View Full Version : My International Fake Journal 2010

05-29-2010, 05:58 PM
Several months ago, I found an awesome art journalist who keeps a blog called "Rox Wound Up". I've posted a link in the thread "Great Journal/Blog sites. The "International Fake Journal" is her brainchild. Each April, beginning on April 1, she starts and encourages others to start, a fake journal. I decided to participate this year, tho' I did not have a blog or website to post my pages as I progressed through the month. Then I realized I could post it here. :D

For more information about "fake" journaling, here is the official site.

I won't be able to post everything today. For some reason my new camera and my computer are not talking to each other and I'm working on it. I did take these pictures with the idea that I would post them somewhere during the month of April. But, it didn't happen. :o

I made a sketchbook for this journal because there would only be 30 or less entries. I had a pad of watercolor paper laying around, so turned it into a coptic bound book with soft covers I created out of fabric and stiff interfacing.


Inside the front cover is a pocket in which I am placing a 3x5 card with the following disclaimer.

"This is the journal of Hans, the beekeeper in an alternate 2010 where the economy has already collapsed."


The writing is hidden by the pocket. :o


The top text is simply data. The date, sunrise, sunset, moon phase, high and low temperature for the day.

"Saw this lad in the window. It was snowing most of the day. It would not have done any good to check on the girls. The probably didn't even come out this afternoon when there was a break in the clouds. I didn't bother to go out today. I was content to stay indoors and read. I do hope the trader was able to find chocolate. We are expecting him to show up any day now."

05-29-2010, 06:14 PM
Debby, this rocks! You're writing and drawing science fiction. I love it. What a cool project! Beautiful drawing of the fly too.

Gorgeous cover. Please do type in the text as you post the journal pages, the illustrations are lovely and the story is fascinating. Hans the Beekeeper has a good thing going -- unless the area has sugar cane fields, Hans has something everybody wants. Even if they do. Honey has a lot of uses.

05-29-2010, 07:53 PM
Love your "lad" Debby! I would never occur to me to draw a fly, and yet, how tender he is, with his luminious eyes and faintly tentative expression! And lovely transparent wings! He looks like he should star in a children's book!

05-29-2010, 11:00 PM
What a great idea. I love the start of your story, wonderful pic of the fly too. Can't wait to see more.

05-30-2010, 04:33 AM
That's a neat idea, Debby. Poor Hans will have to fight some adverse conditions it seems. ;)

05-30-2010, 04:41 AM
OOOH!!! An encyclopedia! Love the data that comes along with it too :D

05-30-2010, 11:46 AM
Thank you Robert, Anne-Marie, Jaquip, Silvia and Raymond for your lovely comments. I had fun doing this.

I keep a private written journal and a sketchbook, but I really love the idea of a combination. The idea of the fake journal is to quiet the inner critic and try things. (It's not your journal. :wink2::lol:) After having completed this, I find that I really liked the combination of ink and water color pencils that I used for the drawing parts. But, the page layout felt really contrived. On the other hand, I was pleased with the idea of pictures and writing. I am currently looking for a sketchbook or journal that will take the light washes for watercolor pencils and also allow me to go with multiple layers if I choose to use colored pencils instead. And that will take ink without dragging the pen. (I admit, it may be impossible. :o) I find that CP watercolor paper is too rough for how I used regular colored pencils. Anyway, I'm playing with several sheets of sample paper and am finding out what I like and don't like. I still need to try HP watercolor paper. I may just have to make my own sketchbook, like I did this one.


"Another interloper today. Took this one outside. Cool and quite overcast today. I didn't check, but I'm sure the girls stayed inside again today. Had a customer drop by hoping I had honey for sale. I've already sold the 2009 crop. It's too early to be getting more now. He offered old dollars. Now, if he thought to offer me something decent, I could have seen my way clear to release a jar from my stash. Still no trader. Thought for sure he'd come before Easter."

Rose Queen
05-30-2010, 11:58 AM
Wonderful, Debby! Really clever.

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05-31-2010, 12:56 PM
Thank you Diana.


"The sun came out today. Saw the first dandelion and wouldn't you know, one of my girls was on it. Mr. L came back today. This time he got it right. I'll be having fish for a couple of meals and he's got his sweet. Still no sign of the trader. He knows I keep rose honey for him. He's bound to show up soon."

05-31-2010, 05:45 PM
Have you ever read a book called Lady Cottington's Book of Pressed Fairies???

I think you'd like it - it's absolutely brilliant (not remotely cutesy). It's written very seriously as a journal. at the start by a girl who catches and presses fairies in the pages and writes - her writing changes as she gets older and there is more and more that you are understanding behind what's actually said :) and she continues until old age - the fairies are rather naughty, often ugly and the whole thing is really unique and different.

06-01-2010, 12:23 AM
This is so awesome. I love your latest entries. It's understated, powerful SF and I like the tension of waiting for the trader. Beautiful sketches of the spider and the dandelion.

Either a homemade hot press one or a Moleskine watercolor journal might be good. The paper's only 90lb but it doesn't bleed through, and I've had no trouble doing pen and ink on it or watercolor pencils as well as watercolor -- or using heavy washes when I wanted to. The pocket size one isn't that expensive just to try one to see if you like the Moleskine paper. I think it's extra sized for that no bleed through or something.

