Wanderlust Week 2

This weeks lesson was from the lovely Kate Crane (I’ve been desperately trying to figure out the logistics of attending one of her IRL courses but so far it’s not worked out…) and was about making a travel journal (which is a little sad because of the lack of travel in my life but I shall find another use for it…).


I’m not very good at sticking with instructions, I like to know the concept and then I like to adapt it.

In this case, it was supposed to be made, or at least the version she showed us was made, from a sheet of A1 watercolour or cartridge paper.  Of which I have none.  And being for the most part house bound, I have no real way of getting any (except online of course but that seems a bit excessive for a piece of paper…).  I also tend to take the attitude with my art that I should use what I have, be inventive and adaptable.  Needless to say this doesn’t stop me from spending more money than I should on supplies…

I remembered that somewhere I had a sheet of A2 paper so I figured I used that instead and adapt the instructions.  I’ve tried to put together a rough outline of what I did, mostly for myself in the future, but I figured it might be helpful to other people.

journal dimensions

Black lines are cut lines and green are fold.  Essential you’ll need two long strips (a), mine are 5 inches x 20 inches which means my pages will be 5 inch squares.  Cut these out and fold each into a concertina. You then need to attach them to each other to make one long concertina.  You’re doing this so that you get more pages in your journal however if you just want 6 pages just use one strip.  There are a few ways I thought of doing joining them.  You could use washi tape, masking tape etc to tape the two short sides to each other or you could glue one end square to another end square which is what I did in the end.

I then gesso-ed all my paper as it’s not very sturdy.  I might have been better doing this first!

Then I wanted to add some extra pages, like Kate had shown us, which is where b and c come in.  I’ve got two strips of b which are 4×8 inches and although it isn’t shown, I did manage to get two strips of c which are 3×6 inches.

I’ve used two squares of card for the cover, each 6×6 inches, which I* hacked at some amazon packing to get and have since painted black.

The rest of it was completed as per Kate’s instructions which I won’t go through, you should join the course if you’re interested!



*by which I mean my carer did, cutting card is beyond my hand capability… they get some funny requests from me… (the carers, not my hands)


Creative projects for 2016

I like projects.  I like having a focus and working with limits such as theme or colour can be helpful at getting the creativity flowing.  I’ve got a few projects in mind for this year…

Trees: a year long study

This is essentially what it says.  I want to spend the year using art, photography and other mediums to explore the topic of trees.  A key reason for choosing trees is that they are common.  I can lean out my window and see one.  When I move, I am sure I will be able to see a tree.  When I’m out and about, I will see trees.  I don’t have to go out my way to get inspiration and to take photographs etc.  Given my physical limitations, this was really important.  If I went for something more specific such as… bridges… I’d not be able to do as much ‘in the field’ work.  Keep this in mind if you’re thinking of your own long term project – if it’s accessible, it’s harder to make excuses.  I knew I was going with trees from the start but other possibilities that I might pick up in the future include streetlamps, doors, windows, letter boxes…

At the moment, this project consists of a sketchbook which is being filled with pages, each focusing on different parts of the theme eg colour, texture, uses for trees, types of trees, the little bits of a tree which make up the whole.  Once a theme or an idea starts to form from that I will then work towards a piece of art/photography/other that captures that.  In an ideal world, I’d like to make one piece per season to reflect the changes throughout the year but at this stage I can’t say because I don’t know what my direction will be (although I am quite interested in the use of trees in language and mythology…).  And I love that the centre of the tree trunk is called heartwood.  Do you have any interesting tree facts?!


On a day without internet (eek), I passed the time by making a journal.  It has eight pages (at present, I may add more) and is made from cardboard from amazon packaging.  The theme of the journal will be blue.  I’ve wanted to do this for a while – complete a journal using one colour set.  So I’ve got my book, I’ve started collecting and keeping an eye out for blue things for the pages and when it feels like the right time, I’ll get it out start putting it together.  This is partly an exercise in restraint.  I feel like everything is so instant that you don’t get the satisfaction and excitement of waiting very much.  So I’m waiting.



Probably as a result of being stuck in the house for a week, I have a longing to reconnect with nature.  And I was thinking that creating mandalas from natural material would be a deeper way to do this.  It would bring me more peace and focus and connection than just standing and admiring.  It would make me look at things differently, and that is what I love about creating; looking at things differently.


and I want to get back into writing… but this is on the back burner for now.  If/when I give up work, I may look for a writing class to replace that social interaction, routine and focus.


Do you have any projects for the year ahead?