Slightly Irregular Conformity

Archive for the category “Journaling”

New Year, New Art

Resolution time!  Only I’ve always sucked at them, so I’m not even starting.  What I’m doing instead is expanding my journal, and playing with the digital scrapbooking supplies I’ve got stashed away.

To help, I’ve signed up for a couple of weekly art journal prompts, which I’ll probably only do a few of before flitting off to something else.  That’s how I roll, and I’ve given up feeling bad about it.

In the meantime, the first prompt from Journal52 arrived in my inbox this morning: your word for the year.  Generally I draw a complete blank, but I had actually been mulling that over for a few days.  At any rate, this is what I’ve come up with:

2016-01-02 J52 Week 1


Embellishments include pieces from various kits:

  • Prompt tag is by Tempus Fugit, whose website has been locked down, so unfortunately this is a shout-out rather than a referral
  • Brushes include Typographic Grunge Brushes by Scully7491, which might just be my new favourite brush set
  • Splatter was created with a brush set designed by C130

I’m determined not to put any pressure on myself to stick with this challenge, so there may only be this one spread put together, but I had fun doing it.


Blogs of August

Most of my social interaction takes place on other people’s posts over on Google+ (you know, that so-called ghost town that seems to be populated with the most eloquent, interesting ghosts in the universe).

There is a challenge there called Blogs of August, where you temporarily shift all the things you’d normally post to your blog, to your Plus stream instead.  And since I’m too scatterbrained to figure out where to dump my random bits of stuff, I figure I’ll give it a go.

For the next month, assuming I have a months’ worth of things to share, it’ll be found on my stream, which can be found here.  I admit, I’m a little nervous at the idea of actual people seeing my actual posts.  I think I might actually be the only so-called blogger in the world who is actually scared of having an audience…

To Artify or Not to Artify?

Seems to be more of an obsession than a question, at the moment.  I have not created any art journal spreads for a month.  Instead, I’ve been obsessing about why I haven’t been creating art, and putting more pressure on myself to hurry up and do something.  Which, of course, makes me less likely to get on with it.

Part of the problem is that I’m a graphic designer by day.  I spend much of my day organising spreads for other people, and believe it or not, it’s much, much easier to create something for a complete stranger than it is to create something from scratch just for me.  It also means that when I have a blank page in front of me, and I’m thinking of the possibilities, things start to feel more like a job than a hobby.

The other big reason is lack of a target.  I have no children, I have no big life issues to work through (except, maybe, my own unwillingness to do anything, haha).  I have none of the usual reasons that people create art for – including, it seems, making art because you would simply explode if you didn’t.

In short, I’m trying to justify why I haven’t been participating in the art journal group that I joined, and why I’m making a conscious move away from art and back to pure words.  I understand that art should be pushing your boundaries, but it shouldn’t be so hard that it’s demoralising.

No more art prompts for a while.  No more pressure.  I need to find my words again.


This week’s challenge was Time.  Specifically, we had to incorporate some kind of time device into our page.  Well, with no way of escaping the pun, it was perfectly timed (groan…), since it was my birthday last week, and time has been on my mind.

Seriously, how can I resist using the ultimate time device??  It’s the front section of a cubee from DeviantArt, and it’s beautiful.  It’s also 3D, and inside are a couple of ATCs with some short thoughts on turning 30.  I put a watercolour wash over them, so they’re somewhat obscured, and I think they look awesome:
I trimmed the edge of each one before they had completely dried, so the cuts are a little fuzzy, but they’ve got slightly different patterns down each side.  I showed the Other Half the finished page, and mentioned that there was something tucked inside the Tardis, but now that they’re in there, I’m going to leave them there for discovery some time in the future.
And, of course, the text on the right is a quote from one of the greatest Doctor Who episodes ever, Blink.

Christmas challenge

Over the christmas break the Journal Challenge was for a page detailing a christmas memory.  I don’t really have many, as it’s not any particularly special day to me, so I thought I’d have a go at putting down why it’s not much of an event.

The green is actually holographic gift wrapping that I got for my birthday, but it fit the tree idea so well I had to use it.  I added gold acrylic as decorations, then ended up melting the foil slightly with my new heat gun.  Oops, guess I’ll stick to using it on paper only!
The white blobs are liquid chalk, which I haven’t used before.  I think the width of the nib is going to take some getting used to, but I’ll be getting the rest of the available colours anyway.
The background is watercolour paint – this is only the second time I’ve used to, and I’m starting to like it a bit more.
This is the first art page for 2012, and the first to go into my new journal box.  Let the ride begin!

Resolutions for 2012

I was determined not to have resolutions this year.  Last year I attempted the 365 photo challenge, and only made it to mid-April before admitting defeat, so this year I didn’t want to set myself up for failure.

I’ve come up with three.
  1. Read 20 books.  I thought I’d been reading steadily all year, but GoodReads tells me that I only read 14.  Okay, some of them were 1000+ pages, and took me a month to get through, but 14?  That’s pretty sad, considering a few years back I made it to 50.
  2. Write 100,000 words in my journal this year.  I know it’s supposed to be quality, not quantity, but I find that dumping everything out of my head and into my journal is cathartic – I can think much clearer once the words are out and in front of me.  Not doing it is almost like what the physicians of old thought – bad humours building up.
  3. Answer a year of journal prompts.  I’ve got a list of 365 prompts and a spare diary.  I’m not restricting myself to one a day, just that the book be filled by the end of the year.

