The 12 Art Journals

Hey y'all!  I am so thrilled that y'all decided to join my traveling art journal!  I cannot wait to see all the amazing things y'all do.  You're all so talented and I feel truly honored that y'all are willing to let me have a piece of your art.

So, let's get down to the details!

The Journal Itself

I've been talking with artgirl80 (who has done a few of these journals before) and we both agreed that a standard size would make it easier for everyone when it comes to mailing these things.  That being said... we decided that 6x9" (12x9" when opened) is a good size.  It'll fit in a standard 9x12" envelope with plenty of room for anything else you might want to put in there.

Size: 6" wide - 12" open & 9" high

Materials: Mix Media or Watercolor paper is best.  It'll hold up to layers of inks, paints, etc. but isn't heavy.

Cover: I'm making my cover out of watercolor paper.  You can make it out of anything you like.  I originally was going to make it out of canvas.  I ask, however, that if you want to make your cover out of chipboard, please don't send the chipboard cover with your journal.  Re-bind your journal once it's complete.  Chipboard can be kind of heavy and I don't want anyone to have to spend a small fortune on shipping.

Pages: Enough so that everyone (12 including yourself) can do a 2 page spread.  Remember, these pages are folded in half, so that we're working on both the front and back of each page.

Seven 9"x12" pages will give you 13 spreads, plus a front and back page to be used for various things - such as a sign in page/ etc.

You can add flaps, pockets, pull outs, extra bits and pieces.... what ever you feel like putting in!

Theme: None!  I really want each of you to put your own personal style and spin on these pages.  No themes, just do your thing and it will be super amazing!!  This is complete creative license.  Just have fun!  They can be as simple or as elaborate as you want.  You can include personal messages, pictures, etc. if you really want to but remember that 11 other people are going to be seeing these.

Materials/Supplies Used on Pages: Go crazy!  Have fun!  No limits or restrictions.  Except - please don't use brads or anything that will push into the next page.  Just, don't try collaging the kitchen sink.  They'll charge an arm and a leg at the post office!

Extras/Goodies/Etc: These are not necessary to include.  If you want to include little extras for everyone, then go right ahead.  But they're totally optional!


I know this is the first time a lot of us are doing a Round Robin Traveling Journal and maybe even making our own journals.  This is definitely a first for me.  So I want to include some pictures of mine.  Let me stress that this is my very first time ever making a handmade art journal (or any book binding period)!  I'm no expert.  All I have seen and know is what I've found on the internet and YouTube.

** I'm giving y'all access to this page before I finish making my own journal, so pics will be updated as I continue to make it!

 Showing the size of the pages!  Apparently these are sideways.  Sorry!

 I'm making 2 signatures of 4 pages each.  By making signatures instead of just folding all the pages together, it helps them stay more aligned.  You can certainly fold them all together, but the middle pages will stick out further than the others.
This is the cover of my journal.  It's made from watercolor paper (because I want to make it stiffer than the inner pages.

My cover is 18" wide and 9 1/2" tall.  This is because I wanted to fold it over on the front.  I also added a small (about 2") extra flap just for fun.

 This is what it looks like with the pages in - and how the folds work.  Note, I haven't actually sewn/bound the pages in there yet.

I did punch holes in the cover and pages and did a "dry run" (I didn't decorate the cover before I figured out how to bind it) where I actually bound everything together.  I didn't punch my holes correctly (too close together) and they tore on the cover.  This is why I did a dry run!  I cut a new cover and adjusted my holes.  Another dry run and I was content with how I wanted to bind everything.  No, I didn't take pictures of that, but I will as soon as I get everything ready for binding. 

I un-threaded the pages from the cover and put the pages aside.  Then laid the cover out flat and began gesso-ing both the front and back of the cover.  It'll get 2 or 3 layers before I'm ready to start adding paint.  Even though it's made of watercolor paper, I still want to reinforce it and make it even stiffer.

 Once I finish with the cover (I'll take pics as that happens), I am going to seal it all (front and back) with a generous layer of Gel Medium.  Elizabeth showed me a journal she made and it was sealed this way.  It made the cover very stiff and durable.

 This is the cover of my journal - at least, the outside bit!  I am planning on doing something on the inside as well.  I haven't sewn any signatures in yest because I wanted to get it painted before I add stuff.  I have not sealed it with gel medium yet (mainly because I've got to go get some more!).  I want to paint the inside and then I'll start sealing.  That way it gives each side a minimum of 24 hours to cure between painting and sealing.

