Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Journal Peek-a-boo

...or "A Bit Of Fun With Colour - Part: The Second

Hello there!

In my previous post, I mentioned the li'l journal I made while I was packing and clearing and moving from my home. This be it:

The covers are made from a lovely gift box from a friend of mine. It had lovely vintage designs over thick chipboard so was a no-brainer for covers when it sadly got really rather squished during the packing process. I just couldn't bear to throw it away and couldn't KEEP random bits of cardboard as every inch of packing space would have to count. It's a coptic stitched collection of whatever paper was still lying about and it's become my favourite journal of, ooooh, EVER! I shall very much be making another one ready for the new year.

I had epic fun cutting up scraps to make loads of page tabs, also using some old sheets of alpha stickers which had escaped the packing process. When I found a little box of spare stickers left from old projects they swiftly got added too. Honestly - LOADS of fun!


...aaaand now:

I loved this journal so much that I actually looked forward to filling pages in every night, and it filled up pretty quickly! Writing was cathartic, but drawing helped me focus and relax. I only had a black pen and one set of pencils - the Crayola Pro set that I mentioned in the previous post. I found these pics that I took at the time:

I don't have the tin any more, and the pencils are way more worn down now but I reckon they're one of the nicest sets I've ever worked with where colour layering is concerned. Anyhoo, I promised I'd share some pages of doodles with you so here we go -

Living with piles and piles of boxes and STUFF, before the house clearance people came, but at least the garden provided some respite.

Of course, the Colonel, my kitty cat, made a regular appearance with his VERY understandable mood swings -

...and of course, his rich and exciting life of adventure had to be represented:

He has a very daring and thrilling private life. I don't ask questions, I am but his servant and chronicler of his exploits!

I recorded world events that affected me emotionally...

...and personal moments that made me smile...

I treated myself to a takeaway - not a regular thing, but intended to cheer me up. HOWEVER - I forget EVERY TIME just how crappy they make me feel! 

I have an awesome friend who lives MILES away, but who kept sending me pictures via Pinterest to cheer me up - it worked! Thanks buddy!

And this is a weird one - I found a perfect butterfly lying on the floor of the out-house. Like so many people, I've always held an almost spiritual significance to butterflies so it upset me. I picked it up gently but there were no signs of life. I put it in a shallow box by the open back door with some sweet flowers and a little sugar water but when there was no movement after a week I assumed it was indeed dead. I removed the water and the flowers but couldn't bear to dispose of the beautiful, perfect creature so left it in the box and carried on. Two weeks later, I heard a gentle scuffling in the box, and as I walked towards it the butterfly flew up and away over the garden hedges. Yep. Weird. And awesome also!

I also recorded grotty days, like when I was utterly knackered from moving boxes day after day after day and just spent 24 hours lying on the floor letting my body rest a while, basically because any and all movement was totally out of the question -

and those times when mother nature likes to remind us that we're the incarnation of a goddess. Thanks mother nature......thanks....

I recorded memories of my childhood that popped into my head as I let go of the heirlooms that I had no space for or had already lost -

 It helped to record them.

Of course, there are always going to be mermaids!

And there were moments of peace and being ready to move on -

So that's that! Somehow, even though this was one of THE MOST traumatic times in my life, I can actually look back at that little book and smile. It makes me happy, and I think that the doodles help a lot.

I'm so glad I had those coloured pencils. I think it's so important to find the colour in life no matter how dark things become, and allow to help you find a path back into the sunshine. If you've never kept a journal, I'd encourage you to give it a go - and make it YOURS. There's no right or wrong way to record your life and your feelings. You can write, draw, paint, collage, doodle, use quotes or passages of prose or poetry, song lyrics or exerpts from tv shows or plays. Use scrapbooking, note books, organisers, sketch books - anything that makes you happy. Not only is it a way to get you through tough times, but it records happy moments, the quirky and the weird, the downright mad and the hilarious. There'll be things you would forget that can be so precious if you record them - maybe not just to you....maybe to your kids, grandkids. And through it all, try and add that all important colour!

I hope you've enjoyed this journey through one my own favourite journals and I hope it in some way can inspire you to keep a record of your life and that of your family.

Sending love and hugs - Shroo :) xxx

ps. The Colonel thanks you for your time. 
You may return. 
Bring cake.


