arty play


It’s no real secret around here, that if there’s one thing I love more than crafting, it’s crafting along with a friend. Long weekends especially, are made for crafty shenanigans and challenges and communal projects. One of the favourite parts of a communal project, for me, anyway, is it often pushes me in ways I wouldn’t be pushed, if I was crafting on my own.

Our New Year’s weekend challenge was one that really pushed me. I’ve dabbled in art journaling on and off, but never stuck with it. I follow a heap of art journalers on Instagram. I love the idea of art journaling, but just…haven’t. On New Years Eve, Car hit me up with a challenge. from 6pm that night, until 6pm Monday, we would journal a “stream of consciousness” journal. Get stuff on the page – no overthinking, no perfectionism, no finishing required. Just dive in and see where we ended up.

Friends, it was HARD. I managed to loosen up a bit as I went, and ended up with a few pages that I liked. For the journal itself, I used a pocket journal we started forever ago, sometime in 2021, that I’d folded up and never finished. With 6 hours from idea to start, I needed a quick solution. With a flash of inspiration, I grabbed my water activated gum tape and a damp cloth, and got busy building a journal, pair by pair, until all 8 folded pages were bound and I had a book ready to get busy the moment the clock struck 6pm. The pages I had were Kraft on the outside, patterned on the inside, so the brown of the tape worked brilliantly, blending in, but a hint of contrast to add some interest to the front cover.

I used the journal to play with some new supplies – I was gifted a tin of watercolour crayons as part of our 12 Days calendar, and it was a great chance to work out how they worked. I also tried to include a mix of styles and techniques – some pages are closer to traditional scrapbooking, some are inspired by things I’d seen on instagram, some are my baseline go-tos. Some pages are literal, some I’m journaling out an idea or a feeling. Some are in response to our mini-ventures we went on over the weekend, some refer to my goals for the year. There’s a nod to my first finish of the year, and some are just throwing colour at the page for the sake of it. I even used a page to memorialise my poor sunburnt knees! I included the shows I watched, the takeaway we had, the teen’s bonus work shift…the disaster that was the first week of the third year of a pandemic. Our boardgames made it in, and camping down by our dam. And like any project, there was a whole heap of moaning as I headed towards the finish line, that it all felt too hard, so that made it in too, before wrapping up with some thoughts on my word of the year.

Did it push me? Absolutely. Do I love every page? Hell no. Would I do it again? Probably. It has definitely given me a good grounding for one of my 2022 projects – my book of days; just a small half-page-a-day journaling and documenting project.

After a busy week work wide last week, I’m enjoying a calmer week this week. I’ve spent today playing with my cricut, making shirts and keyrings and labels. I should be school planning, but I’m still struggling to get back into a good, productive day rhythm, so I’m choosing to start with something easy right here. Mondays are blog days. That sounds much easier than outlining year eight like my list says, doesn’t it? So here I am blogging. School can be tomorrow’s job.

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