Skylark Karma

… Fake Journals… not me, but close.

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Video – #2018IFJM

And now there’s a video of my 2018 fake journal!

If the video doesn’t play you can see it on YouTube at this link.


I’ll do a wrap up in a few days so be sure to come back.

#2018IFJM   #IFJM2018


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Fake it ’till you make it

Yes! … it’s almost time for IFJM. This will be the fourth year I’ll be participating in Roz Stendhal’s creation: International Fake Journal Month and although every year I have a mini stress-out over my character, I can’t imagine not joining in!

April 1st is just over two weeks away and I’ve been diligently planning. Deciding on the journal and the media my character will be using is always the easy part.  I’m going to use a double pamphlet journal, 5.5″ x 6″, 32 pages, that I made using a few sheets of the cheapest student-grade watercolor paper I could find.  It’s labeled cold-pressed but it’s the roughest cold-press texture I’ve ever seen.  We’ll see how it performs!?!



Now for the hard part… as I said, I always struggle as I formulate my character. Who is she? Where does she live? Does she have family? friends? work colleagues? enemies? lovers?

Hmmmmm…  it’s getting interesting.

Come… join the fun and create your own fake journal… as Roz says…

“Life’s so short, why live only one?”


Gearing up for IFJM 2014

It all begins in a few weeks… April is International Fake Journal Month!

This is the third year I’ll be participating in Roz Stendahl’s brainchild, IFJM. This year’s theme, No Explanations is a reminder to us all that not everything in a journal needs to be clarified. After all, a journal is usually kept for one person, the journaler herself.

I went into both 2012 and 2013 knowing exactly who my characters were and why they journaled but this year I’m struggling. Is she me in an alternate location? … no, too tough to pull off, she has to frequent the same haunts as I do to feel authentic! I’m going to take Roz’s advice and mull over a few options and see what bubbles to the surface.

At least the journal’s made! It’s a nearly square double pamphlet journal, 5.5″ x 6″, 40 pages, made from a singe sheet of Strathmore Aquarius II.

IFJM 2014 journal1

IFJM 2014 journal2

It’s not too late to join in; April 1st is two weeks from tomorrow.

Who will YOU be?

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IFJM 2013 – Journal Selection

As April 2013 approached I needed to decide on the physical journal my character would use for IFJM – Internationsl Fake Journal Month.  At this point I didn’t even have a character much less a plan for the month.  I had just watched a video by Teesha Moore showing a 16 page 8 x 10 inch booklet she makes from a single sheet of 22 x 30 inch paper.  Hmmm… 16 pages…  two of them together equals 32 pages.  That’s one a day plus space for any notes my character might make. Perfect!

I used a sheet of Fabriano Artistico Hot Press for each of the signatures and sewed them into a cover made from a third sheet decorated with Quinacridone Burnt Orange acrylic paint and blown Sumi ink.

2013 IFJM Front Cover

Well, my character wanted to work on preprinted pages so I decorated the pages using a variety of techniques with diluted acrylic paint… sometimes blotted… sprinkled with salt… allowed to dry under cling wrap… and more!


Physically, I was ready to go… but mentally?  Not so much.  What were my goals?  Last year I wanted to work on faces but I didn’t have the desire to do that again.  Looking around the studio I saw the Schmincke gouache set I got from Wet Paint.  I hadn’t the nerve to work with them and although I knew I shouldn’t have the feeling that they were somehow too precious to use, I just couldn’t get over it.

Ah Ha!!!  Eureka!!!  My character will use gouache for her journal and she’ll test two different gouaches!  She’ll use the cheap stuff for the first half and the Schmincke for the second.  How’s she going to make that work? What will happen?

Come back to see how the month went!

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IFJM 2012 Wrap-Up

April 2012 was my first foray into Roz Stendahl‘s International Fake Journal Month but I knew I needed to have reasonable goals if I was going to be successful.  Most importantly, I kept my sketchbook small and limited myself to one page a day.  Because of this it was easier to keep my goals… work daily, work fast… approximately 30 minutes per page, directly to ink, and from life… out in public.  I was able to get in there with the PPBP, splash some watercolor around and call it done.  This was essential as I was simultaneously working in my own personal journal and couldn’t let everything slide for the month.

I worked though April 16 before I undid the elastic, unfolded and refolded the book to expose the blank pages.  The folds were sometimes on the spine or fore edges and sometimes at the head or tail so even though I sketched my people “right side up” as I went through the pages… the unfolded sheet looks as if I didn’t.

IFJM 2012 - pages 1-16

IFJM 2012 – pages 1-16

You can see how the portraits are flipped when the sheet is unfolded.

IFJM 2012 - pages 17-30

IFJM 2012 – pages 17-30

When I started the month my character was unformed and I had only a vague idea of where the story would be going. I’ve often heard writers speak of their characters developing their own story… almost writing themselves… but I didn’t believe it until it happened to me!  My character… funny, she never did get a name… surprised me!  I found her getting wordy and… OMG, she has a family I hadn’t planned on!

Woo Hoo! … a successful IFJM! I’ve never considered myself much of a writer so having a story line was totally unexpected. I also had success with journaling daily which then carried over to May when I participated in EDiM – Every Day in May.

I will do one thing different with my next Fake Journal. Roz talks of each fake journal as a stand-alone artifact… no explanations provided. Therefore, when I do this again I won’t have a title page announcing this as a fake journal and I won’t write my wrap-up on the last page.  Maybe my next journal will really fool someone!


IFJM 2012 – April 29-30

IFJM 2012 - April 29-30

IFJM 2012 – April 29-30

For International Fake Journal Month 2012 I used a single sheet of 140 lb. hot press Fabriano Artistico paper cut and folded to create my sketchbook.  I’ve heard this structure called a Maze Book or a Snake Book but I think the best description is to call it what Jean from Stamphenge calls it… a Meander Accordion Fold Book.  My 22″ x 30″ sheet of paper when folded gave me 5.5″ x 7.5″ pages which I chose to use in portrait orientation.  32 pages in all… one for each day of the month along with a title and wrap-up pages.  When folded I created a cover for it with mat board, duck tape and an elastic hairband a la Diana Trout.  She made a great video if you’re interested.

IFJM 2012 - "Bound"

IFJM 2012 – “Bound”

I carried this journal with me everywhere.  It easily fit in my purse along with my Pentel Pocket Brush Pen (PPBP), Niji Waterbrush and mini watercolor kit. Since one of my goals was to get comfortable drawing directly to ink I was often nervous as I looked at the blank page.  What if I ruined the entire book with one misplaced slash of the PPBP?  Aaack!  Because I often sketched my victims while I was on my 30 minute lunch break the time limit really worked in my favor.  There was no time to obsess… just get in there and do it!

I’ll show you both sides of the unfolded sheet in my next post.

Thanks for reading!