It was my darling husband who once told me that I “always go through this” when I haven’t painted for awhile. Scowling (and in a very bad mood), I asked what “THIS” was. According to him, every time I’ve been away from painting for a bit and try to get back into it, I seem to, well…get crabby, think I can’t paint anymore and nothing goes right, feel lost and procrastinate like heck.

He says that it takes me 2 or sometimes 3 days to get over this stage. Hmmm…I thought about this. By gosh if he wasn’t right (I hated to admit it).

This info was invaluable to me because now I could see it was my pattern. It’s just the way that I deal with getting back into the swing of things! Because I could see the pattern, I could deal with it.

Now, I allow myself to go through this stage. It’s still not fun, but I know it won’t last. And as I said last week I find some way to PLAY and be creative to get myself over that bad place. At times it might mean to simply clean my studio and do some rearranging. These journals are another way I’ve found to get myself over the hump and into painting. It works like a charm.


And guess what? After doing the journals last week, look at what I’ve been doing! These are five of the batiks I’m working on. Yep – all at the same time. If you’ve never batiked, it’s great fun. I’m having a blast, but it was tough to get going. Thanks to all of you for the kind words you sent me to help with the motivation. I’m supposed to be motivating you! So you guys are the BEST!

Here now, are instructions for how to finish your journals.

Step 1: Decide what sort of journal this will be. If you want simply to draw or write in it, use drawing paper. If you want to paint in it, I suggest 140 lb. watercolor paper. So many choices!

CUT THE PAPER to fit inside the journal. You’ll want to cut it a bit smaller all the way around, but remember that you’ll be folding the paper in half, so allow for that. Here you can see that I have cut two pieces of paper and fit them inside each other (This is called a “signature”).

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Step 2: CHOOSE YOUR RIBBON. I like to put three signatures (Two pieces of paper each for watercolor paper. You can do more if you use thinner paper) into my journals. You will need a piece of ribbon for each signature that you use. In this case, I’m using three pieces of ribbon.

Step 3: TAKE ONE RIBBON and string it through the center of the signature, hold it snugly at the bottom of the journal and tie a knot. This is what holds your paper in place!

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Step 4: STRING THE SECOND RIBBON through second signature, placing it either on top or the bottom of the previous signature. You’re stacking them up. Again, tie a knot at the bottom of the journal.

Add as many signatures as you’d like, using this same method.


Step 5: ADD THE BEAD FOR STABILITY. I love adding a bead!

As you string the last ribbon through the signature you add, wind it around the other ribbons at the top of the journal, then string it through the bead and knot it (again winding around the other ribbons to keep them all in place) just underneath the bead.

Then the ribbon flows down the journal and ties into the knot at the bottom, just like all of the other beads. There! It should be stable and ready to use.


Step 6: VELCRO THE OPENING. I find that the only Velcro that works is the ‘Industrial Strength” stuff. Now, I can’t say if they have it at the fabric store. I bought some there and it was too wimpy – so I went to Home Depot – ya! I could stick my cat onto the wall with this stuff. It has a self-adhesive, so you just peel off one side, stick it on…peel off the other, stick it on…and you’re done! Easy, which is just how I like it.


ONE OTHER THING: I love to embellish the journal before I even begin to put the pages into it. There are times when I think that these pieces need some added color. Remember that I’m using old, even unfinished paintings. For example, here I am adding some colored pencil to the tjap batik I’m using for a journal. But use anything that strikes you – acrylic paint, ink, marker, collage. The world is yours! Remember, this is your tool for getting yourself moving. Put on the music, get a glass of wine and HAVE FUN!


I’d love to show off any of your journals that you’d like to share with me. And thanks to all of you who have already shared yours. The photos will be shown on Thursdays.

Thanks once again for reading. I appreciate the time you give me out of your very busy day. Please SHARE with a friend if you’ve enjoyed this.

Now go paint!

Kathie xo

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