Online swapping in super fun and easy to do. You feel great when you’re generous yourself, and the surprise you’ll get in your own inbox often is better than you could’ve imagined. But of course you’ve gotta be ready to send out your stuff without a one hundred percent guarantee that you’ll get something back.
I used to do a lot of swapping over the internet many years ago, when I was new to art and blogging, and the whole thing of “swapping” also was quite new I guess. Then a lot of bloggers hosted swaps, and it was easy to come across something you fancied. These days I don’t see much of that, but I know for a fact a lot of swaps happen over on Instagram, that’s where I found the Notebook and Pen Swap I participated in last month.
I think most people who arrange a bigger swap has a blog, where the rules of the game are explained, deadlines given and you sign up for it, but you could also do it via Facebook and via e-mail if you don’t have a blog and want to set your own swap up! The bigger your following, the more complicated it gets. That’s why I have a small fee for participating in my twice annual DIY Postcard Swap (sign up for my Newsletter if you want to know when the next one starts), if you think you’re only get a few people signing up it’s easier to take the time to arrange it for free.
I think the most important ingredient to make your art journal page bloom, is to use yourself as fodder in them. Without you (even if you don’t think you’re in bloom yourself yet), they will be lifeless copies of what someone else have done before you.
To truly make your Art Journal pages stand out and be personal works of art, you’ve got to look inside, and use what you find in there. It’s the same advice that are given to people who wants to become writers, perhaps quoting the good Mr Mark Twain: Write what you know. To me that translates to: Use what you love, not what someone else is loving at the moment. Use what you’ve got inside of you, may it be good or bad, beauty or pure darkness…
I wish had the energy to draw every day, or paint… And I wish I had time to read more. Actually, I wish I could buy and read all the books. I really do, at least the ones on the kind of creativity and art that I’m into at the moment.
It’s one of my favorite things in the whole world to spend time in the sofa, with my iced coffee and a book on creativity in my lap. Wrapped in my home made quilt I read a few pages and look at all the inspiring pictures, and often I have a stack of tiny post-it-notes by my side, so I can mark pages I want to come back to later.
I read novels, biographies and books for research all the time too, a habit I’ve had since I started reading as a kid, but when I want a dose of inspiration I go to my library of creative books and pick one or two out. I like them equally for the images as for the encouragement and ideas they present in text form.
I have finally finished this little cute notebook, about as big as my palm, that I call Tiny Scrap Notebook because of its content; lots of little scraps that I wanted to keep somewhere…
I later renamed the book “Warm Up Collage Notebook“, because of how I started to use it. I have made little collages in it as a warm-up exercise to get started in the studio, to get my hands moving when I didn’t know where to start (yes, that happens to me too sometimes).
And I say finally finished notebook, because I have been wanting to fill the last few pages in it for ages. Finally it’s done, to say the least… I think it took me so many years to finish this one (even though it is so tiny) because I hadn’t decided on a true purpose for it when I started it. The purpose of this particular notebook was developed over time. And it grew more important to me as I started using it more and more.
Using this scrap notebook became an exercise for me, a warm-up exercise within itself (because I am not very good at making minimalistic collages so I needed to push myself, and practice, to learn how) and a warm-up for other collage pieces when I was feeling stale and not very creative (because it consists of such tiny pages I wasn’t very invested in them and could loosen up a bit).
I finished my little spiral bound notebook by filming a flip through of all the pages. Another flip through, yes. Another shot at YouTubing yes. More sharing indeed. In the video below I talk about how I started, continued and ended, this wee one became more than a notebook, it was like my studio companion. Also, I would love to know what little notebooks you’ve got going in the comments below…
How to do you move forward after a long summer break of silence? That’s what I’m asking myself today.
Sometimes when you’re cutting a lot of paper you just want to get through the pile and finish. You try to hurry up and push harder, but that just derails you. Your fingers cramp up and you’re creating a mess on the table. Brute force doesn’t help you any you’re not at all moving faster, no mater how much you try.
You can see how to you want to move forward, but you don’t seam to get there…
I haven’t been blogging much lately, and I’d like to (at least partly) blame the Swedish Summer for that…
I love that Sweden has four glorious and specific seasons. I love all these different seasons, because they signify change and movement. But I must say I think that Swedish Summer is my favorite season. And it’s hard to get anything done, when the sun shines for me. I just want to go outside, sit in the shade and journal, or read a book, or…
Lay in the grass and gaze at the ever changing and beautiful sky over Sweden. I can’t say I have done that very much this summer (yet), although I did get to have a wonderful BBQ dinner in my parents garden this month, and that’s when I snapped a few flowery photos to document this glorious season – and share it with you guys.
This month I’m at Camp Reset most of the time, which is a free online “camp” that is about self-care, mindfulness and health. I’m using a Traveler’s Notebook to collect what I’m thinking about and learning, and today I’m sharing a video flip through of it (scroll down to see it). What are you up to?
The virtual Camp Reset I’m in is set up by Cori, also known online as The Reset Girl. I found her a few years ago when she set up her first free challenge, called Listers-Gotta-List. I’m also going to try to do the lists again this month (it has the theme of “retreats” so if’s a perfect fit).
Cori is positive force online, and her instagram is full of encouragement and happy ideas. She sells stickers and scrapbook stuff together with her husband and team – and her YouTube videos are long and full of cute paper and planner crafting. Watching her set up her ring binders and decorate her planners always makes me wanna dive in and do the same. The power of inspiration online is awesome, you know you’re “hit” with it when you just can’t stop yourself from starting new projects…
The Reset Girl is the one that got me into Traveler’s Notebooks, and I’m so grateful for that. I am still in love with that system!
I’ve sewn together a very easy table runner for a friend of mine. I still adore the table runner we’ve got on our living room table right now, the polka dot one I made this spring. It really makes me happy, with all those bright colors together. I can’t wait to make another one for us, when I find the time, in more “iHanna colors”.
If I couldn’t create there would be nothing for me to live for. It’s selfish, I know, but geniuses are selfish.
I’m making Index Card Collages this summer. What are you making?
Today it’s time for a index-card-a-day (ICAD) Update. We’ve already passed the middle of June 2017, and summer if flying by. Time to catch up.
For each day this summer I’m filling a pink index card with a little colorful collage. This year I’m taking a very laid-back approach to this art challenge (called ICAD with the official hashtag for instagram being #dyicad2017). I am making index card collages. Little vignettes of papers, using a lot of typography.
Typography was the official theme of the first week in June, and I like it a lot. It kind of stuck with me, the idea of using words on my index cards. Since then I haven’t checked the daily prompts or the weekly themes that Tammy of DaisyYellow shares freely on her blog…
I’m just doing my own thing and using some pretty papers, cut out magazine words, stickers, washi tape, pens and ephemera of the day.
I made my first Etsy Haul Video (scroll down to watch it). In it I am sharing some kawaii stuff that we Journalers and Stationary Addicts like. Pens, cute washi tape and a pack of stickers. It is not a big haul by any means, just a little something that I bought for myself but didn’t want to keep to myself.
I want to share these items because they make me happy. I don’t really want to promote this particular seller, even though I liked her stuff, and I don’t want to promote buying in excess, especially things you don’t need. But since I myself enjoy watching “etsy hauls” and “sticker hauls” and “notebook hauls” (although most of those video hauls are massive and makes me wonder when are they ever going to use up all that stuff?) I thought I’d give the video genre a chance… I enjoy sharing as you might know, and these days I’m getting more comfortable talking too…