Recently, I’ve been talking about this journal and the way working in it has changed my life…changed my heart…
It started with my learning about flow journals…and watching tons of flowish journal videos online.
When I joined the Get Messy Art Journal community, one of the first things I did was find several gallon bags of paper scraps, as well as some envelopes (I’m talking 9 inch by 12 inch envelopes here) that I had gotten years ago in a paper swap…and I tucked those into a plastic storage container…and now whenever I step up to my ledger journal, the first thing that I do is pull out at least three, but usually four, pieces of ephemera and I glue them down.
Then, I have to walk away–which can be the hardest part of all. Letting glue dry when I want to start creating and painting and whatever…it is so outside of my comfort zone. But I am learning…and this whole process is helping.
When I come back to the page, I add stuff–acrylic paint, marker, scribble sticks, water-soluble wax pastels, watercolor. Whatever strikes me on that day.
I come to the page with questions, concerns, worries…and I lay it into the collage. I use glue to put it down on the page. Then my subconscious comes back with the answers. All I have to do is learn to hear what she is saying.
That is what this journal is about.
Here are some finished pieces:
(Please forgive the quality of the shots–they were taken at night, with my phone, because my scanner is not speaking to anyone these days…so…some of them are not the best…I apologize..)
Working this way has spilled over into my other journal work as well…and I really like that.
I like drawing faces, but I have long wanted to expand my repertoire. Imagine my surprise when I figured out I started out in the wrong place to get to where I now want to go…although I seriously would not have it any other way…
It’s August. Time for another word of the year check-in here.
I have to admit–it has felt so good to pull back from everything. To not worry about blogging, or writing, or much of anything else. Add into it this is my year of health issues…and that pulling back and resting has meant the world to me.
My word of the year is : Settle In.
It’s been a year.
I’ve had surgery…and that has come with a new learning to be in my body and to work with my body on different levels.
I am settling into this house…and what’s in it…and as I am able, I am slowly moving things out…and not replacing them…it’s an old lesson that I am learning again…
I am settling into a rhythm for school and appointments, knitting and crocheting, medication, food, books…and art.
I was going to show you some of the new work that I have been doing, because lately, the most obvious place I am changing is in my art journal…but the scanner has decided it will talk to no computer and no person (at least none that are currently awake) and I rarely post finished pieces on Instagram…so here are the beginnings of a few pieces I have done recently:
It was about here when it hit me that this journal was going to be about more than the Get Messy Season of Seasons…that’s when I decided that this is my journal for me…a whole other realm of Grimoire…this is something else entirely…
You might be thinking that this doesn’t have a lot to do with ‘settling in’–but it does. I am settling in to my bones, into my place of power, into my soul…and this work is what is breaking up an entirely new level within me…and if that isn’t settling in to my own self…I don’t know what else is…
I have a long way to go, I know–but this is the first time this year where I genuinely feel as if I am finally moving forward and slowly starting to find my footing again–I may not have that footing yet, but it is coming.
So, Sunday…was, for no real reason, my day to make journal covers.
I made a grey suede one:
and a black one:
Now–originally, these two pieces of suede were supposed to be the same journal…I drove myself nuts cutting the suede…one piece just a little bigger than the other so that when it was closed you could see just a touch of the other leather underneath. The suede is thin, so I figured doubling it up would make it stronger and hardier.
I wanted a flap. I wanted to be able to put in a ton of inserts and still have everything covered by the cover and the flap. A pen loop is mandatory, even though I have removable pen loops I could use.
When I put the heat and bond on the suede–I forgot to make sure I put it on the correct sides to adhere the pieces together–I picked the cleanest sides…and so…I, of course, did not do it on the correct side of both pieces to adhere them together.
Instead, I decided–ok–two journal covers then.
I lined them with fabric since the heat and bond was already on them.
As with my fabric composition book journal cover (from yesterday), it slipped my mind that I needed five binding holes and not three…if I had stopped myself long enough, I would have thought, hey, these grommets are a bit big (about 1/2 inch). Let me go get some smaller ones.
Nope. Not me. I had to carry on.
So, I finagled my way into getting everything set up so that I could still have the elastic cords.
Now, the grey journal is mine…I actually have eight inserts set up in there.
And the best part is…there is still room for more stuff….
If I chose to double up on each elastic, there is room for my cover to expand…and I have a flap, which I adore…and I have a pen loop…and I have neat little trinkets…and I have cool ribbon…
I’m good. I’m good.
