Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass but learning to dance in the rain.
La vie, ce n’est pas d’attendre que l’orage passe, c’est apprendre à danser sous la pluie.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Documented Life Project - Let's get started!!

Well here we are at the long 1st May weekend here in France and I've been preparing to actually start this project this weekend! What is it??? You’ll find all the details here: 

But basically it’s “One part planner plus one part art journal and one part weekly challenge”. Take a diary and add journal pages or make your planner from scratch. Every week there’s a challenge, for example this week is, April 26, 2014 - Week 18 Challenge - Add an inspiring quote to guide your week. I saw this project on Facebook or Darcy mentioned it, can’t remember! Anyway we, and many other people, are doing it, and it’s not too late to start. I used a Moleskine Large 2014 Planner.

In preparation for this long weekend. I gessoed the covers taking care to mask the elastic and covering the pages with silicon paper to keep them clean.
Covers gessoed ready to start decorating
For the tabs I cut 1½ inch strips of cardstock and folded them in half to give me ¾inch high tabs which I cut in to approx. 2¼ inch long pieces.
1½ inch strips of cardstock, folded in half  = ¾inch high tab

I trimmed the ends using  my my Tab punch from Stampin Up (I managed to get this fab punch on ebay in the states before it got a ridiculous price). The other punch that is good for this is the McGill punch but it too is no longer available. You could use the envelope board punch but you’d have to do arithmetic to position the curve!!
The Stampin up Tab punch
trimming the ends to make the tab curves
The final tabs are approx. 2inches long.
tabs cut
Next I dug out all those Making Memories Magnetic Stamp Tins. I bought loads of these cheap on ebay and finally I get to use them, they're a fun alternative to printing on the computer and remind me of John Bull printing sets when I was a kid.
Set with dates, months and some holidays
the magnetic stamp handle
a couple of alphabets
unnamed alphabet
working backwards
testing on plain paper, I finally chose the bottom one
I decided that the police size in the date set was too small so I then tested all my alphabets and settled on one (which has no name!).  I stamped all the months of the year on the back and front of the tabs, I stamped them on plain paper first to test, thankfully because you have to remember you’re working backwards and it’s very easy to spell Fedruary and not February!!! 
All the tabs were distressed with Frayed Burlap using a dauber. 
stamped and distressed
love the fact that they're not perfectly aligned!

I haven’t decided if I’m going to use clear sticky vinyl or gell medium to stiffen them and make them resistant. 
a Seawhite notebook cut to size for the pages
Next I took an A4 Seawhite watercolour journal and cut it up, yes even the black covers, to make my journal which are 4⅞ x 8⅛ inches. I managed to get 46 I believe, which gives me enough to get going.

Hopefully this weekend I'll get time and peace to get the covers finished so I can then get the pages started. Here is a glimpse of colours and ideas going around in my head. I really like the Journal page Darcy did for PaperArtsy using the Ellen Vargo Stamps
Think I'm going to base the design on what Darcy did with the Ellen Vargo Stamps

I have less space than in the journal that Darcy used so I'm going to have to reduce the sizes. Perhaps I'll draw the Greek keys by hand, perhaps I'll use another border....
Stamping on book pages and using Promarkers


  1. Looks great, I love the wonky letters. I would leave your cover till the end of the year though. As you work in it the covere is likely to get paint on it , or need strengthening, ir just get damaged. Remember it is going to get a lot of handling for a whole year. So keep the decoration till the end of the year. i have a patchwork cover on mine, but no further decoration. I will add that at the end. already my cover has a slight tear in it, so i may replace it completely or just repair and then decorate.

    1. you're probably right, but helas started to paint so will finish and keep your masterly advice for 2015's journal XXX

  2. Hi Steven, your cover and tabs look fantastic, love the wonky stamping it is brill!

    My journal is an ASDA one and have found that the pages are not strong enough to take wet mediums so have resorted to making the pages away from the journal and then adding them in. It is only May and it is already huge, will end up in a semi circle shape if it stays intact.

    Some of the pages are already very fragile, might end up removing the pages and making a loose leaf journal. Whatever happens i am thoroughly enjoying the experience, this is my first year tackling an Art Journal and finding it tough but fun.

    Love what you have made so far, looking forward with eager anticipation to your journal pages :-) xxx

    1. It's fun which ever way you choose. Just washed my hands cause I was dabbing on paint with my fingertips... Have funxx

  3. Well done on making a great start to your journal Steven. I admire anyone who has the tenacity to tackle a project which is going to require long term commitment. Really looking forward too watching it develope. I have one of the McGill punches and had t wait ages for it to come into stock.

    Lesley Xx