So, here she is. The finished but blank journal. And I love her like a sister. She's a bit big and cumbersome. Won't actually fit into my journal bag and her binding has already taken a beating being lugged upstairs, back downstairs, outside, to the park, to the lake, thrown in the trunk. She's really starting to feel lived in by now, and that's the best part. If you can't live in your journal, really crawl into its pages, then what's the point?
The insides of my covers were damaged a bit when I cut apart the postage stamp book (I cut out the text block and cut off the spine) so I trimmed a piece of vintage fabric and glued it to the inside of each cover. I usually do this anyway because it gives the journal a more finished look. When I put together my signatures I take my time arranging them so that I have a variety of paper types and sizes in each signature. Usually I save a smaller page for the outside of each signature because I like the being able to see the next page behind it, but for this journal I kept the pages mainly the same size and opted for my prettiest pages to serve as a kind of signature wrap for each one.
I like to use as many found papers as I can in my journals. Since I know I will change them a lot or even completely cover over them, it doesn't matter much what is on paper; here I've pulled apart an old pamphlet on weaving that just had a good feel it. I especially like recycling old papers but am careful that they are not so old that they crumble after a while. My journals have to be sturdy because they will be dropped, thrown, shoved around, mistreated and--you know--lived in.
Sigh. Not sure how I'm going to adapt this page...seems pretty perfect just like it is. But I'm sure I'll think of something.
Here you can see how varying the page size adds instant interest by giving a sneak peek of what's coming next.
Double sided scrapbook paper works perfect here. You don't have to chose one or the other but can take advantage of both designs.
Sewing together strips of patterned paper with blank watercolor paper makes a more interesting surface for journaling than either one would do on their own. Plus, I can't get enough of the stitching.
These are some of the old scrapbook papers I've been hoarding for ages. I loved these quirky photo realistic pages by Mustard Mood (Are they even around anymore?) but never quite knew how to use them in my scrapbooks. They seem to fit perfectly into this journal.
The lengths that I will go to for journal fodder: spray painted newspaper.
My 10 year old son Soren is obsessed with The Spiderwick Chronicles and insisted I read them. I'm glad I did because besides being good stories, the artwork is amazing. I printed a copy of one of the maps in the book to add to my journal for fun. Instead of trying to integrate the map into a journal page, I used the copy as the page itself.
I came across an extra large book on heraldic designs at a thrift store and decided to frame a few for my son's room. The rest of the pages I kept for journal paper.
Cut up catalogs can make fun and colorful journal pages, too.
My plan: get some colorful socks & tights so I can wear my favorite sandals into fall! But I digress....
I always get confused when printing photos--which way does the paper go again?--and end up printing over what I just printed. So frustrating! But these ended up looking pretty cool so I saved them to add to a future journal.
I hope I've given you some ideas for your own journals and maybe belabored the point that anything has the potential to become a really cool journal page if you're open, and maybe especially the unusual and unexpected things you happen to stumble on every day. Keep a file of interesting papers that come through the mail or a portion of your bookshelf for thrift store treasures and keep going back to them. If it doesn't work in one journal, it might work in the next one. Instead of just thinking in terms of how you might incorporate daily ephemera into your journal pages, consider using it for the page itself. Even if you completely cover over it, it can add depth to your art not to mention adding another story to the journal itself.
Over the next few weeks as I show you some of my finished journal pages, hopefully you'll get even more ideas on how to incorporate these different kinds of papers, no matter what your style of journaling. So if you haven't taken the leap to make your own journal yet, why not try it this weekend? And send me pictures!