My Art Journal

I have a thing for stationery.  Paper, pens, cards, notebooks.  I've been like this ever since I was a child.  If truth be told, I'm a stationery nerd.

When I was little, if I was given a new pen, I would spend the afternoon writing.  Or re-organising my pencil case.

Photo courtesy of Gaeten Lee at

I remember being given sheets of pale pink paper.  I was about 7 years old.  It was the 1970's.  Pink paper was a big deal.

I took out my favourite pen and wrote a mini newspaper.  With stories of people I made up.  I remember I wrote about a guy who wore long johns for some reason.  He was also tall.  I called him Long John.  Which at the time I found hysterical.

Check out the origins of this pink paper.  They didn't have this is the 1970's.
Available from Whipsnade Zoo.  Photo Courtesy of

This stationery nerdiness has never left me. 

If you take me anywhere near a stationery shop, I have to go in. 

When my Significant Other was studying at University a couple of years ago, I was thrilled.  I went with him to visit his university campus.  Having seen his lecture rooms, the restaurant with mounds of lovely food, and the student bar, I found the student stationery shop.

It was like coming home. 

Piles of notebooks in every colour of the rainbow.  Mini packets of mini highlighters.  Pencils, erasers.  Pads shaped like lips.  And oodles and oodles of art illustrated greetings cards.  And all at lovely I'm a very poor student so can't spend lots of money on stationery prices.

I bought a pack of mini highlighters and went back into the student bar where my Significant Other and our friends were.  I extolled the virtues of my new purchase.  Hand bag sized.  Easily accessible if I wanted to colour code something in my diary in a hurry.  Pretty.  Teeny tiny.  And they came in a neat little case.  You could hear the tumble weeds blowing gently across the bar floor.  

Whilst my friends hit the bottle, I hit the highlighters.  I re-organised my week in colour, while enjoying a nice glass of gin and a bag of crisps.  Oh, Happy Day!  Stationery, alcohol, and crisps. It just doesn't get any better.

A couple of years ago my significant Other did a wonderful thing.  He took me out to buy me a present because it was Wednesday.  We went to Staples.  He bought us both matching mini chocolate brown filofaxes.  Great for his pocket, great for my hand bag. We were the Howard and Hilda of stationery.  It was fantastic.  For two reasons.  Firstly, my partner isn't big on stationery but he's an In For A Penny In For A Pound kind of guy so I totally appreciated the gesture.  Secondly, we got to whip them out in unison when people asked us if we were free on certain days.  Awesome.

I started collecting handmade paper when I was in Japan in the 90's.  I went to Asakusa Shrine during my first weeks in Tokyo and found a small shop that sold nothing but sheets and sheets of hand-block printed washi paper.  There were layers of it hanging from the ceiling so that you could run your hands over the edges.  And walls and walls of colour.  Purples, reds, golds and pinks.  And the smell of paper everywhere.


I don't think I'd be overstating the case if I told you it was a happy day for me...

I brought sheets of paper back with me from Japan, and have acquired more over the years.  I have kept all of this paper lovingly wrapped up, in my cupboards.

Until this week.

When I went out on purpose and bought an art journal.  As a means of spurring me on to actually do some more creative art work on paper.  (Take a look at Creative Irony to see my first attempts at art work after a very long time!)

It was time to crack out the big guns.  Time to tear into the stored stash of Japanese washi paper.  Which had, up until this point, only been lovingly stroked.  It was time to be kind to the paper and let it fulfil its papery destiny.

So, I had at it with scissors and glue.

Here are some of the results.

A general mood board of seed pod inspiration.
With seed pod painting.

A quick pencil drawing of seed pods

A painting of sycamore seeds, using ink washes.

My collage of sycamore seeds.  Lots of rich velvets in this one.

Etching in metal and printing on velvets.

Hot wax and inks.

It felt good.  I'm glad I did it.  There are still sheets of washi paper left to use another day.

I finished my seed pod inspired ring in silver and seed pearls today.  I'm wearing it right now. Even if I say so myself, it's a little bit gorge.

I'll take some pictures to share with you in my next post.

I hope you're having a great week.


  1. I can't get over the Elephant Poo-Poo paper!! Is it really called that??

  2. Yep! Not only is it called that, but it's also made from elephant poo-poo. You couldn't make it up... You can buy it online from London Zoo's website.

  3. My, my sweet apple pie, I believe I've cracked it! For weeks I've been trying to comment without success so today I decided it wouldn't beat me. I did a search on the web and discover it isn't my fault at all, it's FireFox who won't co-operate so I had to switch to IE. :(

    Now I can finally tell you I have loads of washi paper that you've inspired me to dig out. :)

  4. I am a pen collector (geek) and used to love stationary collecting before the internet took hold of the world!

    Don't even get me started on my obsession with the post-it note highlighter.

    There is nothing wrong with being an Office Depot nerd, right?

  5. Heeey! Cleobytheseao, I'm so glad you've cracked it! Wow, that sounds like a big problem. I'm so glad you've managed to sort it and hope it wasn't heaps of trouble.

    Hi Triplets Plus Two Momma, nope, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a Office Depot nerd. I'm right there with you!

  6. I have always loved collecting stationary. I could spend hours looking over every single sheet in the store!

    Stopping by to welcome you to SITS! It's great to have you in the SITStahood!

  7. I love paper too. I even love organizing my small bits of paper that use to make ATCs {Artist Trading Cards}.

    Welcome to the SITS community!

  8. Beautiful art journal!

    I came by to welcome you to SITS. We're happy to have you with us!

  9. Thank you for the lovely welcome comments!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin
Professional Blog Designs by pipdig