The Documented Life Project (Catch Up): Week, 8, 9, 10 & 11

As I mentioned in my last post, I am trying to catch up (fast as I can) to show the work that I’ve done in my Documented Life Project journal. If you want lots of pictures, including in progress shots, be sure to check my Instagram feed.

Week 8 – Add a Flap

Week 8 - Added Flap

(Watercolored newsprint, watercolor flaps, photographs printed on a color printer, collaged tags, ink, washi tape)

For some reason, it never occurred to me that I could add more flaps to my journal. Even though I spent my winter break adhering one flap to each week’s planner page, I never thought of adding more flaps. During week 8, we were prompted to add a flap to our flap. I went a little haywire and added five.

I decided to take pictures throughout the week as a document, then adhere them in their own flaps. For each picture, I designated a word that represented the image. (I chose Accept, Nourish, Breathe, Bend, and Shine.) Then, I printed the photos on a color printer and adhered some directly to the journal page and others to small flaps to fold in. The flaps were watercolored and doodled with markers. I used torn newsprint as a background, which I watercolored. Finally, I wrote each word’s definiton on a little tag, which I collaged into the pages.

While this page is bulky and frayed at the edges, I love how the colors work together. I love the jagged edges of the newsprint. And I love how it keeps unfolding, from the edges, adding extra canvas and layers to the collage.

Week 9 – Recycle an Element

Week 9 - Recycle

(Pepsi labels, printer paper packaging, postmark, canned tomato label, security envelope, acrylic paints, ink)

This page proved to be quite a challenge for me. Some time during this week, I learned of the technique of applying paint to a page then using a gift card/hotel key card to spread it, to make a mashed up background. So, I decided to try it…and failed miserably, I overmixed and turned the pages into an ugly brown. In the meantime, I had found recycled elements that centered on a red theme. Nothing deep, just I saw red everywhere, so I saved it. Even though I didn’t love the background, I adhered my recycled pieces to the page, hoping it would improve. It didn’t. I added doodles and made it worse. Finally, I decided to paint the whole thing black, hoping to at least cover the ugly. The result is that the red elements suddenly popped and looked geometric. So, I learned this week that I can actually rescue a page, when I needed to.

During the week, I had really struggled, personally. It was very emotionally difficult. So, I found two quotes that really resonated with me. They were:

“Don’t let your thoughts toss you away.” — Katagiri Roshi
“You’ve seen my descent. Now watch my rising.” — Rumi

They were a good way to put a finishing touch on the pages and move on from the week.

Week 10 – List of Words That Describe Me

Week 10 - Me List

(Watercolor pencils, ink, newsprint, washi tape, acrylic paint, photograph altered in PicMonkey and printed on color printer)

After the last week, this prompt was freeing. The goal was to include a list of words that describe me. I took watercolor pencils and drew some boxes and circles on the cover page, as my canvas. Then, I wrote my list in ink, which was really closer to a list poem. Done and done…except that I still had 2 more pages to do. So, I took some newsprint and painted over it, except for a few select words. Then, I drew doodles in between the words, painted the doodles, and then added washi tape accents. Lastly, I took an old selfie and superimposed the list poem over it and added it to the interior page. This page felt easy and organic, much more so than my previous attempts.

Week 11 – Put a Bird On It

Week 11 - Put a Bird On It

(Acrylic paint, Creative Commons Bird Images printed on Xerox paper, hand-lettering on watercolor paper, ink)

Last week, I had a conundrum. DLP prompts are released each Saturday at noon and they normally take me a full week to complete. I was leaving for a trip on the following Monday and I was terrified of not completing before the next week was released. Should I wait until I returned on Thursday? Should I rush and complete the whole thing before the trip? Should I bring art supplies with me and work during my free time? I chose option B and it actually went pretty well.

The prompt was easy enough – add a bird to the page. I found a nice line art image of a hawk, which I collaged in several different ways on the page. First, on the cover I adhered the bird 5 times to the page in a row, then did the scraping paint technique (successfully) on top of it. I added a few paint doodles and a word that occurred to me while working (SOAR). On the interior cover, I did the scraping background again, this time adding blue, which made it (I think) overly dark. I added more printed hawks, which I watercolored. Since the page needed some serious lightening, I added the bright blue circle with orange and yellow rays. But it still needed something. Thanks to my trusty friend Google, I found the below quote, which I hand-lettered and added:

“Soar, eat ether, see what has never been seen; depart, be lost. But climb.” — Edna St. Vincent Millay

All told, this took me 2 days to finish. And I couldn’t be prouder. But then, I spent the whole week missing my art practice during the trip.


Whew! I am all caught up now. Hopefully, I can post more regularly going forward, but I know better than to promise. This week’s prompt is up, so now I’m off to start another weekly page.


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