My First Art Journal

HAPPY TUESDAY and HELLO & WELCOME to my new followers!!  I’m so glad that you’re joining me!!  🙂

I worked all weekend on my project for the latest Compendium of Curiosities Challenge at Studio L3!!  I’ve been looking forward to this one because I’m getting to use some of Tim’s wonderful fabrics again, from his Eclectic Elements line.  It’s CC3 #19-Frayed Fabrics, found on page 66 of Tim’s creative tome.  You’ve got to have Tim’s book to play in this challenge, which is being sponsored with a $50 gift certificate from Inspiration Emporium!!


 I was sooo inspired by CC3 Creative Crew member Cheryl Grigsby’s  creation, that I pretty much copied her, right down to using one of my new Yvonne Blair Inky Art Journals!!  This is one of the Inky Art Journals that I actually won from Yvonne when she first shared her news of this product being released last year 🙂


As CC3 #19 is a technique based challenge, I can’t show you all of the details that went into making this journal cover.  But, I can show you some of the pre-assembly prep and sewing that I did to make this all come together.

 I’m using my 6″x8″ Inky Art Journal to take measurements for the pieces of Eclectic Elements fabric that I’ll need to sew together to cover this journal.  I have 6″x6″ & 12″x12″ EE fabric scrap packs to choose my fabrics from, so this is going to be fun!!


Now, I’m no sewer and an even worse fabric cutter!  Even with the most precise cutting tools and doodads available, I will still cut a crooked line!  Thank goodness for one of my fav Tim mottos – “Embrace Imperfection”!!  Oh, this journal cover will be a celebration of imperfection!!  These are the sections for the front and I added two more shorter pieces at each end for the inside flaps.  I roughly machine stitched all of the panels together.

I created a patchwork square out of 25-1.25″ squares which were roughly machine stitched together for what will become the patchwork heart on the front of my art journal.

I made my heart pattern from a chipboard heart that I photo-copied at 150%, pinned to the back of my patchwork square, then machine stitched around the perimeter of the heart.


Here is the front side of the patchwork square showing that first line of stitching.  I went over it several more times to enhance that imperfect stitch line and when I was finished, I ripped away the paper pattern from the back.


I stamped the word ‘artist’ with Jet Black Stazon onto a piece of muslin and then stitched it to another little scrap of EE fabric, then stitched it into place to the top center of the front panel.


The word ‘journal’ was treated the same and stitched into place to the bottom center of the front panel.


The heart was stitched into place as my main focal point, right in the center of the entire front panel.  I love it!!

I left all of the metal embellishments on this journal ‘naked’ if you will–I liked them with their natural finish, plus I think the silver of the metals look great with all of the mixed fabrics.

As a homage to Yvonne Blair, I included a butterfly as one of my embellies–Yvonne always includes a butterfly (or many butterflies) in her creations and as I won this journal from her, I wanted a reminder of the promise I made to her, to create in her art journals this year!!


As a reminder to myself, I included these 3 Chit Chat stickers to keep me motivated and inspired.  Just as I did with the making of this fabric cover, I imagined what I wanted, I created what I had imagined and discovered–I Can Do This!! 🙂


OK–now remember that ’embrace imperfection’ motto?  Do you notice anything WRONG with this picture?  Ummm, yeah, well, things started in the right direction!!  Yes, this is the back side of my journal cover, and it is in fact, sewn upside down!!  LOL!!  It is what it is and like I admitted earlier–I am definitely no sewer!! Imperfection Embraced!! 🙂 🙂

The front and back flaps are very simple and serve their purpose of holding this journal cover in place–and yes, the inside front flap is also upside down!!


 And here is the beginning of my very 1st art journal.  I’m really looking forward to creating on the inside of this journal.  I think I’ll probably end up sharing a few pages here and there as 2015 progresses!!  Stay tuned 🙂

Alrighty then–I’m headed off to Studio L3 now to get this Frayed Fabric creation entered into Compendium of Curiosities Challenge #19!!  It’s open until this coming Friday the 16th @ 11:55mst, so if you’ve got Tim’s CC3, come on over and join in on the fun!!

Thanks so much for stopping by today!!  Until next time–Stay Artsy Fartsy!!



