Some questions were repetitive, so I have omitted duplicates and answered the rest as best I could. I hope you enjoy the resources I link to and the information I provided.
You mainly use black but what determines when you decide to use color in your lettering?
I use black to letter - then I usually go back right away and add color. Sometimes I say I will do it later - then never go back to do it. Though I will admit that sometimes, I just feel like coloring - so I will sit on the couch, while we are watching a movie or talking and just flipping through my current journal and finding letters I have not done anything with and color them in.
Do you go back and read or peruse your journals after you finish one?
And yes! I do go back and look at my finished journals - I enjoy it very much, it is like looking back through old photographs from a fond trip.
Do you set aside a certain amount of time to journal each day? Also, do you ever sketch out your page layouts or just wing it?
No, I do not journal EVERY day - but I do most days. I do not sketch out my pages, even if I have an idea of what I want to do at first, it ends up being very different (same when I am designing a greeting card for Paper Relics). Occasionally I may have a certain scrap, word or piece of ephemera I wish to use in a spread i am starting, and plan for it a bit.
What's in your purse? What do you carry in your purse to journal on the go? Markers, pens, pencils, colors?
I love seeing in other people’s purses - so I snapped a photo of mine. Generally I have a notebook to collect words, ideas, and snippets. I also always have a roll of Japanese masking tape in a pretty colored stripe and a black journaling pen. That’s it! I do try to bring my journal with me to work in while waiting for the dinner to arrive when we are out, or in the waiting room at the doctor, etc
Here is a shot of my journals - I always have the top one with me (that is my idea/notebook), then I will usually have either my agenda journal or my current Moleskine with me too.
I have this wonderful double zip pouch (from one of my favourite textile designers,Lisa Stickley) and in it I keep a couple black pens, a pencil and the roll of tape. I also use it to stash fun bits of ephemera I pick up along the way of daily life.
My phone is also used when I journal - I find that sometimes when I am lettering I get so engrossed with the LOOK of the lettering that I forget how to spell a very easy word!
Here on the left, is my purse (which I call a pocketbook but not everyone knows what I am saying when I do, I think it may be a New England thing!) and you can see it is stuffed with all sorts of things. On the right is the inside of my idea/notebook, this is an entry about a hedge garden I heard of recently that I want to explore. This notebook can have some very messy boring pages on it, as well as some silly ideas, so I never take photos of it to share.
How long do you spend on a page, on average?
Perhaps an hour? Not long, sometimes I do start a spread and finish it a day or two later.
Is your handwriting naturally beautiful or do you take the time to "draw" out your words and phrases?
It is quite rare to find someone who really loves their own handwriting - and I am not always crazy about mine. My sister, who is about 14 years older than me, just told me how she remembered me always writing and practicing writing in different ways when I was younger.
Why did you begin journaling? And what made you decide to start incorporating more art & word-art?
I have been journaling and writing stories since before I can remember. I used to fill composition books full of my thoughts and fears, my hopes and dreams, and auto-biographical stories. Only around the spring of 2009 did I start to incorporate art + writing. I wanted to combine my writing journals and my inspiration journals and my art journals are the end result of that.
What are your sources for the great vintage images of people?
Being the owner and only designer of my greeting card business, Paper Relics, that uses and is inspired by older images (pre 1900’s), I have a lot on hand! I attend antique paper shows and have people I’ve found at shows and flea markets who I visit regularly. I do really enjoy using originals rather than collage sheets or photocopies, something about the texture and story of the old paper really appeals to me.
I have recently cleaned out my studio and added some original fashion and nature antique prints to the ephemera section of my shop (click here to view)
Where do you find inspiration on what to write about? As someone who journals mostly in situations where I am processing emotions, mostly difficult ones, I am wondering: Do you also keep a journal with everything "non-beautiful", just for yourself?
You have a very distinct style... it is very recognizable as your own. How did you go about finding your own style? Do you have any tips for someone else who would like to develop a style of their own?
I have posted about my evolution of my collage work (and another similar post about my company’s identity) - and how much it has changed. It made me think a lot about me and how I have changed. Yes, fads come and go for me (not always mainstream as I am not one someone would call hip or trendy, try geek or nerdy), but there have been some things that I have loved for so long, whether since I was a child, or from the start of my adult life.
It is so hard to not be overly influenced by what one sees in magazines, online, etc - but the core of you was molded long before all of this stimulation. I really like to dig deep when journaling, and I have discovered that things that I love, have always love, tell my story - create my style. For the longest time, and I even catch myself doing it still, I never considered myself to have a style. I used the Style Statement book a few years ago to discover my Style Statement (Nostalgic Creativity) and the process and questions really spoke to me - it makes so much sense, forced me to focus on what it is I cherish and covet - to make decisions based on what I absolutely love, not just like, but love. Being faithful to this process made my style start to show (both to me and others). It is not easy... I can meet up with a friend who is dressed and accessorized so well, and I walk away wanting the shirt she had on, or the bracelet she was wearing - but I have to separate that it works for HER and HER style, and while I like it, it may not work for me.
What is gel medium? How is it better than/different from other adhesives? (I adore glue sticks but I worry about their permanence.)
Gel Medium is fun - I use it for decoupaging my covers or for adhering certain elements, but it is very rare that I use it. I do not have very heavily layered journal spread, so I find it just bulks up my pages and is hard to write on when dry (and ruins pens if I am not patient enough to let it fully dry).
For the most part, I use double sided tape (which you can now purchase at the hold dear shop!). I swear by it!
