Hello!! My name is Rachel. I guess I’m what you call the boss around these here parts. While I am indeed a bossy gal, I should say right here up front, that I in no way shape or form know everything there is to know about art journals. BUT I know what I know from experience, and I’m totally sharing all that here. In 2006, I found Emily Falconbridge’s Deck on ME prompts on line, and got my first taste of art journaling. While taking part in that year, I met so many amazing gals who were also just starting out in their own artful adventures. There was something amazing about being in that journey together, and knowing that we didn’t have to “know it all” to enjoy the experience.
Another year or so later, I bought the book the Journal Revolution by two amazing sisters, Linda Woods and Keren Dinino. I read it, and knew I wanted to keep journaling, and share what I was learning with other people. At the time, I worked as the site manager for a scrapbooking website called TallyScrapper.com, and there was interest from the gals there to have me share journaling prompts with them. So I started a monthly art journal prompt there. In 2009, I extended my reach outside Tally, and started this blog as a place to keep my art journaling prompts.
In 2010, I reached even further, because even with 2009’s amazing response, I felt that I could help others connect through art journaling even more. That’s why I’ve created a Ning group. (Since this post, our ning group has been moved to Facebook. You can click the Community link at the top of the page to go there) It’s a place for conversations and talk to be facilitated and for you all to make artful connections that you will take with you beyond this year. I hope that you will forge those same connections here this year to take with you in the years to come!! Of course, if you don’t feel comfortable sharing or connecting, and want to follow along, you are welcome to that as well!!
Some things I want you all to remember as you begin or continue your journey…
- It’s important that you remember that art journaling IS personal. There are some people out there who are of the opinion that by sharing art that is created for a personal art journal, you have made it impersonal, and it’s up for shots. This isn’t the case. Sharing art that is personal means that you are taking the chance that there are others out there who may feel the same way. That there may be someone who will be encouraged by that. It in NO WAY means that you have relinquished that very personal and private space a particular piece may have in your heart.
- Not everything you make needs to be a masterpiece. Art journaling is a time and place for exploration. It’s a place to try new things. It’s a place to try things out. Art journaling is not about the end result. It’s about the process. I think it’s especially rewarding at the end of a year to have all your experiments bundled up into something that collectively is always more beautiful to me than I imagined it could be.
- In an art journal, actually WRITING anything is totally optional. Most people have no idea of the meaning because there is no journaling, but when I look at those pages, I know exactly where I was and what I meant in that moment. Here are a few of the definitions of a journal. Some of my favorite pages are ones that have hidden meaning.
- record of experiences and observations
- a periodical dedicated to a particular subject; “he reads the medical journals”
- a record book as a physical object
- HAVE FUN. That’s what this is about. Explore things you’ve never explored!! Do things you have never done. Creativity is like any other thing. Riding a bike, learning to read, learning to write. You have to PRACTICE to be good. Everything you need to BE creative is already inside you. You just have to allow yourself the time to practice.
I’m so excited to have you on this journey with me!!
HERE’S WHAT I AM USING FOR MY JOURNAL:
I’m using a VERY old decrepit book that I found at the thrift store.. It’s falling apart on all sorts of levels, and beyond repair in all sorts of ways, but the outside has beautiful detail, and the images and pages make me happy. So I’m altering the book to make an art journal!!
I’m saving this page, because it calls to me… In case you can’t read the inscription it says:
“A Christmas Gift to our dear Louise 1861”
Yeah. It’s that old.
The book itself was about 1 1/2 inches thick. I created thicker more sturdy pages by using 7 Gypsies Gaffer tape to bind about 7 pages at a time.
To create space for bulky items, I tore about 5 pages out of the book in between each gaffered page bundle. You can see the torn pages above.
I used a ruler to keep from tearing the pages too close to the sewing that binds the pages. That way, I don’t have to worry about the bundles falling out.
ETA: I did not glue the pages together, because I wanted them to move more freely and I worried that gluing them would make them too stiff. I also worried that the stiffness would put more stress on the binding, and was looking for ways to keep that safe.
The spine of the book was missing, so I fixed that by cutting a piece of canvas and gluing it over the spine. I used Crafter’s Pick glue, because it dries flexible. That will be important with all the movement the book will see from here on out.
Before spine repair:
After spine repair:
Next I decorated the outside spine by spray painting over a doily and using bubble wrap and a stamp… I added some decorations to the outside as well… I used a vintage date stamp of my grampa’s to create the date on the tag.
I’ll use gesso over each page before I start creating in order to be sure that the pages stay strong over the course of the year. So that’s it!! A really easy way to create an art journal out of an existing book!! You could use paper or masking tape instead of gaffer tape. You could cover more than just the edge of the page bundles… the possibilities are endless. I’m looking forward to using this journal. It’s the first time I’ve used an already bound book to make an art journal.
All images and content on this blog is copyright to Rachel Whetzel unless otherwise specified. Please give credit when sharing your art that is inspired here! Thank you so much!!