I am always intrigued how almost every prompt has coincidentally allowed for me to document my week in a meaningful way. It happens again and again. The prompt of “Use a Chinese fortune cookie saying” for Week 32 just happened to follow a week where I brought home the fortune – a practice I don’t usually do. And not that the fortune was outstanding – it just seemed like a good idea. I had brought home a paper placemat as well. Since it was from a Chinese restaurant I was looking for an Asian themed background.
One of the gelli plate ages I had already done didn’t turn out very well. The colors were darker than I like, but when I looked at the design, I saw it had an Asian look to it with a trellis background. I added some stencil flowers of orange acrylic along with some vines of green and yellow. The fortune itself was pasted on a piece of colorful orange from another project.
I cut off the key design from the menu and used it as a side and top embellishment along with some orange washi to divide for the days of the week. It was a great exercise in recognizing there are no mistakes in art that can’t be improved upon. Just re-layer/re-paint.
On the back of the tip in I did some gelli plate printing and added a long ago picture of myself wearing a Chinese-style dress gotten in Panama. On the center section I gessoed an interlocking block stencil which also added to the trellis look.
Everything was then ready for planner page and journaling along with some memoir writing about the dress and Panama. The fortune? “From now on your kindness will lead you to success.” This came in a week when I wondered whether kindness was worthwhile at time. In a world where some people feel okay about spewing out their opinions and yet don’t want anyone else to express theirs in return, I sometimes momentarily wonder about it all.
It is an issue that brings to mind the saying: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? Most people seem not to bother with the first question, much less the second and definitely not the third. If they think something, it is necessary to opinionate it. My father more accurately called it “diarrhea of the mouth.”
These pictures of the pages also then became printed out and included as part of my Project Life album.
Two different days this week, we opened our front door to find visitors, just waiting to be welcomed. First there was a turtle right on the porch, looking up. (You can see the raccoon flower pot but right next to that is a turtle flower pot – maybe he recognized a friendly place for turtles.)
He was still there with head out even after I ran to grab my camera and came back. And as I moved closer to take close-up shots, he remained watching as if to welcome a picture session. From the beat-up missing parts of his shell, it was obvious he had been involved in a few difficult moments in his life.
The next visitor is actually someone who has maintained a permanent spot on the porch railing. A spider who has learned to keep her web to one side of the walk-through as so she does not have to redo it every day as we leave the house.
This picture was taken with the sum shining through the web. I tried it from the other side with the sun shining directly on the web, but it didn’t show up as well.
We delight in the interactions with our neighbors, human and otherwise.
This week the prompt for The Document Life Project Art Journal was to add numbers relating to your week. After thinking about the numbers in my week, I realized that the dates themselves relate best to my week, so I decided to use my Becky Higgins ‘Rain’ Project Life cards, either whole or cut down or embellished, with the dates on each card taped so it hinges. Underneath and/or on each card will be the actual happenings and journaling of the day. This is the tip-in page, with the background made from using a gelli plate, for the week so it has the dates of the last part of the week along with the washi tape which will attach the page to the rest of the moleskine journal:
The following is the tip-in flipped over along with the first page of the planner so the numbers reflect the beginning and last of the week, all with hand-cut date numbers from the cut-down cards themselves:
And this is the completed 3 page inside spread ready for lots of journaling and recording memories of the week. The right hand page is also made from using a gelli plate.
What a great way to utilize some of my beautiful Project Life cards in yet another project!
Embellishing the various Becky Higgins Project Life cards has really added to my variety of cards to use for Project Life as well as enjoying the creating itself. So much extra can be done with washi tape. These are examples of three 3×4 cards stitched together.
Here are three more embellished 3×4 cards, the one on the left with just snippets cut off from other projects:
And two 4×6 cards, again stitched together:
With some washi tape and many of your cards, bought or homemade, you can embellish and re-create new cards to use in your Project Life albums.
I’ve looked into purchasing a gelli plate because I loved the look of what could be done with them, but I found they were too expensive. So I wandered through Hobby Lobby just looking, not for a gelli plate, but for something that could function as a gelli plate with the same properties. I came across craft foam in sheets with adhesive backings in the children’s section.
Adhering two of the 6 x 9 sheets together added some thickness and give to a solid surface. I’ve used mine over and over, washing it out in between, and keep getting great results. It may soak up a little more acrylic paint than the regular and you can see that some of the paint remains on the sheets even after washing, but it still works great. The price difference is worth it.
Here are some of the many backgrounds I’ve made with my inexpensive homemade gelli plate, the left side one used for a post honoring my mother, the right used as a base for a Document Life Project prompt, with the middle one still to be used
Here, the left shows 3 gelli plate with stenciling pages ready for journaling/planner for a Document Life Project set of pages and the right ready for use.
(And I still have four more sheets in the package. I have used these for art journaling Document Life Projects, Project Life backgrounds for photos, and background for SoulCollage works, even for making greeting cards.)
