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.

2019 IFJM Celebration
IFJM has been suspended indefinitely. Please read the pinned post about this below.

Participants who Post Their Journals
A list of 2018 participants who are posting their fake journals this year will appear near the top of the right side bar of this blog around April 6. Lists of participants who posted their pages in 2010 through 2017 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?"

Monday, April 29, 2013

One Last Plea for an Address of a Contributor

I've got the buttons for the "interactive" portion of my 2013 fake journal ready to mail out, but I NEVER HEARD BACK from the person who posted a "sewing" related item from Texas.

If you are that person please write to me at Rozjournalrat@gmail.com with your postal address. Have the Subject read, "It's Me" or "I sent it" and then in the body of the message tell me what it was you sent.

Don't respond to this post in the comments section.

If I get a note from you still this evening I can have it in tomorrow's mail with the other buttons. If not it will still go out to you but it will have to wait until I find myself able to go to the P.O. (which frankly is rare these very hectic days).

So please let me know.

Thanks again to everyone who sent in interesting scraps and flat tidbits that I could incorporate. I hope you enjoy your buttons.

(For anyone who wants to get a button but didn't participate I'll let you know what the cost will be after I've been to the P.O. I couldn't find any more of the small envelopes I like to use for this and which I'd had weighed at the P.O. so I really have no idea right now how much postage will be—in one of those weird "this just shouldn't be moments" the larger envelopes actually cost a little less, so who knows what is going on.)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Some Sketches Didn't Make It Into the 2013 Fake Journal

Left: A 12 x 16 inch sketch of "Paul Drake," from season one of "Perry Mason" that didn't make it into the journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

I hope to write a more informative post this weekend about the hows and whys of my 2013 fake journal. But as you know from other posts this year, many sketches for it were done on loose papers.

Not all of those sketches made it into the journal.

Some of you may know of my fascination with "Perry Mason" reruns. I've been watching them since around the beginning of the year. Sketching the character actors in each episode kept me sane through the early months of 2013 when I had bronchitis.

It seemed natural then when I started keeping the fake journal that I might sketch some "Perry Mason." Early in the fake journal process I did the sketch shown today of actor William Hopper as Paul Drake.

The sketch was so large (12 x 16 inches—not including the lettering) I had to keep taping more pieces of yellow legal pad together to keep sketching. When I finished I knew I'd have to paste it on its side across the gutter of my fake journal or if I kept the vertical orientation it would have to fold down. I thought about the latter quite a lot. I glued the image to a piece of sumi paper just for that purpose.

But when it came time to think about adding it into the fake journal, I just couldn't fold it. My character, who likes to destroy and cover over images couldn't even do it. It's not because I think this is a great sketch of Drake. I've done a dozen that capture him more recognizably. It's just that Paul Drake's character had become so important to me by the end of March and beginning of April, when the shit literally hit the fan, that we simply couldn't do it. This pensive stare just had to be saved.

(If you want to see how I feel about Paul Drake read "Don't Worry, You Don't Need To Call the Police. I Let Myself In—Paul Drake: The Hardest Working P.I. on TV")

By April 3 this sketch was taped to the door behind my desk chair—in other words, Drake has my back. And as each new emergency came up I said to myself, "WWPDD?" (What would Paul Drake Do?)

Hardworking, resourceful, able to handle himself in all sorts of situations (but able to not get into situations), Paul also knows when it's sometimes best to just go fishing.

In the past few weeks I have annoyed friends by punctuating conversations with "WWPDD?" It's good for a girl to have a role model.

Originally when I taped the sketch to the wall I thought I would create a painting based on the sketch. But as time went by I realized I liked it just the way it is. Next week sometime I'll be taking it down and gluing the entire sketch and the text to a big piece of mat board. I'm sure I'll stencil and maybe even "Gelli" print on the mat board. Then I'm going to frame the whole thing "just as it is," a reminder of an IFJM 2013 that doesn't have to be folded up, closed, and put in a box (which is actually how I'm going  to have to store the 2013 fake journal because it's bursting at the seams—but that too I'll write about another day).

As IFJM 2013 starts to wind down take a moment to look back over your pages. What do you know now about your character, and your character's approach and outlook? What new directions will you go in your real journaling because of the process? What creative souvenirs (which are carried internally not just externally) will you be bringing back with you? Take a moment to write about that in your real journal.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

DaVinci Gouache—A Review and Why I Used It in My 2013 Fake Journal

Left: The plastic palette I set up for working with DaVinci gouache for this project, and a bag of tubes of DaVinci Gouache. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Note: My favorite gouache remains Schmincke Gouache. You can read numerous posts at Roz Wound Up describing why I love to work with that wonderful paint—not only because the line contains PB60. If I can't work with Schmincke gouache I will work with M. Graham (but that line is severely limited by the lack of PB60). Read this review to learn if DaVinci holds promise for your working methods. I will continue to use DaVinci off and on for sketching until I empty the tubes but I will not use it for my paintings and I will not recommend it to students wishing to study color theory.

Sometime in March I went to life drawing and finally tried the four tubes of DaVinci gouache I had purchased in February 2012! (I know I purchased them then because I date paint tubes when I bring them into the studio.)

I put the plastic palette on which I'd laid out the pigments into a plastic bag (like the one shown in the photo) and left them for a week while I did other things at home. I was amazed a week later that the paints were still soft-ish. That got my mind thinking.

