Wednesday, January 05, 2011

My Advent Art Journal - Part 1 of 3

This past Advent, I created an Art Journal.  I got the idea from artist Ali Edwards who comes up with creative ways for memory keeping.  She calls it December Daily and makes a journal for the 25 days of December.  I liked a lot of what she did, including making the empty "bones" of the book, the blank pages, ahead of time and then doing the actual recording as it happens in December.  I like how she records the mundane, the "everyday" things in life that happen to her family.

So, this year, I decided to do a similar thing.  I followed along and made the bones of the book in late November.  This was actual quite fun.  I decided to make the book from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day because I think of that time as "Christmas time".  Throughout that time, I see my family, work on Christmas thoughts and year end reflections.
So, I made the cover and pages and then thought about ways to fill them.
The hardest part was starting!  At first, I thought that each day had to have something poignant.  But, in fact, the everyday things are what matters.  Some days, I took photos that I used in the journal when I was ready.  Other days, I drew or painted and included that in the journal.  Still other times, I just wrote things,  -thoughts, feelings, reflections --- all because that is what matters to me....
I am still not finished recording my days.  But, I have all the things I need to do it.

I kept a box on my desk and added to it as the days progressed.  I kept a quick note that Allie wrote me on Christmas, a menu from my father, a thank you card from my niece.  All these things will go into the final product and help me as "prompts" for the memories I want to include.  I also kept a scrap of paper where I jotted down ideas.  Some ideas won't make it into this year's journal -- but they will make it into next year's journal!

Here is my cover.  At first, I thought it was too simple.  But, the beauty is that I can add to it if I want.  Now, I kind of like the simplicity.

 Here is the first page when you open the journal.  I have a simple clear sheet, the word family and a picture of a autumn leaf.  Looking back on it in January, reminds me of how the seasons have changed so quickly.  Since it is clear, you can see through to the following pages (another tip from Ali Edwards).
 The next page reflects the actual day - Thanksgiving.
 And the next 2 pages are actual journaling of Thanksgiving dinner.  I included a picture of the buffet table and a picture of Dad hard at work.  Two common signs of Thanksgiving Dinner for us.
 The back of the page - (I didn't always use the back of the page) was a photo collage of specific food foods from dinner and Theo & Claudia.  Then, another page held a picture of Allie bringing her Dad a plate of stuffed celery, a tradition from his side of the family.  I sketched along side the photo, which I tend to do.  I enjoy looking back through the pages and seeing my art that day.

 Here is an example of a page that had my painting.  I painted some poinsettias and then added words around them. Dec 1
 Here is an example of a photo that wasn't perfect.... but it captured what I wanted.  Ashley had her eyes closed in this one, the day we got her ski pass.  I sketched in some skis, boots and a pass and added it to the day Dec 4.  While I would have preferred to see her pretty eyes, I like that it still captured the moment of her first ski pass and of her at the mountain.
 Here is an example of a full page drawing.  I drew a nutcracker to record the Nutcrackers of New London.  On the next page, I included photos of some actual New London nutcrackers at the businesses that sponsored them. Dec 12

More pics from the journal soon.

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