‘Junk’ Journal With Me

I have shared Journal with Me’s in the past, but today marks the start of a new ‘series’. Every week – until the journal is complete – you will see me work in a vintage ‘junk’ journal insert.

What is a Junk Journal?

‘Junk journal’ has become an umbrella term for journals that feature anything other than plain pages. Corinne Jansz gives this definition of what is included in a junk journal:

…a handmade book made up of recycled items such as papers from magazines, brochures, patterned paper, music sheets, envelopes, packaging, brown paper bags, maps, greeting cards, post cards, doilies, to name a few.  The book covers can be made from cereal boxes, old book covers or any hard card boards.

As you can see, junk journaling originated from wanting to use materials in new ways. I guess you could call it ‘creative recycling’. One of my all time favourite bloggers, Jennibellie made a video on how she created a journal from greetings cards.

Here, I am using old vintage papers, amongst other papers, to create my journal insert. Here is the first episode:

For this insert, I decided to focus on the word ‘growth’ as a theme. I think that this will allow me to explore the idea more fully than the confines of a single spread. It also pushes me to think of how to use words and images to convey its nuances in several ways.

I hope you enjoy this journey! See you next week for part two.

Junk Journal Inserts

Meg x

Is Bullet Journaling for Everyone?

At the start of 2018 I decided to take the plunge and start a bullet journal.

Throughout school and university I had tried almost every style and size of planner out there. I recognise the importance of planning and tracking in getting things done, but I always struggled with consistency. I would miss a week and feel guilty about the wasted paper. Some days I would have barely any tasks on my to-do, and on others I was so busy I felt like I needed a whole book. Clearly what I needed was a flexible system. Enter bullet journaling, the analog system turned insta-aesthetic-sensation.

Every time a photo of someone’s perfectly composed bullet journal appeared on my instagram or tumblr feed, I had two thoughts.

1. How is that so pretty and composed? They must have their life together. I wish I could do that.

2. Who has time for that?!

I did try and start a decorated bullet journal in 2016, but I was soon overwhelmed by stickers and washi tape. I would spend more time pretty planning than actually getting stuff done. And wasn’t that supposed to be the whole point?

At the start of this year, I embraced the flexibility of the system (with a little encouragement from Rebecca) by going back to basics. I got cheap A5 notebook. It was lined and had a faux brown leather cover. I used a ball point pen, the odd highlighter, and boring post-it notes for scribbles.

I experimented with layouts each day, each week, to see what would work. Some pages, I did include the odd sticker – but it was never the focus. I discovered that I cannot keep lists of books I have read, and instead Goodreads was my friend. Monthly pages are a nice overview, but in my last semester of uni my tasks were much more daily and weekly-focused, with the exception of exams and assignments.

For me, the bullet journal system works as a glorified to-do list and brain dump notebook. It’s where I can have all my important information in one place. I also love the flexibility, even if it’s not always pretty.

Meg x

Vintage Shopping: Finding Ephemera for your Art Journal

In this post, I am going to share with you some tips for finding vintage papers, ephemera and treasures that you can use in your journal pages.

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Old book pages – about anything and in any language – is probably my most favourite thing to use in collages. They add colour, texture and interest. They can serve as background pieces, or you can cut out the words that speak to you and make them a focal point. Often, many of the books that you find in the ‘gardening’ section of a charity shop or antique store will have beautiful illustrations or photos. I love these because if you have little scissors and some patience, botanical cut outs can add a pretty touch to your pages. This also works as an alternative to pressed flowers.

Be open to different styles. If you look in the front cover you can tell when a book was published. I usually go for books between 1930’s and 1950’s, or older if I can find it, because the paper tends to have yummy ageing. If you can’t find books that old (and sometimes places cotton on, and charge more), you can always stain the pages of the book with tea or coffee to get a similar effect.

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You’ll find that lots of places might have materials you wouldn’t have thought to use straight away – fabrics, lace, buttons etc. These are all amazing for adding extra dimension.

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Another treasure is old postage stamps! These usually cost more if you’re buying a more ‘collectable’ set, but usually you can find cheaper bundles of more ‘common’ ones. Aside from using them in collages, I also attach them to the edges of my pages as a tab.

Finally, another popular element that you can usually find in abundance is postcards. I like to use black and white or sepia ones, but you can also pick up coloured ones if that’s what you like! Again, these can vary in price depending on the popularity and age, but some places might do them in bundles. Postcards are great for tip-ins, and I also like to alter them to personalise them.

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Happy vintage shopping!  I hope you enjoyed seeing what I look for. I’d love to see what you find and what you create!

Meg x