Then I decided to do "ugly paintings."

I'm not stingy with paint. And I don't feel reluctant to use it when I am painting. However, I intended during April 2013 to paint for hours each day and run through a lot of paint. I thought it would be useful to have a less expensive paint for this process. The lesser quality of the paint didn't matter to my character—she doesn't care about archival issues and lightfastness and such the way I usually do.

I thought the 2013 fake journal would be the perfect time and place to spend some concentrated time and effort getting to know this line of paints.

I decided to go out and purchase some additional tubes of DaVinci gouache for the 2013 fake journal. Since the line doesn't include PB60 I was forced to use their Phthalo Blue and Ultramarine Blue. Because of that I also picked up additional colors not in my usual palette, such as Raw Sienna. I wanted to push the color choices into areas I don't usually go—further distancing myself from this paint and the color palette.

I used the following colors listed here in no particular order, well actually the order in which I pulled them out of the bag: Venetian Red, Red Violet, White Titanium, Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna, Raw Umber, Burnt Umber, Ultramarine Blue, Phthalo Blue, Magenta, Red, Red Rose (Quin), Yellow Medium, Yellow Ochre, and Yellow Light Hansa. You can find a listing of DaVinci Gouache and the pigments each color contains at their website. I purchased my tubes at my favorite local art supply store Wet Paint, but they are available in numerous locations across the country if you wish to try them.

My methods and rationale for working the way I did in this year's fake journal will be discussed at length in a later post but I wanted you to see some images of one spread in which I used a DaVinci Gouache sketch today.

It was my hope that I would take many progress shots of the elements in this journal. Unfortunately the quick circumstances under which I was working didn't always allow for this, but I have almost a full set of the components that make up the process of the "clown" spread.

(I've made arrangements to have the final book shot with good lighting, but for now I have these photos  taken as I was working through the book.)

Click on any image to view an enlargement.

Left: I began with a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen sketch on Fabriano gridded paper. I had 9 x 12 inch sheets and they weren't large enough so I taped two pieces together with washi tape (red berry pattern visible in some areas along the seam). I then painted using DaVinci gouache. Then I cut out the image. 

Left: A detail of the clown face.  
Left: Additional detail from the clown image.  
Above: The journal page spread before any art was added to it. This is an acrylic paint monoprint made using the Gelli Arts Printing Plate, and also additional paint added by rolling the brayer across the page.  

Left: The Clown painting glued into place on the page spread. Note that the book was already so full at this point in the project that the painting wraps around a bulge to get down into the gutter, thus distorting the image slightly. I like that, or rather, my character did.  

Left: I was gluing collaged items into this book with PVA because I knew I would be painting on future pages and the moisture from paint on a future spread would seep through the page and potentially dislodge a painting added with something simpler like glue stick. What happened when I used PVA surprised me. The PVA put moisture into the painting through the back of the sheet I was gluing. Then when I laid it in place on the spread and positioned a piece of wax paper over the painting to burnish it in place I found that enough moisture came through the paper that it softened the paint and the paint lifted off onto the wax paper. (This happening in only a few seconds; less than a minute.) The remaining painting often lacked final details as they came off on the wax paper. A very interesting phenomenon totally in keeping with the process and desires and attitudes of my character. The painting had been completely dry when the image was glued. Sometimes there were days of drying before an image was glued into place. I routinely paint with Schmincke gouache and glue down those images with UHU Gluestick. It doesn't have sufficient moisture to reactivate the paint. I will have to do additional tests at some other date to see how PVA effects Schmincke gouache. Click on the image to view an enlargement. 

Left: The final page spread shows the sketch glued in place with additional collage material glued at the side and rubberstamped text.

Problems I Encountered with DaVinci Gouache:

1. The line doesn't include all the pigments I enjoy working with specifically PB60. This forced me to be experimental in my color mixes and it's good to push out of your comfort zone sometimes.

2. The gouache is very stiff after only a little bit of working and I ruined two quality synthetic brushes. (I would recommend that people working with this paint use stiffer brushes like a Bristlton). I found it was fun (not a bad thing) to keep pushing the paint around, but the result was bristles bent beyond repair. I could compensate and add more water in more quickly, but I did enjoy pushing the paint around even though I knew I was ruining a brush. (The paint pulled and "stuck" so much when I was moving paint around that one side of a filbert actually curled away from the main body of the brush. The other brush was a round and was quickly worn and splayed.)

3. Thick layers of paint tend to dry with an almost slick surface which is indicative of how they are formulating their paint. If you're used to a matte gouache that isn't going to be achievable. I think the slick surface might be caused by the type of gum Arabic used, or some other binder additive I'm unaware of being included in this paint.

4. Mixing even pigments I'm accustomed to mixing I found the results were muddier than when mixing Schmincke gouache.

5. Washed out glazes of these paints are not as rich and saturated as either Schmincke or M. Graham brands of gouache.

6. There is a "cloudiness" to the washes of color when used lightly.

7. The tackiness of the paint is a distinct disadvantage when you are painting on non-typical surfaces, particularly toothy ones like the sumi paper I used for a background for this painting of a French Bulldog on a different spread. I found it was difficult to control the strokes in my normal fashion.

Fun Things I Encountered with DaVinci Gouache:

1. The slick surface mentioned in item 3 above is something I actually became fond of. I could rub my finger over the dried surface of the painting without marring it. The impasto created allowed for more showiness/messiness in the brushstrokes which my character (and I) loved.