06-01-2010, 02:55 AM
You have got me hooked, I can't wait to see more entries. Love the simple drawings, they look awesome.

06-02-2010, 01:43 PM
Debby I really got hooked by the title of this journal, and now I really want to see more! :D Loved the page with the dandelion and the bee :thumbsup:

ps: rose honey? is such a wonder really existing? wow! (Honey fan in me talking here :) )

06-02-2010, 06:07 PM
Vivien, no, I have not heard of that book. So, I looked it up. Have to see if I can find a copy.

Robert, I actually, in playing with paper samples found a beautiful hot press watercolor paper that works with everything I currently work with and how I work with it. It's Acquerello Portofino. Unfortunately, Blick is out of stock until the end of the month. I have set aside a small fund to buy this in sheets and bind my own sketchbook as well as having sheets to do finished drawings (as opposed to sketching). I tried looking for it elsewhere and no one else seems to sell it in sheets only in pads or blocks. *sigh* After all this, I hope that it sews up well for casing in. Other hot press paper I've tried, such as Strathmore Imperial, even the lightest touch of a "poke your eye out" sharp pencil point digs into the paper, leaving grooves and marks. :( I'm sure it's lovely for painting, but I do more drawing. In the meantime, I've got lots of paper and pencils to play with. (Must use the supplies. :lol:)

Jacquip, glad you are following along. Next entry coming up.

Sandra, actually, yes, there is such a thing as rose honey. I am a beekeeper as well as a confectioner and wanna be artist. :lol: I have about 6 jars of rose honey left from last year. When you open the jar, you smell honey. The second sniff and you smell rose. There are lots of wild roses growing around the bee yard. The trick is to steal the newest capped honey just as the roses are finishing blooming for the year. It's not 100% rose nectar, but enough that you get the smell and subtle flavor. It's lovely in tea. Glad you are enjoying the story.


"Found this little lady when I went outside this morning. Sun was shining. The girls were quite busy. Clouds rolled in this afternoon. Looks like snow tonight. Kind of quiet today since I don't hold with this church stuff. Still no trader. I hope he's ok. Checked my supplies. Now, I hope he's got pencils, paints, and pens too. I think I have enough honey. Could use some paper too."


"Dug a little in the compost this morning when I added to it. Turned up this beauty. In reality the colors were paler. It snowed most of the day without sticking. The girls stayed in today. Hope they are getting enough when they can fly. Mr. B dropped by late afternoon. He brought firewood. A good thing, I'm almost out of dry and have been trying to get the green dried out enough to use. Still no trader."

06-02-2010, 06:34 PM
This is so great. The story's wonderful of course, it's simple and engaging. Very powerful.

I knew of rose honey but I've never had it. It sounds wonderful! Now the honey lollipops make sense too, since you're also a beekeeper. I knew you'd at least researched beekeeping but now I'm even more thrilled you're writing this from life.

I love the earthworm. You captured that look some of the red ones get, shiny and damp, moving in sinuous muscular grace. They're very dextrous, and you caught a perfect gesture in its pose. Magnificent! Cute ladybug on a slightly yellowed leaf. Again an interesting pose, coming forward rather than from the side or above the way they're usually drawn.

I love the realism of the illustrations. Your dandelion was gorgeous too. That earthworm is perfect. That's just elegant.

06-02-2010, 10:17 PM
Fantastic, love the story. Made me smile that you mentioned needing art supplies, not what I expected but still so apt. There is certainly a sense of mystery about the story, so simple yet captivating. The earthworm looks awesome, so wet and gooey. Really like the ladybug too.

Keenly waiting for the next installment. Are you really only going to do this for one month???? :(


06-02-2010, 11:28 PM
Debby this is so much fun and the drawings are great! Love the fly! I can taste that rose honey as I type.... Can't wait for the next part! :-)

WC Lee
06-03-2010, 12:43 AM
this is a very interesting journal and it got me wondering if the trader will show before the end of the book :D and the idea of keeping a fake journal is intriguing.

Vivien Maloney
06-03-2010, 03:12 PM
Great stuff Debbie! I love it. Like the idea and the story is developing beautifully. Well done.

06-03-2010, 04:11 PM
What a great idea (and i do love Lady Cottington). The fake journal concept makes me think of the Sylvia cartoon by Nicole Hollander that from time to time features the "woman who lies in her personal journal (oh like you've never done it!)"

I look forward to more of your "adventures."

06-03-2010, 04:36 PM
I'm glad someone else knows Lady Cottington!

this is going really well :)

06-03-2010, 11:14 PM
Thank you Robert, it was fun actively seeking a little life-form each day and incorporating it into this journal. I figured Hans being a beekeeper would also have an appreciation for other bugs and such.

Yes, Jacqui, I am only doing this for a month. I think, however, I will do this again next year. I'm glad you like it and are following along.

Thank you Rachel. Stick around. When I was writing this, I didn't know where it was going. I was making up the journal entries as I went along. :lol:

Thank you WC Lee. Give the fake journal a try. Make up a person and a real or imaginary place and go for it. It really knocks down that internal critic. After all, it's not your journal, it's somebody else and they would draw or write this way and it's ok. :D I got to really try ink and water color pencils with this without feeling like it had to be perfect.

