Welcome to International Fake Journal Month 2013!

What is IFJM?
Please read the page "What Is IFJM" for details.
Learn the difference between Faux, Fake, and Fake Historical Journals.

Contests for 2017
Currently there are no contests planned for 2017. Check the side bar "Contests for 2017" to see if this changes.

Participants who Post Their Journals
A list of 2017 participants who are posting their fake journals this year will appear near the top of the right side bar of this blog around April 5. Lists of participants who posted their pages in 2010 through 2016 appear lower in the same column. Please pay them a visit and check out their fake journals.

View a Couple of Roz's Past Fake Journals
Roz's 2009 fake journal takes place in an alternate Twin Cites, where disease has killed the human and bird populations. (It ends up being an upbeat tale of friendship.) Watch a video flip through of Roz's 2009 fake journal here.

Read an explanation of Roz's insanely complex 2011 fake journal.

Tips on Keeping a Fake Journal
Click on "tips" in the category cloud.

Remember, "Life's so short, why live only one?"


Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Leuchtturm 1917 Notebook Review Is Up

If you read my Friday, March 8 post about my 2013 fake journal prep you'll know I mentioned the Leuchtturm 1917 Notebook. This morning I put my review of this journal up on Roz Wound Up (so it could be easily accessible to the other reviews I've done on commercially bound journals).

You can read more about my tests using mixed media on the Leuchtturm 1917 Notebook here.

I will be using one of these books for my 2013 fake journal so you'll begin seeing pages from it here sometime in April. (It's a 9 x 12.5 inch book and finding time to scan the pages is going to be a bit difficult given my current schedule, so I'll probably start posting pages a week or so into April.)

I hope that your plans for 2017 are going well and the pieces are falling into place.

Later this week I'll post the new button design.

And I have to give some thought to this year's contest.

We are getting close!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

New in 2013—Roz's INTERACTIVE Fake Journal

UPDATE: The Interactive portion of my 2013 fake journal celebration has ended as of April 18, 2013, at 11 p.m. (CST) when I filled my fake journal. Do not send any more entries. Information on ordering a button will appear in a separate post. Buttons to participants used on my pages will be sent out sometime next week (the week of April 22).

While letting the ideas of what my 2013 fake journal might be run through my head I had either a brainstorm or a mini stroke. I thought it would be fun to have my first interactive fake journal. That's right I'm going to involve other people in the creation of this year's fake journal—the creator/author of which still has not and may never have a name.

So here's the deal, as I so often say when explaining things—your task, if you'd like to participate in my 2013 fake journal, is to send me something in the mail which I can incorporate in my fake journal. (See below for a detailed list of criteria you'll need to follow.)

Each day in April 2013 I'll draw an envelope and use what's in the envelope on my page that day.

If I draw your envelope I'll send you a free 2013 IFJM Commemorative button (which is rectangle this year and really spiffy, but I haven't had time to post it yet!).

Here's what you can and can't send (there have to be some guidelines because I'm journaling with what you send).

Things You Must NOT Send:


1. No perfumed items of any sort. Sadly they won't even make it into the drawing pool. (I'm that allergic—and if I have to hover over the smelly journal for days while working on other pages, you get the idea…)

2. Nothing that has been sprayed with fixative of ANY type, or written on with any solvent inks.

3. Nothing that has been in close proximity to or stained by food (I just don't want to deal with the archival and bug issues). This includes fortune cookie fortunes. (I've got a ton of them I'm saving so there's no point.)

4. Nothing vegetative. (See item 3.)

5. Nothing animal—hair, fur, feathers, etc. (See item 3.)

6. Any original artwork of yours unless you are truly comfortable with my character totally defacing it and maybe obliterating it.

7. Nothing one-of-a-kind at all. (See item 6.)

8. Nothing of value, except that it is valuable because it interests you or you think it might interest my character. (See item 6.)

