Flower Garden Art Journal

Two-page spread of floral art journal pages

It’s always springtime when you create a flower garden art journal layout. Using everything from designer paper to book pages, jewelry findings to even lace bits, the blooms never fade in the pages of this garden. Try it yourself – it’s a great way to play with colors and shapes.

A symphony of color and texture (and fragrance, if you have a real one)

I’m talking about a garden – a REAL garden. Whether you grow a few flowers in pots, or a whole orchestra of blooms, a garden is a grand symphony of color and texture and fragrance. Who can enter a garden and not feel just a bit closer to Heaven? Close your eyes and let a garden take you to your inner happy place. For a bit of backstory to today’s post, let me explain my obsession with flowers…

I spent some of the happiest moments of my life in my suburban garden. It was the first house I’d ever owned, and I was in my 40’s at the time. I started from scratch, digging beds while my clothes were still in boxes. Everything next to the foundation came out except the oak tree in the front yard. I knew I wanted roses – lots of them. And flowers to rival those in an English garden.

Alas, Texas summers don’t allow for delicate English flowers, but I learned to compensate with posies that not only withstood our brutal temperatures but actually scoffed at them. I grew many plants from seed. There were many failures but many more successes. I cut my nails short and stopped polishing them. Aches and pains became the new normal because it meant new “babies” were being introduced into the family of plants. I smiled with pleasure and satisfaction each evening as I wobbled out and surveyed my Queendom.

I was a gardener.

Art journals are a natural resource for the gardener in winter

When it’s too cold to work outside, what’s a gardener to do? Plant a garden in her art journal, of course. The fun part about a flower garden in the art journal is that there are no limits – the flowers can be any medium you wish.

One page of the art journal flower garden
How many different media can you count?

(A supply list will be shown at the bottom of this page.)

As mentioned in a previous post on art journaling, your art journal is all about YOU. And your products. This is the place to play with products, tools and techniques before using them out in the “real world.” This is the time to let your hair down and really get down and dirty with the products. Nobody has to see or know what you’re doing. This is only for you. So let your inner genius come out to play.

For the base, I blended colors using Gelatos, one of my favorite coloring media, which is kind of like a grownup version of crayons. I chose sunrise or sunset colors of pink and peach with warm green grassy colors for the ground. I did a little light stamping in the background for the tiniest bit of depth, but that’s all. I didn’t want to take away from the main chorus.

I’m using flowers and leaves from old books, designer paper, and old sheet music. The red plaid flower was from an old “MacDonald Plaid Stamp Save Book.” Remember those? It’s the red plaid version of S&H Green Stamps. When you’re a paper crafter, everything is fair game, so don’t throw any interesting paper products out. In fact, a label from an alcoholic beverage made this fun flower.

Close up of flower using a label from alcoholic beverage
I wonder if that phone number still works?

Every flower garden needs wildlife

Two of the flowers, the ones on the birdcage, are jewelry findings that I flattened out. Speaking of that birdcage, I colored it with some of my homemade shimmer paint then placed the sweet bird, cut with my Silhouette Cameo, on top – it seemed more humane that way. I colored her with two shades of Copics and then shined her up with a couple of layers of UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossin Powder). By the way, if you don’t like how this technique tends to crack when flattened in your art journal, just leave your bird unembossed. She’ll be beautiful either way.

Closeup of birdcage with two-toned bird
Lots of techniques in a small space

I cut the flowers and leaves with punches and dies, and for the flower centers, I used Perfect Pearls or pearl stick-ons. I then decorated and doodled on most of the flowers with various inks and markers because plain paper just isn’t my thang. And for some of the larger shapes, I edged them with charcoal pencil, then smudged them with my finger to provide additional definition. This is a great artist’s trick which adds pop to the shape.

The other side of the art journal
More flowers and a cute picket fence

Does it have to make sense? Only if you want it to.

This side of the garden received a white picket fence, dressed up with more homemade shimmer paint and another shiny bird and more doodled and distressed flowers. The lace was something I added because I wanted a little more texture. I glued it down in several places and then dry brushed (with a finger) some light Stickles onto it so the sparkle would show on the high points. There are small flowers in the lace, which qualifies it to join the flower club.

Close up of lace with flowers in it
This counts as flowers, yes it does

I’m not sure lace placed right there makes “sense,” but that’s the beauty of an art journal – it doesn’t HAVE to make sense because it’s yours and you can do what you want with it. Remember – are journals are for you to create from your mind. They’re to explore techniques and ideas, and they allow us to create without judgment and criticism. I wanted to see what would happen if I treated lace a certain way. So there you have it – it made sense to me at the time. <smile>

Finally, the words were printed on my computer, glued to the pages, colored, and edged with colored pencils, and I was left to enjoy my flower garden art journal until such time as I could get out and dig in the dirt again. Now that I live in the country, I hope to be able to create that kind of beauty again someday. (With a few more aches and pains to go along with it, I’m sure).

How does your garden grow?

Do you grow flower? Or vegetables, for that matter? (We don’t discriminate.) Care to share some photos on our Facebook page? Have you journaled about them? We’d love to see your creative efforts. Show us on our G&B Facebook page how you interpret a garden, either in your art journal or in real life. Inspire us! And while you’re at it…

… happy crafting!

Two-page spread of floral art journal pages
I never tire of the colors and textures, though fragrance would be nice.

Supply list:

You might also like…

Art Journal Musings – Mixed Media on Paper
Mixed Media Collage – Make It Your Time to Shine
Painted Canvas for Mom – the Queen of Ever’thang

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