Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Mix it Up and make it Fresh - A Diary and Visual Journal Combo

Since my school days, finding the right diary for the new year is a search that I take on with great excitement and anticipation.  
I'm a bit loopy that way.  I just love, love, love paper.  
I can't help it.  And I can't explain it.  That's just me. 
The smell of a fresh book  - written or unwritten - just gets me inspired.  
Once I've found it - the fussing begins.  
I collage in it, I sketch in it, I stick all sorts of ephemera into it.  
At school, I made collage covers for my diaries.  
Finding the right images took me hours and hours.  
And I loved searching through stacks of colourful magazines for them.

A few years ago we spent the entire month of December exploring beautiful Brazil.  
I loved all the amazing stationery boutiques in Rio.  
It was in one of those shops that I found one of my most treasured diaries - a delicious fluorescent pink folder with ring-bound pages. I still have it today.  
For the past couple of years my diary of choice has been the A6 page-a-day Moleskine.  I adore Moleskine diaries!  
Plus, you get to customize your diary by adding templates - see the link here.

Halfway through 2014 I discovered The Documented Life Project.  
5 US based friends came up with the brilliant idea to transform their Moleskine diary pages into visual journal pages by providing free weekly prompts and demos on each of their blogs.  
If you find colour and image inspiring, then this approach will transform your weekly planning from an energy sapping admin task into stellar levels of inspiration!  
It definitely did so for me.
Plus, you get to combine your weekly planning with visual journaling - which is a great timesaver!  
And if you're not a Moleskine fan - any diary or journal you have can do the job!
The project is free.  To join, just click on this link - The Documented Life Project 2015.

Here's a peek of my diary pages for the 1st week of 2015, using 70 year old book paper:

I added an extra fold-in page using washi tape. 
Then I tore and collaged the book paper randomly on my page. 
I put down blobs of red acrylic paint and spread it over the page using an old credit card. 
After the paint had dried, I tore off some of the pieces of book paper which left some interesting stenciled shapes and textures.

I traced a fashion figure from a magazine using carbon paper, then drew over the carbon lines with a blue gel pen to make it more visible.
The head and hair was my own sketch that I added to the figure.
If you're not a confident drawer - just trace the entire figure, head and hair shape from a magazine.
Using white gesso (white acrylic paint will also do), I painted around the figure to lighten the background around the figure.
I looked for magazine images that had red and green colour combinations, cut rounded shapes from these and pasted them to create a frame around the figure.
I used a Caran D'ache Neocolor II watersoluble crayon to add flesh colour and blue shading to the arms and face, but oil pastels should give you a similar effect.
I used a waterbased paint pen in lime green for the hair, but lime green acrylic paint should do the trick too.
I did the lettering using a Pentel watercolour brush filled with blue acrylic ink.
For the final touches, I went over the round shapes in the border as well as the lines of the figure drawing using a blue gel pen.
The negative space between the figure and the border will be used to write down notes and a review of the week.
Hope you're inspired to make your mark!
The key is to have fun and play - it is good for you!

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