For the month of June, I was enrolled in a four-part series of art journaling classes at Castle in the Air. The classes were taught by Charlene McNally, the same lady who taught the Paper Wonderland tunnel book class I took in April.
For the first two sessions, we focused our attention on making our actual art journal. We first made the cover, which was made out of a type of cloth, that, for the life of me, I cannot remember the name. It was some kind of sturdy cloth that Charlene had us paint and decorate. Since I am a sucker for warm colors, I painted mine a warm brown with red droplets made from a stencil.
The brown streaks/lines you see were also created using a stencil. I decided to coat my cover with an oilcloth finish, using Martha Stewart’s fabric-to-fabric oilcloth finish decoupage medium.
For the inside of my cover, I continued the brown theme, but added some streaks and dabs of yellow.
For the pages inside, we created five signatures out of thick water color paper. Each signature consists of four folios. A folio is basically a piece of paper folded in half to create two pages. We hand bound the signatures to our covers, using a long stitch binding.
We had a choice of closures we could create for our journals. I opted for a simple velcro closure for quick and easy access. The other students all opted for fancier, button and ribbon closures.
Charlene gave each student a small handmade envelope to adhere to the inside front cover of our journal. We each used it to hold a “If found, please return to…” card, in case we ever lose our journal.
I lined my envelope and created my please return card out of Graphic 45 Come Away with Me papercrafting paper.
After we had bound our journals, Charlene showed us some techniques to decorate a few of our inside pages. We started with the first page that would serve as kind of a title page for our journal. From Charlene’s stash of ephemera, we each chose an image we wanted to showcase. I chose this art deco French travel postcard:
Charlene then had us choose ephemera that had similar colors as our focal image. We cut the ephemera into strips of various lengths. Then using the colors of our ephemera and images as our guide, we painted our journal pages in similar colors. After the paint had dried, we each glued down the strips we had cut out earlier to create a border around our page.
We added other decorative touches, including more ephemera along the border and our focal images. The French postcard I had originally planned on using turned out to be too large for my title page, so I ended up using another image that fortunately had a similar color scheme.
Given the childlike nature of this image, I decided to use some stickers from my Graphic 45 Mother Goose paper collection. It just so happened that the stickers had a similar color scheme to the colors already on my journal page.
To finish we added titles to our journal pages with rubber stamps. Charlene came up with the title for my journal. Given the childlike theme of my front page, it was very appropriate.
For our last session, Charlene taught us one way to create a background for our pages. We started by tearing out random bits and pieces of thin, delicate, printed paper and gluing them down onto a two-page spread in our journal. We also added bits of washi tape. We then brushed on some gesso to our pages to mute the print on the bits of paper. Then using paint on a dry brush and some distressed ink, we dabbed on different colors and quickly worked them in with moist baby wipes.
Charlene then showed us how to use stencils and molding paste to create a textured surface onto our pages. To finish we added some color to the stenciled surfaces.
I had a lot of fun in this class, and I left feeling like I had more techniques in my arsenal to continue on my art journaling journey. Charlene is planning on holding a series of drop-in classes at her home studio once a month to help us continue working on our journals. I am really looking forward to this, so stay tuned!