Unique Art Journal supplies – handmade, from unusual sources

Happy New Year!! I am scheduling a few posts this week so I can enjoy the family time we have blocked out, before normal life resumes.

Regular readers (I do have a few of them LOL!) will know that I always strive to create art journaling tools that are unique to me. That could be by altering an existing item (like I did with the Dina Wakely face stamp a few posts back, or with the Janet Klein Housewives stamp set the other day) OR by creating a version of something in my own way. My goal was something a bit like this stencil:

I saw this book and mentioned I had it on order.

A bit of a cheek on the part of the seller when they say “a book of stencils” as this is NOT a book of STENCILS but a book of stenciled IMAGES that you are free to cut and use. Humpf. Luckily since discovering a documented issue with the driver on my ancient Sure-cuts-a-lot software and newer versions of Mac OS, and sorting that (thanks to my tech support guy, the Hubster) my Cricut is working just fine again (OMG – touch wood immediately lest I curse it!) So scanning the images and creating stencils was easy enough. The stencils are, in some cases, pretty basic – only the mere hint of the face they depict. This one of a French anarchist, Louise Michel, could be anyone, frankly.

On the other hand, this one of Mother Jones is pretty detailed:

and stencils pretty well

So I scanned a bunch of the faces and edited the stencils to focus on just the facial features. I love I can re-size them so they fit a very small or a very large journal, depending:

I cut a sort of face-shaped holey stencil too. My plan was something like this (and FYI, those faces are Anna Mae Aquash, Brigitte Mohnhaupt and Vera Zasulich), with the heads on blobby bodies.

I changed that idea as I was working. Having just done the little group of ladies with the Housewives stamp, I didn’t want to do another page so similar right away. So I ended up with floating heads instead – this is my last page of my experimental techniques journal, except for completing the Good As Hell page that is creeping towards its final reveal! So funny on this week’s WOYWW post Helen (who’s work I love and who is often right on my wavelength, or I on hers!) did a page that looks so similar, yet different.

I have been loving my gold acrylic inks and my dip pen, although I need a bit more practice with both, but once I scribbled and dripped some of that onto the page, and found this quote, the page came together nicely. Note I took my own advice and used one of my old frame stamps around the quote. And there is another weirdly serendipitous element here. My daughter loves watching beauty videos on You Tube, and she has always loved an influencer called Michelle Phan. We often get roped into watching these videos with her, as she wants to share. Lucky us – and in this case, I kid you not. We saw a video where Michelle gathered up a few other people and did a set of Galaxy inspired things. I think one person painted on cut-off jeans, one did make-up, one did nails, and one maybe … hair? I forget. One of them doodled little crosses and dots to give the effect of stars. I grabbed that technique and ran with it!

I love the look of mark-making on journal pages, but it isn’t something I feel I excel at. But 2021 is a year for moving forward, in all aspects of life, even as we are forced (hopefully for not too much longer) to stay indoors till vaccinated. So I am choosing to shine, even if it isn’t yet to shine brightly. With time, I might get better, but not if I refuse to even try, right?