No Face, New Journal, and What I’ve Learned

So, I could have squeezed a bunch of faces in, this last day of May, but the thing is, I’m going to making plenty of faces while I’m working my way through Open Studio, and while I didn’t succeed under the letter of the law, I definitely fulfilled the spirit of the law.  How’s that fer lawyerin?  I think the point was to make art a part of your daily practice, the medium just happened to be faces.  And, I think I’m there.  And, I don’t know if it is the Misty class, or the working at it, but I definitely see improvement . . . I think.

Anyway, what did I make tonight, as part of my daily art practice, other than a face?

Well, I certainly made a mess.


Yep, welcome to my creative process.

And, what rose from this craftroom ruble?

A new journal, a la Misty.

In the intro to Open Studio, Misty teaches two methods of making a journal – the first is a canvas journal, with easy peasy sewing.  The second is a coptic journal.  I haven’t even watched the second video yet – a. because I’ve taken a whole class in coptic journals, and b. I just don’t feel like making a template, punching holes, yadda yadda.  So, I went easy peasy.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have any canvas.  But, I did have some plain muslin.  The muslin isn’t nearly stiff enough to be the cover of a journal.  So, I basically made a pillow of the muslin, and then slid some batting inside.  Then, I zigzag stitched up each side, because I don’t know how to sew an invisible seam.  Then, I gessoed the front cover.  I was going to leave it at that – plain, simple.  Then, I thought, huh, now might be a good time to practice some free motion stitching.  And, I considered stitching a bird, or a flower, or something like that.  But, then I thought that wasn’t very personal – what’s personal?  A photograph – I’ll do an image transfer!  So, I printed out a photo of one of our vintage doorknobs, with the key in the lock, and did a semi-succesful image transfer.  I say semi-successful just because it’s really faded, but it’s there.  Just a tad darker, and I probably would have left it alone.

But, I didn’t leave it alone.

I took out the paint.  And the ink.  And the stamps.  

And then I sewed.

So, lot’s of things didn’t go exactly the way I wanted them too.  I didn’t remember that paint being that yellow.  And, I liked the blue ink dripping on the circles, but I went a little overboard when I dripped it down the side.  Oh well.  I did enjoy squiggle sewing up the lines though.  

And, here’s the inside –

Looking at the inside cover, I kind of wish I had just gone with playing around with free motion sewing, and left the paint/image transfer out of it.

But, I kind of like it.

So, the first Misty journal assignment starts out with a prompt – what have I learned?  

This is what I’ve learned.

I cut corners, and try to do things the easy way.

And that’s why I’ll never be a craftsman.

By a craftsman, I mean someone who works in fine detail, producing perfect things, things worthy of admiration and sale.

I didn’t show you the spine of the journal because it’s really sloppy. Oh the pages are in there ok, but I eyeballed everything.  After sewing in the first signature, I didn’t even make an dots on the spine as a guide for where to poke my holes.  I just looked at the hole in the signature next to it, and guestimated it.

And sometimes I got it right, and sometimes wrong – fast and wrong.

And the truth is, when I try to be perfect, I get very aggravated.  I think sometimes I like the idea of making things more than the actual making of them.

Or perhaps I like the product so much, I just rush through the making.

In any event, I’m very happy with my new journal.  The junkety journal, with it’s notebook paper, just wasn’t going to cut it with all of this paint.  This journal isn’t super great paper either – it’s 140 lbs cold press watercolor paper.  I prefer the hot press, but I used what I have.

Next journal!

Oh wait, maybe I should work my way through this one first.






  • sandra sherman

    May 31, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    I looks like you have been having fun! Its great to get out all the craft supplys and 'just go for it'. So what if what you produce isn't perfect, as you say The fact that you just did what you felt like doing, shows that you're not stressing over it or care what others think and in being in that mind you can totally be yourself. Some of the most expensive works of art are made from random splashes of colour!.
    I have enjoyed following you and seeing your work during the challenge. Thank you for sharing your journey and for visiting my blog with kind comments and words of encouragement. I will continue to visit and look forward to seeing what you do next.

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