2. Even in thick applications of paint the gouache holds well to the page, even when that page is repeatedly bent. It is a flexible paint film for gouache.

3. The paint stays softer on the palette longer than other brands I've used. If you're going to use an inexpensive, lower quality paint I recommend you use this brand instead of Lukas, Holbein and such. I think you'll get more out of your paint because you won't have to reconstitute it as much and it won't be crumbly when you do. (Note: when I rewet Schmincke and M. Graham I do not have problems with crumbling.)
Note: If you think that M. Graham gouache has a tacky consistency and you don't like that you will find that DaVinci is even more tacky, as expressed in the comments in both the problems and fun categories of this list. I think that M. Graham has a smooth and even consistency and is slightly more tacky than Schmincke (which I also feel has a smooth consistency). However DaVinci is much more tacky thank M. Graham. It will have the benefit of staying soft on your palette longer, but I think it's downright sticky compared to the other brands.

4. There is good opacity in this paint, though often I had to paint a first layer and then let it dry and paint an additional layer. Most of this I believe was due to the unsuitable paper on which I was painting. Some pigments were less opaque than others as is true in any line.

5. There is no unpleasant binder or other smell in this paint. (Winsor and Newton Gouache has a chemical smell that bothers me. So does Lukas.)

Additional Comments

You can find a color chart with lightfastness ratings and pigment numbers on the DaVinci site. They provide Cobalt Hue and use PB29 to do it, which is the pigment used for French Ultramarine Blue. They are doctoring it in some way to come up with a less expensive Cobalt paint. If this is a pigment that matters to you you'll have problems with that. The yellows are disappointing to me in range and in lightfastness. I would not recommend this paint to my color theory students if they wanted to have great success mixing and discovering colors they love. But if someone wants a less expensive gouache that doesn't stink and has a bit of room for some play in brush handling he might like this paint.

Get a limited number of tubes (a red, a yellow, a blue) and test them. (Oh, and the year old paint I had, it was just fine.)

Just don't try to wet the backs of your paintings with PVA and glue them down!


Since finishing the fake journal I haven't used DaVinci gouache until this past week. Tonight I was working in another journal with it on the back of a previous painting made with DaVinci gouache and I experienced the same REACTIVATION of dry paint that happened when I applied PVA to the backs of my loose sheet paintings.

You can go to the emergency post about this characteristic here.

What you should know is that I do not recommend DaVinci gouache for use in a visual journal because of this. (But if you should decide to use it my new post has some recommendations for you.)

I have NEVER had this problem with either Schmincke or M. Graham gouache brands and so of course I can still heartily recommend either of those two brands for anyone interested in working with gouache in their visual journal.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

More Background Tools and Materials Used in Roz's 2013 Fake Journal

Above: Rubberstamp ink and a message stamp; washi tapes in the background. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Note: This post doesn't encourage or endorse the purchase of the featured supplies. It is written for informational purposes, because I know people will wonder what I used on any given page. Please see a note about my philosophy on NOT acquiring a mass of new media or materials for journaling here. When you've been journaling your entire life you tend to end up with a lot of stuff, the use of which fluctuates based on your interests at any given time. 

I've been a rubberstamp enthusiast for decades. As a child I collected old office stamps. In the 1980s and 1990s I was heavily involved in mail art. I even produced two years of a quarterly fanzine—Stretch Marks. It was of course devoted to rubberstamps. But with the popularization of stamping and the proliferation of "cute" I left that arena.

Unlike some of my friends I didn't leave my rubberstamps. I thought this year, if my character was so bent on making a mess rubberstamps (especially those old office stamps I've collected over the years) would be very useful.

For ramping up the layering in my 2013 fake journal I used Brilliance Stamp Pads and reinkers and a variety of rubberstamps that were either old office stamps or "dingbats" (mostly custom, I had cast into rubber years ago).

Above: Custom and office stamps used in the fake journal. Yes, Roz has an index-cataloging system for her stamps—how else do you think she finds them! Click on the image to view an enlargement.

I think that Brilliance stamp pads are the best. They don't have any awful odors. The Graphite Black is the richest black I've found. When stamped and dry it has proven waterproof. I can go right in with watercolors. It solves all my stamping needs. But I do have a lot of their pastel colored "sparkly" pads as well, in unusual "tints." I found these were helpful for background texture throughout the fake journal. I also have a lovely dark purple and rich red from them, mostly used for lettering.

Rubberstamps were used just as I typically use them in my real journal, except that since they were out all the time and I didn't have to go into the back where the stamps are now stored, I could use them a lot!

Let's face it. I do miss my stamps.

Left: Large stamps from this company were used to stamp some words and text, and sometimes just for texture. Click on the image to view an enlargement. 

During April I had occasion to punch the covers and paper for 32 journals for a group project. I made over 400 punch motions, bringing the lever of the punching machine back with my dominant thumb. Halfway through this process I discovered that was a physiological error of great magnitude. I've been paying for that since and having to continue to rubberstamp (since it was the style my character was already using) was difficult at best. I mention my experience as a cautionary tale. I do not recommend that you do that much punching, and I certainly wouldn't do it if you are going to then rubberstamp. But even if you are going to rubberstamp, and you miss using your stamps—be careful. The repetitive motion will be something you'll pay for later—Learn from my error due to enthusiasm!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Tools and Materials Roz Used for Creating Backgrounds and Layering Effects in Her 2013 Fake Journal

Above: Brushes used in my 2013 Journal include, on the far left, Stencil Brushes, Foam Brushes, and rubber-tipped paint tools. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

NOTE: Same thoughts about acquisition of supplies I opened yesterday's post with applies today. I am writing about these products for informational purposes and do not believe that any of them are essential in any way for successful visual journaling. Read my previous note on my philosophy at the link.

