Peony and Parakeet

Find Where You Belong to

Folk art themed art journal spread made to a Smash book, by Peony and Parakeet

It took just a few seconds looking at the pictures of folk dresses to become almost overwhelmingly inspired. I hurried to my fashion themed Smash book and created this art journal spread.

Fabulous, a Smash book page by Peony and ParakeetAnd then I had to make even one more page. Folklore and folk art always make me feel like this: fabulous! They give me both the sense of belonging and the sense of freedom. I feel that I am one part of the long chain of all the women, of Finnish women, of my mother and grandmothers. At the same time I am not defined by them, just empowered by them. With folk style, I can express my roots and origin without constraints.

They say that one of the basic needs is to belong to someone, to somewhere. I think that creating art can greatly enforce that feeling.

What kind of art makes you feel like that you are included? Maybe enjoying creating is not so much about finding one’s personal style but finding ways to feel belonged.

Folk art style art journaling. A detail of an art journal page by Peony and Parakeet

If you want to develop, it will be insufficient to create art that touches only you. You will want to get connected to other people as well. I claim that the deeper you go in your own self-expression, the more you will also touch others. Our mothers and grandmothers may have very little in common but we can share the goal to create something new and original from our heritage.

A detail of an art journal page by Peony and Parakeet

We do not have to think shapes or lines. It is often enough to dive into the colors. For me, colors represent the feeling. Shapes and lines are just to support them.

Art journal made from a Smash book by Peony and Parakeet

Find the colors from your origin and mix them with the colors of your present life. You are free to create any combinations! The best colors give you the sense of belonging. They will also inspire you to create art that is filled with meaning.

See this journal fully finished! >> Watch the flip-through video!

Finished Art Journal

In 2012 I bought a pink Smash book. Two years later, it’s now finished. With this video, I want to encourage you to continue art journaling. Whatever a single page looks like, it will be pretty and meaningful when being part of the full book.

Finished Art Journal – A Thick Book!

A Smash Book, a finished art journal by Peony and Parakeet.

I love handling full books, the thick, filled pages just temp to open them again and again! Smash books have a lot of pages and I had to remove several of them when my book grew thicker page by page.

House plant, a paper collage by Peony and ParakeetSee the blog posts written during the years about this finished art journal:

Pretty Art Journaling
the first pages and introducing the concept of the journal

There’s a Little Girl in All of Us
drawing faces

Smash Book or Handmade Journal
using Smash book as an art journal

Homemade Happiness
creating more pages

Art Journaling about Imagination
a spread celebrating imagination

Would You Try That
playing jewellery designer

You may also recognize some artwork on the video that has been shown in this blog. I often use art journals to save them.


Here’s the back cover again which I finished on the video. I create decorated elements (like the centerpiece of the flower) now and then. They are stored with hand decorated papers and when I create collages they often work as jump starts. It always looks better if there all the elements are not made in the same day! The same is with the journal itself – keep on decorating, day by day, one piece at the time!

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Hand Bags Only You Can Make

Bag themed art journal pages by Peony and Parakeet

The fashion themed Smash book is just perfect to show my love for bags. When I made these hand decorated papers became heavy fabrics and leather in my mind. It was so fun to draw stitched seams, add layers and choose decorations.

Collage bag by Peony and Parakeet

I have a lot of ugly papers in my hand decorated paper collection. I do not take my papers too seriously. Their common nominator is that they are made by myself and thus they fit together whether pretty or ugly.

Hand Bag Card by Peony and Parakeet

If you prefer to make cards instead of art journal pages, you don’t have to miss the fun. Create bag themed cards like I did! This card is a birthday card for my sister. She loves everything red. I also added some stuff that could be found inside the bag: a lipstick, perfume bottle, small scarf and a necklace. We can always give dreams, even for people who have everything and do not want to own more.

Hand bags collage by Peony and ParakeetI want my art journals to be like catalogs: full of items to pick and choose. I am like a dream shopper with a hand made credit card (how would that look like, or a row of them!). I could ask from the maker of the turquoise pouch: “Do you make these in green too?” And the maker would respond: “Of course, which tone would you like?” With a little help of image processing in Photoshop, the options are right there.

Think about it: there are millions of hand bags which you, and only you, can make!

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Art Journaling about Imagination

There's a Garden, an art journal page in a Smash book

Here’s a page from my Smash book that I use as an art journal. I have picked a phrase from a Finnish reggae artist, Jukka Poika. He has a song called Potentiaalii (“Potential”). This is the best part of the song: “There’s a garden somewhere in the desert of your mind, where everything is possible and nothing is certain.”

I think that’s exactly what creativity can offer us. The only limit is our imagination. When art journaling I sometimes document, but I also dream. I am in the garden of my desert and I always feel happy and content there.

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