Thank you Vivien, CJ and Vivien. Glad to have you following along.


"Weather seems to have cleared for now. Temps are warmer. The girls are out and about. Saw a grasshopper nymph. Spring is in the air. Best of all the trader showed up today. He took longer because he is expanding his route and hauling more items. Got my art supplies and chocolate. Even managed to barter for some real tea and some lemons. If he's expanding, I might just be able to realize my bake shop."

06-03-2010, 11:27 PM
Art supplies and chocolate... what else is there? !!! LOL... although i couldn't live without my tea and cake! Fun!

06-04-2010, 01:13 PM
Thanks Rachel. Even tho' this is a fake journal, I find it reflects a bit of me in there. :lol:

I'm afraid the water got away from me when I applied it to the water color pencils on this one. :(


"Beautiful day. Had a cup of tea at breakfast. The girls were out today. They love the dandelions. Made lemon meringue pie today. Was able to trade for a shirt made by Mrs. A. The trader is still here today. We talked some more. He's talking about staying a few more days so those outside town have a chance to come in. He's also asking about my baked goods and sweets. This is sounding good."


"Had to catch and release this stink bug today. Hated to do, but don't like sharing quarters with the likes of this one. It was windy with snow flurries that didn't stick. The wind was biting cold. Was able to bake brownies, chocolate chip cookies and hope to do more tomorrow. Talking with the trader he claims that most people on his route are happy just to get flour and salt. Salt I can understand, but flour? Good thing the farmer's around here grow wheat."

06-04-2010, 03:13 PM
This is so great! The trader coming was great timing, pacing is elegant. Love it. Art supplies and chocolate, lemon meringue pie made the hard way from actual lemons. I don't think I've ever had that, lemon meringue comes out of a box, right? (Sez the man who doesn't cook. lol)

I love the sketches of the grasshopper nymph, the stink bug and the bee on the dandelion even if the water got away from you on that one. Gorgeous. I have to join in next year, now that I know about it.

06-05-2010, 01:35 AM
WOW OH WOW--that stinkbug (?) is GORGEOUS!!!!! What really makes it is that highlight! This is really good and really exciting!

I love your story, too. It's just so fun and neat. I agree with Robert--I'm gonna have to join the bandwagon next year. For now, I'm grateful to be along on your ride!

PS I don't think I've ever seen a stinkbug--wonder if we have them in Illinois? Or Washington state, where I grew up? I'm thinking no . . .

06-05-2010, 07:53 PM
Thanks Robert and Anne-Marie. Glad you are enjoying the "story". I didn't intend for it to be a story when I started. Just an exercise with pictures and words. I jotted things down that someone might experience in a barter community without modern amenities like cars, electric and running water. Then I added "modern" stuff like art supplies and chocolate because things won't go away, they'll just be harder to get a hold of, or at least that's what I surmised. :lol:


"Found a moth fluttering about my lamp last evening. It was safely removed to outside. Made cookies again today. Traded them for more chocolate. The trader was holding out on me! I'm so grateful I stockpiled sugar before the crash. Started negotiations with Mrs. G in town. She has an old restaurant store front that no one is using. I do wish, however, that she didn't think flirting was necessary. I'm quite happy being single."


"I've got my supply needs set up with the trader. Now if I could only convince Mrs. G that all I want is to buy or rent the store, not marry her! I know she's a widow and lonely, but I'm perfectly happy being what I am without the complications of a relationship. I suppose I could just sell from my house. But a storefront gives me regular hours for business, leaving my residence private."

06-05-2010, 09:15 PM
Great twists in the story. Love the moth and the ant. Great illustrations and the story, even if you didn't intend it to become one, is turning out well.

Carole A
06-05-2010, 09:26 PM
I'm loving this story of yours. You could expand it, I'm sure and find a publiisher. It's so imaginative. I hope I never find myself in the situation of having to barter. I could do jams and jellies, that's it.:lol:

Carole A

06-05-2010, 10:19 PM
What a fantastic collection of insect images you are creating and collecting here. They are all so wonderful. The story is really developing well, love the trader and Mrs G. You are certainly creating a convincing storyline within your original idea. Very true to life... I think.

06-06-2010, 09:58 AM
What an interesting journal! I'm intrigued, should join in next year myself. Great sketches and drawings so far! And your handwriting is so neat :O

06-06-2010, 02:29 PM
Thank you Robert, Carole, Jacqui, and Aiylah.

Carole, I'm sure if it came down to it, you'd find something to barter. You probably have more skills than you think you do.

Aiylah, two things contributed to neat writing, both involved huge amounts of practice. I learned early on in school, that down time was not permitted, nor was drawing permitted outside of art time. :rolleyes: So, to fill my time I filled out reams of binder paper with writing the alphabet as many different ways as I could think of. If I'd been a bit more clever, I could have written stories or poetry or something. :( Then, I was a mechanical drafter. The style of lettering you are seeing in the journal is a sloppy version of hand printed lettering used on blueprints of mechanical drawings before there were computers. I did that for years. (Telling my age here. :lol:)

Lost the whites on this one to make it look shiny and slightly slimy. Now, it just looks cute. :rolleyes:


"Flowers are blooming. Found earwigs in them already. Mrs. G is still hinting around. I will not be swayed. I will find another way if she persists. The trader left today. He assured me that either himself or the young man he's training would return in a month with my requested supplies. Tonight I'm feeling old. I hate feeling that way. I guess I can't avoid it at my age."

