Skylark Karma

… Fake Journals… not me, but close.

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2014 IFJM – The Physician

April 2014 – International Fake Journal Month – Dana Burrell

The Physician

In 2014 I made a nearly 6 in. square Double Pamphlet book containing Strathmore Aquarius II paper. All images were created with Caran d’Ache Museum Aquarelle watercolor pencils.

This post by Ali Manning of Vintage Page Designs will show you how to make your own!



A Material Wrap-up for my 2014 IFJM Project

As I started to put my 2014 IFJM journal away with my other journals I realized the book needed either a slipcase or a wrap to keep it dust-free. I could also label the case as I do my other journals.

Decisions, decisions… if I made a slipcase I’d have to get out the glue and was just too much bother.

A wrap it is!

IFJM Wrap2

I used a pre-painted piece of scrap paper and cut, creased and folded it to contain the little book. In the next image I believe you can see the four pencil dots I used to mark the dimensions by dotting where the book corners would sit. I removed the extra paper from all four corners.

IFJM Wrap1

I measured the depth of my book and used that measurement to make a second crease on all four flaps.  I then cut a tab on the left hand flap and used one of my hand punches to round all the corners. When I did a trial fold I could then see where I needed to make the slot.

IFJM Wrap3

The book is now securely wrapped and labeled and tucked away on my bookshelf.

IFJM 2014… finished!


IFJM Wrap4



2014 IFJM Wrap-Up

IFJM 2014 was a year of many challenges for me and for once I found the art portion of the challenge to be easier for me than the journaling. It all had to do with my difficulty deciding on the author.

Who is she? How old is she? Is she like me or not? She was so amorphous I even contacted Roz for help on defining a persona. Roz’s solution was so elegantly simple I’m almost embarrassed to admit my failure. Sit down, think hard and write it out… plan.

IFJM 2014 Process

I had pages and pages of planning. I wrote out every option I could come up with and then took a lovely vacation to San Diego. Eureka! I picked up a few San Diego magazines and decided my character would be a San Diegan who finds herself in New England as winter turns to spring. The big challenge was to convey this and her spirit all the while obeying Roz’s edict for “No Explanations”.

The art journaling was easy part.  I had a sheet of Strathmore Aquarius II left over from a previous project that I tore down to create a double pamphlet journal consisting of 2 signatures of 5 folios each.  This gave me 40 pages, each approximately 5.5″ square. But at one page per day I’d have extra pages. Since I really wanted to fill the book, I created a calendar and roughed out my page usage. You can see it in the image above.

Earlier in the year I received a basic set of 12 Caran d’Ache Museum Aquarelle watercolor pencils as part of a give-away sponsored by Stillman & Birn.

IFJM 2014 Watercolor Pencils

I’ve never worked with them and had no idea how to proceed except by trial and error and the help of my personal tutor… YouTube. I only knew that the author worked differently than me. She would draw no ink lines, instead jumping right in with the watercolor pencils and using a travel watercolor brush to wash them out. Very fun!

IFJM 2014 Palette

Since neither she nor I have ever worked with these pencils, she added a color chart to the inside front cover. It helped remind her which pigments would blend to create the colors she wanted.

I gave myself a time limit of 15 minutes to create the images and to work from life. For the most part I was able to stick to that. One day, due to lack of planning, I found myself without a plan and the clock ticking its way toward midnight.  That day I drew from memory. If you go back and look you’ll realize what day it was not only because it has the latest timed entry but also… the subject has no shadow!

I had only the vaguest idea of who my character was so I wasn’t surprised to see that over the month she developed in ways I hadn’t originally planned. Only now can I see how her anxiety builds as she tries to cope with her feelings of inadequacy regarding her mother’s illness. This was the darkest fake journal I’ve done and I admit to my own anxiety in creating her situation. Lately I’ve been reflecting on friends, family and mortality in my own journal and seeing those issues through another’s eyes… even if those eyes were created by me… helped my perspective.

IFJM 2014 Full


So goes my explanations for the year of “No Explanations”.

Hmmm… what will next year bring? Stay tuned… I’m already planning.