Skylark Karma

… Fake Journals… not me, but close.

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2015 IFJM – Gratitude

April 2015 – International Fake Journal Month – Dana Burrell


For the second year in a row I made a Double Pamphlet Journal but this time I filled it with inexpensive no-name cold press watercolor paper. All sketches were made with water-soluble ink and watercolor.

Ali Manning of Vintage Page Designs has a great step-by-step tutorial if you’d like to make one of these books for yourself. They’re wonderful books for traveling and to tuck in your handbag.


IFJM 2015 Wrap Up



May 4th  2015          5:30 am           sunrise



  • Carry journal & supplies with me and work from life.
  • Create small thumbnail sized art using watersoluble ink for line and watercolor for wash.
  • Pay attention to design as the art is placed across the spread… balance.
  • Journal one gratitude each day and see if a story would emerge as the month went on.
  • What type of person would create this journal?  Someone busy.  A young mother balancing family demands and her desire to be herself.  No real story needed, just a daily entry conceived as part of a year long project.




  • Hated the paper (Richeson’s Finest Studio Watercolor – CP – 135 lb.).  It was fine for the art work but was irritated with every word I wrote.  Tough on pens… too rough.
  • This was the second year in a row using the same small-sized journal but there was too much writing this time.  I found I really missed the white… too little negative space on the page.
  • Project fit easily into my day… the art thumbnails took only a few minutes; thinking & writing actually took a little longer, especially at the start, as I worked to get a grasp on my character.
  • Loved the spontaneity and unpredictability of working with watersoluble ink.  Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t, but it was always fun.
  • Loved designing the spread for balance and eye-appeal.  Thinking of that design choice also had an effect on what I painted.  Some days design drove the subject choice, others, the subject drove the design.  I also thought of the book as a whole and made sure the thumbnails varied from spread to spread.
  • all events were drawn from my memories.  They actually have occurred but all names and relationships are fictional and years have passed since the actual events.



2016?  Oh yes!  But I definitely will work in a larger journal with smoother paper.  Thanks Roz, this is a great art project creativity project!



If you just came upon this post by chance and you’re wondering what all the fuss is about please visit Roz Stendahl’s Official International Fake Journal Month site.  And if that appeals, please check out the Blogs, Flickr, Instagram and Tumblr sites of the other fantastic “fakers” who also participated.  You can find links to their work in the sidebar on Roz’ IFJM site

It’s been a wonderful April;  join us next year.  I guarantee… you won’t regret it!

April 30th (#2 of 2) – Reflections on Gratitude

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April 30th    6:20 pm


4 months of daily gratitudes done.  It hasn’t been easy but just as Dr. Schwartz said I’m starting to find my way back to who I really am.  I believe that because she’s a mom too she understands the different directions I’ve been pulled.  This has helped me focus on what’s important… family… both nuclear and extended.  Their love and support has helped me immensely.

May’s journal is done.  I filled it with the paper Suz found the last time she was in Burlington.  It’s smooth, almost glossy. It’ll be interesting to see if the watercolors bead up like they do in Todd’s moleskines.

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April 30th (#1 of 2) – Lake

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April 30th   3:24 pm      Lake Runnemede


Landscape class scheduled and after a long talk last night Todd and I agreed to enroll him in some sort of daycare/preschool thing this fall.  That would give me more time… time for more art and maybe I’ll even go back to school and get that masters I’ve been dreaming of.  So much to think about and decide.  Life will change but I need to savor what I have now – Spring then Summer then Change.

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April 29th – Barn Owl

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April 29th     2:58 pm         VINS


Thanks Todd!  I can’t stop thinking about taking a class again!  When I went to make my coffee I noticed T. had put AVA gallery’s summer schedule next to the machine with a big “GO!” in red marker next to the listings.  I haven’t picked up a real brush in years.  I’m not even sure where they are… I know I didn’t give them away.  I’ll have to check the boxes in the basement.  I’m looking at the 3 day Landscape watercolor class in August.  Pricey!  We could call it an early birthday present.  But it’s in the middle of the week who could take E. if T. can’t get the time off.  Why worry, T’s parents or Mom would come through.

April 28th – Night Sky


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April 28th    3:52 am            night sky


I can’t sleep.  It’s kind of early to be making my entry but it’s better than tossing & turning.  I was so wrapped up in our family’s saga that I didn’t realize that Baltimore was burning ’till I turned on the late night news.  What was supposed to be a peaceful protest has escalated to a full-blown riot.  Looting and buildings on fire, there’s also talk of targeting police. I stand and watch Evan sleeping & Todd gets up to join me.  Thanks for our peace.

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April 27th – Ompompanoosuc

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April 27th   7:20 am        Ompompanoosuc


It’s warm this morning, hard to believe the roads and bridges were so icy when the accident happened.  It’s been tough, Mom & Sarah were there, but not me.  I never got a chance for a proper good-bye.  I’m thankful I’m here today with them. Mom says no matter what the doctors & EMS says, she believes he died here, not at the hospital.  She sprinkled his ashes here, at least most of them.  She still wears a little vial as a pendant.  Love you Daddy.

April 26th – Inuksuk


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April 26th    11:05 am       Inuksuk


We’re doing a quick tour of Dartmouth campus before meeting up at Pine for brunch.  I really like Elena, she has a quiet ease about her.  I got up early with Evan & found Elena and mom chatting comfortably and having coffee at the kitchen table.  Mom was telling her about the accident and how Daddy helped get those 2 boys out of the car.  She had been crying and Elena was holding her hand.  I’m so thankful for her kindness.

April 25th – Raven

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April 25th   4:12 pm          Raven


Brad & Elena arrived just in time for lunch.  Evan’s favorite, Annie’s mac n’ cheese.  We didn’t expect them ’till later but that’s OK – we stretched two boxes with chopped tomatoes and broccoli.  None of that green stuff for fussy Evan.  The guys are out in the garage replacing the headlight, mom’s taking a nap and Evan has really taken to Elena.  They’re in the green chair reading.  I’m thankful for a few minutes to do this and take my shower.  Claire & Tom will be here at 5… ish. They always run a few minutes late.  We’ll see Sarah, Paul and the girls tomorrow.

April 24th – Woods

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April 24th    3:04 pm           Hanover/Lebanon Line


When mom heard Brad & Elena were coming tomorrow she offered to come early so she could help with all the preparations.  She arrived with her famous flourless chocolate cake for dessert… Thanks Mom!  We planned out the rest of the dinner to allow for no-stress.  Broiled pork tenderloin, steamed asparagus, quinoa and sliced tomatoes for color.  I want some light munchies to serve with drinks but what?  roasted nuts… boring.

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