Sunday, February 12, 2012

Art Journal that Ponders My Creativity

I've wanted to try my hand at an art journal or an altered book for a very long time. I finally have decided to do it and I think it might be a very instructive process for me.

This craft paper journal has been in my hoard for a very long time and it seemed like a non-threatening place to start. I had no plan. The beginning was simple enough - I decided to use the graphic from the front of a vintage embroidery magazine that my sister A had given me. While I was flipping through it - I found the quote that you see on the top "She called her things 'priceless' - for her own hands fashioned them."

The quote struck me as getting at the heart of creativity. I added the quote from Genesis 1:31 to the bottom of the journal "God saw all that he had made and it was very good."

Suddenly, I had a purpose for my journal. A purpose that dealt with the very issues that I as a person who 'needs' to create and an issue that I as a passionate Christian struggled with. How my identity as a Christian united with my need to create. It may seem a small thing to some but it is big to me. Hence, this exploration.

I do not intend to do much explaining about the meaning in my journal. I will simply place before you a bit about the materials, technique, and transcribe the quotes (in case they are not legible in the photos).

The background paper is made from a piece of cardstock painted with water colors - the flowers were then subtracted using a stamp sprayed with water.

The artwork is from a winsome book my mother gave C for Valentine's Day when she was tiny - it is starting to fall apart and I wanted to preserve some of it.

The background paper for this page is water color paper that was sprinkled with rice and salt when it was wet. The rice and salt absorb color and moisture creating the pattern.

The butterfly is a very cool stamp I picked up at the thrift store for two dollars that I stamped onto a copy of the hymn "This is My Father's World."

The flowers are punched from some of the oil and water marbleized paper that the girls and I made a while back. The grass is made from dictionary pages that the girls and I painted for fun (I need to do more of that - the girls really enjoyed it).

If you have questions about the materials (the key on the cover is from the bag of keys my parents gave me - the worn fabric measuring tape is from my MIL) or the quotes or my thoughts behind a page. I would be happy to explain further.


Strictly Homemade Tuesday


  1. Your altered book is fab! I love that alot of it is from a keepsake book, great way to preserve some of it.

  2. Your journal is gorgeous. I am is being "a person who 'needs' to create and an issue that I as a passionate Christian struggled with"? They seem quite compatable to me.

  3. Phyllis, I think part of the answer to your question lies in my childhood. There are two aspects of childhood involved, my schooling and the theological background of my church. The last bit lies in the present.

    I was a gifted student and as such was expected to take all the academic classes. I was discouraged from taking art or theater classes. Nobody ever told me I was creative or that I had any sort of talent in the arts.

    Second, I was raised in the Calvinist tradition. The extremely conservative reformers rebelled against any sort of decoration in the church. Additionally, I grew up in Dutch Reformed circles - the Dutch Reformed settlers in Kansas are undemonstrative and stoic and lived lives that reflected that. Useful arts and crafts were tolerated (such as woodworking or quilting) but I didn't know anyone who created for the sake of creating.

    Consequently, I developed the idea that art wasn't something that responsible people did except as a hobby. In addition, it was best to create items that were useful.

    Finally, I have recently wondered where the act of creation fits into a world that emphasizes recycling and responsible use of resources.

    But you are right - they are compatible - if we are made in God's image and God is a creative God then creativity is a blessing that should be enjoyed and used to its fullest. This journal will be a great place for me to work through my thoughts about it.

  4. This will be a very interesting project I think. So perfect for creating and thinking about why you do.

    I should tell you that I received my winnings from your giveaway. I was shocked at all the goodies and will be sure to blog about them sometime in the next few weeks. I'm so pleased, I can't tell you! Thanks so much Melissa! xox

  5. Your journal is beautiful, thank you so much for sharing it with us. I have seen some other blogger share their journals and I have always loved these deeply personal and creative projects. I find your comments to Phyllis fascinating. I travelled a similar path.

  6. Oh sweet! I love this. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  7. Your altered book/journal is off to a beautiful start! Thanks for all your visits and lovely comments on my beaded flowers.

  8. I think God tucks creativity into each of us...after all we are His children and look at what He's created! To create is a divine heritage. I'm so glad you're exploring it in a lovely journal.

  9. Very beautiful work Melissa.