I will be including a sign in page with my journal.  That way I will always know who participated!

First Page!  (note, at this time, my journal is still not bound - only trying to give y'all some examples)

These are some ideas about what to put on your 1st page.  Table of Contents?  Participants?  Sign In page?  Introduction to your fellow journalists?  Doodles?  Title Page? 
 Once you turn that first single page, you're faced with a 2 page spread.  That one is yours to do!!!

 Just a little reminder!

Here's the deal with a sign in page.  It doesn't have to be an actual page, it could be a flap, or an attached envelope, or whatever.  But it's a good idea so that each person can sign their name, maybe even add the date they did it, what have you!  It can even be the very last single page!

Here are some examples of my extra flaps and also how in my journal I would like y'all to "sign in" and sign your work!

 First page and front of flap
 Back of flap - opened
 Introduction & flap - with Name & Date stamp.  I want y'all on my journal to sign your name & date your work on the front of each of my flaps.  You can also decorate the front of the flap as well.  The back of the flap can be an extra part of your spread or make it different - but it is for y'all to work on as well!
 Envelop that will contain a little "happy" for each of y'all!  Added to the inside of my journal cover using washi tape as a hinge.



 You are welcome to ship these Art Journals any way that you like.  In any envelop, package, wrapped in bubble wrap, tissue paper, etc.  But you will be responsible for postage for each and every journal that you send out.

I suggest using a standard Manilla Envelop (usually 9x12" from the office supply section of most stores.  Maybe you can find one a little smaller at 8x10").  

Please be sure to tape all sides of your envelopes.  Use scotch tape, washi tape, packing tape, whatever... but please tape the envelopes.  The US Postal Service has been extremely rough with mail lately, as we've all experienced, and I really would hate for one of our journals to get damaged, or worse!

Shipping Prices:  According to Elizabeth, it shouldn't cost more than $2-4 to ship these journals.  Please go inside the post office and have them weigh it, etc.  It is very possible that your local post office will consider these to be "parcels".  If they do so, according to the usps website, cost should be around $3.22 for an 8oz package.  I have absolutely no idea how much these journals will weigh once we all start filling them up.  

An alternative suggestion - if your local post office says that postage will be higher than $6, use a Flat Rate envelope.  They're $5.75 no matter how heavy the journal is!  Or, as they say... seek a second opinion.  Different post offices and the worker there-in will tell you different things.  But please, please please, do not spend a fortune on shipping!


Here is everyone who is participating in this round robin.  I am listing each person and their addresses on this page so that we can all look refer to this page as needed.  It is password protected (as y'all know since you had to have the password to even see it!) so don't be concerned about privacy or your home addresses floating around on the internet.  :)

This is also the order list for sending your journals.  It's based on the order in which you signed up.

Send your journals to the person next person in line from you and so forth!  Once you reach the end, start from the top and go down.

Brenda Lee (thegypsyowlartco)
1201 Rockingham Drive
Clinton, MS 39056

Melissa Dufner (poshpieces)
24631 Magnolia Falls
San Antonio, TX 78261

Elizabeth Thweatt (artgirl80)
502 Lorraine Court
Brandon, MS 39042   

Amie Seahorn (amiesea)
1108 GreenRiver Trail
Cleburne, TX 76033

Lilia Navarro (hellokitty1970)
214 David Street
Pearl, MS 39208

Kim Smith (slaphappystudios)
530 Union McMinn Road
Niota, TN 37826

Seida Jirau (sjirau)
68 Hunt Lane
East haven, CT 06512

Tina Shaver (yourgirl_tina)
2010 13th Street
Silvis, IL 61282

Ashly Steele (hufflepuffsith)
1357 Latona Street
Anaheim, CA 92804

Natalya Nez (pacotacorox)
P.O. Box 3423
Gallup, NM 87305

Astrid Mckeller (artist_shu)
1530 19th Avenue
Kingsburg, CA 93631

Rachelle Conyer (secretsofanorangeowl)
1373 S Co Rd. 150 W
Brownstown, IN 47220

***If your address changes at any time during this, please message me so I can update!***

Where are the journals?

The journals are currently:

These boards will change and be updated as our journals move!  Please be sure to leave a message on our Group DM on Instagram so I can keep up with it!


