Sunday, 17 June 2012



 Many, many years ago, right after high school, I worked as a secretary/office manager.  One of my tasks was to type up documents for my bosses.  This entailed having to read their writing.  I’ve got to tell you, this was no easy feat.  The handwriting, in many cases, was terrible.  So much so, that I would need to continually ask the originator of the document to read it to me.  How crazy is that, and what is the point of writing if no one can read it?  Writing beautifully is easy.  Sit up straight, put your forearm on the table on a 45 degree angle, and instead of moving your fingers while you write, move your whole hand and forearm while pressing lightly on your pencil.  I have taught many terrible scrawlers how to write and it has changed their world.  Give it a try.  You’ll see.

The prompt for this week’s journal page is below.  After you have read it, start writing.  Write anything that comes to mind.  Keep writing until you can’t think of anything to write about.  Draw pictures if you feel like it.  Write large/write small.  Decorate your letters.  Vary the style of writing.  Print or write cursive.  It doesn’t matter as long as you are writing.  Don’t worry that someone else is going to read what you have written.  This is YOUR journal.  YOUR own thoughts.  Be honest and be real.  There is no reason why you couldn’t go back later and continue to write.  You’ll find out how freeing journaling is if you haven’t already.

Once you have exhausted your ideas in terms of the prompt, try picking out important words and highlight them by tracing (bad word in art) over them with the same writing tool you have been using, or use a different color, or thicker/bolder tool, or highlighter, or rewrite, and overlap them using a stencil, cut out magazine/newspaper/book letters, stencils, yarn/string, letter stickers, or a label maker.  When you emphasize words of importance it will help you to remember them and it makes it easy to remind yourself of what you wrote when you look back on your pages.  You may even want to type your thoughts on your computer.  If you go this route, many fonts, colors, and sizes of letters are at your disposal.  Check out 1001 Free Fonts on the web.  I like the idea, however, that you use YOUR handwriting.  This is your journal, about you, and your handwriting is just another part of you that makes you unique.

You may also want to de-emphasise some words.  Write them small, put a glaze over them, put a piece of tissue paper over them, scratch them out, put a piece of paper on top (possibly with another word that you prefer).  The greater variety you use when writing your thoughts, the more interesting your page will be. 

The writing in your journal can be done any time you are working on your page.

I decided to use my modeling pasted page from last week for this weeks demonstration.  I started by adding paint over the whole page.  Choose colors that you like.  You can drag paint as seen in the last blog, or use your brush and blend your colors as you go.  Once a base coat has been added, go lightly over the top of the raised portions of your page with a contrasting color.  If your base color is dark, you might want to use a light color on the raised portions, or if your base color is light, you may want to use a dark color on the raised portions.  I suggest that you use a piece of paper towel or a flat brush to gently catch the ‘hills’ on the page.  Not a lot of paint is required on your paper towel or brush.  If using a brush, turn it to a 90 degree angle to your page, and with little paint, gently graze the hills.  I used several colors of paint on my hills until I was happy with the look.  Make sure that paint is dry between each layer or you will end up with mud.

 I then used nail polish, stamps (including a wine cork, lids, and legos), buttons, stencils, paint, and glitter to add more color, texture, and interest to my page.  I love color and brightness, and I find that nail polish, glitter, metallic paint, and gloss helps me to achieve this.  As an aside, nail polish is great to use on metal objects as well.  It sticks!

What about images?  Do you have some artwork that has been sitting around for a while that you can use?  Of course you can find all sorts of interesting images in books, magazines (bird in lower right corner of my page), newspapers, and the Internet, but let me also encourage you to draw.  I have used many methods in teaching students how to draw over the years but this is the easiest and most successful method by far.

Find yourself an image.  It is always best to have the image you are wanting to draw in front of you.  Unless, of course, you have a photographic memory which allows you to recall detail.  I have chosen a bird, but you get to choose what you want on your page.  It doesn’t matter what you draw, these steps will bring you success.

Start by looking at your image.  What geometric shapes do you see?  In the bird, I see an oval for his head.  So I draw an oval (1).  Then I look at his body and I see another oval.  So I measure the head on my image.  With that measurement, I determine how many heads make up the body of the bird.  For my image, it was approximately three heads make the body.

THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT.  I then measure the head (oval) that I just drew and use that measurement to count three heads for the body.  If you use the measurement of the IMAGE on your drawing it will be wrong.  You need to use the measurement of the head you drew in order to measure the body (oval) that you will draw (2).

The head, in drawing terms, is your basic unit.  You will use this basic unit to measure every part of your image.  You will ask yourself, “how many heads make the tail”, “how many heads make the wing”, “how many heads make the beak”, and so on.  Everything you draw will be drawn in relation to your basic unit (head). 

How many of your head makes your body?  7 heads?  8 heads?

His tail (4) (…don’t asked me what happened to number 3) is shaped like a triangle, as are his wings (5 and 6).  Oh, and yes, so is his beak (7).  Then his legs and feet are a combination of triangles and rectangles (8).

 Once you have all of the geometric shapes placed, then it’s time to LOOK at the actual image and see the outline of it (the contour of it).  Adjust and tweak your geometric shapes (lines) until they resemble the actual image.

 You can, at this point, if you wish, add as much or as little detail as you want.  Erase all of the lines you don’t need.

Cut out and glue your drawing to your page.  I prefer to use a product called ‘Art Glitter’ (no glitter in it) to adhere items to my page.  What I like about it is it holds quickly unlike white glue.

I actually wanted to cut my bird out of decorative paper.  I then am able to put my drawing aside for future pages.  I like paper, and there are so many choices available to you.  I turned my drawing over and scribbled behind my drawing with charcoal.  You can also use pencil or pastels for this part.  This becomes your carbon allowing you to flip your drawing right side up and trace (bad word in art) your drawing onto a decorative piece of paper.

 You can get as detailed as you want.  I could have cut feathers out and made it more dimensional but I liked the look of the way it is right now, and decided not to go any further.


I like my finished page.  It rocks!


Here is your prompt for this week.  Remember, if it doesn’t apply to you, you can speak about it in general terms, or in terms of someone else that you know.


Do you find that you tell yourself that you are not enough, that you don’t measure up, and that you are incapable?  Listen to yourself throughout the day.  What lies are you telling yourself over and over again?  It’s time to change the channel.

When I was growing up there were so many people telling me that I wasn’t good enough.  I was too tall, I wasn’t pretty, I was hated, I was stupid, I was weird and different, I was limited in what I could accomplish, I was destined for a humdrum, center of the road, existence.  The sad part is, is that I believed what everyone was telling me.  I believed that everyone was better than I and that I would not amount to anything.  I allowed those lies in and allowed them to shape and form me.

Truth be known, you or I wouldn’t dare treat anyone we cared about the way we treat ourselves in our own heads.  Would you say these things to your child, your spouse, or your friends?  Give yourself a break and change the channel.

I have found that this is not an easy task, and I still struggle with it daily.  But I do know the truth now, and when I catch myself, I quickly face the lies head on and toss them out and replace them with truths.

The truth is that you are good enough.  This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be growing and bettering yourself constantly, (life isn’t over yet), but where you are at any given moment in the day is absolutely fine.  You are good enough friend…you are good enough.

I encourage you to remove your negative talk and shower yourself with praises and affirmations every day.  You are meant to be, you have every right to be here, and you are making a positive difference in this world. 

Believe it or not, we really do care about you.

 But Jesus turned her about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole.  And the woman was made whole from that hour.  Matthew 9:22

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