Wednesday, June 24, 2015


I am a wordy girl. Not orally -- we introverts have to know someone awfully well to be comfortable enough to have real conversations with you -- but I make up for it in other ways. I keep agendas, and make to-do lists. I write recipes out by hand, and letters. I choose emails over the phone every time. I devour books and magazines, then fill notebooks and folders with stuff I have gleaned from them. I take notes in class, at lectures and on the job. Then save them all. Just in case. On top of all that, I journal and write stories. Needless to say, keeping it all under control can eat up a lot of time. You can thank my hubby for this blog. Once we found this place in the Hill Country, and started spending our weekends here, the journaling and story-writing suddenly kicked into high gear. I was filling up spiral after spiral until, one day, my hubby sat me down in front of the computer and said "Here, you have a blog now. What do you want to call it? OK, Seasonality it is. There, start writing."

So, as you can see, the "paper" stage of the purging process I mentioned yesterday will not be an easy one. Yesterday I tackled magazine detritus. Actually, I have a pretty good system when it comes to the magazines themselves. I have pared my subscriptions down to just two -- Art Journaling, and Cloth, Paper, Scissors. I do occasionally buy others at bookstores, but only if I flip through them and find several projects that I'm just dying to delve into. I've usually read each one cover-to-cover by the time its replacement shows up, so all that's left is to tear out any pages containing  techniques I really want to try, then take the magazines to the free-for-the-taking rack behind our little library. Unfortunately, that's where my system bogs down. I hadn't really noticed this until I started looking around for paper problems. That's when I realized that all of those torn-out articles were still sitting in a big basket, along with a bunch of other stuff that needs to be filed. Why? Well, because that basket sits on top of my little file cabinet, making it difficult to open. Plus, the files are already full!

I haven't tackled the file cabinet yet, but the magazine articles have been sorted through, pared down, and slipped into protective sleeves in a 3-ring binder, now sitting right next to my art table. Two of the articles were left out on the table, as they are variations on a Paint-Out technique I am dying to try.

You see, I used to buy brand new blank art journals to work in, but then I discovered altered books and fell madly in love with the way words float up through my artwork. In fact, when I am working in a blank journal, I often collage old book paper to the pages first, before I begin painting. The two articles I saved out are both about taking pages or canvases that you have covered with loose handwriting, sketching a focal point or words onto those, then painting out the negative space around those shapes, to make them pop out from the background.

One of my altered book journals -- this one uses a spare copy of Simple Abundance, one of my all time favorites!
Now here's the part where I start to understand what Kondo means when she refers to the "life-changing magic of tidying up." As I was standing there staring at that cedar chest full of old journals, wondering what on earth to do with them, I suddenly had the most brilliant little brain fart. Why not use my old writing journals just like I do those altered books. Instead of buying art journals and adding words to blank pages, just so they can float up through my artwork...

why not turn these pages, which are already filled with words, into art journals?

Woohoo! Synchronicity For The Win!


Donna Lange said...

Brilliant idea with the journals! I too like altered books for my art journals and have several going right now. I find that if I start with a page that already has something on it, print, paint, whatever, it is easier to create something.

BTW, my file cabinet looks very similar to yours! I try to clean it out every two years or so at tax time. It's hard to keep up with all the paper. I am really embracing the electronic/paperless systems whenever I can.

Hill Country Hippie said...

Up until now I've been resisting everyone's efforts to make me go paperless. I still keep a checkbook register where I even write down all my debit card purchases, balance it by hand every month, and save all my receipts for a couple of months. However, I'm sick and tired of being buried under piles of paper, so I'm trying to turn over a new leaf.