My 2013 journal is filled with lots and lots of layers. It's pretty much "encrusted." To accomplish this I used several media and tools.

Above: Some of the sheets I printed using the Gelli Arts Printing Plate. I even printed over sketches (bottom right). Click on the image to view an enlargement.

First I used a Gelli Arts Printing Plate to print on mulberry paper (often colored sheets) or on the pages of the journal directly.

I think most of my friends would probably suggest that the Gelli Arts Printing Plate was responsible for all the chaos that ensued!

In March I was visiting a friend who'd just had foot surgery. She'd been watching videos about the plate on YouTube (go to YouTube and keyword search, you'll find a ton of stuff). As anyone who has ever made a gelatin plate can tell you it often doesn't turn out as you would hope and the resultant plate is fragile. And it degrades. So as soon as I saw this product I knew I wanted to try it and when we couldn't find one in town (we called everywhere) I ordered one online and had it in a couple days. At which point I started printing. I had already realized the paper in my selected journal wouldn't be suitable for the mixed media work that I wanted to do so collaging these papers over the pages would be a great solution. Also printing directly on the journal pages created an acrylic paint layer that "beefed" up the paper, or rather stopped the absorbency of it.

Above: Following recommendations on the internet from people already using the Gelli Arts Printing Plate I selected an inexpensive craft acrylic paint—Americana. I found this paint to yield excellent results with the plate. I wasn't worried about archival qualities because my character wasn't. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

I have friends who have used various tube acrylics, but this is the only product I've used with my plate. I will leave it to others to inform you as to their results. (Note: In October 2013 Briana Goetzen will be speaking at the MCBA Visual Journal Collective about her use of the Gelli Arts Printing Plate. I encourage you to attend the meeting—which is free and open to all adult journal keepers. We'll have a couple plates and some other supplies on hand so that you can give it a try for yourself.)

Above: Stencils of all types were used. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

I've used stencils in my real journal in the past, but because I was going to use the Gelli Arts Printing Plate I purchased a couple new stencils and got out ALL my old stencils—everything from pre-cut templates to tag board letters. Besides using these stencils in the printing process (again, any video on the Gelli Arts Printing Plate will show you various ways to use stencils with it) I also used them to add additional layers and color to my page spreads with rubberstamp ink, but that's a post for later.

Using the above items and also an 8-inch wide brayer I made the base backgrounds for my journal pages.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Pens (and a Couple other Items) Roz Used in Her 2013 Fake Journal

Above: Before putting my supplies for this project away I gathered my pens on my drawing board (there are still drips of paint on the surface!) and photographed them. Read below for details. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

NOTE: It's very important that you understand, before you read this list that I am not in any way advocating or urging you to buy any of these items. I have not been, and will not be, reimbursed in any form by any manufacturer or store for writing about these products.  
I am supplying this list for informational purposes because people always ask me 10,000 questions about such things. Now you can just read this post. 
I want to be perfectly clear that I believe that journaling is about you, your mind, your eye, your hand, and the simplest tools that can get the job done: a favorite pen and a suitable sheet of paper. (Anything more for many people will be superfluous, and for many more it may be detrimental.) All you need then is your time, which you can choose to spend observing and recording.
Going down the rabbit-hole of acquisition of art materials is not going to improve your art or your happiness. Stay with one media you find simple and usable for weeks and even months, honing your skills thinking about your "style" before you branch out into another. Buy a couple items from a line to test the line before plunging into a full set of anything.
Wise people suggest never grocery shopping on an empty stomach. The same wisdom applies to shopping for art supplies when you don't have a conscious plan of action in mind and you feel vaguely out of sorts and begin to believe there just might be a perfect pen out there and you haven't found it yet. There isn't one. There's just the pen in your hand, and that hand, your eye, your mind. You can't get away from yourself. If you haven't been sketching no pen will aid you. Use your mind.
Please read my post Journaling Superstitions #13: Special Tools Make the Difference. I don't want any new journal keepers or any new fake journal keepers to be confused on this point. In fact in past posts I've written that IFJM is a great time to whittle down your tools and focus on one medium for an entire month. This year I happened to create a very mixed media journal. I want to be very clear on my philosophy.

I used the following tools (because not all of them are pens) shown in the above photo:

A: burnishing tool from 3M (for smoothing out items that are glued down).

B: These 3 "Brushables" by Zig marker were used at various times in my fake journal—mostly to outline stamped lettering. I had three very light colors to only give a shadow of color. There is a different color (both light, related tints) on each end of this brush pen. The ink is waterproof and archival.

C: The Sharpie Poster Paint Marker—this is not solvent based and doesn't smell. It is a great opaque white pen.

D: The Pentel Aquash Brush Pen with Light Black Pigmented Ink. I have written about this at the link provided. It is a great pen for sketching.