For years I have been intrigued by the pictures of various art journals, both the images and the ideas expressed. Usually the ideas are a phrase or a quote. But I also like to process and journal my feelings and patterns I discover within and without myself. But for some reason I never attempted to actually art journal, keeping my journaling and memoir writing separate from any artsy stuff I would do. I realize I never thought I could really do the “artsy stuff” myself.
A perfectionist artist father both gave me some tools for art and discouraged me from doing art, or even thinking of myself as an art person. Soul Food Café facilitated by Heather Blakey, was the first internet site that really drew me in with its writing prompts and information on how to set up a blog. The group was inspiring and encouraging to someone just starting out. I loved writing as I wove in memoir and experiences with the fantasy stories.
These became part of my blogging (see blogs starting at the beginning in 2008) and proceeding onwards for those writing regarding trips to Lemuria and Riversleigh. Shortly afterwards I came across SoulCollage (formulated by Seena Frost) and Kaleidosoul (facilitated by Anne Marie Bennett) which really resonated with me by having both aspects of the collage making and journaling to specific questions from the collage picture made. The questions used (see my SoulCollage-Kaleidosoul page for the list of questions) are as if the collage picture itself is speaking, allowing the unconscious to come forth at times. I also used the collages I made as part of my posting in the Soul Food Café and Riversleigh posts.
SoulCollage and Kaleidosoul questions and answers combined into Project Life cards for my album in addition to photos of my everyday life and special occasions. Project Life has provided a rich tapestry of daily life in photos and words. Some pages had more journaling than others, but generally was limited by the size of the inserted cards, even when using the back of the cards.
Document Life Project took everything one step further and really got me I into art journaling. The prompts were inspiring for a page or two of doing art, as the Art to the 5th Academy website and Document Life Project facebook page had wonderful videos and instructions for learning how to use the wonderful tools of art available. The moleskin journal recommended also included a page for planning (left side) and a full page for journaling (middle page) as well as the added yip-in art page (right side of gesso, acrylics and stencils). This all truly combined my love of journaling with playing with art – a true combination of visuals and words.
(Pinterest has been an ongoing arena for inspiration for all of these, and other, projects.)
For one of my art projects, I started with a red and white background made from using a gelli plate. There was a slightly elongated light white area which, somehow, reminded me of a picture of my mother taken shortly a…fter I was born. I added the cut out picture of her standing next to the radio, a piece of furniture everyone had in their homes at the time (pre TV) and then added some stenciled flowers in white gesso. I later added this SoulCollage piece to my moleskin art journal for Document Life Project. I also used this as a large insert covering a few pockets for Project Life. Of course, journaling about my memories of her and what I learned from her and have carried within to this day are part of both the Document Life Art Journal and Project Life album.
For the last few years I have been keeping up with Project life but not sharing much with personal photos involved. Unfortunately, this takes many of my pages out of the posting possibility.
This one, mostly about tornadoes going on around us and in Texas, used some photos, some Becky Higgins cards, some digitally-made cards, some Pinterest images, and some journaling.
This one included a notecard from a friend, pictures of the cat and garden with comments, another Becky Higgins card, and some digitally-made cards.
Project Life is an excellent way to keep a written and visual diary of your days. The albums make excellent perusing through afterwards, for you and family members and even friends, when the days have mostly blurred into each other – gives you a chance to see what really happened and how you felt and thought about those happenings.
I have really enjoyed making greeting cards for all occasions for loved ones. As I cut and paste, color and paint, create and plan, I further think of the person and my gratitude for he/she being in my life.
Embellishments are added, along with washi tape, which give dimension and interest to the card. Some cards are made for my grandchildren and use their interests as a base. In this card the picture part of a postcard from the US post office provided a perfect image complete with drawn in buildings and vehicle washi tape as the traffic below for a young grandson.
This was for a young granddaughter complete with bareback rider with recipient’s face pasted on, along with circus images and circus washi.
From the remarks received, the recipients appreciate the extra thought that goes into making a card especially for them. I also use my scans of the completed cards to put into Project Life albums to further commemorate their birthdays, anniversaries, new births, congratulations, etc.
The prompt for Document Life Project one week was to use a stamp in a different way so I debossed. This entails applying a thick coating of gesso onto a square piece of index card, then putting your stamp into the gesso. Some of the gesso pulls off leaving an imprint that is raised and interesting. I then used gold and pink acrylics brushed lightly on top. I adhered the index card to a prepared page and added a small tag I had previously done but just added the leftovers of the debossing stamp for more texture. Washi tape connects the page to the moleskin journal.
The next picture shows the other side of the tip-in with a red stamp randomly applied over the page to create more design. Then a pre-designed tag was stamped twice to create depth and washi tape lace added both more depth and texture.
The debossed tip-in with the prepped planner page and “To Do List” complete with a parchment flower and a picture from an old movie magazine allowing room for journaling about the week.
A lovely week to insert and add to my Project Life album, which will remind me of the process long from now. And will show what I am doing during my day along with other daily photos.