9. Nothing three dimensional! It must be flat and be able to be glued down. Cardstock thickness is workable, cardboard thickness is probably not going to get used.

10. Nothing you've already altered. (This includes everything from rubbing stamp inks on something to make it look aged, to dropping it in a puddle so the ink runs.)

11. Which reminds me—nothing wet or moldy!

12. Nothing commercial, unless it's simply paper scraps. So don't send store-purchased "fake" ephemera, but you can send a postcard, or scraps of marbled paper that you made or used on one of your own projects.

13. No photocopies.

14. No receipts for anything from your day—you'll probably need all that for your tax records anyway; and you don't live where my character lives so it would be difficult to explain how she came up with them.

15. Any personal records of any sort. My character doesn't need to  know anything about you.

16. Any whole or partial rolls of anything—i.e., no rolls of decorative tape which you could argue is flat, but which I would argue is valuable and excessive, and isn't flat in transit!

17. No shredded paper.

18. No chips of anything like paint or pottery, even if they are very flat.

19. NOTHING WITH ANY GLITTER or small micro beads on it.

20. No money or gifts of any kind—this is just about sending something I can collage with. If your envelope doesn't get drawn in April I'd never know would I?

Things I Think You Probably Should Not Send:

1. I don't know how I feel about scanned things that you then print and send the print of to me. Right now I think you shouldn't do this. But just maybe you're more in sync with my character than I am right now and you know she would love a scan of  the tread of your running shoe. Just know this is an iffy category to enter with.

2. I'm also not sure how I feel about very thin fabric swatches or bits of thin ribbon. The page I'll be working on isn't very supportive (thick) for thicker collage and this will be border line. But it might hit just the right creative nerve.

Things to Send:


1. FLAT, paper items like the following:
•scraps of paper
•scraps of decorative paper
•postcards
•photos (old or new, but if they are old they should not be one-of-a-kind, and they should not be valuable!)
•Newspaper or magazine articles or bits of articles from March through April 30th 2013 only. (So any day between now and April 29 because even if you live near me you have to mail it, you can pick up something, read it and send it to me.)
•Paper ephemera you picked up during your day—small handbills, flyers, etc.
•paint swatches from the hardware store, and anything similar to that, but flat. (Don't send any Pantone Swatches—that's like sending coals to Newcastle.)

2. Before you send anything please re-read the list of "Things You Must Not Send" and make sure your item isn't on that list.

Where To Send Your Bit of Stuff and How It Will Work.

1. All envelopes should be sent to me at  Roz Stendahl, P.O. Box 141434, Minneapolis, MN 55414. Nothing should be sent as an email attachment. 

I'm thinking that your item should ideally fit in a number 10 business size envelope or something similarly small. If you're sending a whole article you need to use a larger envelope, but then you might also want to reconsider what you're sending and just send me the headline to save postage!

2. Include your name and postal address CLEARLY printed on a separate slip or sheet of paper so that I can send you your commemorative button if your piece is drawn and used. (DO NOT WRITE ON THE ITEM you're sending to me.)

3. I will NOT be announcing receipt of any items in this drawing. You'll find out if your piece is used either because you are reading the blog and following along with my posts and spot your piece on a page, OR because you receive a button in the mail back from me.

4. Do not write on the item and don't send any explanation with the item.

5. Each day in April I'll draw an envelope, open it up and see what's inside. If it contains something on the "Things You Must Not Send" list it will be tossed and another envelope will be drawn.

6. Any envelope drawn from April 1 through April 30 containing a useable (as determined by the guidelines) item will have that item used on that day's journal page. The sender will receive a commemorative button for 2013 IFJM.


That's it! So if you would like to join in on the interactive journal now you know how to do it. Keep your eyes open! And mail early so I have something to work with. Thank you.

UPDATE: The Interactive portion of my 2013 fake journal celebration has ended as of April 18, 2013, at 11 p.m. (CST) when I filled my fake journal. Do not send any more entries. Information on ordering a button will appear in a separate post.