There are no fixed deadlines to either finish or mail these journals.  We're all busy with a million things - for some it's school, for others chronic illness, sometimes it's work.  We're all busy.  I do however want to try for all of us, to try to get at least one done a month.  If we all start in January and do one a month, then we'll all be finished by January 2016.  Twelve journals in twelve months sounds pretty cool to me.

If there is a problem and you take more than a month (or are going to take longer), please send me a me a message, either here or on instagram just so we can know what's going on.  We're all understanding ladies, I promise!

If you get done quickly, go ahead and send it on!

Life is crazy!  I need to pass....

What is a pass?  Just like in a game show if you don't know the answer, you can choose to "Pass" and come back to it at the end!  I know and understand that life gets stupid crazy sometimes with work, school, illness, etc. and sometimes you just need to pass for a moment.

If you need to be skipped and have a journal pass you, you can be skipped over.  I MUST be notified in a DM (on Instagram) or by email as soon as possible.  That way we can keep the chain going.  If you have already received someone's journal and you need to pass, notify me that you're passing it along as well as the group on Instagram.  (If you have already received a journal and need to pass, know that you'll be paying for shipping on that journal twice.  Just so you know.)

If someone requests to be passed, the journal will then go on to the next person in line.  For example, if I choose to be passed for a round, then secretsofanorangeowl would send to poshpieces instead of me.

The journal(s) you pass on will be tacked on to the end and you will become the last person for that specific journal.

For those who pass, I will put up a list in the new order for you specifically right here so you will be able to keep everything straight.

If at all possible, please try not to pass but if you have to (and we all understand), please try your best not to make a habit of it.  Try not to pass more than twice because you'll end up with a pile of journals at the end of the year and the holidays are C-R-A-Z-Y enough without that added pressure!


Go ahead and post a snippet of a page you're either working on, or have completed!  Please don't post the whole spread, but a tantalizing glimpse is great!

There is a comment section at the bottom of this page.  Please, by all means, go ahead and post comments here!  Questions, concerns, conversation - what have you!  Use it freely!

I do ask, when you mail someone's journal off, to please post a comment here on this page so that the next person in line can be on the lookout for it!  Again, this is mainly because the post office sucks!  

I have also created a private Flickr group that we can share photos to!  If y'all want to join the group, email me your Flickr name or email address!  (my email is:

I've started a #hashtag on Instagram that we can all use to distinguish what we do for this activity versus our other Instagram posts.  The hashtag is:  #12artjournals

Tips, Tricks, Additional Information

I've found a few websites that have information on their own round robin journals.  You can also check Google, Pinterest, and YouTube for information on how to make and bind your journals.  Or ask Elizabeth!  She taught a class on book binding! 

When do we start?

Now of course!  No, I'm only partially kidding. 

Go ahead and start making, creating, painting, and playing in your journals now if you like.

You are the first person to have your journal, so be sure to count yourself as one of the 12!  Since that's the case, you have the entire month of January to work on it!

Try your best to begin mailing your journals to the next person on the list by the end of January/ first of February!

It is totally ok if you're ready to mail before the end of the month!  Some of us may have the opportunity to work more quickly than others.  If you're ready - go ahead and send it!


I'm so happy that y'all want to create these journals with me!  I know we're going to have a lot of fun and will create some beautiful art!

If you need me for any reason - email me ( or DM me on Instagram!

Love to y'all! 


  1. Ok, finally have time this evening to start my journal!! So excited!! Thanks for all the info & tips!!

    1. Yay! I can't wait to see what you come up with. :)

  2. Hi lady! So excited to be a part of this!! I'm patiently waiting on my first journal...
    I have a question, I'm having trouble when trying to access 12 art journals on my iphone. It ask for password, brings it up, then disappears...any ideas? It's not that big of a deal, obviously I can use my home computer, hah!
    Can hardly wait to see them!
    Soooooo looking forward to July!!!

    1. I have no idea why it disappears on you. Works just fine on my iphone. We're all very glad to have you sweetie! Cannot wait to see everyone's journals. July is going to be a blast!

  3. Hi Brenda, just letting you know my temporary address is 111 County Road 663 (not 109). Hopefully, this will change to a permanant one soon!! Thanks 😊

    1. No problem sweetie! Crossing my fingers for you! :D


Each comment, blog hug, or bit of love just makes my day so much brighter! I can't thank you enough for taking time out of your busy day to leave me a little message! :)

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