Friday, September 2, 2011

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Re-do

I love it when I get an idea and can produce results without having to make a trip to the arts and crafts store.  Anytime I can dig in my junk drawers or recycle bin to reuse something to avoid buying new is alright by me.  Saves me a dollar, or ten, uses up "stuff" around my house, and saves the's a win/win situation as far as I'm concerned. 

Since I can't say no, I have taken on the responsibility of my son's Art Club at his school this year. I really want the students to make their own art journals. I decided I needed to make one first.  I had been searching the Internet and several library books hoping to find directions for homemade sketchbooks and stumbled upon one that seemed the least expensive to put together. 

Low and behold, it cost me not a single penny to make this book and I was very pleased with the results.  After digging through several drawers, bins, and trash cans I was able to round up plenty of paper (all recycled).  I even threw in several pieces of used watercolor know those paintings I'm not happy with that are put aside.....yep, some of those ended up in the book.  Other miscellaneous papers included newspaper (the arts and entertainment section of course), coloring book pages, a print out of a map, and a page out of a magazine.  You could use any paper you can find around the house......old text books, atlases, wrapping paper.  The possibilities are endless.  The cover consists of two chip boards from the back of an old notebook covered with some wonderful coordinating scrapbook paper. I sewed the pages together and voila.......instant art journal!  Free!  

 Here is one of my first art journal entries......."Meet the Kids"

Now don't think I've given up on my watercolor painting......I'll have some watercolor pages in the journal as well.  And I don't intend on making my blog about art journaling, but I will share the occasional "cool" page that comes along. 

The plumeria are still in the works as well.  I haven't quite reached my "a-ha" moment with the painting, but it's getting close.  I had to re-do this painting.  Well, actually I started over.  Don't be surprised to find the first attempt in one of my future homemade art journals as paper fodder.  Let me know what you think of the plumeria.  I'm in that stage where I could use some suggestions on strengthening the piece.  Happy Friday all!!



  1. Love the journal Gretchen! What great use of all those old papers! And the plumeria is looking amazing, I love it as it is, great color combinations!

  2. Love the art journal and I think your plumeria are coming along beautifully!

  3. Gretchen, I love your journal, more so because it's all made of recycled material! Sounds like you are going to have a busy school year ahead of you.



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