I Am Back

After my last post, I got sick. REALLY sick. I got the never ending flu. For weeks. I think I am finally getting over it but I am still stuffy. It was the kind of sick where I was completely wiped out. I was out from work and all I did was sleep. I was so exhausted I couldn't read or pretty much anything. The third round of medication finally kicked in late last week. So, no more coughing up a lung and my head is a lot clearer.

What does that mean. It means I finally got back to a regular journaling routine. I am working in one of my older journals now that had remained unfinished. It is a smaller journal but has lots of cool stuff in the portion that is finished. It gives me a bit of incentive to get back to it. Even if just a bit.

One of my new supplies… colored pencils. Actually, I never really liked colored pencils. I didn't like the “white” in between strokes. So for all these years, I have not wanted to use them.

In my “new”, old journal, I wanted to have something simple to color my doodles. Kind of like an Adult coloring book of my own making. Markers don't really give shading… and you have to worry about them bleeding through the paper. Chameleon Markers could solve the shading issue but not the bleeding issues (besides they are expensive). So I searched through YouTube and found some Adult Coloring videos to get some ideas.

I saw some beautiful work with colored pencils… and I decided to give them a try. I had some old Crayola pencils that had mainly remained unused so I tried them out. They were okay but didn't go down smoothly leaving some scratchy strokes. I saw the possibilities that colored pencils could have but wanted to find an option that gave a bit nicer result. So I got a pack of Prisma colored pencils.

This is my first try. My journaling routine is to Write a Gratitude Practice in my journal in the am. It includes answering a few prompts and then a page of free writing. Then tonight I doodled in the empty spaces and on top of my free writing. I got to try my pencils and I have to say they are fantastic!!! I am not so good at shading but they did a wonderful job. The color went on easy and smoothly. I really love the results.

Hopefully, tomorrow I can have more of a step by step.


Happy Tuesday!


10/2/15 Daily Art Journal Practice: How to Make An Art Journal Page

It is Friday.

I looked at my spread and just didn’t think that the different bits integrated into the page the way I would like. Normally when I add water soluble oil pastels it seems to do the trick but this time I just wasn’t satisfied. So I got out my white paint and a brayer and started adding a white wash effect. I also added some more journaling.

Initially I wasn’t sure how much I liked the white paint effect. The paint did integrate everything together and I am happy with that. I suspect I will finish this page tomorrow by adding a little more pen work.

It’s Friday, have a good one!


9/26/15 Making an Art Journal Page: My Daily Art Journal Practice

It’s Saturday and I have lots of studying to do… so my art journaling time is shorter than I would like. I am still working on the exercise from the online class I am taking: Lisa Congdon’s More Sketchbook Explorations. Lisa showed us how to draw some vines and leafy things. I was able to start but didn’t get very far. I used a micro point pen initially but changed out to a thicker lined pen. Since the background is so bright and saturated with color, a thicker black line makes seeing the design easier (if I had been able to make a lighter, less saturated background, I am sure the micro tip would have been fine.) I went over the first vine toward the bottom but didn’t have time to finish up going back over the top with a thicker line… maybe tomorrow.

This is very much NOT my normal art journal style. But I am glad I decided to try out what I learned from class. The background is an interesting technique that I could vary a lot of ways… and its super simple. And I am always ready to learn more graphic designs to doodle on a page!

Happy Saturday all!


Why Art Journal?

Why should you art journal? There are all sorts of reasons… and I can’t decide your reasons for you. Do you want to have fun? Experiment? Document your life? Document your inner thoughts? Make a mess daily? Have a creative daily/weekly/monthly… practice? Keep track of your life? Plan your day? Goof off? Be rebellious? Save your junque? Make beautiful art? Make interesting art? A quick and dirty Scrapbook replacement? Make art for art’s sake, beautiful or not? Daily doodle? … That is just a small list of reason you could art journal. And you, only YOU can decide.