  1. I love your journals, I need to learn more on how to make the bindings. My first one I just tore the pages and then hand sewed in the embellished papers-but of course my book is super fat with a skinning binding-lol but I love it and loved the process.
    I am making some more handmade papers today-very fun-

  2. Thank you Kathy :) I'd really love to see your book - could you post me a link here or mail me at artyshroo@gmail.com? That would be awesome. I love that you make your own papers - that makes everything so completely unique. Big hugs - Shroo :) xxx (and a paw wave from The Colonel)

    1. I made an album here http://s171.photobucket.com/user/kathyinozarks/library/My%20Art%20Journal?sort=6&page=2 I think I set it to public let me know if you can;t get in-I bought handmade papers for this journal that I found on etsy--as I wasn't set up to make my own-this month I decided now is the time-lol and It is allot of fun

    2. I had never done anything like this before-so was way out of my comfort zone of fiber arts-but your tutorial was so inspiring for me-I really loved this project allot-thanks again

    3. Your book is AMAZING!!!! It's GORGEOUS!!! That's your first go? FIRST? Woman, you're a natural! It's so clear to see all the care and work that's gone into it from looking at your photos. I really hope you're going to do another? There are a LOT of great Youtube vids on bookbinding and good books too (Youtube being a cheaper option). I'll get my brain in gear and sort a post out with links and stuff which might be helpful. In the meantime, you go ahead and keep being incredible ok? Hugs - Shroo:) xxx

    4. thanks so much-I really appreciate your feedback-in one of your photos here of your journals-I love that one with the beads and knotted string? I would love some tutorials-thanks much-hugs Kathy

    5. Oh that one's a doddle, I promise you. Basically all you gotta be able to do is tie knots! I'll figure something out and post it up here for you :) xxx

    6. I forgot to ask you-do you mind if I pin your post to my journal board on pinterest?

    7. Aww, bless ya! Of COURSE you can!! Thank you squillions xxxxxxx

    8. awesome-I always like to ask first-hugs

  3. Once again you inspire me in so many ways. I'm participating in an art journal swap for the first time and it's a wonderful experience so far. Your work is so magical! Creativity oozes out of every pore in your body. I love your mermaids most, of course, but I am delighted by the work you share. You're so talented at sharing the process and the emotions that come with it. I cannot wait to see more in 2015. By the way, your courage is another inspiration. When one has the courage to let past objects go, it opens up room for new experiences. I admire you and hope to become more like you! XXXOOO to you and the Colonel

    1. Oh me darlin' - can't tell you how reassuring trhat is! I keep feeling like a complete weirdo when I talk to people ... I'm not seeming to be doing what I'm "supposed" to be doing emotionally or practically, but I learned long ago that life's about decisions...You gotta make 'em and stand by 'em. I've done my share of treading water in the past and it does no good at all.
      Looking forward to hearing more about this art journal swap! I'll be blog-stalking to find out more and can't wait to see what magic you create! I'll send you emaileyness tomorrow. The Colonel sends boxes of sugared mice to the kitties (I think he's recruiting) and I send hugs - Shroo:) xxx

  4. Thank you so much for sharing these pages. I want to journal and I want to scrapbook - I kind of did the two merged together when I was pregnant but then I stopped again. I have this kind of mental block when it comes to putting feelings to paper, I feel like it's all cringey and forced, I don't know how to get over that block. I wish I could because the handful of times I have actually managed to - it's been such a release. Something to work on this year.

    Love all your images but the ones of The Colonel made me laugh. I recognise those expressions from when I had a kitty!

    Hope your 2015 is much happier x

    1. I totally get what you mean. I don't have two journals the same - not just the way they look, but the way I use them. It DOES feel weird sometimes to record feelings...I feel like a teenager sometimes! I have some ideas which I'll post on the blog about getting started which might be helpful although it's taking me longer than anticipated as fluey grot has filled my head with old carpet and mushy peas which is interferring with my thinky processes! Ugh.
      Thanks for the reply and the post ideas - smoshy hugs from me and some spare moulty fluff with which to decorate your cushions from The Colonel. xxxx

  5. Oh gosh this is all so so so beautiful and I like the little wonder with the butterlfly in the boy Rachael!
    So glad to see your art again .. I truley missed you during the long time you were absent!

    AMAZING POST! Thank you !
    Happy New Year to you !

    1. Thank you, Susi! That's a lovely comment! it's genuinely good to be back - I'm sorry to have been away so long. It feels good to be able to share again, and soething positive with which to head into the new year! Thank you so much for your emcouragement - Shroo:) xx

  6. Hello! Your drowing is gorgeous:3
    And I want to ask: Where did you buy pencils "Crayola PRO"?

  7. Hi! Thank you for your lovely comment :) These pencils were a gift from my mum - about ten years ago! They hid on a shelf, unnoticed and unused until I had to move house last year. I can't find them anywhere and I think Crayola may have stopped making them. Derwent coloursoft pencils are quite good for layering, as are Faber Castell student grade pencils. I wish I could be more helpful! I'm sorry xxxx Hope you find something that works for you - big hugs from Shroo:)xxx