How big of a journal (size and number of pages) do you usually use for your souvenir and other journals?
My Souvenir journals usually are small, only having about 16 pages in them, I do add a few subpages, but I also find that I usually have a few pages left over in the back (so I just add photographs to those pages). My other journals, when I create them myself I usually use about 3 signatures with about 10 pages each - which adds up to about 60 pages (if my math is correct). Moleskine Cahiers come with 80 pages and I usually only use about 50 or 60 of them (by then I am itching to start a new journal!) For ringed journals it varies - since I can keep adding to my hearts content, each one is different.
Are you ever at a loss for ideas when facing the blank page? How do you break through this?
I do not have blank page fears - I will just start lettering words I recently heard and loved, a bit of a story I thought of, etc. My Nostalgic Musings and my first segment of Artful Pages e-courses both have spread walk throughs helping people overcome first-page-fright.
What are your inspirations for journaling layout? Your journaling to me is like a pretty layout; graphical and clean, maybe you are inspired by designers, magazines, books, other journalers we can check out? :-)
I am very inspired my old imagery and type, by stories (movies, books, etc). I know that sounds strange, but I do translate these types of things into my journals. All my work, writing, journaling, collage, greeting cards - they are all created from stories bouncing around in my mind, some true, some fantastical (some a mix of both!) but all just itching to be told.
I am very lucky to have some creative friends that can always jump start me, inspire me and push me to be the best I can be, in life and art. They are all huge inspirations, for instance, Andrea of Everyday Beauty - she is so true to herself and has a style all her own, and it is inspiring just to see what she loves and how she incorporates it into her work.
Another friend that is like this is Cammy of Freckled Farm, she has a style that is undeniably hers and she is always making decisions based on it, and I find that it gives me courage to do the same (and hope that the outcome is as pleasing for me).
If you follow my friend Kari of Artsy Mama’s blog at all, you will see how her creative mind works, season to season, very much in tune with color - I cannot be like her no matter how I try, and I am always in awe of her colorful palettes and how she incorporates them into her photographs, albums and home and it inspires me to try and pay more attention to color and how I use it.
Another good example (and dear friend) is Kelli, she mixes colors in her creations in ways I would never imagine and the results are so inspiring and get me to play with color more than I normally would (which sadly, is still not much).
but there are other things that inspire me too....
I am very inspired by hand-letterring, both modern day and age old. I have a collection on antique olive jars on my kitchen window sill from the 1800’s - only ones with the labels still on, I do not even like olives, but I look at these bottles every morning while doing dishes and I just LOVE them. I also collect antique playbills, the really old ones just made with black ink, no color, I have them framed and hung in the area between or living room and kitchen, and they are amazing to look upon.
Here are some other journalers whose work I really enjoy:
And anyone whose journaling spreads I have favourited HERE.
You can always see what inspires me at any given time on my tumblr page, I am very selective about posting there, only images that really speak to me.
What is your favorite resources for imagery?
I love old imagery from the pre-1900’s. Usually black and white etchings and adverts or colored trade cards and victorian scrap. I adore anything with great typography on it. For modern day, I find Vogue and Vanity Fair magazines have fun images to snip out and use.
I was wondering if what your process is as far as do you go through a journal and place images and ephemera in your book and then journal around it? or is it more each day you create an entire lo/entry?
I always start a new spread with a fresh page, I do not place anything in ahead of time on any pages in my book. I find if I do that I tend to not want to use that page when I come to it.
What comes first on your page? the journalling or the ephemera?
Hmmm, I actually never considered this before. I think usually the text, unless I have something I know I want to use on the spread - but as I write that I am thinking, well maybe it is the ephemera - so my best answer I guess would be both!
How many different journals do you work on at a time and how do you get around which one to work in?
Right now I have my daily agenda journal, and then a Moleskine. If I go away I will keep a separate little souvenir journal. And in my purse I have a notebook to jot things (ideas, great words, snippets, etc) down at any given time, so that may or may not count as a journal in some people’s eyes.
I love your lettering. Are you planning on offering a lettering class?
I do not have a lettering class - I do not think it would be a very long/interesting class. I do have a short video in one of the classes I offer, and then I plan to address it on one of my segments in Artful Pages. But really - my best advice is practice practice practice! Get a book just to letter in and just fill it up with gibberish, testing out lettering styles until you find one you are comfortable with.
What kind of markers do you use on your Moleskine pages? I have found my Copics bleed through too much. I'd love to hear what kinds work for you.
I tend to use Faber Castell Pitt Brush pens in my Moleskine, unless I have layered paper, then I will use Copics. The downside of the Pitt pens is they do not have anywhere near the range of colors Copics have. I also just discovered Marvy Artwin markers - but I am still seeing how I like them. For those of you unfamiliar with Copic Markers, you can learn all about them on their website (click HERE to view).
Do you use a special kind of notebook?
Please let me know if I am forgetting anything, or any question I was asked (view the question post by clicking HERE).
I am pleased to announce that the Hold Dear Shop is stocking some of my most favourite journaling supplies, from vintage labels, old paper, and glassine envelopes to pretty tape and the double sided tape I covet. Click HERE to shop my favourites, and be sure to see all the other goodies available as well.
Teesha Moore’s Watercolor Journal Stitching Method (sorry, this link is no longer working and I cannot find an updated one on her site).
Interviews & Articles
Interview for another girl at play (I wrote this years ago and am always amazed when I reread it how much it still rings true to me)