New Venture: Art Journal Night

I will be offering Journal Night at Stampin’ From the Heart on the third Thursday of each month, starting in January. It’ll very much be an artistic as well as inspirational and introspective process. I have made a bunch of journals over the past year and I am not done yet. Join me at the first Art Journal Night at Stampin’ From the Heart on January 19. We’ll get started transforming it into a place to express whatever’s on your mind or in your heart.

REQUIRED Supplies:

Please bring these to each session: your favorite scissors for precision cutting, any images, scraps or stamps/ink you might like to use, along with your basic stamping kit, including bone folder, several glue sticks, double-sided tape and any other adhesives you like to use, 1/8-inch hole punch, rubber gloves!!


Sharpie fine point pens in various colors. I like these because they work on most surfaces. Other people like to use Micron pens. You can try markers, but they don’t work on all surfaces. However they are useful for other things.

Small bottle of Liquitex liquid gesso.


‘Becoming Brave’ Art Journal

My latest idea is to do a journal called Becoming Brave (based on articles I saw in a two magazines recently). I don’t know about you, but my doubts and fears sometimes paralyze me and render me unable to move forward with what I want to do. So I thought it might be fun to explore that a little through the Art Journal process.

Here are a few questions I asked myself:

What fears do I have that are holding me back?

What I would like to be able to do if I didn’t have this fear?

If I could pick an animal guide to inspire me, what would it be?

Now the task is to collect some images (from magazines, photos or anything really) that I might want to use in my Becoming Brave journal.

Painted Canvas Hanging Journals:

Sunday, May 22, from 1:30-4 p.m. I will be having an Art Journal class at my home. We will make my new favorite journal, a hanging canvas backed journal, perfect for quick entries and embellishing. I have the best time with mine (see finished journal at far left) and think you will like yours too. We’ll be using Lumiere and other great color mediums and you will choose the colors for the back. The inside pages will vary. You will go home with a blank journal all ready for your special entries. Seating is limited, so please let me know as soon as possible whether you can attend. A waiting list will be formed, for a repeat class if needed. Cost is $25 including materials. But bring your favorite scissors and any other tools you particularly like to use.

Email me at to save a space by no later than May 15, so I can make the proper number of kits.

Call 310 204-1351 for directions to my house.

Soup Cookbook Journal:

cookbook art journalRecently I found a book for 50 cents at the public library and bought it because of the lovely textured paper it was printed on. This was a Soup Cookbook, softcover, with paper that looked like watercolor paper. And at first I thought I would use watercolors to re-purpose it. But the bold print made that tricky. So first I rubbed the pages with different Distress inks and then I tried to tone down the printed words with Titan Buff fluid acrylics (very time-consuming and expensive: it took two coats,. In the future I would prefer gesso). After that I used wonderful Artchix Studios collage images of butterfly and bird people to coordinate with the inside pages. I glued decorative paper to the outside and layered another collage image on top for the cover. I feel like it needs more embellishing, but I haven’t decided yet what I want to do to it. So, for now, it is what it is.

Roll-Up Fabric Journal:

I have decided to dedicate mrool-up fabric art journaly spare time to making Art Journals. They can be anything and that’s the beauty of it. But recently I stumbled onto a neat rollup Art Journal that is easy to make and I can just stick into my purse along with a extra-fine pt. Sharpie pen and jot down whatever come into my head. Then when I get home I embellish my thoughts with pieces from my scrap basket and some ink or paint.

For this one, I used pieces of paper from my scrap basket for the inside pages and sewed fabric scraps onto the outside in a long patchwork quiltie thing. Then I braided some strips of fabric and sewed then into the book, so when I roll it up it holds together. Finished size is 5″ long by about 2″ in diameter I am having so much fun, thought you’d like to see it, too.finished roll-up journal

The top photo shows the journal right after I made it. Over the next few months, I added inspirational quotes, song lyrics, photos, and just random ideas or thoughts. I further embellished each page as I journaled, using art scraps from a basket I keep on my studio table as well as paint, ink, rubber stamps and embellishments. I love the result (middle photo).

The bottom photo shows a portion of the outside of the roll-up journal. I sewed scraps from my fabric stash in turquoise tones, plus a few others and some ribbons onto the canvas backing. (My scanroll-up art journal coverner is too short to view the entire thing.) After it was all done, I threaded string in the wire frame that holds the journal together and now I hang it up in my studio, like a wall hanging. In fact I like this idea so much that my latest canvas art journal are designed to be displayed hanging rather than rolled up. I also have taken to painting the canvas backing with Lumiere paints and some watercolor crayons. I also like that effect very much.


3 responses

  1. Hi Jessica… nice of you to give explanation on this wonderful project.
    I like the first photos… it’s clear to me. The following others are kind of confusing, not realizing what it is…. probably the process.
    You say: “in future, I would prefer gesso” What is gesso? A friend artist painter recommended it for any surface before painting. Your advice would be welcome.

    • Gesso is a paint-like substance that artists use on canvases to provide a surface for the paint to adhere to. I use it on glossy papers, which I sand first with sandpaper. Then I apply a thin coat of liquid gesso so whatever color medium I use dries and doesn’t slide off the page. Gesso comes in white, black and clear. Paste consistency or liquid. Very versatile.