I love looking through magazines for inspiration. Some of my favourites are Somerset Studio, Somerset Art Journaling, Sew Somerset, and Daphne’s Diary. I also love reading gardening magazines and the Australian Country Craft magazines. I am very lucky to have a wonderful mum who also loves to read magazines and passes them on to me after she has finished with them. Once I have read the magazines (often several times), I pull out pages with crafts or recipes that I would like to try, home decor, botanical art, poems, or pictures that make me feel happy. I also take out pages and cut out words that I can use in my collage. After that, what is left goes in the recycling.
Recently I decided to take the folder of inspirational pages I had pulled from the magazines and make them into a big journal of things that I love. To make the journal I took one of my magazines and removed all the pages from it that I didn’t want to keep, leaving a half inch border along the spine of each page. Then I took my stash of inspirational pages and glued them onto the half-inch tabs, while others I attached with my favourite washi tapes.
Some pages I glued back to back, covering up the sides I didn’t want to keep. On other pages I made mini collages, or used paint and washi tape to cover up parts I didn’t want.
I made a pocket on one of the pages to hold some of my vintage greeting cards.
I decorated the cover using gesso, acrylic paints, inks, paint pens, and washi tapes, and I added some fibers and beads down the side.
My journal is a big book of inspiration that I can take out and look through when I want to relax. And the good thing is I can keep adding pages to the journal – the bulkier the better!
I recently discovered the poetry of Erin Hanson after coming across this inspirational quote on the internet and searching to find out who wrote it. I bought one of Erin’s books, The Poetic Underground Reverie, and just love her charming poems, which are emotive, relatable, and often hold a touch of whimsy. She has an amazing way with words and an incredibly deep and sensitive insight into human emotions.
I knew when I began this journal page that I wanted it to be bright and colourful, and for the wings to be made from pressed flowers.I gathered together a selection of papers, paints, and inks in my chosen colour palette and began planning the page.I added pieces of old lace, raffia, and washi tape, and typed the poem on my vintage style typewriter that Nick gave me for Christmas a couple of years ago. After spending so much time on the computer typing my novels, it is fun to use the typewriter for crafty things and to have my studio as a technology-free space where I can relax and unwind.Lastly, I sorted through my stash of pressed flowers and chose some ferns and feverfew and dried heather buds for the wings, and to embellish the pages.
This page reminds me that it is okay to take chances and that you never know where that leap of faith might take you.
This art journal page reminds me to look for the magic in the everyday (or night). A full moon surrounded by swirls of violet cloud, a garden bathed in moonglow, the brilliant light from a distant star, the changing colours of the seasons as trees shed their leaves and plants lie dormant, then a new cycle of growth begins all over again. The feelings of comfort and belonging inspired by a little cottage; a sense of home, of occupying my own little place in the universe.
When I am writing a novel, I like to keep a ring binder dedicated to the book. A place to store information, research, pictures from cards and magazines that provide inspiration, artwork, character profiles, and anything related to the story I am writing – all together in one place.
I love pretty ring binders. Many years ago I bought two that I knew I would find a special use for one day. One of them I used for the Wattle Lane novels. It contains artwork, recipes, research on gold mining towns, and even has a section dedicated to everything I could find about pigs. In The House in Wattle Lane, Ethan has a pet kune kune pig, and I was surprised when I started looking, just how many articles and pictures I found in magazines and newspapers about pet pigs. I got lots of pictures from visiting our local farmyard zoo, and of pet pigs spotted in paddocks around our local area. I also gained first-hand knowledge when our neighbours kept a pig in their back yard for a short time.
The second of the folders I used for my novel Where the Moths Dance. I filled it with pictures and information on herbs, mythology and folklore of trees, magic, graveyards, ghosts, moon phases, moths, and anything to do with the paranormal.
Now I am about to begin a new novel, a stand-alone novel that I am excited about, and I have a lovely new ring binder to begin filling with inspiration and information. It is actually a scrapbook ring binder album from the Kaisercraft Fairy Dust collection, so it is big enough to hold scrapbook pages and it has plastic page protectors inside. I can’t wait to start filling it as I begin my new book. And with a new moon this weekend, it seems like a perfect time to embark on a new project!