Let’s assume you are human. You’re going to make mistakes. We all do. They are part of life. Without taking risks, trying new things and making mistakes, we don’t learn new things. However, if we never try, we don’t learn anything. So, there’s nothing I’ve done in my journals that I couldn’t change. It doesn’t matter if it’s a misspelled word, an icky color, or a smudged stamp. I can always glue something on top, paint over it, or simply incorporate it into what I’m creating.

I several different times, as a child, I had one of those super boxes of 64 colors of crayons. They were one of my favorite things. I would often just spend time arranging the colors in an order that please me. Or, I would color various combinations on paper to see what they looked like. I was always fascinated by what new colors appeared when I squinted at my scribbles, using my blurry vision to combine colored strokes in my mind.

I have a great deal of difficulty with handwriting. When I was in High School, my English teacher asked me to write out my homework, like everyone else. So I did, I handed in a paper in my best, carefully done handwriting. The next day, she told me I had permission to print, or type from then on. She couldn’t read my paper. So, I get it. I understand that you might be afraid to write on your page.

So many people tell me that they can’t do an art journal (or Zentangle!) because they think they can’t draw. But, just about everyone had crayons as a kid. And when they did, they drew all sorts of things, like Mom and Dad, the house they lived in, the sky, trees and flowers. The problem isn’t that they can’t draw… the problem is that somewhere along the line, they were probably told, “That’s not what a looks like!

Every artist and writer has times when the Blank Page Monster takes over and they just can’t get started! For me, I slay this monster by using a pencil, and drawing a border lightly around the page. Then I write, lightly, what I’m planning on doing on the page. That’s usually enough to get me going. If I don’t really have a plan, and I just want to do something… I grab my watercolors and paint in the background.

I’m starting a new insert for a Chris.W micro Traveler’s Notebook. I am using an insert that I made, rather than one that came with the book. This time, I’ve chosen the theme of Monsters, in particular, the ones that I have vanquished. Everyone has “monsters” in their lives. They are both internal and external. Some of them are the voices in our heads that try to tell us that we can’t do something.

The micro, case bound book I showed you yesterday was a great book, but I didn’t like that it was a bit bigger than my tiny book shelf. I decided to make another, smaller book, this time with simpler, perfect binding. For the cover, I used a Gelli Plate print that I created with acrylic paint a while back. The print wasn’t great because the focal point got lost.

Right now, in the Micro Art Journaling group on Facebook, several of us are getting ready to do a “book swap” where we will be trading blank art journals that we have made with another person. It’s been quite a while since I’ve made a book, of any size, let alone tiny! But I thought I would start with trying a basic codex. This is the most basic, standard form of a book.

When I got back from vacation, look what was in my mail! I ordered this tiny Key-Per from Jot before I left. But because it was coming from Canada, it took a while to get here. Unfortunately, it didn’t arrive before I left. But check it out! It is a little less than 2 inches high, and a bit less than 1-3⁄4 wide, when closed. To give you a sense of scale, the star paper clip is normal sized.

I’ve come to the end of my teeny, tiny, micro art journal. I made this out of materials I had on hand as a test to see if I like doing art this small. I tried all sorts of things in it, and it was a lot of fun. I ended up making more than a weeks worth of layouts. There are a total of nine spreads in my little book.

The number of seeds in a dandelion are, like the number of stars in the sky… Beyond measure. It is the same with ideas. There is no knowing the number. All of us are artists when we are born…filled with infinite ideas. When we grow up, we no longer trust our own creativity. We think we must be like someone else. We are not good, we are not talented, we cannot do this.

Sticking with the theme of seeds, here I’m showing someone peering fearfully through a tiny window and looking out on a garden. The garden is planted with all the things that make us happy. So often, we push away the things that bring joy to our art. We are afraid to make mistakes, or worried about what someone will think about what we are doing. It’s important to allow ourselves to be happy!

Jokes and puns about pie abound in this household. It’s a popular food item, and also a popular numerical value. However, I set all of those aside, (perhaps to be revisited in their own tiny art journal,) so that I could use something that related better to the theme of the book I am working on. If you will remember back, I did a page where the fruit was harvested.

Today, I can show you the covers that fit the insert booklets you saw yesterday! I used the green leather you saw previously. I ended up using oatmeal colored elastic and I added some charms. I made two complete sets. The one on the right is for me, and the one on the left is a gift for a friend! Here, you can see all four booklets in each cover.

The first step in figuring out how to make my micro art journal from the parts I showed you yesterday was to figure how to make the inserts, and what size they should be. Next, I selected Canson Mixed Media paper to use as the pages. I chose this paper because I already know it handles wet media well. It is the paper that I use to make Gelli plate prints.