That first brisk chill in the air, to the first puff of frosty breath, to the first flake that hits the ground are all signs that winter is just around the corner. Depending on who you ask, winter has already begun. Meteorological winter starts on December 1st while our traditional almanac states that winter begins during the winter solstice which for this year is December 21st.
No matter what source you follow there is no denying that winter is upon us. It’s not all bad though. There is the upcoming holiday festivities to look forward to and winter fun to be had outdoors. You are never to old to go sledding – what fun!
So here is my journal entry from last year which was my little”hello” to this chilly but fun season.
Materials used: Tombow markers, Tim Holtz Distress Ink and Sakura Micron Pen.
The process: This page utilized a very simple design based on the humble name tag style bubble. I started with my usual light pencil sketch to layout the design elements. Next I swirled on the the page light blue distress ink in the background using a makeup sponge applicator. Moving on, I used my dark blue Tombow marker to outline the words and snowflakes. As a final touch I dated this entry with my micron pen. All in all, this was a fun and easy journal entry that was a nice break from my more complicated layouts.
Not sure if I would entirely call this post a bonus, but after all the birthday celebrations were said and done last year a terrible thing happened to us on the evening of November, 13th that same week. After a wonderful dinner in Sycamore, we came home to discover our apartment was broken into.
I cannot fully express the chills that went through me as we saw our front door frame shattered in pieces with light spilling out onto the front lawn. We called the police who were there in no time. After they gave us the all clear, we were allowed to survey the damage. In many respects were very fortunate. Most of our possessions were untouched with one exception – our computer.
While this may not seem like a big deal, in an unfortunate twist of events we were in the process of researching a backup for our computer. The thief took all of our photos, videos and memories with the computer with no way of getting any of it back. Suffice to say I was devastated by the loss and still at times today feel very sad of what we cannot get back. My mom said something very wise at the time, while we cannot get back the memories we have lost we can only go forward and create new ones.
It took many weeks of staring at a blank journal page before I created this entry. I knew I wanted to get my feelings of the event on paper but I wasn’t sure how until my husband posted a JK Rowling’s quote on Facebook. It was then that I knew what I wanted to do for my journal page and I think it says it all:
Materials used: Ranger Mini Distress Inks, Sakura Gelly Roll Pens, Derwent Inktense Pencils, Sakura Pigma Micron Pen
The process: I started with a light pencil sketch of the treasure chest and sandy floor. For the background I used Ranger Mini Distress inks in hues of brown, gold and purple. Using a soft makeup sponge, I blended the inks in a circular motion starting with the darkest colors then shifting subtly to the lighter ones. With my Sakura black and sepia micron pens, I went over the pencil sketched lines and added chocolate shadows to the treasure chest. With a white Sakura white Gelly Roll pen I wrote out the JK Rowling’s quote. Since the distress inks are water-based and reactive, the Gelly Roll pen picked up subtle colors from the background for a ghost-like appearance. While the subject of the journal page saddened me, I ended up liking the way this entry came together and perfectly depicts how I felt at the time.
It’s always fun to celebrate birthdays and what better way to celebrate a birthday is with cupcakes! This journal entry highlights not one but two birthdays we participated in last year.
First up, my niece Samantha turned lucky thirteen last November and celebrated her special day in a unique way. Instead of asking for gifts and other delights, my niece requested that all of her friends and family give her bags of can goods and dry food to be donated to a local shelter. My niece is such and kind and considerate person and her good nature shone brightly on her birthday. My niece was even featured in a local newspaper showcasing her thoughtfulness with a picture of her and a carload of food. Now tell me, how many thirteen year olds do you know who put others before themselves?
Next up we celebrated my mother-in-laws birthday the very next day. My mother-in-law is also a very kind and generous person who is always thinking of others in very thoughtful ways. There must be something special about November birthdays that bring out the best in people born in the month of November. Both of these ladies exemplify the Thanksgiving spirit and I am super grateful to have two wonderful people like them in my life that leave legacies that inspire all those whose lives they touch.
Materials used: Sakura Gelly Roll Pens, Derwent Inktense Blocks, Sakura Pigma Micron Pen, Brayer, Grey Foam Sheet, Embossing Stylus.
The process: This particular journal entry uses a simple foam transfer printing process using Derwent’s Inktense blocks. To create the printed backdrop, I started with cutting out a grey foam sheet similar in size to my journal page.
Next, I used embossing stylus to sketch out the cupcake design and words (keep in mind words need to be drawn in reverse if you try this process yourself). Then I used a water spritzer to spray the foam sheet. Next I carefully applied Inktense color in different areas, coloring the foam sheet directly using the block as a paintbrush (tip – if you are try this be sure to fully saturate the foam sheet with Inktense color.)
Onto the tricky part – flipping the grey sheet with your design and Inktense colors onto the journal page! As you can see the embossed lines create a negative white space allowing the design to come through. Timing is everything with this process. You cannot over saturate the paper with water, so you have spritz the water sparingly. With that said, you have to work quickly with your Inktense blocks before your sheet dries. The results are always a surprise and never absolute.
As a final step, I took my Micron and Gelly roll pens and added some accents with text. Overall the process is fun and full of surprises.