Art Journaling

Our local library had a Saturday afternoon workshop on art journaling; I didn’t know what to expect, but since I really need to keep a better record of my art work and do more preliminary sketches of my art work, I looked forward to getting some inspiration and ideas.

At the workshop we were given an inexpensive blank book from Staples and were show various techniques for turning this book into a useful journal.  The leader of the workshop, Kim Cragin, made it clear that the technique could be used for many kinds of record keeping.  She showed us how to glue pages together to create pages of greater strength, use collage and painting to create pages, and use gesso and other grounds to make the pages good supports for various kinds of art work.  It was a fun afternoon, everyone did something different and special with their journals and left with ideas and inspiration for further projects.

I came home and worked further on my journal creating a book that will hold sketches and ideas for my future paintings.  I have a book with pages which can be used for watercolor (Daniel Smith watercolor ground), acrylic painting (gesso ground, both plain and colored) and sketching.  Using regular acrylic paints, I created colorful front and back covers for the journal. The last photo is of an old sketchbook I revived by giving it a new cover and sturdier, glued together pages. I came away from this workshop with lots of new ideas.  Thanks, Kim!


Spinning for an Aran sweater



I have several pounds of white fleece that have been just sitting there waiting to be spun.  When my husband said he’d really like an Aran Fisherman’s sweater, I decided that was a perfect use for this fleece.  I have about 1 1/4 pounds spun into yarn at this point, and have started to knit the sweater.  The yarn is a lighter weight than usually used for sweaters of this type; this will be a sweater than can be worn indoors successfully, I hope. The yarn is two ply and has a nice sheen. I chose a pattern from an Interweave Press book; the patterns are not too difficult and the yarn knits to gauge with #6 needles over the specified pattern.

Beginning of the back of the sweater

It’s a long time since I’ve done pattern knitting; for a number of years I have been knitting in the round and knitting mostly in color patterns.  I’m seeing the sense, though, of knitting back and forth for these sweaters; it’s a lot easier to keep track of when the twists and cable crosses happen, as they are confined to the right side rows.  So far, the project is going well.