Nothing about losing weight, taking up new hobbies, or changing my personality.  I don’t think my three are life-changing, but I think they’re more than achievable, and I won’t be putting extra stress on myself trying to get them done.  All I have to do now is come up with a reward for when I accomplish everything!

Journal Box 2012

Christmas is well and truly looming – work is getting more frenetic and I can’t wait for Friday, which is usually busy until lunchtime, and then more or less dead.

With all the added stress and busyness, I’ve taken the opportunity to relax when I can, watching movies and reading books instead of journaling.  My entries recently have been recaps on what’s happened, with not much else going on, but I have managed to make a start on my journal box.
I’ve decided to keep the outside of it fairly boring, so that doesn’t scream ‘open me up.’  This is the top, and will probably not get much more decoration than numbers on the spine.  The numbers are watercolour, and had been a background that I’d done for a challenge.  I ripped the page out of my art journal though, so wasn’t sure what to use them for. 
I love the texture that the modgepodge gave it – it’s the first time I’ve used it as a sealant, and I’m really happy with the result.
Because the outside is going to stay fairly lowkey, I’m going to decorate the inside as the year goes on.  To start with, a zentangle that I did:
This is going on the inside as a reminder.  Maybe it’s my mission statement for the year…

Roll on 2012!

Okay, I’m notorious for starting projects and not finishing them – last year I started Project365 and only lasted until mid-April before falling flat.  I don’t think I’ve touched the camera since, in spite of still loving the idea of me being an amatuer photographer.

That said, I’ve come up with an idea for my journal next year that I’m really hoping will last the distance.  The frustrating thing is, I haven’t really found any pictures or blogs of people doing the same thing, so I can’t line up any inspirational images.  That might be a good thing though – no expectations.
I’ve been struggling with my journal lately.  I want to be more creative and have a beautiful art journal like everyone else seems to, but I can’t stay away from the computer.  What can I say, iDailyDiary is a fantastic program, and I freetype much more easily than writing with an actual pen.  The problem was that I couldn’t figure out how to reconcile two methods – typing and art.  I had a half-formed plan involving a filing cabinet, but that’s not exactly portable, and I want the art side of things a bit more open than the words, not hidden away in a folder.  So here’s my plan:
  • Typed diary/journal will be printed double sided and bound into a book (will ask Mum if I can borrow her binder back again).  One big book for the whole year would be cool, with maybe different coloured paper for each month.
  • Art pages and anything not typed will be on loose sheets of paper – and will be left loose.  I’ll just have to try and remember to date things, so I can if I’m making any progress with techniques etc.
  • Everything will be kept in a black box, which I’m intending to decorate over the year.  Diary at the bottom, art on top.
I’m hoping that having loose sheets will reduce the terror of a blank page – there’s no worry that one crap spread will ‘taint’ the rest of the book or anything like that, plus I can use whatever medium I want – and 3-d embellishments, if I want.
I’m super excited about this project, and am thinking that one box per year would be awesome.  That means that I won’t be starting to fill the one I have until next month, so until then, all my typed journal pages will be pasted into my wirebound book.  Once that’s done, the rest of the pages will be torn out and readied for loose leaf art.
So excited to start!!

Getting Grounded

My fingers are covered in paint, which makes it a good start to the weekend.  This week has been just as busy as the last month, but it seems I was finally able to make time for some art, no matter how simple.

The first was a challenge from JournalChallenges, and sounded nice and straightforward: fill a page with your favourite colours, to use a background later.  I decided to try out the watercolours I’ve got, and was so happy with the result that I did a second page.  Then I had a brain fart and for no apparent reason tore both pages out of my journal.  Of course, once I’d regained my sanity I wasn’t able to recreate anything near as good, so here’s a square of three colours, not mixed together very well:
I loved how muted I can get these colours, and will definitely have to start using them more often.
The next challenge was to create a page about what sort of queen I am.  After getting stuck on a hundred different negative ideas, I settled for the most honest, relative and obvious answer:
I like how bare this is – the words are all the matters, and there’s no distractions from the message, which seems to be more important the more I look at it.  The lettering is a new thing for me, so I cheated by having some gorgeous images on the laptop screen while I drew them.  It’s a step up from tracing, but I’ll be sticking to it while I figure out if I have a style of my own or not.

Dancing with Colour

This week the art journal challenge I was charged with was to create a page about dancing with colour.  I don’t have a huge range of supplies, yet, but I’m working on it.  Instead of cramming a page with as many colours as I could find (which, I admit, was my first thought), I decided to use those that I wouldn’t normally use as dominant colours – reds and yellows.

The strips were created with a quick, hand-cut stencil, which revealed just enough of the colour.  I used some marbled paper for the rest of it, and then painted it with olive oil to get it semi-transparent.  With the figures, I painted carefully around the edges, only to discover that even after it’s blotted, the olive oil keeps spreading, so close up it’s spread much further into the image than I would have liked.

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