I think if I go for one single journal, this will be it–because I can have as many inserts as I need to have without having to worry about things sticking out or whatever like I do with my other journals.
What about the black journal, you may be asking…well, I have a call in to a friend who I think this journal would make very happy…and if she wants it, it’s hers. If not…I may put it on the open market.
Drop me an email if you are interested…now that I know where I screwed up…the next ones I make will be even better, lol…
Yesterday, July 1st, one of the YouTubers that I follow posted a video about her #onebookjuly2018 journal set-up.
Yesterday, for some reason, I got a bee up my butt about wanting to put together the journal covers I’ve been playing with in my head…so it sort of felt like a perfect thing to do, to watch the video about the challenge:
And I wasn’t even halfway through the video before I was hooked…and I had subscribed to the Youtube channel for the One Book July challenge.
I have been video hopping most of the day today. Yesterday I finished three journal covers.
This is a journal cover I’ve been thinking of making since last year…something like that…let me see if I can find the old post for you…here it is, if you are interested.
If you read that post, nope, that is not at all what I ended up doing.
There was no planning in this cover. My 5-year-old son was ‘helping’ by playing with play dough on the table while I sewed, talking, singing, asking questions and slamming things into the table as hard as he could. Luckily, it’s an old table long on its last legs….
I took my fat quarter Day Of The Dead fabric…and a piece of patterned upholstery fabric in black and cream…I trimmed them to size…and took the two left-over scraps of the Day of the Dead fabric and just sewed it to the other fabric just because it was pretty…
No pockets. No frills. I did include a pen loop, which was important to me.
The batting I used threw me off a little bit. I had wanted a nice thick batting…but for some reason, it never occurred to me to take in to account how much fabric the batting would take up in relation to my measurements for how many journals will fit inside and yada yada.
I had also intended to quilt the heck out of the cover–but when it came down to it–I wasn’t into doing it…I sewed four channels and called it a day. There are two channels delineating the spine…and then one on each cover a little bit in from the outside edge. All channels run from top to bottom.
Now, I have made too many books, too many journal covers in my time doing this…because I was so focused gotta get it done…I didn’t look at any of my other fauxdori journals that I have here on hand–had I done that–I would not have finished any journal cover yesterday.
I set three grommets in the spine of the journal. Just. Three.
So I had to be a bit ingenious in how I tied the elastic cords into each journal cover because there should be five holes. And…the weight of the composition journals started to bother me…so I only put in two cords, so it only hold two journals outright. Which works for me.
I do like the closure…I swiped some alphabet beads from my youngest and put my favorite word on the string…and even though I fought so hard to ensure that I put the word on the right way…I ended up switching it around at least three times before I tied the cord…and then I discovered…I had put it on upside. Now, luckily, the fabric is forgiving and the skulls go in every direction so flipping the journal the other way does nothing…however, the pen holder is now closer tot he bottom than to the top.
I did learn a great deal making this journal. I love the work-around I did for tying the elastic cords in.
Is this the journal I will be using for onebookjuly2018?
But it’s not the only journal I have.
Remember the Pirate Journal?
I have found a use for it. It has become my surgery diary.
I will be having a major surgery soon, requiring an overnight stay at the hospital.
To say I am a little worried about this is a bit of an understatement. I do have the utmost faith in my doctor. But, surgery is surgery…and this is a major surgery.
I could have turned to my usual daily journal…but this situation felt…bigger. It needed its own container. I perused my selection of hand-made journals—and this is the one that wanted to be used.
It’s made of brown paper recycled from various packages that we received. I learned…one fountain pen is ok with the paper. One other fountain pen is not. I tried writing in green ink, but couldn’t see it well enough since I was writing at night by lamplight. An ultra-fine Sharpie works wonders, but tends to bleed through just a little bit to the other side of the paper. This afternoon, I pulled out my favorite Bic cristal in black ink…and have had no problems whatsoever. Which is why I always return to this pen. It’s been a favorite of mine for years.
So, what’s going into this journal? Hopes. Fears. Gratitude. Blessings. Lists. Questions. You name it, if it pertains to the surgery and the recovery period afterwards, it is going into this journal.
Will I be drawing and/or painting in it? Probably at some point, because doing so makes me feel better. I have also been pondering some collage as well. I have a great picture of Rupaul that is calling to be used somewhere. What better symbol or strength and fortitude for me right now?