Me, well I think I art journal to break free of the ordinary. Ordinary written journal pages, ordinary planner pages with lists, goals, appointments, expectations… ordinary notes on works subjects. The daily grind of left brain spreadsheets, word documents, calendars, appointments, chores, responsibilities… that end up sometimes looking so gray and bleak. No fun in sight! No reprieve! Just work and responsibilities! YUCK! It is so easy when you are inundated with all this kind of stuff to forget the sun is shining, the butterflies are fluttering, rain is softly falling… and your life is gently passing. Art Journaling, for me, reminds me, there is more! Besides, rebelliously, I love adding fun, and color and mischief to my otherwise mundane work, just because I can! I can remember, life is fun! Life is beautiful! Life is an experiment! Life is passing!

But I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to art journal to remember. When I was a kid, my mom had two photo albums that she kept on the livingroom coffee table. They were of our family… and was pretty much up to date. I use to love flipping through the pages. As time passed, making more albums didn’t happen. Mom had to work, life got busy… But I always remembered the joy I had, remembering those times. It wasn’t about the photos… it was the memories. Precious and so full of Life and Love!

Art journaling gives me a way to remember my life’s goings on, but in the simplest, quickest, way possible… if that’s what I need in order to just get a memory down on a page.


Or it can be complex and lovely.


It can be a mess.

Anything. And the truth is, no matter what you put down in your art journal, it reflects… it spills your life. You will always have a reminder of the day. The day… the days… the months… that seem to speed by faster and faster as you live your life. For me, a beautiful, artful page is nice… and reminds me of what was happening, but sometime it is the art journal days filled with junque… movie tickets, scraps of paper from web searches, book lists, song lists, blog posts… these are so fascinating and telling to look back on.



They tell the story. They tell the story of you… what you were doing, interested in… In the most intriguing way.


And regardless of if you believe it or not, anyone can art journal (just call it creative journaling, or junque journaling or be brave and call it all of the above!) If you can tape or glue paper, slap paint, doodle like you do when on a long boring phone call, yes, you can art journal!


So why do I Art Journal. Mainly to remember… to remember I was here… and “Hey, I did that… saw that… felt that… learned that and… made that!! And it feels like me… what I should be doing, called to be doing, somehow. It’s me… its my life…

Why do you Art Journal? Or why do you want to… think you might want to? I would love to know!



Sojourn #7

So, how did Sojourn #6 go?  Did you have some fun?  Did you decorate your page with wild abandon and make something that made you blissfully happy?  Did you add bits of journaling from your scratch paper to remind you what was going on with you on that day?Yay!  My hope is for you to have a weeks worth of pages that you find joy just flipping through!  Spilling your life can be all sorts of things for you… but one of my favorites is ending up with a creative page that reflects you!  What you like.  What makes you happy.  If you are going to be spilling your life on the page, you are allowed to make pages that make you smile. Of course, you can do other things with your pages, experiment, work out emotions, things that might not be so pleasing to look at but you always have that option.  It is amazing how adding a few bits of colorful paper and a picture of something you find beautiful or a doodle can change your entire outlook…

This is also true before you ever start out.  If you start will a decorated background page, instead of an imposing blank page, it can make all the difference.  The “mind dump” you do on plain white page can look like a scribbled mess.  While the same “mind dump” looks a whole lot nicer when it has a background behind it.  Starting a creative page can be so much easier if there is a bit of color on the page already.

So this week we are going to be decorating our pages before we do anything else.  You can choose to decorate your background pages each day before you write or create.  Or you can do a week’s worth at once.  But I want you to put paint, collage, color… backgrounds on your pages.  My favorite technique for making backgrounds that I can use for written journaling and art/creative journaling is “Acrylic Paint Scrubbing”.  Now, that’s a mouthful!  It is a very simple technique that gives you a rich beautiful background page that isn’t too distracting if you will be adding writing only but is also a lovely start for any creative journaling you want to do.  If you decide to try this technique, you will need a few colors of acrylic paint.  They can be any kind of acrylic paint.  The cheap craft paint probably works better because it is a little more liquidy… but any kind will do.  You will also need baby wipes.  Again I use the least expensive brand.  My YouTube video will go through this process step by step:

If you don’t have any acrylic paints on hand.  Not to worry.  Use anything you have.  Crayons really do work great!  Collage! Doodle! Experiment with what you have.