Friday, March 8, 2013

My Preparations for My 2013 Fake Journal


It's March and time to start thinking about my 2013 IFJM journal. What type of book am I going to use? Which media? Who's book is it? What is that person like? How does that person journal? Will the journaling be done out in the field or in the studio? (That might make a difference to the type of paints and inks I use.)

So with all those questions swirling around in my brain I start to think about what media and what paper I want to work on.

And a journey begins, which could be full of turns down cul de sacs, and retreating steps, until it's April first and off I go.

This year in life drawing I took some DaVinci gouache to a session and the next week, after being in a plastic bag the paints were still very soft. (My regular palette sits out and will dry out eventually, though I sometimes put it in a plastic bag with a bit of moist paper towel—a very little bit—to create a humid environment in the bag.) The DaVinci gouache is lower quality (in pigment type and load) from what I normally use, so they are much less expensive. I purchased 4 test tubes in February 2012(!) and never got around to testing them because I love the gouache I use every day. (Schmincke, and some M. Graham.)

Left: My first tester sheet, explained in the text. The page was torn out of a notebook and pasted into my current journal for reference purposes. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

But IFJM is a chance for me to bust up some of my habits, and I was intrigued that the DaVinci was still so pliable. I figured I could slather the stuff on and not worry about waste. (I don't normally worry about paint waste when I'm painting, but I tend to paint in a considered manner, with a bit of a plan because my PB60 is after all about $20 a tube! Also there are times when you want to use the best materials possible, and there are times when it doesn't matter what you use. My 2013 character doesn't care what she uses, I'm happy for that.)

I grabbed my DaVinci palette and did some quick ugly paintings, throwing color over quick ink sketches I'd done in a lined notebook during a vertigo episode. 

I wasn't concerned with realistic color. I was interested in two things. Could the notebook page take water media and did I like moving this particular paint around on the surface—like it enough to take it to life drawing again that night, and maybe use it in my fake journal.

The thin notebook paper buckled, but the paint didn't bleed or seep through the paper. It would be possible to work on the other side of the page. (I like working on lined papers or gridded papers when I'm journaling.)

Left: Another trial sketch. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

I filled in another ink sketch quickly with the soft paint, not carrying about blending. I just wanted to move the paint around.

At that point I knew two things (or thought I did). I wanted to keep a fake journal full of 3 minute brush pen sketches that were painted with cheap gouache. I saw the pages as full of additional painting and sketches as well as ephemera and stuck on bits. I saw the thin pages barely holding up to the work and thought, yep, that will be a lot of fun.

Left: A quick try out of the triad of sample colors of DaVinci Gouache I had on hand. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

I did a quick triad diagram to think some color mixing through before going to life drawing with the paints I had.


I went off to life drawing with the paints, knowing that I needed more than the 4 tester tubes for my April project. I didn't get to use any paint in life drawing that night because the format changed, but I went immediately to Wet Paint and selected a bunch of gouache colors in the DaVinci line. They don't have some of my favorite pigments in gouache (such as PB60) but I'm not keeping this journal right?!

Fake journaling is a great time to relax your usual prescriptions and phobias and rules!

I also purchased an APICA notebook, a large one that's about 9 x 12 inches (it isn't on the table so I can't measure it for you.

I thought I had a photo of it I could show you, but instead I found this post about selecting a journal for IFJM. This photo shows one of the company's other books (the red notebook, which I actually used in 2010).

Also if you go to my February 13, 2012 post on "Time to Start Thinking about Which Journal…," you'll find a photo of other notebooks (Clairefontaine) which I like because of the elaborate ruling found in some styles. All of this is something to consider.

Since I really like to use SEWN journals so they don't fall apart, it's the one thing I have pretty much always insisted on for IFJM. Even the APICA multi signature journals I've used in the past that are soft covered have been sewn so I'm OK with them.