06-06-2010, 02:36 PM
Very cool. I like the drawing of the earwig, it looks very real. It does look faintly slimy.

06-08-2010, 10:10 AM
Debby, this is all amazing! I love the idea of it being "someone else's" journal. I've got to try it! If that "other" person messes up, who cares?

06-08-2010, 11:40 AM
Haha! Awesome, Debby! I hope you have a lot more pages in that sketchpad to fill up!

06-08-2010, 01:29 PM
Thank you Robert, Dena and Raymond.

Well, Raymond, April only has 30 days and I skipped a few as this next entry will attest. The earwig was dated 4/11. This one is dated 4/15. :o Had to come up with a reason why my journaler skipped a few days.


"I guess the feeling old was feeling ill. Got the flu of all things. Feeling some better now, just a little weak. Mr L, the farmer, brought me the beetle I drew. He says it's a cereal beetle, eats the leaves on grain plants. Maybe tomorrow I'll feel like dealing Mrs. G again."

06-08-2010, 02:41 PM
o Had to come up with a reason why my journaler skipped a few days.

FUNNY!!! I'm really enjoying this story and its neat to come in here and think "Oooo I wonder what happened with Mrs G? "! But the ant and that last cereal bug are WAY cool! Very well done! I love it all - the complete package! Keep going.... :D

06-08-2010, 08:09 PM
The cereal bug is great! Love the drawing. Good reason for him to skip several days too -- love how it's working out. You've definitely got me intrigued with doing one next year. I might blog it.

06-09-2010, 07:45 AM
What a fun and creative idea! The journal looks beautiful too.


06-09-2010, 09:32 AM
Debby you have kept up the standard so well. Great way to cover for the missing days. Just seems so realistic that it would happen at some stage. Love the ongoing tension with Mrs G :)

Reading and seeing this has inspired me to go back to a blog I started 3 years ago when I got my kittens, sharing stories of their lives and fun. I have decided to start it up again and add some of my art in there too, in particular my cat sketches. I guess a version of a journal. Thanks for being a great role model.

06-09-2010, 03:25 PM
good one :) I like the sheen on this

06-09-2010, 04:22 PM
I'm glad I could make you laugh Rachel. Today's entry is dated the 17th. So, Hans (I) did not journal on the 16th. But, again, it's covered. :wink2:

Robert it is a lot of fun. Check out the blog that started this and there will be links to others who did indeed blog their fake journals this year. It's quite interesting to see how others did their fake journals. I don't have a blog myself, so just kept one for fun. It has allowed me to see that I'm not so bad drawing in pen and using water color pencils with a wash. I like the look and am hording my pennies to get a big set of water color pencils and the paper to take water.

Thank you Jamie.

Aw, thanks, Jacqui. :o I'm glad you were inspired.

Thanks, Vivien. Glad you are following along.


"Yesterday was finally a warm spring day. I had to check on the girls. They're happy and busy. Between that and working on the garden I just didn't get to this. Today I finally approached Mrs. G again. I have signed a contract for honey and candles in exchange for the old restaurant. I can begin tomorrow. Oh, the work it'll take. No one has set foot in there for years. If this works out, I have an option to buy it out right."

06-09-2010, 07:36 PM
I really like this bug, and the rolled up version. I know what type it is just can't remember the name. Great highlight on them. Good luck on saving the pennies for the watercolour pencils and paper, you'll love them. I hope you share the results.

06-09-2010, 11:17 PM
LOVE the "Roly poly"!! (wood lice). I get those around here when I pick up a log or move a stone. Love the shine you put on its shell, very well captured!
Glad Han's got the restaurant!
I too want to get the watercolor pencils next... eventually!

06-10-2010, 02:11 PM
Thanks Jacqui. It'll happen eventually. I've got my eye on some paper that I want after trying a sample of it. Dick Blick is out of stock until the end of the month. I may splurge on the pencils then. I may have to wait until after the 4th of July and see how my candy sales go.

Rachel, thanks for following Hans in his journey. I honestly didn't know where this was going just noted things down as they came to me day after day, tying in the bugs I was drawing where I could.

Today's entry doesn't mention the bumble bee in the text, but that's what I found to draw that day sitting on a dandelion.


"Confound the woman! She demanded a kiss in exchange for the key! Went and saw the smith. I'll be getting new locks today. Baked the smith a chocolate cake and gave him some candles. I need to spend this evening making more candles. I'll need them to see tomorrow. The smith is willing to take the electric equipment for scrap once I get in and clean and inventory. I'll get a proper wood stove in exchange."

06-10-2010, 02:17 PM
I just love the exchange of goods going on! Love the bumble bee too :-)

06-10-2010, 09:00 PM
The story continues! I like the way it's turning, the quiet hope that's building with the beekeeper's new venture. Love the sowbug painting. I've seen those too in several places I've lived, they do curl up like that when startled. Beautiful bee on the dandelion, like all the details on the dandelion you did with it.

