The really cool thing about this swap is that these are rather ordinary items, but they're chosen by someone else, so they end up being things you'd like, but not necessarily things you'd have. Especially when your partner makes special effort to include things specificallly to your taste, which is what my partner, zcrafter did.
Yes, those are real, old card catalog cards and card pockets. I know, how awesome is that? Other things you see are 2 dustcovers, transparent wrapping paper (love transparent papers), magazine images, alpha die cuts, alpha stickers, chipboard shapes including my stars, sparkle paper, little stickers and bits and bobs featuring my themes of stars and butterflies, old book pages including super cool Latin dictionary pages, fabric clothing tags, a scary-cute safety diagram, local ephemera, fuschia ribbon (fave color), and black lined paper.
I was especially touched by her inclusion of a butterfly calendar, since Butterfly is my totem animal right now. Another synchronicity was her inclusion of a book card pocket of a book by philosopher John Locke, since I'm a huge Lost fan who deeply identifies with the character of John Locke, who is named after the philosopher.
She made me a gorgeous card I plan to frame:
I'm really grateful to have been paired with not only a wonderful swap partner, but a new friend. I really love that these are ordinary things selected with me in mind, but from her world. That's really inspirational to me and I've already started using some of the items in my art journal this morning. Thank you Patty. And thank you Smmarrt for putting us together and running this totally fun, super neato swap. I could do this every month. And really, I wouldn't even end up with any bigger stash, it would just change all the time!
Wow! This place is really jumping! I keep planning on jumping in, but then I get behind on posts and the system here doesn't really support comments left on old stuff in a fast list like this! But I gotta start somewhere, so I'll post my two spreads from this week and say that the journaling on this list has been so inspiring. I love to see all the really unique creativity being displayed, not everyone doing the same thing, and there is just every kind of genius here.
My spreads are both me working with The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte, exploring what Core Desired Feelings I want in my life, as well as experimenting with a very relaxed, intuitive layering process. I really like how they both turned out, and they were both just so low pressure and fun.
Three years ago, almost exactly, I started my very first visual journal inspired by the original thread for this. It changed my life, and now I have a couple dozen, a few of them even sort of finished. I am SO glad someone has resurrected and EXPANDED this! I love to see every possible interpretation of the word art journal or visual journal or creative journal, and from people at every stage of their process. I just got a brand new computer and have no pictures on it yet, but I did just happen to take this one of a page in progress with some supplies I was organizing (don't mind the bare toes), so I'll share that for fun. It's done in a hardbound book about nature that I'm altering. It has thick, sturdy pages so I'm not tearing any out or gluing them together, and I'm really trying to use some of the imagery in the book as a foundation to my own art. The butterfly, fish, and shell, plus the word NATURAL, were all in the book. I gesso'd over everything around them, then wrote with big brush pen (which was dying, so it's streaky and light) about what the page is about, then I think I acually left it open and smeared color that was leftover from another project all around the images. The theme is one that is personal and powerful and ongoing for me, to I'm letting the page evolve as its different parts come to me.
puamelia sent me a lovely fae Dotee with some fancy tissue paper I can use in my art, and tucked in some Hawaiian chocolates as well. She now has a magickal place on my tree (which I finally put up last night). Thanks puamelia! I'm glad you liked your Rapunzel!
I just realized, after reading this whole thread to here again tonight, that two years ago I stumbled upon this thread and read it start to finish and then started my first 'non-art' journal. Today I have about ten or so, and I journal in some form every day. This thread really changed my life! The book I write in most often is a 5x8 hardback sketchbook that I made a cover for, that I put all my art/craft ideas and sketches into, and that I write in/sketch in every day. I've also just started an actual sketchbook in a second 5x8 hardback sketchbook. (These were $5 each from Michael's, "Artist Loft" brand, and I love them. Just plain hard black covers and nice, heavy sketching paper inside, and they open up nice and flat!) I also have a Moleskine watercolor journal, just for experimenting with watercolor painting.
