I hope you're all well and that the season finds you with the ones you love, happy and content. I've been away for a while - as you can plainly see from the dates on the posts - and spent a looong time debating whether to close my blog down for good, but I figure I at least owe you lovely people some thanks for your support at a really crappy time in my life, and for your patience and let you know that it meant - and means - the world to me.
Breaking back into blogging feels weird at the moment and six months is a heck of a long time to sum up concisely but I'll make a start at least. As it's still the festive season, I'll keep it light as much as possible! I have kept 'arting'.., for myself, and I think it's saved my sanity! I have a new journal - I've actually filled three since leaving blogging - this one being an altered book that I kept when we cleared my uncle's home a couple of years back. I've had to leave a lot behind for practical reasons so it's been an exercise in starting over, and having to let go of so SO much stuff has encouraged me to incorporate more personal items - photos, ephemera, keepsakes etc - into my journals so that they're easy to pack and keep as I continue through life. Space-saving has become an issue! I'll share my progress with you over the next few posts. I hope that some of my rambles and ideas and such might be useful to people and I figure that it's one thing to give advice, but another to share the personal practical applications of it. Can't really do one without the other, eh?
As I'm not overly sure where to begin I'll start with my current journal. I moved back to written journaling for quite a while during my house clearance and house move which was just after mum died. It was such an upheaval that I think I just needed to vent and journaling became a daily catharsis for me. I did find myself still filling it with doodles and pictures when words would not suffice and gradually, the art has taken over again. I still find myself needing to write so at present I have a couple of books on the go but the one I'll share a bit of now is mainly art. I know it's not everyone's idea of journaling but as I've said on many previous occasions it's all about what works for me.
These are my recent journals - I apologise for the dodgy pics, my camera's a bit.....temperamental!
Yep....that's my (*ahem*) TIDY (ahahaha) workdesk. Yep. This is the altered book journal -
It's the usual thing - I removed some pages and glued others together. I opted to just leave some as single pages as well, some torn or cut, just for variety. I've only faffed about with the first half of the book - I learned that lesson a long time ago. Altering it as I go along ensures that it still closes because I can remove more pages whenever I need to - it doesn't bulk out or tear. I opted to keep this book because it has a lot of surveyors diagrams in it which look cool when they show through background layers: just adding a bit more interest where I want them to. I kept a box of cut-outs and ephemera which I sifted through so that I could add some tabs and images to pages to alter as I go along. It's worked very well and gives me useful prompts when my mind goes a bit blank.
....Tidy, tidy workspace..... shyeah! aha!
To help me focus and have purpose, I wrote myself a note inside the front cover:
"This altered book originally belonged to my uncle who was a chartered surveyor. It is now a journal to help me re-build my confidence in making art, trying new techniques and developing skills. Although I may choose to share some pages, this is for my own enjoyment and will hopefully reflect my personality, thoughts, dreams and humour. I have no concern that some pages will suffer a natural decay and damage from regular book use...this is as beautiful to me as the art itself."
.....Basically I just needed to re-introduce myself to mixed media work after having been left so long with just one basic set of coloured pencils and a pen! The value of art journaling, aside from the soul-calming element, is that it does indeed provide a safe place for building confidence in using different mediums and techniques. It took a couple of pages of slightly halting messing about before I found my way again but I'm a lot happier now. It's also helped me to settle a little....I miss my studio dreadfully, and having no place to call home for a while was pretty scary, but working on this book helped me to nest a little and feel at home where I am now which was an unexpected bonus!
I'll leave this here for today but I promise to be back with more in the next day or so. I'd like, once again, to thank the lovely people who left comments on my earlier post, "To Heal My Heart" and who took the time to email me. You've no idea how much your words helped me and reassured me that there is great kindness in this world. Thanks for visiting again - big hugs to everyone, from Shroo:)