Keepers of Creativity and Words

Art journaling has always been a pivotal part of not only expressing my creativity but also a portal to new and exciting creative ideas. To say journaling has evolved immensely is perhaps one of the greatest understatements I can think of, as it truly is an amazing art form that has taken on a life of its own.

From an early age I felt mesmerized as my sturdy #2 pencil moved across the pages of my diaries, recording moments of my young life. At the same time wee bits of papers, scraps, photos, and even stickers (it was the late 70’s after all), joined my words, locking moments into my memory. Little did I know that one day my journals would appear much the same when it came to materials and my love of pencil. Of course my journals are now much more refined and there's a bit more art infused into them, but papers, clippings, and found objects remain all the same.

Art journaling ideas
In addition to teaching mixed-media art workshops at CREATE, I'm also the creator of the jewelry line Rue Romantique.
To learn more about my art and life, visit

What society once labeled as just journaling has bloomed into an amazing art form all unto itself. While there have been many artists that have kept journals, I don't believe there has ever been a time in which we've had the opportunity to see inside creative art journals while they're still in process. Images and color, paper and paint are favored, while fabric and even product labels find their way into the pages that tell our stories—the stories that are a reflection of our daily lives.

Perhaps the cherry on top of all of this is the ability to create one's own art journal. For me personally, the voice of my journals is often born during the assembling process. While I find pleasure in creating journals that are composed of standard book binding materials, it's when I go beyond my mainstays that the fun really begins.

Fabrics, trims, paper, and embellishments come together to create the housing for all that is to become within. While paper is generally at the core of these books, it isn't just any paper. Painted pages, antique ledger paper, and glassine envelopes loaded with aged papyrus are the surfaces that will one day record my words, markings, and even layers of collage.

Of course, in any creative studio everything is fair game, even empty cereal bags that are so delightful in their opaque nature. These surfaces are perfect for painting and then scribing or sketching into (once the paint is dry). The very nature of these bags are quite perfect to seal items into—both secret and revealed. The slightly cloudy nature of some of these vessels add a layer of mystery and wonder to the words locked within them. Over time as the small crinkles develop in the material and a layer of texture appears; a story is created.

We live in a wonderful and amazing time artistically. While I've always felt there isn't a right or wrong way to create, I believe the mixed-media revolution has broadened this thinking and allowed an entire community of creative people to express themselves in an entirely different way. How very exciting it is that journaling is now widely appreciated in the manner it should be. 

Join me this weekend at CREATE in Seattle, where I'll be teaching four workshops: 

  • Embedded Beauties: Flood Soldering 101
  • Beautiful Journey: Mixed Media Journal 
  • Divine Bangles: Metal Forming, Etching and Metalsmithing 
  • Windows to the Heart: Upcycled Cereal Bag Journal 

If you can't make to Seattle, check out my books for techniques you can learn at home: Explore Mixed Media CollageMaking Etched Metal Jewelry, or Tales of Adornment: Techniques for Creating Romantic Resin Jewelry. Hope to see you soon!


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