If there is art made in this journal, I may show it. However, given the dire personal nature of what is being written in this journal, don’t expect too much.
This post was more to say…here is what I ended up using this journal for and how I used it more than anything else.
Thanks for following along.
Until next time.
I am slowly sliding back into my old ways, a different version of my old self. I am getting back up on that Poetry Pony.
I am actually taking an online poetry class. One of the things suggested is getting yourself a notebook/journal that you love, that inspires you…as well as a pen that can become your magic wand as you write.
I have pens…fountain pens, magickal pens, Bic pens, disposable pens…tons of pens…all over the place…just don’t ask for one, because whenever anyone here needs a pen…it takes forever to find one…I still don’t understand that…no pen, no paper, only when needed…any other time…pens and paper all over the place…
So, my first thought was…I’ll buy a journal…no, I’ll make a journal…no, I’ll…drive myself crazy with the ideas of what I want to do and/or want to get and never really get around to doing the actual poetic writing work…hmm…
Luckily for me, it was errand day about that time anyway…so I was able to go to a variety of stores to look at journals, which gave me a clearer idea of what was calling to me for this particular journey.
I did, in the end, buy a journal—because it is bigger than the books I typically have…and it was faster/easier/cheaper to buy this journal from the store than it was to decide on paper and then order said paper, wait for it to come in and then make the book on my own. I was attempting to avoid procrastination with this.
However, I had ideas for what I wanted to create before I saw this journal…and – as soon as I figure out where I hid the cords and pedal for my sewing machine (I’ve been cleaning—apparently I put them somewhere “safe”) –I will be making myself one – I have the fabric set out, already washed and pre-ironed, waiting to be cut.
So—here is my thought process with this.
I want to make a journal cover, much like a Midori traveler’s journal…but…bigger. I typically write in decorated composition notebooks, the ones with graph paper in them. I decorate them myself, yes. I want to be able to have three different composition notebooks at a time in this journal. One is my daily journal, where I write, take notes, do all sorts of stuff. One would be for poetry. One would be for drafts. Or for whatever else came to mind. Perhaps it would be my written journal, poetry journal, and fiction/writing journal all in one spot…which sounds nice to me. All three of my typical working notebooks in one spot sounds good. Better, it feels right.
First of all…I want the cover to be gorgeous. A fabric cover, quilted, several different patterns that I have collected sewn together, perhaps in strips or squares, perhaps with circles of other fabrics added for fun and texture.
The cover must enclose all three journals, and have a fold-over flap with some sort of closure. I am still pondering what sort of closure I would like with this. I don’t want any bits of the comp notebooks sticking out. I think I would like a pocket on the inside front cover. I know I need at least one pen loop, if not a couple more. My fauxdori always has at least three pens tucked into it…and I only have one pen loop attached to it.
I had some ideas about hey, pockets, different kinds, front and back cover, why not? Why not? Because I don’t really use them. And…I tend to get cranky about too many pockets cluttering things up. It’s a weird juxtaposition with me; what can I say?
The only other thing I really want is to be sure the inside of the cover and the outside of the cover are all pretty fabrics—but are not duplicates of one another. I don’t want it reversible or anything…I just want it to be aesthetically pleasing.
I also plan to use one elastic cord per journal, so there will be three cords attached to the cover.
I have also had visions of grandeur, with bits of ricrac and lace and all sorts of additional frou-frou to the outer cover…but although I know I will enjoy sewing and creating such a thing, the idea of using it on a daily basis, taking it out to restaurants, bowling (where I actually do an amazing amount of brain-storming), library or wherever, I think the lacy bits and frou-frou will bother me and get in my way…and grrr unto me if I get any of that bit dirty or messy. Although, yes, this is meant to be a washable thing, because hey, it’s going to get tossed in a bag, in my purse, on a table. My kids will dump stuff on it. The cats will sit on it. The dogs will find a way to stomp on it…probably after a kid throws it or knocks it to the floor. So it has to be strong enough to take a beating as well.
I actually have a vague pattern drawn up in my journal…with all my notes scribbled along the sides. All I really need, other than to verify the measurements are accurate—are the … cords and pedal for my sewing machine, which is currently in whatever “safe” place I put them…bless me and my well-intentioned heart.
This is the plan. It’s all ready and in place.
Thanks for coming along with me through this process.