Sunday, 28 September 2014

Creative Blog Hop

Today's post is a little different. Last week Ruth - known to many of you as Lerusho - very kindly asked me to join in a blog hop designed to make known blogs that people might not know about and to share about the creative process. Each person chooses another two to pass the baton on to. You can find her post for the hop here. Ruth is great at sharing her creative process. Her step-by-steps are brilliant tutorials and there is always something new to be learned from her posts. The textures she creates just make you want to reach out and touch the screen.

As it happens, a couple of people also asked me shortly after Ruth, and some of the people I thought of had already been asked by someone else or were about to ask me. There's nothing like spreading the love :)

Anyway, the idea is to answer four questions and just share why and how you do your creative thing. 

journal page

Question 1: What are you working on at the moment?

I always have several journals on the go - my prayer and Bible study journal, that I don't share on this blog; an empty one that I am working on backgrounds in; a couple that have some background stuff in that I dip in and out of to put down my thoughts or quotes or whatever I'm working through. 

I also have some knitting, some classes on art journalling and prayer that I'm writing, and some ideas for jewellery going round in my head. 

Usually I would have a few more things on the go, but I've just moved house, so finished up several things beforehand. I like to sew, knit, crochet, make jewellery, bind my own journals, make cards, write stories for children and illustrate them.

a gelli-printed patchwork bedcover

Question 2: How does your work differ from others in your genre?

I'm not really sure that it does, necessarily, except in that each of us has our own unique style. I suppose what I really like to do is combine things. I've made paper beads, so why not make them with my own printed paper? I learned how to bind books, so why not write the story, illustrate it, and then bind the book? I suppose I like to get as close to the basic building blocks as possible. That's why I like to cook from basic ingredients; sew my own clothes and such, sometimes from fabric I've printed myself, such as the bedcover above; and make my own stencils and rubber stamps to journal with.

journal page

Question 3: Why do you create?

The simple answer is that I have to! If I haven't made something, in one way or another, for a couple of days, I can feel myself getting antsy :) My family even notices and push me into my studio with instructions to 'paint something!' My faith means that I believe that everyone is creative in some way, even if they haven't worked out exactly what that is yet. My creativity is something that helps me to process things, and as an introvert, to be energised. If I don't create, I start to wither.

gelli-printed rolled paper beads

Question 4: How does your creative process work?

This is a difficult one! With journal pages, what I generally do is start by putting down some colour without actually thinking too much about things. While my hands are busy my mind can chew things over. A bit more colour, some shapes, a little stamping. Then I might leave it for a bit until some words come to me - maybe a phrase or a quote or a single word. I'll use that as the 'title' and then add a few thoughts. Sometimes I find that a theme emerges over several spreads. God might be saying something to me and it takes a while for it to percolate through :)

journal page
At other times I might work through a book of prompts such as Journal Fodder 365, which I worked through in the last year doing one prompt per week. This can make me deliberately think about a particular subject rather than what just happens to be going through my head.

a prompt from Journal Fodder 365

gelli-printed leather hair clip
And now a shout-out to a few other people.

I came across Jessica Sporn's work on several challenge blogs. She has a distinctive style and I am blessed to have some of her work from where we were both involved in a circle journal/round robin project earlier this year. She teaches from her home studio in New Jersey and as a bucket-load of designs out there for stencils and the like. Jessica will be posting her answers to the questions above next Monday.

Also, check out Susan Carol's blog. She will also be posting next week, although Felicia Aaron asked her just before I did (sigh). Susan Carol explores her faith in her journal pages, sharing her thoughts and hopes and wrestling with faith. She has only been art journalling for a short while, but it has been great to watch her develop her own style and blossom on her blog.

For awesome lettering, hop on over to Mary Brack's blog. I love Mary's distinctive lettering style, her lists, and the love we seem to share of circles :)

For simple, heartfelt pages, check out Kathy at Paperpumpkin. Kathy can say such a lot with so few words. Love her pages.

Finally, I would like to say an enormous 'thank you' to everyone who reads this blog and takes the time to make comments. I don't acknowledge every comment - I'd rather spend my webtime looking at and commenting on your blog :) - but I appreciate every single one and endeavour to answer any questions you might ask. I would blog anyway, but your encouragement lifts my spirit.


  1. Tracy, thanks for continuing the hop, so great to know that I am not the only one who gets down if I can't or don't create, love all your projects, for a reason or another that's the first time I notice your beads, they look beautiful! And dear Tracy I can't wait to see your newly curved stamps in action, they make magic on your spreads. Hugs, Ruth

  2. Hi Tracy, I loved reading your blog hop post this morning, it was great! Loved learning more about you, Thanks for sharing. hugs, Patty

  3. I really enjoyed reading this, Tracy. You are always so inspiring with your projects and what you write. You make us think and inspire us to get creating and thinking for ourselves. Blessings to you x

  4. I really enjoyed reading this, Tracy. You always inspire me with your journal pages and what you write. You make me think and inspire me to create for myself. Blessings to you x

  5. Loved reading your blog hop Tracy! Sorry that I sneaked in on Susan before you....hee hee hee! Love your artwork and those beads are fabulous! Thanks for sharing! Blessings, :)

  6. I love the "simple" answer to Why do you create? I HAVE TO! I have my family pushing me into my studio as well when they see me "needing to"

    I also firmly believe that all of God's creatures are creative and it is just a matter of finding out HOW to express it.

    I am so glad to have gotten to know you better through this post and thank you writing it.


Thanks for dropping by. I read and appreciate all your comments.