  • Eclectic Elements Fabrics (Tim Holtz/Coates); Muslin; Cotton Batting
  • Stamps:  Classics #1 (Tim Holtz/Stampers Anonymous)
  • Distress Inks & Marker (Tim Holtz/Ranger); StazOn Ink (Tsukineko)
  • Sewing Machine (Kenmore); Self-Healing Cutting Mat; Hand-Held Rotary Cutter (Fiskars);
  • Chit Chat Stickers, Nature Adornments, Pen Nib & Mini Corners (Tim Holtz/Idea-ology)
  • Matte Gel (Liquitex); Hot Glue Gun; Ink Blending Tools (Tim Holtz/Ranger); Craft Scratcher (Tim Holtz/Tonic Studios)

68 thoughts on “My First Art Journal

  1. Gah. Seeing these fantastic elements makes me wish I had an ounce of talent with a sewing machine. I’m more liable to put a needle through my finger than to create something crafty. Love the ragged edges on your journal cover. And that sentiment on the page you shared made me sniffle just a little bit – it’s stellar.

    • OMG!! LOL!! Becca, I have sewn my finger!!! LOL!! Although it happened about 30 some odd years ago…I received a little ‘Holly Hobby’ sewing machine for Christmas and I was making pillows for my Barbie’s and OUCH!!! Right Pinky Finger caught in sewing machine with needle down between fingernail and side of nail bed!! When I walked out of my room (not crying yet) holding my sewing machine in my left hand, with my right hand caught–my mom tells me–“Shari, don’t bring that in here”…Then I started CRYING!!!!! LOL!!!
      I’m so glad that you came by, Becca!! Oh, the ragged edges…that’s the challenge with Tim’s Frayed Fabric technique….sssshhhhh….. 😉 🙂
      Don’t sniffle, Becca!! 🙂 Just keep those words close and believe!! XOXO-Shari

  2. You created a wonderful journal cover , for your first journal, ever Shari.
    Love the patchwork heart you did, and the words, you added- Beautiful !!
    Dorthe xo

    • Hi Dorthe!! Thank you so much for your very nice compliment!! You are so kind and an inspiration for me, too!! Your fabric creations are amazing and I wish I was more talented with sewing!! This year, I want to bring more fabrics and sewing into my creations (a la you and our dear friend, Lynne) and I think with artists like you in my bloggy life, I can!!
      Thank you, Dorthe!! XOXO-S

  3. What a fantastic project Shari, I absolutely love what you did here, brilliant patchwork on the heart, and I love the ragged edges, – the whole things looks super!

  4. I am still smiling! I love that you embraced imperfection to create this beautiful journal cover! The hear was very ambitious, I admit, but it turned out so wonderfully well – I love it and want to do this myself now…. but I have already done mine (posting tomorrow). We used some similar pattered fabric too. Love yours – a lot! Hugs, Anne xx

  5. Upside down, back to front, Shari, I could not care less because this is incredible and I do mean, incredible. To create a patchwork style for the heart is so very beautiful. I love the shabbiness to your style and of course I love your use of fabric. This is such a special cover. Astonishing talent you have.

    • Hi Kat!! Thanks for coming by!! I have to admit….I keep going to this journal to look at it and touch it–I can’t believe that I’m the one who put it together!! 🙂 XO-S

  6. Shari…THIS IS AH-MAZING! I am drooling over this cover and how you’ve taken Tim’s fabrics and created SUCH a cool journal cover! I am not just saying that! THIS is totally awesome! Love the choice of colors and designs on the fabrics. Love the frayed and stitched heart in the center. Girl, you ROCKED this! Thanks so much for sharing with all of us at CC3C. ❤ Candy

    • Thank You Candy!! What a HUGELY NICE message!! WOW!! You’ve just made me giddy!! 🙂 I’m telling you, I wanted to do something really special for this CC3 #19 challenge–I almost made a pillow cover! But decided to bring the idea to a smaller, more manageable project and took Cheryl’s idea and tried to do it justice 🙂 Now, it’s just getting into that art journal and get those pages inky & painty!! Thanks so much, Candy!! XOXO-S

  7. Wow, Shari! This art journal turned out fabulous! Don’t you just love Yvonne’s Inky Art Journal! I absolutely love the patchwork design you sewed together – it is amazing! Thanks so much for participating in this challenge!

    • Hi Susan!! I do love Yvonne’s Inky Art Journal!! It’s on my worktable now–just waiting for the pages to get filled 🙂 I’m so glad that you liked the journal cover that I made 🙂 Honestly–you can’t see all of the mistakes, which is a good thing! But, sewing with Tim’s fabrics and with his shabby style in mind, the mistakes don’t matter!! YAY!! That’s a good thing!! XOXO-S

  8. WOW oh WOW!!! This is a real labor of sewing love! LOVE the whole thing and all the patched quilted squares, and great design, just brilliant!!! Thank you so much for joining in our first challenge of the year and stitching up a great project for CC3Challenge!!!