E: Two Pentel Pocket Brush Pens. A pen I'm never without, a pen I love to sketch with and with which I did the majority of the sketches in the fake journal. You can read about the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen (and it's sister the Color Brush) here. You can see a five part series on sketching with the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen starting here.

F: Several colors of the Faber-Castell Pitt Artist's Brush Pen, along with two of the line's Calligraphy pens. I outline with the brush pens and I sketch with their Calligraphy pen.

G: Laying horizontally above everything is a Staedtler Pigment Liner. Typically I use this pen for writing and sketching in my real journals. It wasn't used at all in this journal. It was on the table for note taking.

H: The Faber-Castell Pitt Artist's Jumbo Brush Pen in white. This is a lovely large brush tip filled with white India ink and very opaque. I carry one of these with me everywhere now that Don Colley has alerted me to them.

I: Montana markers in various tip sizes. The red on the left, pink and white are all 15mm, the orange is 30 mm, and the red on the far right is a fine point. I also used a light blue 15mm, but that's always in my bag so it isn't on the table. These markers are refillable with special acrylic paints. They are made for graffiti artists, but they area great for visual artists of all types. The white is also fairly opaque. I used it for the background on the "peek" with birds everywhere in the background. The fine point red (and on one page the wide nibbed red) was used to write some journaling text throughout the journal.

J: Ziller Acrylic ink (violet and brown) in two little sealed palette cups.

K: A dip nib mounted in a plastic nib holder. (Crowquill nib.) I used this and a G-Nib for various bits of journaling in the fake journal. The acrylic ink worked great over all the various surfaces created on the pages.

L: The other non-pen type tool used in the journal—a big bag (not completely shown) of lots of different designs of washi tape. I doubt this stuff is archival in any way; I expect it to grow old, and slide off the pages, or become brittle, or whatever. But my character didn't care about archival qualities of her materials and she was having so much fun using this tape that even though she wasn't scanning her pages (impossible) to capture the moment I thought, "Aw, wtf, let her do it." And I did.

Everyone of the above products worked great in the fake journal, whether the surface of the page was covered with acrylic paint, a Gelli-arts acrylic paint monoprint, collage paper, or just the exposed original paper of the journal. The Brushables are new to me and this is the first time I've used them much at all. All the other tools I've been using in my own journaling, in different ways, for years; the exception here is the Montana acrylic markers—I used a couple last fall, and then not at all. Then in the past several months I started using them again. I mostly use these markers for quickly filling in backgrounds when I want to isolate the figure. As I did here in a sketch of a beaver at the Bell Museum. Not only are they quick drying but the ink/paint is pretty opaque, and it is fairly matte when dry and easily takes most types of pens that I enjoy using.

Later when you see more of the pages you'll have a sense of what I was using because of this list.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Papers Used in Roz's 2013 Fake Journal

Above: Three "notebooks" that I scavenged paper from for my 2013 Fake Journal. Top left: APICA Notebook, ruled; top right: Fabriano notebook with gridded paper; bottom center: Quatro pad, gridded. All pages are approximately 8.75 x 11.5 inches. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

This year I fell in love with a commercially bound journal that had lightweight paper. But I wanted to use it anyway. Right away my character's mind started thinking of ways to use the book despite this impediment. (The book was the Leuchtturm 1917 Notebook.)

Drawing on other sheets of paper, painting on those sheets sometimes, was what my character ended up doing. It led to some interesting "events" which included the reactivation of gouache when the moisture of the PVA seeped through the paper I'd painted on and was gluing down and caused some of the paint to lift off on the wax paper I was using to burnish the paper in place; and with a lot of wrinkling of the moist papers I was gluing.

But I had a ton of fun. I love drawing on gridded and lined paper so my paper choices were perfect for sketching on in a variety of pens. And the top three items shown above all took gouache well, though the Quattro is the least fun to paint on with Da Vinci gouache. (I used Da Vinci gouache because my character wanted to use an inexpensive lower quality gouache.)

Left: here's a scan of one of the final sketches in the book, this one done on the Fabriano gridded sheets. That's washi tape down the center holding a couple sheets together. (I'll have more to say about that on another day.) I was working with a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. This sketch remained unpainted. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

The last few sketches in my fake journal, which I'm showing you in this post, were completed on Thursday, April 18 and scanned before I glued them to the final pages of the journal. I haven't shot photos of the journal yet (it's too bulky to do it on my own). I wanted you to have some examples of what I am writing about so I used these.

Left: The final sketch in my 2013 Journal before it was glued down to the page. It's Fabriano gridded paper with washi tape holding pieces of paper together. The sketch is done with a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and then painted with layers of Da Vinci Gouache. In this piece you can see heavy layers of gouache, and you can see light washes. While the paint seems to bead up on the washi tape here, I could, when I was using thicker applications of paint, cover the tape successfully. Even in this image, when the paint dried on the tape it stayed put. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Sometimes I did paint right on the page of the journal. In those instances I typically had previously applied some acrylic paint or a thin sheet of mulberry paper on which I'd made a monoprint with acrylic paint. Sometimes I painted over other sheets of collaged materials.

Above: Here's a detail of the last sketch so that you can see the gridded paper, the washi tape, and the thick and thin layers of gouache. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

But I wanted to show you these sketches and write about my choice of these papers. I was working on the Quattro paper, sketching with the PPBP before IFJM 2013. But I ran out of it when I started doing this in the fake journal and that's when I turned to the other papers that I had on hand. If you want to sketch and work in gouache, and don't mind a little bit of buckling I recommend these papers as an economical choice for doing a lot of studies and working out your ideas.