Then pick whatever practice you want to use for the week.  Do you want to continue doing written journaling “mind dump” style?  Would you rather just write one sentence… or even just one word… everyday?  Or do you want to forget about written journaling completely and just make interesting journal pages?  Whatever you decide… do it.  Do it on the backgrounds that you have made.  And next week tell me how it went!!


Written and Art Journaling and Online Classes

One of my main purposes for making this blog is to have a place where a journaler can find EVERYTHING about spilling your life… books, videos, online classes, reviews, blog posts, freebies… all in one place. When I started out art journaling, it was hit or miss. I googled this and that and had to hunt for instruction, ideas, guidance, opinions and other art journalist and journalers.

My next project is to make a listing of Online Classes, Upcoming Online Classes, and Freebies. These lists, along with my Book, Magazines and Site Lists,will be posted and will be constantly updated as I receive approval from the artists to link and include class information from their sites. If I have taken a class with an artist/writer I will let you know. If you hear of a site or upcoming online class that you would like added to my list, please let me know!

Another reason I wanted to make an Online Class list is that when I started it was mainly artist and writers offering classes to help others find the joy of art and written journaling. What has happened in the last few years is that the classes have become strictly a money-making endeavour for some offering classes. There are even Online Marketers that are selling the formula to make your fortune selling online classes. So, in amongst the artist offering the very best material that includes their heart and soul, there are now many people selling online classes that offer little or nothing of much value, let alone any heart… often at a very high cost.


My rule of thumb when taking a class from a new instructor is to see if they have any free offerings or any YouTube or on site videos available to see if I like the instructor’s style and the content they present. This is really important because there are all sorts of ways of presenting online materials. Some instructors use strictly text and photos, others use videos to show step by step instruction, yet others set the camera to roll and show their techniques with no explanation – only music in the background… Or maybe you could take a less expensive class to try out this instructor. This particularly comes into play for me when the class is expensive, and for me, expensive is any class over $75 dollars. It is hard for me to swallow a text and photo based class if it costs over $75 UNLESS I know the artist and have faith that the material will really be worth it. It is hard for me to be satisfied, if I pay for a $75 or over class, and only get a few 5-10 minutes videos and some pdf content, UNLESS that content is OVER THE MOON FANTASTIC… I will feel (and have) jipped. Why? Because I have been so incredibly fortunate to have taken some of the most awesome, content filled classes by some of the most fabulous artists and writers out there! After you have taken a class with tons of wonderful video content for $30 and pay for a $97 dollar class that turns out to be text-based rehash of what is out there all over for less that $10… you tend to get VERY ANGRY. Don’t get me wrong, there are some classes that are offered over $75 that may be FANTABULASTIC, and are. But more and more, unless you know the instructor, there is more of a chance to get taken.

Spillinglife.wordpress.com, allows you to meet the artist and investigate/enjoy their sites and see what classes and freebies they have to offer. Have fun, learn, explore… that is my goal!

Happy spilling!


Welcome to Spilling Life. I am so glad you are here!

This blog is dedicated to everything journaling.  Especially those practices that help you spill your life in a journal, on a canvas, on a napkin, on a blog, in a book!  I will make personal blog post discussing daily issues and how they relate to my jounaling practice and my life.  I also want to make this a special place where you can find lists, review, suggestions of books, magazines, and classes that relate to journaling in all its many forms.  My hope is to make this an interactive blog.  I have included Sojourns, journaling exercises, that I hope you will try out! Then comment, ask questions, let me know what you think!

And please, please, please, pardon my electronic dust.  I am learning how to create this blog as I go.  From day to day for the next couple of weeks, you might see lots of changes, maybe some blank spots…  and some leaness on content.  I have photos and videos and lists, and review all waiting to be added.  Some have been easier to add, some more difficult but please, stop by from time to time, to see what is new.  Again, thank you so much for stopping!  Hope to see you again soon!