After a few months of experimentation and struggle, I have started on a journey towards art journaling in a happy way—a way that works for me!

I found this little kraft paper journal in Michael’s one night. It called out to be and said “Hey! Play with me! You know you want to!” so I bought it.

(You know those funny Pier 1 commericals? “Party, party, party!” That’s totally me in that commercial.)

So, I brought it home, got out the acrylics and went to town!

Except, things didn’t really look the way I thought they would.

So, I got out a pen and tried to doodle and write some profound things. I even tried adding a little flower embellishment on the page, you know—to be artsy.

Ugh. It was not what I expected.

A few weeks went by.

I ignored my journal.

But I felt sad about that! It’s not what I had intended to do at all. I was supposed to be on a new journey of exploration and discovery! But I think that I forgot that I needed to walk and move to get where I wanted to go. Doh! That’s why we use the whole “journey” metaphor in the first place, isn’t it?

So, a thought occurred to me—I should look harder at the inspiration I found on Pinterest! I needed to see how I could deconstruct the work of those I admired.

Well, when it comes to admiration, there are two people I highly admire! The first is Karen.

Karen makes beautiful scrapbook pages (I love her use of white space and her long titles that are whole sentences). And she makes beautiful art journal pages. After stalking her blog for layout inspiration, I started to get caught up in her art journaling journey. It was with that in mind that I immediately picked up that little journal for myself with glee and great expectations. I was ready to play, too!

But I had no road map to get where I wanted to go… until last week, when I stumbled upon the amazing, free tutorial videos made by Christy Tomlinson! Now I’m a-stalkin’ her, too. Hey, any woman with more kids than I have and her own business? She’s an instant hero.

Now, I had heard of Christy’s wonderful classes before from my friends. But I just assumed that all her best tips and secrets were contained in them. (And, you know, who has an extra $45 lying around? Not me.) What I didn’t know was that Christy is an extremely generous person and she has made a ton of wonderful videos showing us how she plays around with different products and how she creates such depth and interest in her canvases. I found some great clips on My Craft Channel (specifically Episodes 1 and 2) and in this YouTube video she made here that helped me take a giant leap forward in my own play times.

So, I took my first page, covered the whole thing up with layers upon layers of paint and started anew with my favorite quote:

A girlfriend of mine used to say that when we would stamp and make cards together and it’s stayed with me as my crafty motto ever since. It’s especially dear to me now, as I am embarking on this new crafty little journey… and totally fitting, considering that I made a “mistake” with my first page which lead to a wonderful opportunity for creativity! 😀

A funny little anecdote: My kids are talking about going outside to pick some leaves and flowers to press.

My daughter says to my son, “Well, just get your flip flops on.”

He says, “I can’t. I just have the one.” My ears perk up.

I say, “Why is that? Can’t you find your other shoe?”

He said, “No, it broke the other week. I just have the one now.”

Then suddenly, my children are left to stare in wonder as their mother claps her hands in delight and excitedly demands that the kids go find this one flip flop for her. This is not something that Mommy would typically be happy about!

Then they follow her to the kitchen where they watch her take scissors and a kitchen knife to the thing to cut it up to use as a stamp in her art journal. (ps. I did ask Joshua if it was okay with him before I cut it apart in front of his little face.)

I guess I am now one of those “crazy” people. Woo-hoo!

And you know what? That new stamp is the most awesome thing! You can see it above. The sole of the show was worn away, but the inside of the flip flop makes the coolest diamond plating type of pattern! It’s great.

I just love it! Ah, yes I do… here’s to new, crazy, fun things!

3 Responses to “opportunities.”

  1. Erika Martin Says:

    This post makes me so happy. 🙂 *wink*

    I just started on a new altered book on Sunday with a dear friend of mine who came over to watch me and learn. We had such great fun and I love how the cover of my book came out. I’ll have to take a pic to put on my FB to share with you.

    I love that you’re taking to working with your hands again in this way. It makes me smile!

  2. Trista Says:

    Love it Nicole. I must say I laughed over the flip flop excitement… I had watched Chirsty’s tutorial a little while ago, and knew exactly the excitement you described. 😉
    I am now stalking Karenika. I like the long journal pages (a week at a glance) with art mixed about. Though I am not a real fan of my handwriting.

  3. karen Says:

    I really love this page Nicole! i love the quote, the color, the layers! But most of all, I love what it represents. A step. Remember, it always starts with one step! Thank you so so much for sharing this page, I really love it!