Way cool. Hope you do get enough sales to get the big set of watercolor pencils. I'm glad I did, they are so convenient and so beautiful. Also hope Blick gets in the paper that you want soon.

WC Lee
06-10-2010, 09:24 PM
just finished reading the writing of each page from where I left off :) sooooo will Mrs G. get Hans at the end? :lol: .. wonderful insect sketches on the pages too ..

06-11-2010, 12:28 PM
Rachel, it is interesting what value people put on things once money is taken out of the equation. People used to do so frequently. When I am at the farmer's market, it's usually at the end of the day and there is a rapid, this isn't going to be fresh next week, do you want some lettuce? I've exchanged my candy for eggs, lettuce, tomatoes and plums. :cool: That's where some of this is coming from.

Robert, you and me both hoping my next sale goes well. I totally bombed at Easter. Even had some new chocolates and only got 3 orders. :( Until I get a web-site or a retail store, I am dependent on word of mouth, craft shows and farmer's markets. Glad you liked the bugs.

Only time will tell, WC Lee. :wink2: (Mwa-ha-ha :evil:) :lol:

Not happy with this bug picture. I had the thing too light and hubby commented that the roach looked "too cute", it wasn't dark enough. When I tried to darken it the whole thing got muddy and blotchy. Now the paper won't take any more without pilling. I'm learning. (By the way Hans thought it looked better when it was a lighter color, almost golden. :p)


"I am so tired. I'm not as young as I used to be. The restaurant is filthy. Not only are there years of dirt, the place was not cleaned the last time it was used. Generations of cockroaches have lived here. Of course it doesn't help that the back door has been jimmied sometime in the past. Evidence shows squatters here, at least twice. This is going to take a lot more than I thought when I got the idea."

06-11-2010, 12:50 PM
Well written, and the roach is scary enough for me. I've still got the remnants of a roach phobia and the page caused a definite twinge of it. Well painted, it actually gave me a start and I had to scroll past it to calm down. It came to symbolize being too sick to clean up after myself.

06-11-2010, 01:05 PM
Very realistic roach, I am not a fan of them myself. Like how the story is going, will things turn out, will he get the place up and running in time, will it take off??

06-11-2010, 07:50 PM
I read through your whole thread, as well as the International Fake Journal blog (stayed up till midnight reading) and I'm really enjoying this interesting project. What fun!

06-12-2010, 11:38 AM
Sorry about startling you Robert. :o

Jacqui, thanks for reading along with my journal.

Michelle, didn't mean to keep you up late. When I first ran across this, I ended up spending 3 or 4 days reading through Roz's regular blog. And another several hours on another day, going through the fake journal blog. It is very inspiring. And, as I've discovered, very freeing to be journaling as someone else. Yes, I've been critical of the way the drawing or the writing came out, but remind myself, this isn't about me, it's about Hans. :lol: I'll probably do this again next year, with a new journalist, and try something else.


"The good news is the smith sent over his apprentice today who took out the stoves, fryer and refrigerator. The kid is strong. I'm still cleaning counters, floors and walls. Found some old linens in a cupboard. The sliverfish were having as much fun as the cockroaches. The bad news is Mrs. G. She came around to 'check on her investment.' The woman is an annoyance. She retreated when I asked her to help by taking out the moldering linens full of bugs."

06-12-2010, 10:24 PM
Well done on the silverfish. The story continues to be interesting and you're tying the insects into it well. I've seen those before and it's spot on as usual.

06-13-2010, 02:59 PM
Thank you, Robert. I'm not always tying the insect I'm drawing into the story, but enough that the idea comes across that Hans is seeing these critters.

It's not labeled but the bee in this picture is known as a "carpenter bee". The wings are an iridescent blue. Couldn't quite get that to come across.


"Mrs. G was back today. This time with the sherriff in tow. She wants a key for the new locks I installed. Or rather the smith installed for me. I thought she'd try something. I had to go take a walk and cool down. According the sherriff, since she's the landlord she has to have access to the property. I made an excuse that I had to get another made and she'd have it tomorrow. Got the smith to make a key that fits the lock, but doesn't work."

Oops, seems I misspelled sheriff. :rolleyes: Ah, well, I'll leave it misspelled in the text since I did so in the journal.

Hans is not so nice a guy it seems. :evil:

06-13-2010, 05:56 PM
Hans isn't as much of a nice guy. The plot thickens, this is great. I like the carpenter bee, it's interesting. The blue wings look cool even if you had trouble with the iridescence. I would've probably used a Daniel Smith luminescent watercolor on the wings, something like Iridescent Electric Blue over washes of another blue. You did well though, they are clearly blue and it's intriguing. Love the flower it's on too.

06-13-2010, 06:02 PM
Hans isn't as much of a nice guy. The plot thickens, this is great. I like the carpenter bee, it's interesting. The blue wings look cool even if you had trouble with the iridescence. I would've probably used a Daniel Smith luminescent watercolor on the wings, something like Iridescent Electric Blue over washes of another blue. You did well though, they are clearly blue and it's intriguing. Love the flower it's on too.

