Putting All the Pieces of Life Onto the Page

Life is full, and beautifully fractured. This course will invite us to gather and sort all the varied bits and pieces life brings our way, and create a journal that gives them a place to play on the page. From coffee shop receipts to envelope liners, personal doodles to watercolor portraits, and fabric scraps to found thread, nothing is overlooked as we glean from our lives to build our books. Even though we may often feel scattered by our many interests and roles, this course will encourage us to see the puzzle in what we do and love, each piece connecting to another, making the marvelous mess that is life make more sense.

Puzzling will take us from where to look and gather the bits and pieces of life, to sorting them, asking questions about how they might come together, to the actual piecing of the puzzle on the page. We will dive into creating journals that invite structure to what we collect without forfeiting the glorious gumption that is getting messy and finding freedom in what we make.

Brandi will be using an 8×8 square watercolor journal for this project, but what we practice and build can be done in any size book or binding, which we will explore together. At the end of these lessons we will find ourselves not only with a journal of the many pieces of life we’ve been living, but also new ways to pay attention to the world, then gather, sort, and use all those seemingly ordinary treasures that keep tumbling into our lives, and help tell our stories.

Your guide

Brandi Kincaid

A tiny treasure seeker, an eavesdropper, a paper lover, and a voracious reader, Brandi lives with her very tall husband, and very small dog, in northwest corner of the US. She spends her days making messes and sending Extravagant Hope by mail all over the world, and when she’s not busy with those, you can find her in the thrift stores and used bookshops. Journaling of all kinds is the way she makes sense of the weird, weary, wonderful world.



Lesson Plan

Puzzling is a collection of six lessons:

1. The Pieces: We will begin by diving into the practice of gathering and saving the pieces of life, including inspiration on where to look for them, and how to organize and store them prior to use.

2. The Edge: As the foundation of getting started on building, we will choose/make a journal, looking at a few options and how each might best fit the pieces we bring to the project.

3. The Piles of Pieces: Sorting our pieces, we will get started on our pages, playing with both structure and spontaneity to put things into place. Letting what we’ve gathered guide us as much as what we’d imagined the big picture might be.

4. The Missing Piece: As we build our journal pages, we will take time to dig into the spots where we feel something is missing, adding in new work to what we’ve gathered. We will look at ways to put our own art in conversation with the scraps we’ve been piecing on the page.

5. The Big Picture: One of the fun things about a puzzle is that the picture comes together as you work on it, just like a journal page. You don’t have to always have to see the end result or know exactly what you want at the start. The magic of a journal page though, is that you can stop and step back at any point and reimagine what you want the big picture to be. We’ll work on stepping back to look at what we’re doing, to shift pieces around as we need/want, and to let the puzzle and the journal be a process, not just an isolated practice.

6. The Putting it Away: Journals that collect and contain are often chunky, so we will take time to think about different options for how we want to store these gloriously puzzled journals so that all the pieces stay safe and inside.

To get an idea of Brandi’s teaching style, and to stretch your creativity, check out the free lesson.

This class is included in the Get Messy Membership or available for purchase on its own.

As a member of Get Messy, you have access to the class as long as you are a Get Messy member.  If you prefer to have lifetime access, you may purchase this class separately. This means that you will pay a one time fee for access regardless of your status as a member. Lifetime access is not tied to a membership and will give you access for the lifetime of Get Messy. As long as this class is offered, you will have access. 

Free Lesson

Try out the class for free


Try out a free lesson from the class for free with no strings attached


Included in the Get Messy membership

$39 per month 

Access to the class as long as you are a Get Messy member.

Access to the entire Get Messy library – 100+ classes, 1000+ art journaling lessons, 100+ teachers

Access to the private Get Messy community to ask your teacher questions and interact and build connection with other artists in the class

14 day money back guarantee

One-time Payment

Access only to the class


Lifetime access to the class, regardless of your status as a Get Messy member

Should I choose the one-time payment or membership option?

You have the option for purchasing this class on its own or as part of the membership.

The choice depends on how you create.

Membership: the Get Messy membership is here for the creative soul with restless hands and a busy mind (and schedule), ready to cultivate a consistent art habit that allows you to release your truth, emotions, and dreams onto the page. For those who prefer to live an all-encompassing creative life with catalysts that spur on the creative habit.

One-time payment: for the creative who loves knuckling down and diving deep into a class. Someone who prefers to focus on one thing and take the time it requires before moving onto the next. The bonus is that you get to keep the class forever and it will wait for you during your busy seasons and be there when you’re ready again. You might also be wanting to test the Get Messy teaching style out a bit and this is a good way to dip your toes in. You can enroll in the full class.

You can also enjoy the free lesson.



What format do I receive the class in?

This class is powered by Get Messy.

During registration, you will choose your own username and password for the private site.

If you’re enrolling as a once-off class and already have a Get Messy account (yay), just make sure you’re already logged in and your details will already be there. All of your content is accessible to you under one username.

The class will be available through this private site for the lifetime of Get Messy. The lessons are a mixture of video and written instruction given in English with a pair of brilliant accents. To get an idea of the lesson style and Claudette and Char’s teaching technique, check out the free lesson.

Do I have to start on a specific date?

This is a self-paced class. You start when you are ready and work according to your own rhythm. The Get Messy community will be going through it together, but it’s not date-specific.

What do I need for this class?

A journal, your current preferred supplies, and an open heart! A detailed list of supplies is shared inside the course, but you likely have what you need on hand and we never recommend spending a lot of money on supplies without knowing how and if you will use them. Always take creative license to substitute or use supplies that you already have and love.

    How long do I have access to this class?

    If you’re enjoying this as part of the membership, you’ll have access as long as you’re a member (along with the rest of our chunky library).

    If you’re enrolling as a once-off class, your access is for ever ever.*

    * Disclaimer: Get Messy is not Ms. Jackson, and “lifetime access” means the lifetime of the company.

    Can I contact the teacher if I have questions?

    Member? You have a dedicated private space in the community where your teacher delights in answering any questions you have about the class content.

    Once-off class purchase? You won’t have access to the community unless you join Get Messy at a later time.

    Can I share my work and what I learn in this class?

    That would be awesome!

    There is a dedicated gallery and discussion going on inside the community. You’re also welcome to share on Instagram using #gmpuzzling and tag @getmessyartjournal in your stories.