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Custom Art Journal — Plucking Daisies Find us on Google+

Custom Art Journal

by Amy Bowerman

I created this custom art journal for a friend using an old book, sketch paper and old magazines.  I know it’s a bit dark but since my friend pens rather dark poetry I had to play to my audience.  I did attempt to throw in some girly fluff to soften it up a bit…well disguised of course.


art journal

Joe’s Art Journal

I used an old book cover from a book I purchased for a buck at a thrift store and Mod Podged it with torn pieces of newspaper and old tatoo magazines I’ve been hoarding for nearly 10 years (knew I’d find a use for them someday).

art journal

Back Cover

art journal

Spine Altered

I created several signatures to make up the pages of the book and used a variety of inking techniques to create inspiring pages to write on.  I pretty much used every Distress ink I own, some walnut ink, a rainbow of Windsor inks,  stamps galore, torn notebook pages from my collection (I have a notebook addiction), more tattoo magazines, old maps and various ephemera, and to top it off I dug out a box of old crayons to make a few pages.  I learned how to create this art journal with the help of Baronessnz YouTube tutorial (Love the New Zealand accent!!)

I couldn’t find any waxed linen thread so I used thick dental floss…hey it’s waxed right?  The pages for the signatures were from an old sketch pad I had lying around.  The paper was too thin for most of my sketches (I like to use a lot of wet ink medium) but was the perfect thickness for an art journal…it also made it easy to tear the edges of each page to give it a nice worn look.

I apologize in advance for the blurry photo but here is a side view of the book.  I added a bookmark when I was binding the book and used a really cool pencil charm attached to hemp thread.  I used the same thread to add the lock and key charms as a clasp for the book.


art journal

For the end papers I dug out some dark and masculine scrapbook paper from my stash.

art journal

Manly Man end papers

On the other side of the end papers I added a poem that I wrote (I like to send it to all my artsy friends, where would we be without inspiration anyway?)

The ink on the opposite page is the old Gesso and Windsor ink blown with a straw routine.

art journal

Inspire to create…create to inspire

Here are a few pages….It’s a 50 page book so I won’t bore you with ALL of them :)

art journal

Ink, stamp, rip

The majority of the pages were colored with Distress ink techniques and quite a few stamps from Stampers Anonymous (pictured)…and of course Tattoo magazines and various ripped papers.  Gotta love a rugged edge…excuse my rugged looking fingers…the only nail polish I wear is paper adhesive and Distress ink.

art journal

Ink blots

Found these awesome rub-ons in the dollar bin…wish I had gotten more.  I suppose hindsight IS 20/20 after all.

art journal

Tats, Tim Holtz, and a torn dictionary

I tried to tear out dictionary pages of definitions appropriate for the art this journal will be showcasing.  I thought “Dark” was rather fitting.

art journal

Eye see armadillos?

Yes I have an armadillo stamp…and I’m not afraid to use it!!  I even embossed him in gold to prove that point.

art journal

Crayola comeback

This is the crayon page…you gotta get your scribble on every once in a while.

art journal

Accidental technique?

The speckled page happened by accident.  I was attempting to do a watercolor technique for this page but upon opening my watercolor paints only dried up crumbly bits came out (I’m not much of a watercolor artist apparently).  Since I had already pre-wet the paper they stuck to it and started to bleed color.  Low and behold I actually liked the effect so I emptied out the other dried up tubes of paint and ironed the page to flatten and melt the crumbles.

art journal

Tim Holtz stamps and Distress ink galore

I don’t know where I would be without Distress ink….I rarely use anything else.  Stampers Anonymous stamps = LOVE!!!

art journal

Secret softer side

I lightened the whole thing up on the right side by creating a mock rainbow (insert girly fluff).  I simply dragged various colors of Distress ink directly on the page and spritzed it with a mini-mister to blend.  I think the Vintage Photo stamp looks delightfully creepy on the Peeled Paint background don’t you?

art journal

Tricky Teddy Bears

Here I added just enough darkness to the page so I could throw in the scrap of anime bear notebook paper…He’s lucky it wasn’t Hello Kitty :)

I had such a blast creating this art journal!  It was a lot of work but in the end I couldn’t be happier with the result.  My friend loved it too…actually said it was too beautiful to write in until I demanded that he get crackin’!  After all, that IS what it was made for.  It just doesn’t get any better than being inspired to create and having what you’ve created inspire someone else.

Thanks for checking out my creation!  There’s a torn edge challenge going on over @ Simon Says Stamp this week….so rip stuff up and play along if you like :)

Have a creative day!


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Linda Coughlin June 19, 2011 at 9:33 pm

What an amazing piece of art you have created for your friend. Love the grunge look and the fabulous colors! Looks like a huge amount of work, but definitely a sensational outcome! So glad you joined in our distressing challenge over at Simon Says Stamp and Show this week.


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