06-13-2010, 08:16 PM
What a treat Debby :clap::clap:
You are so talented... I love the story and your drawings and I sincerely hope that Hans will be able to keep Mrs G. at bay :lol:
You rock girl :heart:

06-13-2010, 09:00 PM
More great stuff. I'd be wary of Mrs G if I was Hans too. More great drawings too.

Granola Girl
06-13-2010, 10:03 PM
Great story, Debby... love the paintings, love the characters, even love the nasty side of Hans. :lol:

06-14-2010, 02:28 PM
Thanks Robert. I am working with a small set of 24 water color pencils on this project, Lyra's. I picked up 3 of the Prismacolor water color pencils open stock to try, so those were added to the mix. But, my knowledge of water color as a media is um... sketchy. (I had to say it. :lol:) I'm not always getting the colors I want. Need to spend some more time playing with mixing the pencils, then washing to see what happens. But, that iridescent water color sounds like it would be fun to have.

Thanks for looking in, Sigrun, Jacqui, and Esther.


"Delivered the bogus key first thing this morning. There is just not enough light in the restaurant even with reflecting lamps. Either I need to put in windows and/or a skylight, or I need to see if I can get some old batteries. I'll ask the smith if he knows anyone who still has solar panels. Windows would probably be more economical. However, then I would have to talk to Mrs. G again. She'll probably say I can't modify the building. I'll sleep on it."

06-14-2010, 02:48 PM
Excellent spider! I love the long legs. I've seen those around -- very cool. Good entry too. Well done!

06-14-2010, 07:30 PM
Rachel, it is interesting what value people put on things once money is taken out of the equation. People used to do so frequently. When I am at the farmer's market, it's usually at the end of the day and there is a rapid, this isn't going to be fresh next week, do you want some lettuce? I've exchanged my candy for eggs, lettuce, tomatoes and plums. :cool: That's where some of this is coming from.

Thats really cool!
Great bugs (even the roach!)... the plot thickens... :D

06-15-2010, 04:12 PM
Thank you Robert and Rachel for following along. :)


"Can't believe 'food' was still stored here. I opened a cabinet to be greeted by the fluttering wings of meal moths. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea. How am I ever going to keep this place fee of vermin? Also found evidence of mice or rats. I'm guessing mice. Mrs. G got quite a bargain for this dump. Smith came by today to help me figure out the placement of the woodstove. He agrees, I need windows."

06-15-2010, 04:33 PM
Great little moth and the story is still fascinating. Well done!

06-15-2010, 04:53 PM
those little moths can be so annoying in the pantry!!!

06-16-2010, 05:21 PM
Thanks again Robert and Rachel. Your support for my nonsense is heart warming. :D

This is one where the watercolor aspect got away from me. My lack of available colors shows . I have nothing resembling a gray of any sort and while I know compliments make neutrals, I didn't think of it. :o So, yeah, I'm learning.


"Decided I'd put it off long enough and that building changes should be her expense. After all she owns the place. I called on Mrs. G first thing this morning. She, as I expected argued about the necessity to, as she put it, 'punch holes' in the building. At a minimum, I need a hole for the chimney of the woodstove. The woman is impossible. She's still hinting how nice it would be if I owned the place because I married her."

06-16-2010, 05:37 PM
I love the snail! It's beautiful, love the shading and detail, the way it looks so natural. I think you got some pretty good mixed grays there, the touch of blue livens it up nicely. Well done! Still enjoying the story too.

06-16-2010, 06:00 PM
Your support for my nonsense is heart warming. :D

LOL! I feel right at home in this forum! Following along...

06-17-2010, 02:55 PM
Hi Debby,

Well, I finally got up the courage to page through your posts, and they are great! Why did I postpone for so long? Well, I read the first post and immediately thought, "Oh, NO!! Not another great idea I can get sucked into and become even more overcommitted!" So today I decided to take the risk and checked out the international fake journal site in addition to this thread. I think I'm capable of not diving into yet another project...I think; the jury's still out.

I am so much busier than I was when I was working that it boggles my mind. If the economy ever does collapse and I have to figure out how to make a living again, I'm afraid I won't survive too long! :lol:

Anyway, great job here!

06-17-2010, 05:33 PM
This is fantastic and really inspiring. This might be on my list of new projects to work on.

06-17-2010, 11:19 PM
Robert, your comments always make me realize I don't do too badly. Thanks.

Rachel, it is fun to play.

John, you have until next April, maybe the week before to decide. :lol: Glad you finally decided to look.

Tara, thank you.

While it's not clear in the posts that the bee pictured is a drone. That's what Hans is referring to when he mentions the boys making their appearance. Each spring as the hive builds up, a few hundred (as opposed to the tens of thousands of bees in a hive) male bees are created. These are on standby if a new queen needs to be inseminated. The drones live a life of leisure until the fall where they are literally kicked out of the hive to die. Then, the next spring, the queen lays more unfertilized eggs to become drones again.


