Saturday 11 December 2021

2021 Topic 15: Journaling Gratitude with EEG {by Autumn Clark}

 2021 Topic 15: Journaling Gratitude

Do blank pages scare you? Afraid to make mistakes? Autumn has the perfect solution to inspire us to start creating using the junk around us. Check out her creative use of hands and twine on one of the pages too!
~ Keren

Hi everyone, it's Autumn Clark from SewPaperPaint with you today, and I'm here to share with you a fun & messy handmade journal project that you can make from recycled packaging. The beauty of this type of project is that you can really let yourself loose and play because if you mess up, you've only wasted what was already garbage. But often working with "junk" releases a creative freedom and the results are far greater than we could have imagined...

I have wanted to paint every single page of a journal for some time now, because that blank page feeling can be overwhelming. I thought why not have a gel print session onto journal pages themselves? But as you know, everything is harder to find and more expensive these days so rather than purchase a new journal, I made one from thick white corrugated cardboard that came in linens packages. As a bonus, I got this pile of cardboard I'd been hoarding out of my way, saving space in my small studio.

I always have the most fun choosing a color palette. For this journal I wanted to use earth tones because I knew I wanted to grunge everything up. I chose a gorgeous array of PaperArtsy Fresco Chalk Acrylics to include: Toad Hall, Space Cadet, Brown Shed, Toffee, Caramel, Jade, Midnight, Sage and Heavy Cream. I went about gel printing the front and back of each piece of cardboard. They measured about 8x5.5" so I used an 8x10 gel plate and was able to print two pieces per painted plate.

Now, the prints didn't cover every bit of the white cardboard because it was uneven in texture.  When I didn't like how it looked, I just printed it again. In the end I decided that I had too much white along the edges, so I decided to dip each page's edges into PaperArtsy Infusions. I used The Sage for the blue/green pages and Golden Sands for the red/brown pages. I spritzed the painted area with water to let the Infusions bleed out so I wouldn't have hard lines. I always use the backs of my 11x17" paper pads for a drying surface when doing batches like this. Here's a peek at the entire book. I've bound the pages with rings for now for ease, but will do a nicer binding after the pages are finished. See how those Infusions add the grunge factor?!

For this spread, I found gel printed paper I made for THIS Lynne Perrella post using PaperArtsy Fresco Chalk Acrylics in Blush and Caramel on which to stamp the hands from PaperArtsy Eclectica³ {Emma Godfrey} Collection (EEG26). I cut them and mounted them holding a length of string.  Beneath I stamped the bricks in blue. Below I embossed the tile repeatedly in white.

Back when these Emma Godfrey stamps were released I shared THIS post detailing how I cut the sign stamp apart. I also explain the tissue stamping techniques used below in greater detail. I stamped the modified sign onto gessoed book page to make my own sign for this spread. It's ironic that the stamp had the number 22 in it and I was writing to encourage myself in the coming year, 2022. I stamped my focal sentiment with  PaperArtsy {Ink & the Dog} Collection (Words Plate 2). I added journaling in my messy script using a white paint pen and a black fountain pen.

For my next spread, I had some awkward streaks in the paint from printing, so I used some torn book pages I had used to mop up stenciling when printing to cover those areas. I used a baby wipe to apply more PaperArtsy Fresco Chalk Acrylic in Heavy Cream through the same stencil at the top of the page for continuity. PaperArtsy Eclectica³ {Sara Naumann} Stencil (PS092) is one of my most used stencils!

I used the abovementioned tissue technique for the door stamp from PaperArtsy Eclectica³ {Emma Godfrey} Collection (EEG25). I filled in with the tile stamp and pattern from PaperArtsy Eclectica³ {Seth Apter} Mini Stamp (EM41), along with more journaling.


Throughout these pages I incorporated some of my postage stamp collection in the collages. On this spread I attached an old glassine envelope, which flips up to store a tea stained paper with more journaling to continue the theme of using leftover bits from previous projects. I tea stained a pile of paper for my journal in THIS post. Part of my journaling gratitude is recording how events have transpired and led me to something beautiful, though at the time I was confused or afraid of what was happening. What better way to do that than by using pieces from my past?

I have lots more room in this journal on which to play! But for today's final spread, I used the window stamp from PaperArtsy Eclectica³ {Emma Godfrey} Collection (EEG26). Oh I love this window! The white tiles were embossed onto tissue. Yes! You can stamp and emboss on tissue. The main reason to take this extra step is so that a large image doesn't stamp improperly onto an uneven surface OR because you want to add color to the image with Fresco paint (painted on the back side).

I just had to incorporate one more stamp set, PaperArtsy {Ink & the Dog} Collection (At Home 2). I love how this sentiment works with the windows and doors from Emma Godfrey's sets! I used it with tissue behind my envelope pocket and then embossed it, adding some embossed handwriting with an embossing pen to completely change the saying. I used the postage collage stamp in the corners of this spread for texture.  For even more texture, I applied Grunge Paste through PaperArtsy  Eclectica³ {Sara Naumann} Stencil (PS218).


The tag was made with mop up paper from using The Sage Infusions. I used it as a large journaling space. I covered the back with tea bags so it feels luxurious when pulled out. These torn envelopes were saved for me by my coworkers, as well as some of the white cardboard book pages. Those little details fill my heart with joy in remembrance. And that's just what a journal should be, a place to reflect on moments and feelings in this busy life.

So what's calling you to reflection these days? Please, let me encourage you to get it out on paper!  It's funny how sometimes we ponder the day to day and find new ways of seeing things that maybe we missed while we were busy living it. When we force ourselves (through a gratitude journal perhaps?) to ask what good things are happening, we are often surprised that the list grows as we start writing. I started this project in hopes of getting one good journal page off of my chest and onto paper and ended up with three spreads! And each one reminded me of another thing I am thankful for that I could add to the next page! 

Regular journaling will help you define your artistic style. Your  journal will probably look nothing like mine, because you will hone in on your own likes and dislikes and refine yourself creatively as you go. I truly hope you are encouraged from the posts of this topic to get started.
xx  Autumn

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5 comments: said...

You are so right Autumn! Even in the darkest hour there is a glimmer, a shooting star or a precious memory moment to reflect upon and be grateful for.

Journalling, ugly, rough, in the moment processing pulled me back from the edge of an abyss.
This tumultous, at times terrifying and at others serendipitous unexplainable corner turning experiences year has taught the entire world so much.

Now ....your blog post has lifted me....made me reach out to you when the to do list can't be jumped over.

I LOVE Your;
Use of colour...yum
The luscious layering which draws us in
REcycled treasure which is makes each layout one of a kind

I PARTICULARLY LOVE the use of earlier release stamp sets. It's tough out there and many of us cannot afford nor desire to use always the newest.

I'm wishing you well and am looking forward to seeing what you do next.

Words and Pictures said...

Absolutely stunning, Autumn - definitely one of my favourite ever creations of yours. Those colours, those prints, the grunged up Infusions edging, the beautiful collaging, the deep thought behind it all. Just beautiful.
Alison x

Kathi said...

Your pages for the Gratitude journaling prompt have been exception. I think this set is my favorite because of the upcycling, the color choices, and the stamp choices.

As always, thank you for the inspiration, your clear instructions, the step out photos, and the enabling!

Ellie Knol said...

LOVE it.. so much beautiful detail and just discovered the imgplay app.. will have to try that...

Etsuko said...

What a lovely journal Autumn!! Great details and grunge colours, it fits perfectly with your gentle words of explanation and the great project to end 2021 on! xx