Tuesday, December 10, 2013

More on Choosing Your Art Journal

I have received so many wonderful comments and emails in the past few days...y’all really know how to make a girl feel loved and appreciated!

Thank you

Also, I wanted to make sure to answer some of the questions I’ve received.

From a wonderful reader, Shelley:


I have just stumbled across your blog and I have to say I LOVE IT!!! You are very talented and also very informative. Thank you!

I read through your blog post on choosing an art journal however I am still a bit confused and wondered if you could help me at all. I am currently using Dyan Revealey's art journal. I use it for acrylics, dylusions sprays, gelatos and a small amount of watercolours. I am finding that the Dylusions sprays are going through the pages and leaking in the centre part of the binding and wrecking completed and also blank pages. I was keen to get a Moleskine watercolour book however it is landscape orientation so I was wondering your opinion on the Moleskine sketchbook. Are you able to tell me if the paper is thick enough for the products I have mentioned? If we only had one choice I wouldn't have anything to worry about would I!! :)

Thanks again for your inspiration!


Shelley, Thank you big time for your sweet note. I had the same dang problem with my Dyan Revealey art journal. The pages are nice and thick and stand up to a whole lot of wet media BUT there is that whole leaking through at the spine problem.

0118f83b4ae35781a4b9d51188a357774d86cabd8eWhat I did to solve the problem (and it did completely solve it for me) was to go all the way through the journal and add a single strip of masking tape to the gap where the pages meet (like this->.) I did it on every.single.set.of.pages. Yep, all of ‘em. But, I tell ya what, I haven’t had any further problem with that bleed through since I did...not even with my Dylusions spray inks!

Now, as you can see in the picture, the masking tape is apparent but, since I tend to paint/collage over it, it isn’t very noticeable once the pages are finished. I am not one that gets too bugged by that kind of thing anyway. If you are, less wet media is going to be the only real solution in the long run.

As for my journals of choice? Handmade, all the way, baby.

Don’t get me wrong, I do love Moleskine journals, both the sketchbook (my fav and yes, its pages are thick enough) and the watercolor, too (although I don’t like the orientation of the pages in those.) Dyan Revealey’s journals are nice, too, with good thick pages (they remind me of manila file folders and I think that is what most of the pages in them are made from.) There are a number of good commercially made journals out there that are perfectly fine for art journaling.

But, my first choice is definitely handmade.

I am quite partial to the wonderful 16 page 8”x10” journals  made from a single 22”x30” sheet of artists watercolor paper. I learned about this easy to make journal from Teesha Moore. These are quick and easy to make and they stand up to everything I’ve ever thrown at them. I’m including  her videos here that show how to make them. You can watch if it is something you are interested in learning....or skip on by if it’s not.

Part 1

Part 2

I also like to bind my own hardback journals using watercolor paper and hard covers...sometimes from deconstructed hardback books, other times using what I call scavenged materials like thick cereal boxes, thick pressed cardboard my hubby brings home from his store, etc.

If you’re not into making your own journals but still want to work in a handmade journal, I can’t encourage you enough to patronize some of the wonderful craftsmen and women who do handmake books and journals. Kelly Kilmer, who I love and adore, has some of her beautiful handmade journals (like this gorgeous example) for sale right now on her website (Kelly Kilmer.) If you want to get me one for Christmas, I sure wouldn’t turn it down! LOL Also, don’t forget that there are many, many handmade journals on Etsy and Artfire.

Whatever you decide to go with, for gosh sakes, just have fun. Don’t sweat the small stuff like some dribbles and leaking...just repair it, patch it, tape it or whatever, then move on and play some more. What you are working IN isn’t near as important as the actual working/playing that you’re doing between the covers of whatever journal you use.

Enjoy the journey, my friends...that’s what it’s really all about.

Back soon with more of the good stuff.

peace & love,


  1. I recently heard of another solution to the leaky middle problem ... slap (or just brush lol) some gel medium in the crease. I don't know if it works, but I will give it a try at some point. And using washi tape gives the page a bit of a boost versus the masking tape. And also, sometimes when it happens, miracles do tend to happen to, just not all the time, lol.

  2. OH, a store bought journal that I love is the Strathmore Visual Art Journal ... it is very close to handmade ... just saying and the paper is heavanly! And comes in spiral OR glue bound.

  3. Thank you, Barb, for the shout out and kind words.

  4. Thank you for all the great info on art journaling Barb. Really enjoying you blog. And yes, I am one of those art supply junkies. It just makes me want to play and have fun !! LOL

  5. Thanks for the eye candy over my morning coffee!
    Michelle in Australia xxx


Thank you so much for taking the time to drop by. I am open to any comments, questions, suggestions, critiques, etc, so lay it on me...
Peace & Love,

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