Saturday, 19 January 2013

Joy in the post

I hope you're sitting comfortably for I have so much to share in this one post.

A year ago I began a collaborative project with seven other artists both here in the UK and in the USA. We each created our own Art Journal which we then sent out on a journey across continents to meet our friends and have them add their own contribution.

Our journals returned to us just before Christmas and we promised each other that we would share the final pieces with each other and the rest of our friends in Blogland.

Here is my personal story of the arty adventure and what it has meant to me.

I have photographed all the pages and focused on details then mashed them up into this little video for you. Some of the pieces are mine (mostly those without names) but the rest portray the magic of my friends - the other artists. I'm sure you'll figure it all out! If the embed doesn't show, you can click here to go directly to YouTube (and put the sound on - there's music!).

The Artists

Lisa DiNunzio - our fearless leader
and me!


I must confess that I didn't quite comprehend the importance attached to what my actual journal should look like. With a thought more on the economics of postal costs and less on aesthetic pleasure, I went for a somewhat 'lightweight' approach to my book. I did, however, make it myself! My first attempt at book-binding surprisingly managed to keep itself together across continents, oceans and postal sorting offices. With this I impressed even myself, particularly as - much to my consternation - it transpired that bookbinding required the use of both needle and thread! (Regular readers will know that I have never quite managed to channel my inner seamstress!


The arrival each month of a bulky package was always momentous, requiring the teasing decision over whether to rip-it-open-right-this-second or savour the moment like a particularly fine wine. And, as the months passed and the colours, pattern and textures spilled ever-more profusely from the precious pages, the anticipation of savouring those contents just intensified.

Not wishing to ruin such moments with sneak peeks on others' blogs, I heeded spoiler alerts that came via email from the rest of the tribe for a while, but confess that eventually curiosity got the better of me and I indulged with wild abandon!


Of course, the purpose of each journal spending time with you was to fill its pages with your own style of beauty. However, it took several months to overcome the total terror of messing up someone's book! I also got blocked by attempting to create outside of my comfort zone - to break new boundaries. Eventually I figured that my friends were possibly looking forward to receiving something  recognisably 'Lisa Wright' so at last I began to relax and with the silly added pressure removed the paint began to 'flow'.


None of us have ever met in person. We came to know each other through all being members of the Inspiration Avenue Etsy team and blog at one point or another. I do consider these ladies the closest of friends though. I think that holding, touching and being able to peer close up at each other's art helped to nurture this closeness we felt towards each other. We shared our excitement through our blogs and email and of course the monthly packages!

I was extremely touched by the way each of them knew me so well and took the trouble to reflect that in their work. I am a very lucky lady.

Now we've started our own Facebook Group which further eases our communication and collaboration. It's like finally all being in the same room together and telling our stories over our favourite tipple.

The next chapter

We start again with new journals next month. I am preparing to embark upon this second voyage without the trepidation of the first and with some seriously grandiose plans for my journaling vehicle. I like to think that where 2012's was the local commuter train, 2013 will be more Orient Express - albeit a little rusty...

We are working with a colour theme this year and I have chosen rusty hues - oranges, browns, sepia, burnt copper, hints of turquoise...

Start your own

If this story resonates with you, I would urge you to get your own groups together and build an adventure. All you need is some trusty companions, a pack loaded with art supplies and some journals and a spot of mapping to navigate your way to your own treasure.

To get you started you might even be the lucky winner of the competition we are holding with this blog party. To win a selection of items to get you started, simply visit and comment on all of our blogs telling us what your art collaboration plans might involve - let your imaginations fly!

The Artists

Lisa DiNunzio - our fearless leader
Maggie Nemetz
Stephanie Mealor Corder
Tammy Neumann Sprinkle
Kat Wright
Angela Hogan
Kim Collister
and me!


  1. What an awesome and amazing joint effort and bond of friendship! Must be really fun and fill you with warm thoughts to go through each page :)

  2. I love the idea of collaboration, but hear you when I think of postage costs. Perhaps I could organise one within Australia? I'd like to give it a theme too.

  3. What a lovely collaboration to be a part of. Loved seeing the work and it must have been really exciting receiving the post each time.

  4. What a wonderful treasure you have created. Looking forward to seeing how you do next time.

  5. Oh Lisa your post is amazing & has made me feel all emotional (in a happy grateful way). I adored your video (have sent you message in F/b too) - it took me on a magical journey. You are super clever to display our journal experience in that way. Then the words of this post rang so true. This swap has become incredibly special and at the beginning I had no idea how important it would be to me. And above all it has brought us all closer together. Its amazing to remember we've never met in person because it feels like we surely have!
    Big Hugs
    Kat Xx

  6. Your video gave me CHILLS- how wonderful! I loved seeing all of our work like that- and that haunting music; just so incredible! I LOVE our group, and feel SO blessed that we're starting all over again. Got lots of rusty gears turning in my brain, rearing to go!

  7. Lisa, you're so creative to think of making a video! I so enjoyed watching it! And the story you wrote about the traveling journals reflects our experience perfectly.

    I think it was when I saw your handmade book that I decided to make my own next time. And I did! It's all ready to go except for some painting on the inside :) (I may just be addicted to making art well as being hooked on the whole journal swap experience)

  8. Unfortunately I can't see the video in germany, cause the music is saved :-(
    Have a nice weekend,

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  10. What a great idea to make a viddy!
    And then the way you wrote about it...
    made me want to join...
    and then I was like, Hello??? LOL! ♥♥♥

  11. what a great collaboration to be part of, the art journal looks lovely

  12. oh my goodness, Lisa
    is this ever lovely
    this concept, this artwork!

    in gathering
    creative souls
    to create...i have
    stretched my own abilities
    in ways i didn't know was

    when working with others
    in art journaling
    a warm glow fills you
    as you hold in your
    hands art made by another
    you cannot help but
    connect with their
    inner beauty!

    its all so very lovely.
    all so very wonderful.
    here, here!
    cherio all of you,
    all of us engaing
    in this creative

    xoxo my friend!

  13. ~lisa...what an overwhelmingly beautiful journey...pieces to truly have my mind and wheels turning as it has been ever so long since i embarked on an excitingly wild adventure...thank you so for sharing~

  14. Stunning. Truely gorgeous art journal! YES! There is "JOY" in the post. Lisa this is Wonderful!!!

  15. I did this a few years ago and I so loved it. A shame I never repeated it again but maybe one day:)Manonx

  16. Lisa this is beautifully presented and written, you've captured the experience perfectly! I loved your hand-made book with all the different papers, I think it was my favourite of all the journals, and I love everything in it too! x

  17. It sounds very get something in the mail. I'm finding all of these new inspiring blogs.

  18. You genius girl!!!! The video made me cry! Can't say enough about it. I have watched it so many times already and sharing. Standing Ovation!!!!
    Hugs, and you deserve the entire cake today! :)

  19. Your book is gorgeous Lisa! It sounds like it was an awesome experience!

  20. beautiful wrinkles and beautiful portrait. thank you for sharing

  21. As a newer member of Inspiration Avenue, I don't know most of the artists who participated. I love what you all created and am really appreciative that you wrote so much about your process, especially the trepidation you felt. I've visited Kim, Maggie, and now you so I'm off to see the rest of the posts. Thank you for sharing!

  22. Oh my...what a wonderful collaboration for a truly unique work of art! I belong to an art group...The Arty Tea Party we call ourselves, and I think I may give this a try. It's great to share with like minded souls.

    I'm off to visit the rest of your talented friends! Thanks for a great post!



Thank you for your comments - I always love to hear what you think :)

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