"Had to take part of the day to check on my girls. The boys have made their appearance. All the hives are building up well. They are bringing in pale yellow and white pollen, probably from willows and maples. Working the bees is calming. I made the decision to put in a skylight at the restaurant. Mrs. G won't know unless she comes around, which she might. But, I'll have to work on the roof to put in the chimney. I have contracted a mason to put in fire brick where the stove will go. I am starting to wonder if I have enough trade goods."

06-18-2010, 06:07 PM
Nice. I love the drone bee sketch. It's great to compare it with the other bees earlier in the book. Well done! The story's continuing well too.

06-18-2010, 10:14 PM
Debbie, this is an interesting, amazing thread. The idea of the "fake journal" is intriguing and I love the direction you are taking it. I love both the story and your drawings, although I have to admit I would not relish meeting most of these squiggley critters for real.

Also, the page layout is very appealing. I admire people who can pull off different, specific printing styles, although I have never taken the time to try to learn to do that myself. Can't wait to see what's next for our friend Hans and Mrs. G. and the "girls" and the "boys."

Nice work!


Joan T
06-19-2010, 10:42 AM
Great idea for a journal!!! Very creative!

06-19-2010, 12:45 PM
Robert, thank you for staying with and following along. Only about 5 or 6 more pages and this will be done.

Thank you Jean. I found it a great boon for my art because I can try something new without it being "me". :lol: Actually, most, but not all the critters in the book were actually seen by me. I started looking for them. I am glad to report that the cockroach, meal moth and silverfish were not seen by me. Tho' I have seen them in my past.

Thank you Joan.

I apologize to those who are following along regularly. I missed posting a page yesterday. I looked at the forum, even commented, then didn't post in my own thread. :rolleyes:

I know the theme was bugs and other little critters, but this fit with where Hans was and what I thought would happen next.


"Mr. & Mrs. S came by the restaurant to offer some moral support and a gift. She has this little mask on her face. I'd name her Bandit, but she's a girl. She'll be the shop cat and solve the rodent problem. I decided to name her Masquerade. The carpenters will be here tomorrow. The mason will wait till there is light. I'm taking a chance the interior will get wet. But maybe it'll help. The cistern only has so much water and I've been using a lot."

Granola Girl
06-19-2010, 06:10 PM
Hi Debby, just had to come by to see what was happening. What a cute name for a Siamese! Can't wait to see where your story goes... you might be done by the time I get back!

06-19-2010, 06:13 PM
I love the snail too, Debby! The colors were vibrant and the blues fits it perfectly --- as well as the mini story! :D

06-20-2010, 05:47 AM
More great entries and drawings. The long legged spider is awesome. Great job on the snail, so curved and textured. What a cute kitty. You only have a few more days left in April so I am wondering how it will all end, will it be good for Hans, what will Mrs G do... suspense is building. :)

06-20-2010, 02:45 PM
Esther, so glad you stopped by. Have a safe trip and a fun retreat.

Raymond, I really struggled with that snail. But, I learned a lot from it. Thanks.

Jacqui, thanks for following along. Yup, only a few more entries.


"The carpenters found termites in the roof. Since the nest has been disturbed don't know where they will end up. And sure enough, put a (w)hole in the roof, and it rains. The carpenters seem to think they can repair the damage. Mr. R suggested I go talk to Mr. K who used to do pest control. He may still have some bait that could be used. I'm not sure how much more I can deal with. All I wanted was a place to bake and trade my goods. Is that too much to ask?"

Rats, another spelling error. I wrote "whole" when I meant to write "hole". *sigh*

06-21-2010, 06:30 PM

"Talked to Mr. K. He'll come out and bait the termites. Seems he stockpiled the tools of his trade before the crash. The carpenters are saying it'll be a week to 10 days before they are going to be ready for the chimney. I'm going to have to plan a day or two in the middle so the mason can lay brick. (I think he's afraid of things falling on his head.) Masquerade seems to be settling in nicely. I saw the girls fighting off a yellow jacket today."

06-21-2010, 09:59 PM
The termite and the yellow jacket are great. The cat is adorable! What a sweet kitten! She reminds me of Ari when he was little. His mask was tiny like that, it was so cute. Well done!

06-22-2010, 10:48 AM
I've had lots to catch up on since last week! Great developments! Love the cat Masquerade and the yellow-jacket is really good! That termite makes me shudder lol! Poor Hans... he's really having a hard time!!!

06-22-2010, 10:56 AM
Debby, these are all wonderful! I especially like the yellow jacket. I don't get what a FAKE journal is? Please explain. Thanks!


06-22-2010, 02:43 PM
Haha! Wonderful job on that yellowjacket.

06-25-2010, 03:59 PM
Thanks Robert. It's really too bad that the model for the kitten actually belongs to my sister. Her real name is Cheyenne. My sister loves Siamese and got a brother and sister pair of kittens at that time.

Yes, Rachel, poor Hans is having a hard time. Thanks for following along. The journal is about to finish.

Thanks Reggie. A fake journal is the brainchild of Roz Stendahl. An art journalist whose blog I follow. The idea is for one month, April, you keep a journal as someone else. I created a person, Hans the beekeeper. This is his journal in an alternate 2010. I only did this for the month of April this year. I found it easier to silence the inner critic when doing this because it wasn't MY journal. I learned a lot about pen and wash using water color pencils. I planned on the journalist noticing the little creatures in life because he was a beekeeper. I had no idea when I started what Hans' story would be. If you'd like more information on fake journal keeping here's a link to Roz's official site.


