Art Journaling for Relaxation

This week I am trying to create order in my studio, which is hard to do after sifting through storage units last week. I seem to have reached my organizing quota.


I am looking forward to replenishing my musical pendant inventory and creating some Valentines for February when order is restored.


Next week I hope to refresh the shelf at the Pop Up Gallery. Until then my ornaments are still $5 off.

Meanwhile, I am part of an art journaling Facebook group that has been fun.

Mostly I see my pages as backgrounds for future musings, but some might remain as standalone art works.

We get various prompts, like drawing circles, doodling on strips of collaged paper, stamping with various random items found around the house, using colors we don’t normally choose etc.

It helps me to settle to do something like this, and is also fun to do with friends and family.

At a The Collage Cafe drop-in I made a collage from paper scraps.

It got me to dig out some templates I had never used.

Sometimes it is good to have a project that takes me out of solopreneur mode where the outcome doesn’t have to be sellable.

Plus it is fun to see what everyone else does and how other people express themselves.

I had fun with the word cloud challenge when I was in Houston.

Self care is good, and pausing from the daily grind with a bit of coloring is therapeutic.

Some collage snippets even offer wisdom and humor.

We’ll see what these two get embellished with in the future!

Assemblage at The Collage cafe

I joined the Grown*UP Girls Club this year at The Collage Cafe and I am loving it. While I have my own studio where I can create, there is something about gathering around women, being in a different space, and having someone else prescribe a project that soothes the soul and takes me out of my head.

This month we did assemblage art. We started with a small chunky canvas to embellish with anything we wished.

The Collage Cafe owner Lindy Stockton has gathered numerous objects over the years, from buttons, ribbons, vintage clothespins, paper scraps, game pieces, puzzles to metal objects like washers and rivets, chunky safety pins, keys and a plethora of other things.

Clearly making a mess is part of the inspirational process. I found a lovely pencil that had to be mine, and gathered a variety of other embellishments that spoke to me.

I put a layer of acrylic paint on mine for starters.

Then I added scraps of decorative paper from a scrapbook paper stack.

With glue guns and drills and super-powerful glue we had a blast making our pieces.

Waiting for paint and glue to dry was the hardest part, but gave an opportunity to walk around and see what everyone else was working on.

It is such fun to see what people pick and how they use it in the end.

I snapped this picture as inspiration, and saw the piece being used by someone else.

I am really happy with how mine turned out, especially since I had no vision at all in the beginning.

Sometimes not knowing what could or should be is very freeing, and leads to results you don’t expect.

Playing with dimension is such fun.

The front addresses the writer in me.

The back clearly needed to sparkle.

You can catch a glimpse of the other pieces here.

Go check out this lovely play space and get your inner creatrix going!

Grown*UP Girls Club

Remember when I introduced The Collage Cafe? This Sunday I got to join the Grown*UP Girls Club for a creative session.

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This gathering is Lindy’s brainchild of creating a haven for women to leave all the day-to-day behind and spend some time playing, creating and getting to know other ladies.

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The group meets on the second Sunday of the month and includes annual members, drop-ins, and another tier of membership Lindy can tell you about.

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Some considered themselves uncreative and bravely stepped out of their comfort zone, and others had dabbled in various artistic ventures.

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After introductions we were given a blank canvas and instructed to write positive things on it, in order to set the intention for the class.

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Then we selected paint colors to cover our words with.

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After a few layers we started cutting out papers. In addition to the two sheets provided we were allowed to peruse numerous art materials in the studio, and it was lovely seeing what the participants gravitated toward.

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Washi tape became a popular embellishment, and how can it not with this amazing variety?

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We chatted while we snipped and pasted, making for a lovely afternoon of kindredness.

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There were two birthdays so we were treated to Sacher Torte in addition to other nibbles.

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We also got to try new teas that were refilled regularly.

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Some snacks looked ready for a painting.

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It was lovely to step out of my regular medium and get back to my collage roots. Some people experimented with rubber stamps and added dimensional embellishments to their pieces.

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Mine may get wire-wrapped in the future, but I am pleased with how much was completed in the session.

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I cannot distinguish between the creative and ‘non-creative’ collages, can you? Each of these is worthy of an open studios exhibit!

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Want to be part of the fun? Check out The Collage Cafe’s upcoming workshops!

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You can also visit my bangles and pendants, and peruse a plethora of lovely gift items that are bound to spark your joy.

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The Collage Cafe is located at 912 Sherman Avenue in Evanston IL 60202, near the corner of Main and Sherman.