I have also created four art journals, as well as a junk mail journal (lost...sad), a gluebook, and a few days ago, I got a Creative Chaos binder (an alternative to the Smash Book) from Michael's and am putting only art inspiration into it, such as techniques to try, supplies I want, supplies I buy, notes from art books I read, pieces of art that inspire me, art stores and sites I shop at, and anything else art-life related. Half price with a coupon, this was only $6.50 and it's full of beautiful, really heavy double-sided decorative cardstock pages. I highly recommend it, because writing on that heavy, pretty paper is inspiring, and it's a great way to save all the little stuff on a pretty background. Plus I LOVE mini-binders and can add to and rearrange it any time I want. I'm going to get another one and use it to journal on all the "About Me" prompts I've collected here and elsewhere. I think it would be very therapeutic and help with self-love issues. I may get a third one and make a Favorite Things book, which will help with life-love issues (since I deal with severe depression).
It is so sobering to me to realize that I had to call myself not a 'real artist' in order to allow myself to do any art at all, and that it happened to be exactly two years ago this month that I took this step, due to this very thread. I now have an art blog, have done several paintings, and have created a studio space as a testament to how crucial art is to my very survival, emotionally.
I know this thread isn't about art, but it was this thread and the 'non-art' journal that it inspired in my life, that gave art back to me. And not only do I journal now, pretty much every day, I've even learned to make my own books, which is probably my favorite thing to do right now.
And I STILL love love love the alphabet idea and have re-written it into my art/craft idea book tonight to use again and again. I also found the thread on altered books at that same time as this one, and I fell in love with that and have been doing them ever since. Two of the four art journals I have made are altered books. This is the before of my newest one, a children's book:
With a title like that, it was MADE to be a journal, don't you think? This is what I did to the cover:
I hope this thread lives forever and that lots of other people find it and begin expressing themselves in a new way because of it. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to it over these FIVE years.
Okay, so I looked again and found the gallery! Kfad's package for me got here this morning and I feel so indulged. She sent almond biscotti, chocolate oatmeal cookies, ephemera, and some board books! Here's the whole bounty:
After a bad week, this really cheered me up so much. Of the cookies, I was surprised to say the biscotti is my favorite. It's so almond-elicious. I LOVE almonds, and these taste so delicate and fresh and awesome.
And the ephemera is really special. Most of it is from Oregon, my favorite place.
The brownish postcard you can't see very well just down left on the top is Baker City, Oregon in 1866. My partner and I were commenting that was before Lonesome Dove or Little House times! Just amazing. And that postcard upper left, of the woman with flowers, is from 1916 and has a mysterious little note on it that says, "I suppose Glynne has told you the news. If she hasn't, ask her what I got into down here. ha ha." We'll never know! It's a forever mystery. How neat is that? I love it. And she got me 3 thrifted board books to use in my art journaling! I told her I was exploring board books to alter, and these 3 are just perfect. I've shown the second two open so any art journalers can see what lovely spread-shapes they provide. And the top one is a tunnel book with a big eyeball in the center that will show up in every spread! And I didn't realize until I snapped the picture that the dinosaur is maliciously peeking over the others, just like the raptor in Jurassic Park!!! Clever girl.
And I love the gothiness of the purple tag, and I just love black, white, and red spreads so that other big tag on text is just great. I love it all. Every little bit.
I LOVE this package. Kfad, I feel so blessed to be your first swap partner because you have been just excellent, and I will have some fun putting your package together to send out this week. Thank you!
I got my lovely Dotee from pollyprissypants a few days ago, and I just love her.
I love fuschia and little fat birds and silver, so this little bird really makes me smile. She will be this year's first new ornament, and after the holidays, she will cheer up my fuschia-accented art space. I also love Beatles nostalgia and ephemera, so it was a true bonus that I got a note on Yellow Submarine paper that I can tuck in my journal.