Skylark Karma

… Fake Journals… not me, but close.

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2017 IFJM Planning

For some odd reason, the blog aggregator I use didn’t collect my own post from yesterday, hence this test post. 

Now I could have just written a nothing post but I figured that if I was going to do it I might as well make the most of it!

This spread is from my latest journal, a Pentalic Aqua Journal, where I collaged Roz Stendahl’s 2017 theme image next to where I wrote about my plans. 

Soon the challenge begins!


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More Fakery… 2017 Edition

“Life is too short for fake butter, fake cheese or fake people.” *

But obviously not for fake journals!

My character isn’t completely fleshed out yet but she does have a HUGE sketchbook ready to go. 11 x 14 inches… Strathmore 500 Mixed Media Journal… Portrait format.


And gouache!

This will be my sixth consecutive year participating in International Fake Journal Month. If you want a great introduction to the concept I recommend you watch the interview Diane Gibbs of Design Recharge had with Roz Stendahl, the brains behind IFJM. 

Be sure to check back in with me to see what I do with this year’s theme, Details Matter. Don’t miss out on the fun! 

*originally found on Twitter…

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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?”


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.




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?