Letters & Love Art Journal by Guest Artist Jenny Petricek

Guest Artist Jenny Petricek



Today’s post is by Guest Artist Jenny Petricek. She shares her art journal, which captures all her handwritten letters, postcards, and photos from her grandparents. Somerset Place would like to thank her for her contribution and amazing artwork.

While growing up, I was fortunate to have a very close relationship with my maternal grandparents, Warren and Loretta, who I affectionately referred to as Maema and Papa. Although they both witnessed the rise of the internet, email, and text messaging in their long lifetimes, they preferred to communicate with their loved ones the old-fashioned way, through cards and letters. They loved to travel, and each time they went on one of their cross-country journeys, they sent me postcards. When I went off to college and then later moved to the “big city” after graduation, they kept in touch with regular handwritten letters. Even as my grandmother’s eyesight diminished due to macular degeneration, she still managed to send letters to me, either typed on an electric typewriter or dictated to my grandpa.

I kept most of the cards and letters my grandparents sent to me, and they were a great source of comfort after they’d passed away; reading their words allowed me to hear their voices again. For many years I’d stored these items in a boring business envelope, but recently I decided they needed a much better home, so I created a special art journal in which to display them, along with photos and other memorabilia. I call it “Letters & Love,” and it was easy and fun to make!

What You Need:

What You Do:

1. Gather all of your cards/letters, photos, and memorabilia. Decide which items will appear on the journal’s pages; any extras can be placed in the envelope.

2. Prepare the journal. First, tear out at least 15-20 pages to create more room in the binding. Next, attach 2-3 single pages together with double-sided tape to create thicker pages; this will give your pages the strength to handle the added weight of the gesso, paint, and paper. Finally, after all the pages have been completed, cover them liberally with gesso on both sides and let dry.

 
Guest Artist Jenny Petricek

3. Create the page backgrounds. I did this in different ways in my journal. On some pages I began with a layer of collage, adhering scraps of patterned paper to the page with gel medium and then painting over them. On others, I jumped right in with acrylic paint, squirting different colors on the page and mixing them with my fingers. To add more interest, I rubbed paint through stencils. I let the paint dry before moving on.
 
Guest Artist Jenny Petricek



4. Add the focal pieces. Some of my focal pieces were part of greeting cards I’d trimmed to fit in the journal, taking care to preserve special sentiments and handwritten messages; I also used photos and other memorabilia. I attached these items to the pages with double-sided tape.
 
Guest Artist Jenny Petricek

5. Add embellishments. I used a wide variety of embellishments on my pages, including stamps, stickers, rub-ons, die-cut borders, photo corners, and washi tape. On many pages, I also wrote and doodled with pens.
 
Guest Artist Jenny Petricek



6. Add inserts. I decided that I’d insert my postcards between pages, so that I could easily see both the imagery on the front and the handwriting on the back. I attached the postcards with strips of washi tape near the binding; if you spread a thin layer of gel medium under and over the tape, it will serve as reinforcement and keep the postcards secure.
 
Guest Artist Jenny Petricek

7. Finish the cover. I began with a coat of gesso, followed by a layer of collaged paper and washi tape, and then a mixture of paint. I arranged papers, photos, and other embellishments on the cover. I generated my title on a word processor, printed it out, and trimmed it to fit.
 
Guest Artist Jenny Petricek



8. Spray all the pages with an archival spray varnish; this will seal the layers on your pages and protect the cards and memorabilia from damage.
 
I’m very satisfied with my finished journal because it provides a great home for all of the treasured pieces of mail my grandparents sent me over the years, and tells the story of the warm relationship I had with them. If you’re holding on to special memorabilia from the past, why not take it out of the box, folder, or envelope where you’ve been hiding it, and put it into a wonderful handmade art journal?

 

–Jenny Petricek

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Posted: Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015 @ 12:36 pm
Categories: How-To Project Tutorials.
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14 Responses to “Letters & Love Art Journal by Guest Artist Jenny Petricek”

  1. Philippa mccray says:

    What a beautiful tribute to your grandparents! You have inspired me to try something similar to record the special relationship I had with my great aunts. Thank you

  2. Paula Haynes says:

    Very sweet way to honor your grandparents and you have such a nice collection to share with your own grands. Love it.

  3. Carolyn Hokkanen-Hawkins says:

    So many wonderful ideas…I so loved my grandmother, too.
    Love your tribute, too!

  4. Debra Armstrong says:

    This is a great idea, and a lovely project.

  5. Ella says:

    What a lovely way to remember them-so, endearing and filled with charm! I love the photos throughout, too~

  6. Audri H says:

    Just beautiful! You’re very fortunate to have had them both in your life. And great that you kept all the little treasured cards, letters and pictures.