HOWEVER, here comes one of the twists that always happens when you open your mind to creativity—I found out about a new type of journal (new to me) with a dotted grid pattern on it. The journal also had a hardcover. I really wanted to take my fake journal out and about with me and not have it just in the studio and at home (last year my fake journal never left the house because the keeper of the journal was under house arrest). I thought if I had a hardcover journal this year the fake journal, which was going to take quite a beating anyway, would be somewhat more protected.

If you go to the link for the Leuchtturm 1917 you'll find a book that looks a lot like a Moleskine. Except for the Moleskine watercolor books I don't like Moleskines much at all so I wasn't too excited.

But then I saw the dotted grid patterned pages and saw that I could get a large journal—9 x 12.5 inches—so I was intrigued.

A new plan began to form. I decided to order one of these journals. If it arrived in time I would weigh whether or not I'd use it as my 2013 fake journal. If it didn't arrive I would just start using the APICA journal I had on hand. 


There are some great things about the Leuchtturm 1917 and some frustrating things, but after weighing the pros and cons last night I think it's safe to say that I'm going ahead with it as the structure for my fake journal. Because of the paper it contains, however I will probably do more pencil and paint work, and not use the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen as extensively as I thought I would. You'll see why when you read that review. I was on the fence for an evening and then just realized that it was actually a better project for me to use pencil and paints, or at least it didn't seem like an impediment.


We'll see how I feel on April 1!

In the meantime I know little about my "character" except that she is female and she likes to slather on paint. 

I also got the impression, through the fog that separates us at this point that she's a bit more messy than I am. And mess is a good thing in this case.

Which brings me to yet another twist in media—I went to visit my friend Diane who is recovering from foot surgery. She told me about Gelli Arts Gel Printing Plates. (We even called around town to see if we could get one—I was going to go pick one up for her since she was housebound and I know that can be frustrating! Alas no one had one in stock.) I looked at the ads and a couple videos when I got home that night and decided that it was just the thing that my character would want to use in her journal.

Go to YouTube and Google Gelli Arts Gel Printing Plate and you'll find a ton of videos with people using these to make mono prints. I found out today that a friend has been using one since last fall and she made a lovely short little video about them, but it's not up on YouTube so I can't send you there—I did however invite her to come and talk and demo at the MCBA Visual Journal Collective so if you're in town, keep your eyes peeled for details because Briana Goetzen is going to speak at the August 2013 meeting.

(You can see Briana's old blog Courageously Creating here. and her new blog, Orange Spiral Arts is here.)

The point of all this, I think you can see, is that it's an evolution of sorts. I carry the intention of the project always in my mind, usually starting in January, but this year starting in March. And then I sort of ping questions out to my character, waiting for answers to return—answers which tell me the type of book and materials to use.

All of this is of course fueled in part by what I might want to work on in my own art projects at the time. 

I know one other thing about this year's fake journal—it will take as much time each day as it takes. I've given myself permission to make heavily ladened pages and just wade around in the book. I have no expectations that a story will be told or that any of the journal will be understandable or even decipherable to anyone else. I love that. (I know in part that comes out of my own ongoing balance of public vs. private—because I have taught so much in past years my journals are way more public than they have ever been and to protect myself artistically I've shown less and less of my journals publicly.)

Whether I end up spending a luxury of time on the fake journal or not remains to be seen. So much is slightly off kilter in my life right now (by that I mean a huge amount of change is happening) that it seemed right to relax any constraints on the fake journal. Normally I suggest that people participating rein themselves in to something in the 30 minutes a day range so that it stays doable. 

For me, right now, it seems appropriate that I use any and all of my spare time for the project in April. Which means little other journaling, few stand alone paintings, less writing, maybe even less TV viewing (gasp).

I'm OK with that because I also know it can evolve off into another direction at any moment.