I also used the following extra papers in the way explained below:

• Office Max Yellow Legal Pads—for sketching with various pens.

• An 18 x 12 inch pad of Sumi paper (which I printed on with acrylic paint and glued over an entire spread as seen in this peek into the journal or which I cut into smaller squares and sketched on—which you'll see in another post).

• Pack of Black Ink Block Printing Paper from Blick (multiple colors) used to make monoprints with the Gelli-Arts Printing Plate and acrylic paint. (I think this paper is excellent for monoprinting with this plate and it is lightweight and easy to collage. The darker colors are particularly fun to print on. It is economical and I recommend it.)

• Strathmore Toned Paper (Tan) torn from a 9 x 12 inch spiral bound book and used for monoprinting. (Excellent.)

• Various letterwriting papers from Paper Source and Paper Depot (for printing and collage).

• Scraps of watercolor paper (both 90 and 140 lb.) that I had painted on with acrylics or printed on with the Gelli-Arts Printing Plate.

• Indian Block Print decorative papers.

• Scrapbooking pre-printed papers purchased in the bargain bin (35 cents each).

• Crescent Graffiti Paper 7 x 10 inches (Bleedproof for markers, smooth, used for printmaking in this book. OK for that, but a bit thick.)

• Text pages from an archival book—printed on and used as collage.

• Heavy weight tag board of the type used to cut stencils. I used it to cut stencils and to print on and use as collage material.

• Collage scraps package—package of decorative Japanese paper scraps that I purchased last year (no longer available) on which I printed, or which I just used plain for collage.

• Paper ephemera sent to me by people participating in the interactive phase of my journal this year. The papers received ranged from tissue weight to cardstock.

I was happy with all the papers listed in this post, for the uses I describe here. I will continue to use them in the future.

I also want to thank the folks who took time to send me something for the interactive portion of my journal creation. You all selected wisely! Your pieces all fit easily. We were often working in the same color palette. It was great fun. Buttons will be sent out to those whose pieces I received before April 17, 2013. Thanks so much.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Glue Tool That Saved My LIfe in 2013

Above: Mod Podge Applicator bottle. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

For my 2013 fake journal I had a lot of gluing to do—a lot of items I intended to collage down onto the pages.

I also knew that I was going to be painting on page spreads after gluing on the previous spread. I was concerned that my usual method of gluing—with the UHU Glue stick (purple)—wouldn't hold up to the ton of wet media.

Because of that I decided to glue with PVA (poly vinyl acetate). I didn't want to use gel medium because it tends to be too stiff for me, messier for me to use, and I don't like to have my hands exposed to acrylic media for extended periods of time.

Typically when I apply PVA I use a foam roller, but that means keeping a puddle of PVA out on a plate where it can skin over.

On a trip to Michael's to get some inexpensive acrylic paints to make monoprints with the Gelli-Arts Printing Plate (which I'll write about on another day), I found this wonderful little bottle and two roller tops from the Mod Podge people.

The set was under $10.

Beware of the competing product—Martha Stewart sells a set with a bottle and two rollers for a little bit more, AND her set doesn't come with the plain squeeze cap. Additionally her bottle's top is non-standard so it won't work well with a substitute cap you might have in your bottle parts drawer (if you have a bottle parts drawer that is). You will have to completely empty the entire bottle at each session as there is no way to cap off the leftover glue. (And if you leave the roller top on air will get into the bottle and dry the glue out.)

I've used this Mod Podge device almost every day since I got it. I still prefer using foam rollers because they are wider and the brand that I purchased from NASCO has a denser foam that doesn't collapse on me. So for bookbinding I'll still use the stand alone foam rollers.

But if you have a lot of collaging to do and are going to use PVA you might want to pick one of these up. Handy, well-thought-out, and thoroughly useful. (You could also fill them with liquid paints and inks.)

Note: While the PVA held up to most of the wet media used over a glued-down piece, or behind a glue-down piece on the next page (i.e., moisture seeping through the next spread to the previous spread where I'd used PVA to glue) there were some instances where things didn't stick down completely. (PVA was always given sufficient time to dry completely before any wet media was applied.) Most of the incidences of failure to completely adhere are probably because I didn't do my usual burnishing and weighting of the glued item. The book grew to enormous bulk and it wasn't possible to do that—also if weighted, moisture would seep through the thin pages and cause the gouache (which was watersoluable) to soften on the previous spread. So weighting wasn't possible. Would I do things differently? Nope. I'd still use PVA. And I'll always have one of these bottle sets around.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

A Peek at a Page in Roz's 2013 Fake Journal

Left: Pages 78-79 in my 2013 Fake Journal. Page size is approx. 9 x 12 inches. Read below for more details and some views from the earlier stages before the background was painted over with white to further isolate the sketches. Arrows are rubberstamped. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

I feel a little frustrated that I haven't been able to post any pages from this year's fake journal. For several weeks I've been the go-to family member focusing on getting my extended family in a stable situation.

I have one rule I've held to ever since I started blogging at Roz Wound Up in 2008. Creative production trumps documentation. If it's a choice of meeting my creative goals or posting about what I've been making, then posts always lose.

