a detailArt journaling is very difficult to commercialize from start to finish. It’s creativity and self-expression that matter, not the products used. But there’s a great deal of talk about blank page syndrome and all the art journal guides list tips for how to get started. I think that Smash book like journals can offer the easy starting point for many. I am especially fond of the thing that I can start to decorate a page and leave it unfinished for a while. With decorated paper in the background, it looks fine. I often add one of two details here and there and then finish the pages later.

All in all, I think that Smash book can work as an art journal but I also think that if you really want the book to look more personal, use a blank book or make one yourself.

Hand-Made Journal

Hand-made journal

This one is my favorite art journal. A hand-made journal from start to finish. It’s my own guide for creative living. “Rules and regulations,” it says!

It documents my philosophy for creating and living. Could not use Smash book here!

I end this blog post with these noble statements, feel free to borrow any!

Hand-made journal, art journal page, rules and regulations

The Second Quilt for Stella

In the post from May I wrote about modern quilting and showed a quilt that I had made for my new puppy Stella. Even if I have not written a lot about quilting, I have spent quite a lot of time browsing modern quilt blogs and even sewing a little. Now I have finally something to show, it’s a new quilt for Stella, a modern quilt that also has some ribbons and lace.

I am so pleased with this. First, I love the colors. Second, it was a good choice to use double wadding to make the quilting more visible. Third, I think I was able to incorporate laces and ribbons in a creative way. Fourth, I so enjoyed the process of making this! I did not use a lot of time for planning. I had a vision of expressing vintage childhood and vintage linens and it lead the way.

This is a little detail that I love the most: I hand embroidered Stella’s name to a small antique lace square!

And she loves the quilt, of course!

From Art Journaling To Fabric Design

This time I want to show how I use my art to make designs. Some may think that art journaling and art in general is very far way from design. But that’s not true. You can grab inspiration and ideas from art and it can be very straight forward.

Remember the art journal page I made about women loving historical dramas? It grabbed my attention while I was searching for ideas for a new fabric design. See the yellow-orange ornament on the right corner? I liked the way it was structured.

So I redraw it and tried how it would work as a repeat.

After that I opened Adobe Illustrator and created a digital version of it. I do not usually scan my doodles even if you can do so. I like to understand the structure of the ornament first and then fine-tune it while re-creating it.

Another thing that I like to do is to leave some asymmetry to the motif. I think it looks more interesting that way.

When choosing colors I decided to imitate the contrasts in the art journaling page. I created two colour combinations and three sizes for test prints.

This is how they came out! See my Etsy store for more photos!

When art journaling I am often filled with ideas and details. I have found out that it is not a good thing for me to try to control the creative flow then. To design is to simplify. Later one image can offer jumpstart to many designs. I still see many details on this page that I could use for designs.

An art journal can be your mini world, the best sourcebook for any pattern design!

Fire With Water(colors)

One Friday evening I was so fed up with seeing white and grey all week. In Finland all the public places, offices, most homes (excluding mine!) are white or pale grey.  And now when the colour starts to fade from the nature too, it’s just too much, or should I say little, for me!

I needed this – to play with colors:

I was not interested in the composition or shapes this time, I yearned for color and spent hours mixing water colors. Then I added small details with pens and color pencils.

Fire with Watercolors, detailed view

The end result reminds me of wood that is burning in the fireplace! Using water colors can be a really fun way to set the colors on fire!

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