Sunday, January 24, 2010
First Journal Entry
I'm so excited - I've started my first entry. After school started again in January, I felt like I was burning the candle at both ends and getting nowhere fast. We are constantly analyzing data and changing our teaching in an attempt to meet all the needs of all the kids. What this really means is that we are constantly chasing our tails trying to stay caught up - never mind getting ahead. It was pretty depressing to work so many extra hours (no extra pay - teachers are under contract and on salary). I'd come home, eat a bite & fall into bed. Finally last night I decided I was going to get a page done in my journal even if I had to stay up til midnight (which I did).
I'm using a school composition book, 7" X 9 1/2", the kind that is saddle stitched in the middle. Because the pages are very thin, I've glued 2 pages together to make a heavier area to work on. I used a photo safe glue stick from Hobby Lobby and did several pages. I closed the book and weighted it down for a couple of days.
Next, I tried some painting on the pages to make a 2 page, double spread. The first spread I used regular kids watercolor paint pans. They looked okay, but the paints are so cheap that painting the 2 pages used all of the 3 colors I was using. So back to the drawing board. I have a lot of acrylic paints in the small plastic squeeze bottles (like Apple Barrel brand), so I tried watering some of them down on a paper plate and applying them with a 1/2" wide brush. This looked okay, but the colors didn't blend the way I wanted them to. I tried a couple of 2 page spreads and got a lot of really dark colors. I was wanting a pastel, swirly, blend of colors for my backgrounds. So I tried another 2 page spread using pastel paints that had been thinned with water. I applied one color at a time and let them dry in between colors. This was closer to what I was looking for.
Last night I flipped to the last pages I'd painted and started pulling some scrap paper from my stash. The paint is light peach and watery blue. I found a scrap of darker peach that had flowers punched from it. I though it would make a good boarder, so I tore the piece down to size to fit on my page. I love the way the paint shows through the flower cut-outs. I inked the edge with Jim Holtz Distress Ink in antique linen, then glued it with glue stick and let it dry for a couple of minutes. I used my Zig Scroll & Brush pen in Fawn to write over the whole thing. This entry was my gratitude page, just some of the things I'm grateful for. Doing the page helped my clear my head and I slept well for the first time in weeks - no nightmares about school or lying awake thinking about all that I need to get done.
I don't know that I'm finished with the page. I may go back and doodle some. I don't draw realistic pictures well, but I love to doodle and have discovered that I'm not half bad at it. Already the book is beginning to swell and won't stay closed, so today I plan to decorate the cover and put a closure on it. I love ephemera (papers & other junk that was meant to be used once and thrown away like ticket stubs, post cards, advertising logos, etc.) and I know that some of my collection will be working its way into my pages. That's going to add bulk, so I'll just plan for that in my closure.