I haven't had time to put two thoughts together for my blogs (and I'm going to have to start doing that soon as my prepared posts that I pre-schedule are all used up!). But it looks like I'm going to fill this journal by the 18th so I wanted to post something in advance of that, and in advance of the video flip through I mentioned the other day.

I can't really start at the beginning today and fill you in on what's happening as I only stole a few minutes to post some particulars about this spread. I'll write more, in pieces, in the coming weeks.

I've been using the Leuchtturm 1917 Notebook with dotted grid pattern that I wrote about on Roz Wound Up.

Above: The page spread at the start of the process. You can see the Gelli-Arts printing plate prints on the pages and the collaged paper in the top left (also gelli-plate printed). And you can see my finch sketches—Faber-Castell Pitt Artists' Calligraphy Pen. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

The journal is totally unsuitable for the type of mixed media visual journaling I've been doing in it and my character finds it totally suitable. Most of my friends who have seen the 42 page spreads (84 pages) I've completed so far, think I'm off my nut. I am.

I asked a friend I trust artistically on Saturday if she liked it or hated it (she had a look of horror on her face). She diplomatically said, "Wait until the end of the month, put it away until June, and then look at it."

We had a good laugh.

Above: Detail of the finch sketch at the top center. Click on the image to view an enlargement. (This is before the background was overpainted with white.)

I hope you are all having a good laugh at least some of the time with your 2013 fake journals.

I can say that I've discovered a lot of things about me and a lot of things about materials (art materials). I can't wait to share them with you.

I'm working in brief bursts of writing to make intelligible and helpful posts that won't overwhelm your day with "reading." Because after all, you have pages to create too.

So there's one peek, and more to come. I have to say that while the jury is still out about the entire book (and that's a story in itself) I have to admit that I really liked this page of aviary birds, especially when I put in the white background paint—they look like those old printed bandanas people wore in the years before "Survivor" popularized the stretchy "buff."

If you hit a time crunch, keep working on your project and worry about showing it to people later. (Yes, Roz should have picked a more manageable approach as she's always telling people to do—but we never really know what's going to happen do we?) So keep working, and work hard, and have fun.

See another page spread peek, and discussion of the process, at Roz Wound Up on April 16, 2013.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

2013 Contest for IFJM

NOTE: Responding to this email in the comments section with your answer to the contest "hide and seek" means automatic disqualification—don't ruin it for someone else, follow the steps below to enter.

I'm happy to report that despite a chaotic family situation right now I've found time to keep working on my 2013 fake journal (I've got 30 page spreads so far as the "author" does 3 spreads a day—which means Roz has to stay up rather late, but it's keeping me sane).

Unfortunately the journal is impossible to scan (large and unwieldy—when you see it you'll see why) and so my only option is to video tape it. I have not yet had time to set up the lights and work out a way to do that. I expect to have some of it done by this weekend—so watch for the first in a series of video flip-throughs, and there's a good reason to watch for that.

This year for the contest I've decided to play a little hide and seek, which is perfect in the journal that's developing.

To participate in this year's contest you'll want to watch the videos I post of the journal. And you'll want to do the following as you watch:

1. Keep your eyes peeled for a small silver gray, retro looking ROBOT STICKER on one of the page spreads. (It's only about 1 inch tall on a 9 x 12 inch page, or an 18 x 12 inch spread as I'll show the journal in spreads.)

2. Make a note of which page you spot it on. You will want to note down what the dominant item from that page spread is, e.g., portrait of a dog (if you don't know the breed of dog, mention the color I used to paint it); portrait of a man or woman with some sort of distinguishing feature (blue hair, orange cheeks, whatever); portrait of a bird (ditto on the details). You will want to note down any important LARGE text on the page. Also include your postal address so that I can mail your prize. 

3. You will want to put the information from item 2 into an email and send it to me at rozjournalrat@gmail.com—the subject line must be 2013 IFJM Contest. (Be sure to include your postal address.)

4. You may only enter one time.

5. Your entry must be received within 48 hours of my posting of the video of the final section of the book. NOTE: It looks like I'll work through this book before the end of April if I keep up this pace, so I would suggest that around April 18 you really check every day to see if the final video has been posted.

6. If you spot the robot in one of the earlier videos (because I'll be taping the journal in parts) by all means go ahead and enter at the time you first see it and can note down the particulars of the page. But remember you only get to enter once. (There will be only ONE ROBOT in the entire journal.) If you want to wait and watch all the videos at once, or check yourself by all means go ahead and do that. Entering early is not important. All correctly directed and filled out entries go into the drawing.

7. Once the final video does go up I'll post a note as to the exact time the contest will end. Entries received before that time and which follow these steps will be put into a hat and a winner will be drawn.

8. The winner will receive a lovely little handmade book (I'm sorry I don't have a photo of it but it is really cute!). It is 3-1/16 x 4-1/8 inches (so just right for a pocket or small purse). It contains 60 pages of 90 lb. cold press watercolor paper that's perfect for all sorts of visual journaling with wet and dry media.  The covers are covered with gray Japanese bookcloth and decorative paper handpainted by me. (It has a retail value of $18.00, but I don't make these for sale any more so you can only get one if you win.) Even if you don't like to work small and have a journal in your pocket your fake journal author for 2014 might just enjoy that! And it will be the perfect journal for that. (Note: if between now and the drawing something happens to this little book I reserve the right to substitute another small handmade journal of equal value, just as cute.)