Thanks EP.

Here are the last 2 pages of the journal.


"Mrs. G stopped by the restaurant and threw a fit. I was hoping she wouldn't come around. I explained the 'huge' hole was on account of the termites. I was just trying to put a chimney in. She would have none of that and brought the sheriff out again. At least he listened to my reasons. He escourted her home saying he would straighten things out. The entire roof needs to be replaced. I don't think I should be paying for this since I am only renting the place, but because I intend to buy it, I will fix things right."


"Masquerade is earning her keep. She brought me a present this morning. Sheriff came and spoke with me today. He's in a hard place. He's on my side in this but since the property belongs to Mrs. G he has to follow the rules. Seems I'm in violation of my contract. He's not going to arrest me but I have to fix the roof. And, he informs me I may not be allowed back on the property. He'll let me know. In the meantime I am supposed to stay away. I'm so angry right now."

06-25-2010, 04:06 PM
I know several of you following along want to know what happens next. I don't know. I kept the journal for a month and then moved on to other things. Think of it as finding an old journal at an estate sale and thumbing through it. You don't know who these people are, or what happens at the end of the journal. Now, you might find another one, or you might not. Hans being angry at the end, may not have kept a journal for a while, or he may have, don't know.

I never really intended for this to be a story. It was an experiment in combining pictures and words for me. I also got to play with pen and wash using water color pencils. It was a safe way to play because my inner critic could be silenced. It has given me food for thought and I have another project in mind from the lessons I learned here. I'm grateful to "Hans" for sharing part of his life.

I'd like to believe that Hans worked something out where he could buy the place from Mrs. G. Barring that, perhaps he build a place from the ground up so he wasn't having to deal with all that cleaning and repair. Looking back, he probably should have done so in the first place. :rolleyes: I leave the "end" of the story up to you. Thanks to all who followed my journey.

06-25-2010, 04:11 PM
Thank you! The story's been fascinating throughout, and it'd be hard to pace something like that to have a natural story ending exactly at the end of the month. Love the last two drawings, the Siamese kitten's first kill is a perfect final sketch. The centipede's good but that dead mouse is beautifully drawn. Well done!

And who knows, maybe next year you can take up Hans the Beekeeper again and continue from One Year Later... throw still more troubles his way along with that ambiguous relationship with the amorous Mrs. G... it's great!

06-25-2010, 04:27 PM
I agree, the mouse is very well drawn, love it! Poor Hans!! Maybe he'll find some old deed in the chimney or something and comes to find out its not Mrs G's house afteral LOL! We can only imagine.... unless that is you decide to continue this story at a later date!! If so, keep this thread so we'll know!
Really enjoyed your story and the drawings, thank you! :)

06-27-2010, 12:46 AM
Debby thank you so much for sharing this wonderful journal. Great drawing of the dead mouse, glad the cat was working well. As you said, it has been like reading through an old journal found and the mystery you created throughout has been continued but not really knowing what happened in the end. There is enough of the story for us to use our imaginations and think of lots of possibilities. You did an awesome job for something that had little intention of being a story in the beginning.

06-27-2010, 06:51 AM
I really enjoyed your fake journal. Do you think you will do another one next year?

06-27-2010, 02:01 PM
Robert, thank you for following along the entire time. I don't know the answer to Hans, one year later. I'll think about it.

Rachel, glad you enjoyed the fake journal. It was a really fun project. One of the things it did, was get me drawing just about every day. I've been away from it now for a couple of months and found that posting it has made me realize what a great thing it was to draw that often. Must get back into that again. :o

Thank you Jacqui for your kind words and support. I have to confess, this has re-awakened the desire to do a graphic novel. I'm hesitating, but all of the positive comments about the "story" and the drawings has made me think, maybe I can do something like that.

Michelle, yes, I think I will do a fake journal again next year. I've been thinking that I should try a new media again. It was very freeing to bypass the inner critic and try something new without censure.

Carole A
06-27-2010, 07:09 PM
Debby -
I haven't been spending much time online, very busy with work and it's finally summer in the NW!. I stopped in to check on Hans and find out that he's going to be MIA for a while. Darn.

Looking forward to next year.

Carole A

06-28-2010, 06:59 PM
Debby, this is wonderful! Your pages are so clean and tidy, it reminds me very much of botanical drawings, beautiful!

06-28-2010, 10:47 PM
Carole, sorry to disappoint you. I did say it was only for a month. :o I cannot promise that we will ever know the end of Hans' tale.

Jackie, after a time, I felt they were too neat and tidy. I planned that the pages would look like that. But, after a while, it kind of became constricted. There were times I wanted more room to draw, or more room to write, but because I'd gotten ahead of myself and set it up like a diary with the data space in the corner, I was stuck. Lesson learned. Leave the pages blank until you get to them. Thank you for the compliment about my drawings. It was a new style for me and a new media. I really like it tho' and am planning on doing more of it.

06-30-2010, 05:58 AM
This is getting more and more interesting as the story progresses! :D Great work! :)