Friday, February 10, 2012

Vacation Journaling

Started playing on the airplane
 I decided to bring a small art kit with me on vacation this year. I haven't been doing much in the way of creating lately. The holidays are such a busy time for me and having my son leave for the Air Force in January has kept me away from my artistic expression and I thought vacation might be the perfect time to get back in the groove.

 I really wanted to keep it light and fun. Nothing tight or constrained.  I often struggle with this. I've always wanted to have that loose, messy style but it never comes across that way. In the above journal page I really tried to let loose and be messy. It was fun.

Hanging out at the pool with my journal
 One thing that happens to me every time I go on vacation is that I get a little whiny. I don't ever want to go home. I love every place I ever visit more than my boring town in the Midwest. I took some time to journal it out this year. I whined in my journal and then I flipped it and switched the energy. It was great because I got it out and I felt so much better and was able to move on and enjoy my vacation so much more.

Covering up an old Christmas list
At one point I came upon a page that I had written a Christmas list all over in scribbly, yucky handwriting. I was a little bummed because I hated the idea of all my fun and colorful pages being interrupted by this ugly page.

I showed it to my hubby and he said, "Why don't you cover it up?" I explained to him that watercolors wouldn't cover it up. But I became obsessed with the idea and decided that maybe, just maybe my gel pens would cover it and I set out to see.

It was a fun experiment and ended up liking the way it turned out.

Exploring the book, Life is a Verb
Have you heard about the year long project that Effy has called the Book of Days? I've been following her videos and while I am not really creating a book of days I am really enjoying what she is doing. While I was on vacation she started to incorporate the book Life is a Verb into her Book of Days. I had actually just purchased the book without knowing she was working with it. How funny is that?!

I created the above page to write my innermost thoughts about the questions Effy posted. I was happy with the way it turned out but I was a little shocked when I turned the page and saw that the sharpie marker I used to outline the  outer edges had seeped through. I showed my 14 year old Devin and laughed, "I guess I will be skipping a page huh?" He replied, "Well why don't you just put another face on that page?" Duh! What a great idea! Why didn't I think of that?!

So that is what I did. I used the same outline and created a second girl. When I was working on her I made a big boo boo. The paint was wet and I went in with blue and it spread like wildfire. Ugh! I decided to just go with it and embrace it. I put blue all over her eyes and the funny thing is it worked perfectly with the writing I had done.

I was really exploring my story and my relationship with taking ownership of my life. I ended up writing around her head, "She cried so much that even her tears got sick of her, dried up and ran away." It was a perfect expression of how I was living my story and playing my life as a victim. It just goes to show you that it really is true...there are no accidents.

I will leave you with this ugly page I created. I had decided to step outside my box and do something a little different from the stuff I normally do. Early on I knew it was bad...knew it was ugly. I could have given up and did something else but I decided to make it even uglier. I picked the ugliest colors I could and just kept going.

When I finished I decided to journal a little about it and this is what I ended up with.


  1. Your journal pages are wonderful!! I have loved your last few blog posts and always intend to comment but.....I seem to run out of time!!! But just want you to know that I really enjoy your blog! I need to get more active with my own now!

  2. michelle! i LOVE the last page! ha. someone's ugly is someone else's beauty? it's something for me to think about when i make something i feel is ugly. thank you for that!
    love your pages!!

  3. I love your journal!! I would love for the pages to be all colorful with questions that I answer. You should consider creating a journal with your beautiful art work and a question for someone to answer and journal about. I will buy the first one! Oh and on the ugly page - I love it! I don't think it is ugly at all. How cool that your family encouraged you and gave you new ideas! LOVE THIS JOURNAL!!

  4. Love your journal and insights :) Was thinking how much I loved that last page you call "ugly" and see that others feel the same way. Beauty is for sure in the eye of the beholder. I love Carrie's idea about the journal. Are you going to sell them on your sites?