9. The winner will also receive a 2013 IFJM Commemorative Button.

So keep your eyes peeled. In the next few days I hope to make the first video installment and also start writing about what has been happening here during IFJM and in my journal. Once I post the first portion of the book in video form you can start looking for that Robot!

Happy Hunting!

Note: As of April 18, 2013, 11 p.m. CST the INTERACTIVE aspect of my 2013 fake journal is completed. No more interactive entries should be sent. (Due to a math error on my part I did too many journal pages each day and ended up finishing before April's end.)

NOTE: Responding to this email in the comments section with your answer to the contest "hide and seek" means automatic DISQUALIFICATION—don't ruin it for someone else, follow the steps above to enter.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

2013 IFJM Participants List Has Started

Just a heads up in case you come to the blog and don't normally look around on the whole "page." I've heard from several fake journal keepers who have already started posting their entries from their fake journals for 2013.

I have put those names in a 2013 Participants List that is located in the right-hand column of this blog, just below "Pages" and "Contests for 2013." If you click on one of those names (listed alphabetically by surname) you'll be taken to their blog or Flickr site which shows their 2013 fake journal entries. You can watch them grow over the month of April (and into May if they get behind in their scanning, as I know I'm already behind in mine).

If you are posting your blog publicly please send me an email at rozjournalrat@gmail.com and include the url of your public site (blog, website section, or Flickr section) and I'll be happy to add you to the list. (Be patient as a lot is going on here so I'll probably only update the list once a week on the weekend.)

I've just decided on what the "contest" for this year is going to be but I don't have time to post about it and explain until later this week. Don't worry, it will make sense once I start posting.

Until then, get busy in those journals. I've enjoyed seeing the pages people are posting.

I'd also like to provide some words of encouragement to folks who are working privately. Some of you have already been kind enough to send me private emails with a spread attached and it has been very fun to see that you are participating and to see what you're doing. I think there are a host of reasons to participate privately and I want you to know I hope you keep going and let your mind and your character wander and that you embrace the exercise with gusto. You'll get a lot out of it working privately too.

Everyone keep working—I know I have to go back to painting RIGHT NOW!

P.S. If you don't see your name on the list and you sent me a note already please send me another note because I must have lost it! I want to be sure to list everyone.

Monday, April 1, 2013

2013 International Fake Journal Month Begins TODAY

Left: The button for the 2013 IFJM celebration. (Maybe, more details to come.) Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Welcome to International Fake Journal Month 2013!

Today's the day to jump into your daily fake journaling. If you don't understand what all the fuss and bother is, take a few moments to look at the introductory links at the top of the blog. Read the "Tips" category for selections on how to pick a journal to work in and how to hone your idea for your character and your project into something manageable within the constraints of your life!

Then jump in.

I'll have more to say about my own 2013 fake journal in a few days (at least by the end of the week). This year my journal isn't scan-able (that's a long story and you'll hear about that soon enough) so I'm going to have to take photos and process those, and so it goes. A little more labor intensive than what I like to do for fake journal month, but I think the plan is an interesting one this year.

As to the illustration in this post—that's definitely the illustration on this year's button, or it will be when they arrive. The slogan may change. I had a super chaotic week when prepping the button files and screwed up. I didn't put on my "new-er" slogan (I was going to save this one for next year). When the buttons arrive in the mail I'll let you know what's going on. (I wrote a little about the confusion for this year's button on Roz Wound Up. Basically it was a case of too much stress, not enough sleep!)

In the meantime you can get a button by helping me with the interactive aspect of my 2013 fake journal. You can read about all that at this link.

Eventually you'll be able to order a button—which means you can get a free button, but I have to charge for the postage and package I send them in. I can't tell you what that's going to be yet since the buttons haven't arrived and been weighed for postage. I'll update you as soon as possible.

Update on the Interactive Aspect of My 2013 Fake Journal

For reasons which will be made clear soon enough, my use of the interactive materials I asked you to send me changed slightly as I prepared for this year's celebration.

Because of that everyone who sent me materials as requested in my "Interactive" post, and which I received on or before March 29, 2013 is getting a button. (I'm not trying to be secretive, and since you're all being rewarded I doubt you'll complain.) There wasn't any way around this.

I'm still hoping that others will send in small paper items as requested.

Those of you who sent something in so that it would reach me by that date will get a button mailed out as soon as the buttons arrive (which if I didn't totally mess up means they will go out next week, but if I messed up the buttons then you'll have to wait a bit). I'm telling you this because one particular correspondent sent many packets of scraps hoping to win a daily drawing and get a button. (Dana, you're getting a button, you don't need to send anything else!)

Entries received from April 1 on will be in the regular daily drawing.

You'll see the how and why of all this when you see the first introduction to my 2013 journal.

That leads me to one last bit of "paperwork." Someone in El Paso, Texas sent me a sewing related item.  There was NO RETURN ADDRESS, and NO NOTE inside the envelope. If you are that mystery correspondent and you would like to claim your button please send me your postal address in an email to rozjournalrat@gmail.com. In the email tell me what sewing related thing it was that you sent me (so I know it's really you, because of course I'm going to be inundated with requests for buttons from the residents of El Paso!) I'd love to get a button to you.

Now get busy. And don't forget to let me know a link to where you are posting your fake journal so that I can add it to the 2013 list of participants.

You don't have to post your journal to participate in IFJM 2013. You can do your work privately.

I hope that either way you do participate!