Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Upcycling a 2004 Art Journal

I've joined an online 
Art journal group, 
It's completely free and
chockfull of cool techniques
and lots of glitter flinging by the 
workshop leader,
Effy Wild from 
There is also a 
supportive and generous  
to participate with.
I've met many
very talented women
and am having a great time. 
For my Book of Days
I am recycling a 
Below are pics of the 
front and back cover.
I've taped up the inside pages
to protect them from paint.
I gesso'd the hell out of 
both covers. 
Added some kind of thin fabricy 
stuff that a Christmas present was 
wrapped in a few years ago.
Yup. I save everything.

On top of the fabricy stuff
I used gesso with a palette knife 
to create texture.
I'm not sure what I'm going to do 
with it, 
I may try to make it look leathery
or like the surface of an old stone building.
 From the cover of the
original calendar
I only kept the word 
which I covered with
Dimensional gel
and now has a cool
raised effect highlighting it.
Part of our practice in this 
journal is to pick 
a word for the Year.
I've been struggling mightyly
with choosing the right word.
I have been thinking 
for months about my 
focus for the upcoming year
and I keep coming back to
"use what I have"
and that phrase does not 
boil down to one word.
So, like all things,
I'm learning that the word
pretty much covers 
If I am practicing mindfulness
I am using what I have!!

I probably have thousands
of rubber stamps
but I really 
don't use them anymore.
I came to a realization a
year or two ago that
I really don't want to use 
anyone else's art in my work.
Sooner or later I will start
organizing them and selling
them on etsy or ebay.

These 4 stamps are among
my favorites. 
"Be Still" is "still" 
one of my favorites.

On these tags I journalled
about the things
I am looking forward to in 2012.
On the back of Be Still 
I journalled about learning
more about Buddhism and
practicing Mindfulness.
On the Frida tag
I journaled about looking 
forward to making strong friendships
with women who create.
On the dragonfly tag I journaled
about the upcoming Milestones 
I am looking forward to this year
taking place in Sam's life.
Prom, choosing a college,
senior trip, and the continuation
of her independence.
And on the Venus tag,
I journaled about 
"using what I have".

Pan Pastels
 add the color to the tags.
I originally embellished a 
baseball pocket page 
with alcohol inks intending
to attach the page into the journal 
to hold the tags.
You will see that idea
never made it into my
Book of Days.
After I got a start on the book
the feel of the plastic 
is not organic enough with 
the pages I have so far.
 My next post will show 
pics of the progress I've made
on the first few spreads.
I deviated somewhat
from the instructions
but Effy encourages
and nurtures our individuality
in a funny, wise,and
completely stress free
Good times!!
Now tell me,
how have you started
this new year?
Have you picked a word 
to support your endeavors 
in personal 
and creative growth?
Or do you play it by ear?
Spill it, sisters.


  1. Just a fantastic post. Your book is going to be beautiful. I'm sure of this, You just seem to know what will make it yours, and you don't seem like the sort of person who would lie about something that is "you".

    1. Thanks Julie! I am looking forward to making it mine. As I go along you will see how i've gesso'd out most of the images and use whats left as a 'prompt'. Really no different from starting with a blank page and adding collage elements! I've held onto this journal now for 7 years cuz it has such beautiful bits that I couldn't let it go. And now, upcycling it fits in very well with my "use what I have" philosophy. xoS

  2. Hey sweetie! So nice to read this post. Very interesting and I love what you are doing here. I have to connect you with another friend of mine, I think you both would get along famously well. :)

    My word for this year is Grow. :)

    1. Thanks for visiting Dale!! you should visit me someday and plunder my studio! I may have beautiful bits you can use to create your miniatures! As long as you are comfortable with less than stellar housekeeping you are welcome!! And thank you for sending a friend, I look forward to growing my circle of creatives this year!xoS

  3. Love the journal your creating and those tags are beautiful.

    1. Thanks Amyjo! I'm having a great time, never been one to Art Journal, always had a regular one tho. This combines my two favorite artistic pastimes! JOin us!! click the links! there is no such thing as being behind. Join us!

  4. Hi Susan! My friend Dale sent me over to visit you and I am sure glad she did! I am trying to reconnect with mixed media and art journaling this year. In fact- that is my chosen word this year "reconnect" because last year was a bit crazy in regards to work and work overtook my life. Now I'm trying to reconnect with my blog, my friends and myself. I love the start of your book of days- what an incredible project! I hope you don't mind me following along and enjoying your art- it's really nice to meet you!


  5. So Nice to meet you Kim! come play in my studio!Reconnect is a an excellent word choice! Especially if work has forced you to isolate!!you should join us at Effy's Book of Days! click the links in the post and join the fun, I'm totally new at Art Journaling and am lovin it. PS my studio is the spare bedroom, I call it that to feel like an Artist.....xoS I'm off to visit your blog now!!