Garden Journal

Our garden has been fairly dormant over the winter months. A few annuals add colour – pansies, snapdragons, primulas – and lavender and feverfew flower continuously. We have a Wintersweet shrub in the garden beside our front porch, which in the winter has tiny, pale yellow flowers with the most divine scent. I love to breathe in their aroma whenever I walk past them.



These are the last few pages from my garden journal. I used some pressed leaves for the autumn page, and I pressed some pansies, lavender and feverfew from our garden to use on the July page.

Autumn Journal Page

I love to pick up fallen leaves when we go for walks with Finn. The autumn leaves are such beautiful colours. There is just something about them that I can’t resist, although I am never quite sure what I will do with them once I get them home. More often than not, they will end up being tossed away again. This year, however, I was determined to use some on a journal page.

Although the leaves were already dry when I collected them, I pressed them under a pile of heavy books for a week to flatten them before I used them.

I painted the background of my journal page with watercolour paints, in autumn shades of golds, reds and orange. Then I glued a photo of Finn onto the page and surrounded it with the leaves. I glued the leaves down, then covered them with a layer of mod podge to protect and preserve them. I used scrapbooking letters to spell out the word Autumn.

Autumn Journal Page

My 2014 Art Journal

At the beginning of this year, I started a new art journal. I’m using a sketchbook that I bought last year—I just love the cover!


Inside, I created a title page. I painted the background and stamped on random shapes using bubble wrap, corrugated cardboard and a cardboard tube. Then I glued down pictures cut from scrapbook cardstock and cards.


I journaled my goals for the year—nothing too adventurous, just simple things like gardening, writing and crafts. Oh, and most importantly, adopt a dog! Then, throughout the year, I am going to journal about the things that make me happy, the things that make up my everyday life. It might be places that I visit, things I’ve seen, a book I’ve enjoyed, or flowers that are blooming in my garden.




By the end of the year my journal will be filled with thoughts and imaginings, photographs, drawings, clippings, stickers, and anything else I might want to put in there. It will be like a scrapbook, a way for me to creatively document my year, and at the end of the year I will have a colourful journal of memories.

Weekend in Wellington

This is a scrappy collage page I made of our recent visit to Wellington. Although we were only there a couple of days, we tried to fit in as much as we could. We went to the Andy Warhol exhibition at Te Papa, and to the Gregory Crewdson exhibition at the City Gallery, which included photographs from his Beneath the Roses series portraying the dark heart of contemporary Americana, as well as photos from his Sanctuary and Fireflies works. We visited our favourite bookshops and art & craft shops, went for a morning stroll along Queen’s Wharf, and had dinner at our favourite waterfront restaurant.


Today was good

Today was good
Today was fun
Tomorrow is another one

                             Dr. Seuss

For these pages in my art journal I was experimenting with creating backgrounds using watercolour paints and found objects. The wavy lines are made with corrugated cardboard, the circles with bottle caps, and the little square criss cross shapes are made by splodging paint over plastic mesh with a foam dobber. It’s great fun to see what patterns you can make with things you find around the house.

Today was good

This morning when I was visiting my parents, Mum gave me a box of knick knacks to look through, random objects she has kept over the years in case they should ever come in useful, then forgotten about. I came home with a bag of goodies to use in my craft projects – old keys, wooden cotton reels, pieces of jigsaw puzzle, tiny light bulbs and little shells. I’m already planning what they’re going to be used for!

Tell Your Story

I recently joined Suzi Blu’s Gypsy Art School  and signed up for her online class, Tell Your Story, an art journal workshop that documents the story of our lives through art, scrapbooking and writing. Each week Suzi posts a prompt for you to write about and then create an art journal page. During the week, she posts online what she has done with the prompt, and at the end of each month she creates a painted art journal page on video, showing how she uses different mediums to create her art. Students can share their pages online for the rest of the class to see, but it is not compulsory. It is very inspirational to see what others have done and how they interpret the prompt. Each person’s art is so unique. The course runs for three months, but you can work at your own pace, as the materials and videos are available to view and download until the end of the year.

I am really enjoying the class. Other than my garden journal, I have never done any art journaling before. I find the prompts really get me thinking. Although when I first see the prompt, my mind is a blank and I don’t have a clue what to write, once I start, the words seem to flow, and by the time I have finished writing down my thoughts in a cheap exercise book, I have plenty of ideas for making the art page in my journal.

I am using a Rangers Dylusions Journal. It has nice thick card for painting on, a sturdy cover for decorating, and a big pocket inside the front cover for keeping notes and scraps in.

These were the first pages I did. The prompt was:

How would I describe — to someone who had never met her?

Art Journal1

The next prompt was all about home. I printed out some pictures of my dream houses and tucked them into a pocket behind the journal card.

Art Journal2

For these pages I used scrapbook paper, coloured pencils, pens, chalks, stamps, and pressed flowers.

Art Journal6

One of the prompts was to take random photos to document a week in our life, then choose one that represented our life right now, to create an art journal page. The one constant in my photos was Cody, who is beside me in everything I do, so I decided to create a page around her.

Art Journal5

I think I’ll leave decorating the cover of the journal until later, as I’m sure I’ll be learning more techniques and gaining more inspiration as the course progresses.