Monday, June 01, 2015

My Jumbly Journals

I mentioned recently that I've been in the throes of an obsession a creative path involving the sewing of paper.  I thought I'd show you what I've been up to.  I'm making journals.  Actually, I'm developing my own style of journal I call "Jumbly Journals,  because they are a happy jumble of images and materials and patterns, but still suitable for journaling in or sticking things in or using in all sorts of different ways.  (Some people call this sort of thing "junk journals," but I think that makes them sounds... well, junky.)

I've made books for a long time, but I got enthused in a whole new way when I took an online class from Mary Ann Moss called "Remains of the Day." It opened up my eyes to using a huge variety of fun stuff in one book, and I've been messing around with them ever since.  (In case you are interested, a new session of the class is open for registration right now.)  In any event, I've been fiddling and honing my methods to make them the way I like, and I'm having a blast.

This is the one I finished a few days ago, with a travel theme. 

I don't know why, but it needed these beady things hanging from the side.  They also work as bookmarks.

What's that you say? You'd like to see inside?  Well, here you go.

I like to use a wide assortment of things inside.  Some of my own photographs.  Bits of old calendars. 

I like a mix of old and new stuff.  That "Fountain Paint Pot" page is from a vintage travel souvenir booklet I found at a yard sale.

I've been using bits of maps.  Even the occasional perfect greeting card.

The hardest part, I'm finding, is leaving space -- for writing and sticking photos and memorabilia.  I like to have lots of pockets and flaps that will hold journaling cards and pages.

Here are a few pages from a book I made a while back.  There's no theme, just stuff I thought was fun.  I use the occasional old yearbook photo (from a random old yearbook, again found at a yard sale).

I'll use old copyright-free photos, and bits of the really thrashed children's books I find at the thrift store.

You can tell in this early book I kept forgetting to leave SPACE.  I was having too much fun mixing things in. I think there's a quilterly aspect to this, mixing disparate things and colors and patterns to make something pleasing.

But I love it.  A lot of people who make junk journals glue everything.  Me, I sew.  I like the way it looks and feels to have stitching on the page, and I think I mentioned how much I love the pocka-pocka sound sewing through paper makes.  It's a very happy sound. 

Here's one that I'm finishing now -- it's almost done, I just need to sew the signatures into the cover.  It's on a reading theme. Shhhhh, don't tell anyone.  This is a gift.

I found a great assortment of library-themed scrapbooking paper, and I've had such fun mixing it with other bits and bobs.

I'm in love with the paper that looks like card catalog drawers. I think I need more.  Just because.  To hoard and love.  And maybe use from time to time.

I'm even starting to think about selling these on Etsy.  Do you think they'd sell?  I'm just having so much fun making them that I don't want to stop. 


  1. I would order some of your books. They are unique, interesting and creative with a wonderful functional element that allows the purchaser to add/ create/ alter in so many ways. I love them!

  2. Fun Diane! I loved Mary Ann Moss's classes including "Remains of the Day." I tried making some and selling them on Etsy but none sold. May be a price point issue? I figured I had 10 hours into making each one plus supplies, so thought $75-100 wasn't asking too much. Apparently it was.

  3. Wonderful, Diane! I noticed the bone beads---they remind me of our time together in at Art Continuum!


  4. ooh, I'm feeling so lucky that I got to see one of these treasures in person! Completely wonderful and brimming with surprises.