    • Thank You Anita!! I only drew blood once, during the sewing of this project!! 😉 LOL :)!! This is a great CC3 challenge to start the year with!! I had a lot of fun with this one!! It’s my catalyst for creating in Yvonne’s Inky Art Journal!! 🙂 XO-S

  9. Upside down… What an interesting way to look at things differently! I love this imperfection, Shari! And I long to discover the inside pages of your journal! Beautiful cover for this beginning!

    • Hi Lys!! You know…that’s right! What is upside down in art? Is there an upside down in art? Hmmm….this could be a good theme to create by…. 🙂
      I’m anxious to get started creating in my first art journal…I’ve got an idea for my first page, I just need to find the time to get my fingers inky!! I’ll keep you posted 🙂

  10. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G, Shari! I cannot get over how awesome this turned out. I love everything about it: From the tattered feel, and the colors, and the sewn-in words, and YES, even the imperfect back side. Hey, none of OUR backsides are perfect either. Don’t sweat it. 🙂

    • OH ANNETTE!! 🙂 I’m LAUGHING!! 🙂 Oh, there could be some of us with ‘perfect backsides’ I’m sure 🙂 😉 LOL!! But it’s NOT ME that’s for sure!!
      I’m sooo glad that you liked my art journal cover 🙂 It was a lot of fun to make, especially knowing the grungy/shabby style is OK 🙂 That’s my kind of sewing!!

    • Thanks, Jan!! It’s the first time I made anything with a patchwork design 🙂 And I used my hubbies unbiased eye to help me with the colors and fabrics I chose!! So, my hbubbie had a hand in this one 😉 🙂
      Thanks for coming by, Jan!! XO-S

  11. Hi Shari! Thank you so much for coming to meet me through Becca and our Mutual Admiration post! I am following by email as I don’t see a button. I’d love to have you pop back and join via the blue button on my side bar so I can add you to my New Friends Corner and introduce you to my readers!

    I adore your journal cover! I especially adore that you embraced your boo-boo and shrugged it off! That’s SO awesome and so inspirational!! I’m familiar with this challenge as my very dear friend Anne (Bollyanne) contributes with her stunning makes. You guys are in some other galaxy far away from my CAS planet, but I LOVE seeing your brilliant and detailed and layered and sewn and mixed media creations!! I hope to see you again soon! Happy New Year!! Hugs, Darnell

  12. Your patchwork turned out so wonderful! Yes, embrace perfection; upside-down doesn’t matter a whit! You did a great job of combining the fabrics into a true work of art.

    I just got a nice stash of T!’m’s fat quarters (no, I mean his FABRIC, not whatever you’re thinking of! Tsk, tsk!) and this is inspiring me so much to dive into that stash and get something going. I have ALMOST enough for a rag quilt, but I’m going to have to go shopping again, I see. (Oh, poor me! LOL)

    • Hi Hels!! Thank You sooo much for ignoring all of my boo-boos!! 😉 🙂 I can accept boo-boos as perfection as long as I keep Tim’s motto of ‘Embrace Imperfection’ close to my heart 🙂

  13. Shari….I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE your cover…WOW…stunningly rocked this!!!! The patchwork job is to die for! Girl…you have inspired me to pull out the sewing machine and give it another try!!! HUGS…and so glad you like the Inky Journal…can’t wait to see what you do inside!!!!

    • Thank You, Yvonne!! I just LOVE LOVE LOVE your Inky Art Journal and wanted to do something really special with the cover to get myself creating in it. It’s on my worktable now, just waiting for me to get finished with some other projects, so I can get it nice & inky & painty!! Thank You, Yvonne!! XOXO-S

  14. Sorry, I’m late with a comment, but here it is: Holy Frayed Fabric, Batman!!! This is a gorgeous, gotta-check-it-out-twice, funky grungy, super awesome journal cover. Way to use Yvonne’s awesome journal, I know you’ll love it. I also have to say thanks for your kind and generous comments on my blog. Love being on this creative journey with you!!

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    • Hi Velvet! Thanks so much for coming by!! I had to stop hoarding my EE fabrics too!! I’m so glad that I used them for my journal cover! I may be doing something with them again, right now! 😉 🙂 Thanks again for stopping by!! XOXO-Shari

    • Hi Ana!! Thank You, Ana!! Us OCC girls are doing pretty good, right?! 🙂 Congrats to you, too, Ana!! I think I may still be in shock of being one of Tim’s Blogworthy Links!! XOXO-Shari

    • Hi Cathy!! It’s a huge boost to be a Blogworthy Link from Mr. Holtz!! Just WOW!! Congrats to you, Cathy!! I can’t believe I’m a part of such creative company!! XOXO-Shari

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