It was a lively session at Nottingham Contemporary yesterday, and deserves a full post, so for now you have a progress report on pages building up for the mixed paper journals I’m making as pledge rewards. The idea came out of making the handmade books and the enormous fun I had. Why not share that fun, be a possibilitarian for others wanting to art journal, perhaps on a holiday or for the first time? I am making headway in reducing my massive stash of materials, and while too much stash is a really limiting problem, too little can be too.

So these A5 books are going to have a variety of pages/surfaces to work on/with, that are easy for me to pull from my overstocked shelves but would require a stupid amount of money to make from scratch. I’m not going to put too much of my art in, but I have prepared pages specially too, because having been taught so many lovely techniques on City and Guilds Machine Embroidery and been a craft tutor and craft therapist, I know a lot (really a lot!!) of ways to make paper interesting šŸ˜‰ One thing I’ve suffered myself, and have seen countless times with others, is how hard it can be to start on a ‘perfect’ white surface…perfectly terrifying! So lots of the texturising and splash techniques are great for ‘breaking’ the surface when you don’t want to collage or draw directly into a journal. They give you a visual prompt, a non-threatening place to start patterning/doodling/playing, and before you know it, a theme is emerging and you are freewheeling with lots of lovely momentum…oh, yessy! Happiness happening!

So far, each journal is planned to have (yes, remember it may yet change šŸ˜‰ ) some very plain pages, that everyone gets:

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then there are themes, upcycled calendars mainly, from which each of the dozen journals gets a single spread:

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Hopefully, these found images can stand alone, be worked on or over and if they really don’t work for someone, they can be gessoed or collaged over, as long as a buffer sheet is inserted to not warp the sheet behind (unless that’s what you like!!)

So then there are spreads that I have prepared, with simple techniques and child friendly paints (I’m getting very aware of how many people are now allergic to acrylic paints) but which add colour and or texture and sheen (mmm metallics, mmm glitter paint šŸ˜‰ ) and again one per journal adds interest without dictating a colour scheme or theme.

So, I have a very satisfying basket of stacked pages and a list of what to do next, I haven’t even got the branding iron/ pyrographer out yet or the pretty punches, and then there are the food dyes to try marbling with, and the other pressprint roller stamps… šŸ˜‰ It’s snowing again so I have a very cosy warm flat to dry papers in quickly and few distractions… which is just as well as I seem to have lost the ability to count to 12 or to cut an A4 off a roll…the first task is more bubblewrap printing, as what I thought was enough, wasn’t and I can’t even figure out where the fibro fog came in ??? But this way I get to try different colours, I chose red, black and gold on brown packing paper because I have lots of red cellophane and red and gold sweet wrapping film to upcycle, but the effect isn’t my favourite…reminds self : these are NOT for me…;)

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