  7. Wonderful project! Love the paint and all the tips you included in your project. Thank you.

  8. Thanks so much for your kind comments, Philippa! I hope you will create a tribute to them–and that you will share it with me! :-)

  9. Thanks for stopping by and making such lovely comments, Paula! :-)

  10. Thanks so much, Carolyn! xoxoxo

  11. Debra, thanks for your lovely comments and for stopping by! It is much appreciated! :-)

  12. Thanks so much Ella! It was great fun to go through all of my pics and select the ones to go in the book! So many happy memories! :-)

  13. Thanks so much for your kind compliments, Audri! I appreciate them so much! :-)

  14. Thanks so much for your kindness, Frances! I’m glad that the tips were helpful! :-)

Leave a Reply

Sarah How-To Project Tutorials ,,,,,,,,

Guest Artist Jenny Petricek



Today’s post is by Guest Artist Jenny Petricek. She shares her art journal, which captures all her handwritten letters, postcards, and photos from her grandparents. Somerset Place would like to thank her for her contribution and amazing artwork.

While growing up, I was fortunate to have a very close relationship with my maternal grandparents, Warren and Loretta, who I affectionately referred to as Maema and Papa. Although they both witnessed the rise of the internet, email, and text messaging in their long lifetimes, they preferred to communicate with their loved ones the old-fashioned way, through cards and letters. They loved to travel, and each time they went on one of their cross-country journeys, they sent me postcards. When I went off to college and then later moved to the “big city” after graduation, they kept in touch with regular handwritten letters. Even as my grandmother’s eyesight diminished due to macular degeneration, she still managed to send letters to me, either typed on an electric typewriter or dictated to my grandpa.

I kept most of the cards and letters my grandparents sent to me, and they were a great source of comfort after they’d passed away; reading their words allowed me to hear their voices again. For many years I’d stored these items in a boring business envelope, but recently I decided they needed a much better home, so I created a special art journal in which to display them, along with photos and other memorabilia. I call it “Letters & Love,” and it was easy and fun to make!

What You Need:

What You Do:

1. Gather all of your cards/letters, photos, and memorabilia. Decide which items will appear on the journal’s pages; any extras can be placed in the envelope.

2. Prepare the journal. First, tear out at least 15-20 pages to create more room in the binding. Next, attach 2-3 single pages together with double-sided tape to create thicker pages; this will give your pages the strength to handle the added weight of the gesso, paint, and paper. Finally, after all the pages have been completed, cover them liberally with gesso on both sides and let dry.

 
Guest Artist Jenny Petricek

3. Create the page backgrounds. I did this in different ways in my journal. On some pages I began with a layer of collage, adhering scraps of patterned paper to the page with gel medium and then painting over them. On others, I jumped right in with acrylic paint, squirting different colors on the page and mixing them with my fingers. To add more interest, I rubbed paint through stencils. I let the paint dry before moving on.
 
Guest Artist Jenny Petricek



4. Add the focal pieces. Some of my focal pieces were part of greeting cards I’d trimmed to fit in the journal, taking care to preserve special sentiments and handwritten messages; I also used photos and other memorabilia. I attached these items to the pages with double-sided tape.
 
Guest Artist Jenny Petricek

5. Add embellishments. I used a wide variety of embellishments on my pages, including stamps, stickers, rub-ons, die-cut borders, photo corners, and washi tape. On many pages, I also wrote and doodled with pens.
 
Guest Artist Jenny Petricek



6. Add inserts. I decided that I’d insert my postcards between pages, so that I could easily see both the imagery on the front and the handwriting on the back. I attached the postcards with strips of washi tape near the binding; if you spread a thin layer of gel medium under and over the tape, it will serve as reinforcement and keep the postcards secure.
 
Guest Artist Jenny Petricek

7. Finish the cover. I began with a coat of gesso, followed by a layer of collaged paper and washi tape, and then a mixture of paint. I arranged papers, photos, and other embellishments on the cover. I generated my title on a word processor, printed it out, and trimmed it to fit.
 
Guest Artist Jenny Petricek



8. Spray all the pages with an archival spray varnish; this will seal the layers on your pages and protect the cards and memorabilia from damage.
 
I’m very satisfied with my finished journal because it provides a great home for all of the treasured pieces of mail my grandparents sent me over the years, and tells the story of the warm relationship I had with them. If you’re holding on to special memorabilia from the past, why not take it out of the box, folder, or envelope where you’ve been hiding it, and put it into a wonderful handmade art journal?

 

–Jenny Petricek

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