My Ranger Dina Wakley Media Journal

This is a “multi-surface journal for mixed media”.

It comes with fifty-four pages of varying materials—a cotton rag watercolor paper, heavy brown kraft paper, unprepared (as in no gesso, just soft cloth) canvas, and burlap.

I follow several artists on YouTube and one day I got a notice that someone (I forget who at this point, I’ve watched so many videos about the journal) had put up a new video…and I went to watch it…the person was in the midst of doing a series of videos about working in her Dina Wakley media journal.

I was hooked from the moment I saw the closed journal.  Something about the burlap strings hanging out all over made my heart SING…even though I personally hate working on burlap…at least I have in the past…

The journal is listed as 8 inches X 10 inches on every website I have seen it on; however, on the book itself it says “cover measures 7.75” by 10.25”; pages are 7.25” x10.0”.”

The cover is a nice matte black.  If you are looking for an envelope to keep bits and bobs in—you have the wrong journal.  If you are looking for an attached closure—you have the wrong journal.

The journal has four sewn-in signatures.  There is more of the watercolor paper than anything else.  I love the burlap strings…except when they come off.  Hanging out of the book all over, that for me is cool…having to pick up the strings…and pry them out of my cats’ mouths—not so cool…

I have an issue with the kraft paper.  In the one video I watched of Dina Wakley talking about her journal, she talked about how much she loves the brown kraft paper.  The kraft paper in this journal is nice.  It is thick and heavy.  But—there simply is not enough of it.  I was a bit miffed to see that the kraft paper was used as the outermost page of the first and the last signature…and then that front page and that back page were glued down to the inside covers of the book.  I know the brown inside covers give the journal a nice clean look.  I know gluing the first and last pages to the cover strengthens the journal…but…there goes two pages of brown kraft paper that I cannot use.  And yes, I have a piece started on the front inside cover.

I started working on the front inside cover because I wrote my intentions for the journal down there in pencil—then decided I didn’t want anyone reading what I had written…and I painted over it…which was fun…I am not done with it…and I have no deadline to finish…I am just enjoying myself…which is part of the point of this journal for me.

The watercolor paper has an absorbency I am not used to…but I am enjoying it.  Right now all I have done is play with acrylic paint in it.  Tomorrow I am planning to work some watercolors on the watercolor paper and see what happens…

I have no clue what I am going to do with the burlap pages…but I know I am going to use them.  The canvas pages are easy…it’s just canvas paper…I have used that before.  Maybe I will gesso or prep the pages first…I am not yet certain.

I do think, as of now, my plan is to work every page as a single entity in and of itself.  In many of my journals of late, I only work one side of the page, in case someone wants to remove one later and frame it…as my daughter swears she is going to do when I die and she (and the boys) inherit all my journals…that is why I started doing things that way.  But I don’t think I’ll do it in this journal…this journal is for something else.

Since I found this journal on sale, I bought two more of them…because I do love them that much.  In fact, I have started bemoaning the fact that buying the materials to make a larger journal like this myself is not cost-effective for me to do…although while searching online I did find out that there is a larger size of this journal available: a 10 inch X 14.25 inch one…and none of the stores I tried even carry that size online, much less in store…so the 8X10 I have now, and the two other ones I ordered are what will have to tide me over for a bit.

But…another thing has come up in relation to this journal.  I am having so many more ideas about things I can put into my hand-made books.  Things I hadn’t thought of as “appropriate” before.  But that burlap…and I am telling you, that burlap is something that makes me cringe when I think of painting on it…but the challenge of it also entices me…but thinking of what I can include in my hand-made books…that has my brain nearly exploding.  One thing I have grown certain of lately is…I am a book artist…and I have my friends Tracy and Julie and their wonderful and encouraging comments to bolster and buoy me along.  So many things are coming in the future…I can’t wait to share…but have to until I have something to show.

Thanks for listening.

Until next time…