I hope you'll start thinking about your fake journal for 2013 and let the process evolve and take you in new directions. A huge part of the fun of this project is all the prep, which most of the time is swept away on April first when your character shows up; opens the book; says, "I'm in charge"; and gets busy working.  

Saturday, March 2, 2013

First Some Old Business from 2012

Pressing family obligations in April and May 2012 delayed my write-up of my 2012 fake journal experience. Sadly in a move of colossal stupidity I wrote my wrap up post on a scrap of paper not in my regular journal. When the dust settled it was nowhere to be found. I kept thinking I would rewrite it and more family obligations again came up. That's sometimes how things happen. Moral of that story: always write your write ups in your regular writing journal where you can find them!

It's been a mad dash through the months to today. More clutter has accumulated on my desk (which is unusual for me, but this is the way things seem to be). During a recent illness I had time to sort through all the accumulated pieces of this and that. I found many delightful tidbits. Alas I didn't find my 2012 write up, but I did find a couple pages of brief notes.

So here, before we move on to preparing for International Fake Journal Month 2013, are some notes that wrap up my 2012 experience.

Oh, and you'll note that there was a darkness to these ideas. There tends to be a darkness to my fake journals, perhaps because there isn't much darkness in my actual journals. I think these are all good ideas to explore. They just might not be journals I would like to post for public consumption. My regular journals have been shifting into private mode again in the past 3 years. It came as no surprise to me that my ideas for IFJM 2012 were all rather private as well.

Notes (from a beat up piece of paper found at the bottom of a pile)—


• Originally I had huge plans for IFJM 2012. I was going to go to a particular corner every day and draw. I had a vague notion that this was somewhere someone close to the journal keeper had died. 

• The idea morphed into views from a particular bridge. The idea of working with architecture appealed to me. It seemed at first that the character might actually commit suicide at the end of the month.

• I decided I didn't want to do my musings on death in public. It's not how I work as an artist. I muse in private and then go public with what I think is useful or helpful to me and my relationship with the world. For me a big part of fake journaling and the aspect of posting hinges on maintaining healthy boundaries within which I have complete freedom to create. If it isn't something I want to post I might hinder myself in the actual creation, unless I decide that it will be a non-posted year.

• IFJM is also about growth in skills so the task of architecture was a good one…


Now as to what actually transpired:
I found that my initial plans really would be too time intensive. They were abandoned for a closer look at the life of a character who had simple goals—to look at the clouds every day. (For reasons readers will understand.)

Here's what I firmly believe about IFJM and fake journals. You have to sit with ideas for even a short while (more than a couple days) to know if they fit for you and your current life—are the ideas actually doable given the current demands on your time and the responsibilities in your life?!

During last IFJM I was enrolled in 3 classes at the Atelier (trying to reconnect my brain, eye, hand). If I were going to go ahead with either of the architecturally-based ideas one of which included a character named Frank, I would have to carve out at least 90 minutes a day and that wasn't possible.

Sometimes you have to push yourself. You also have to have a clear assessment of your limits. 

That applies to your regular journal practice—if you're obsessive about journaling to the point of exclusion you have no life. 

It made perfect sense for me, therefore, to focus on one simple page spread a day, and work on mixing blues and whites to create clouds (the skill building portion). 

I ended up spending 15 to 30 minutes a day on my 2013 fake journal and that worked out to be just about right. Useful, but not burdensome given other constraints in my life.

Through a process of sitting down and casting about for ideas and then looking carefully at those ideas I found one which I wanted to explore; an idea I was happy exploring in a public forum; and an idea I could execute in a brief amount of time.

This is something that I encourage you all to do whether this is your first time keeping a fake journal, or you've done it before.

I want you to have a positive experience.

That's my wrap up for 2012. 

In the next few days I'll post about prepping for 2013 to jog your memory and get you planning a doable concept.

I will also introduce this year's button, slogan, and my own plans.

I hope you'll check back during March to see what I'm up to, and for help in your own planning. I look forward to seeing what you do in your 2013 fake journal.