Crafting Journals

jonetta_deskimage Crafting journals is truly a contemplative practice for me. I enjoy the process from beginning to end. I especially enjoy the fact that I can take raw materials and create something that may help someone along their journey in life. I get asked lots of questions about my process so I thought I would share some of what goes into this magic I call journal artistry. YES, I make each journal with my very own hands. When things get chaotic and there are more journals to be made than I have hours in a day I have an assistant that may cut boards and paper for me, but largely I make them from beginning to end. But NO, I do not make the paper. I use a combination of purchased papers and hand painted (by me) papers to create my journals. And YES, they are extremely environmentally friendly. The boards I use are 100% recycled fibers; the outside papers are tree-free and recycled. I am so happy that I have finally been able to find paper for the inside pages that are 100% post-consumer recycled papers and the spirals are all recyclable.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way let me tell you a little more about how I make my journals come to life. I should start by sharing that I love paper. I love all kinds of paper. An office supply store is a candy land for me. But I am PASSIONATE about handmade papers. I love the uniqueness of the texture, the colors and the presentation. My mouth waters just thinking about it! I previously owned a stationery design company and while I still love a good wedding invitation I grew tired of making them over and over and over again. I felt as though I was losing my creative flair and my passion for paper was being doused by ribbon and overlays.
In 2006, I started buying books about how to make books. I started taking bookbinding classes and was amazed by all that I learned. There are some incredible bookbinders out there and the art of bookbinding is a meditative craft which entails a great deal of skill, time, care and precision. I contemplated pursuing further education in bookbinding, but the reality was that I just wanted to create a beautiful, functional, and affordable journal that would motivate and encourage others to write. So I started playing around with some ideas and came up with many versions and sizes of journals. Through lots of trial and error I decided that a spiral bound journal would give journalers the most functional and satisfying experience and ease of use. Spiral bound journals give journalers a lay flat option that is sturdy, long lasting and the colorful designs and spirals are intentionally eye catching to keep you wanting to comeback to write more and more.

After working with handmade papers for many years I began to have a desire to manipulate them in my own way. I never wanted to make the paper myself, but I wanted to be able to create my own designs. I started learning the process of painting and printing papers. Both processes give me the opportunity to express myself in a different way. Learning about paints, colors and how to manipulate them took my passion for creating to another level.

You will notice that I love to use words and quotes on the covers of my journals. I love the written word and the beauty of typography. I think that by combining the two concepts with my journals makes them even more inspiring. I love it when people “connect” with a specific journal or find just the “right” one for a special person.

For a long while before I actually started selling my journals, I would make them and keep them at my studio in my home, never showing them to anyone. My husband would say I hoarded them and treated them like them were my little treasures that I wanted to keep all to myself. I guess back then they were in some ways. I was cautious. I knew I wanted to share them, but I wanted my message to be clear. These journals were meant to be cherished not for what they were physically, but for what their owner was going to fill them with. I didn’t want them to be displayed on a shelf or admired on a table. It was important to me that the journals invited you to use them, to embrace them and to confide in them. When you get one of my journals you are truly getting a part of me and I hope that they provide you with inspiration that will be significant for your life and the future ahead.