Juju Journal Jam

All my life - well, from around 12 on, I've keep journals! 
Medicine Basket

Words, Words, many words. 
And art journals - blank books and page margins. At church or a concert, I'd hope for wide margins and perhaps a blank space where I could draw! (I love that our sanctuary has a kids' area with a rug and cubbys, plus project bags, so Sundays they stay in the sanctuary, they they have lots of space to quietly play, color and draw!) 

When I began my Color of Woman teacher training, we were invited to create simple art journals, setting our intention, and using inexpensive composition books!! (Thanks, Catt!!) 

I already had a bunch of these in various states of use lying around, and quickly saw the value of this accessible art journal format for both myself and my students! My grandkids often use one for a school project, then abandon it, so I've re-purposed quite a few!!

I also had several black art journals and spiral bound mixed media books for different online classes. I began painting and collaging their covers, to tell at a glance which class/es each belonged with, and covered many composition books over the course of the Color of Woman training.

How many of us decorated paper bags as book covers in Junior High? Or scribbled all over our folders? It was a fun way to claim these cookie-cutter items, and mark them as uniquely ours! It is also a way to sidestep the critical voice, as it's not "serious art," and we may find it easier to be "imperfect!" With our altered books, we often scrunch up or "smash" pages, and gild the edges with colored and metallic paint. (I love inexpensive craft or Amsterdam Paint for this!)

Journals and calendar page
Every time someone sees one of these fun takes on an art journal, they are drawn in, and want to make one of their own! 

Think outside the box - composition books are easy to find and inexpensive, consider an old book, a magazine, a calendar ...a kid's board book (or matching pair, hinged with a piece of paper) 

My invitation for both my Red Thread Circles and my Painting Playshops includes, "bring your art journal!" ... 
My beloveds bring tips and techniques of their own and from craft classes.

Often during a first class or circle, a beloved tells me, "I don't really have an art journal, is that ok?"  

While of course it's ok, (you can't get this wrong!) it's satisfying to have one (+) dedicated to do projects in, and process what's up in our life! I periodically offer circles and classes in creating your own Juju Journal, and ideas for using the pages for process, and post these in my MeetUp group.

The Juju Journal* offers a sweet way to connect with our intuition, as we follow inquiries and prompts. It's a wonderful way to transmits old stories, and move into a "good juju" space.
  • Begin with Intention - whether you're working in a composition book, altering a calendar, hardback book, or a children's board book, take a few minutes to set your intention for this journal. 
  • Use a Sharpe to write your intention and inquiries on the cover before you begin.
  • Make a cover - trace around your book on a big piece of drawing paper,  or a brown paper bag and at least an inch margin.
  • Write your intention on the paper, then use craft paint, collage, stamps  etc to decorate it, and glue it on, and when you're finished, cover with a coat of medium or Mod Podge.
  •  Use a silicon spatula or old credit card to spread paint quickly.
  •  Reinforce the spine with duck tape if you need/wish to 

 Some page ideas:

  • Engage the senses and connect with the elements: put a bit of ash from incense or soil from your yard in some mod podge or medium;
  • Add a drop of essential oils, pressed flowers to a page, flower essences to your paint water, spritz page with water before painting. 
  • Labels - tea "fortunes," candy wrapper, crumpled foil from chocolate candy
  • Write across the center, to engage both sides of the brain 
  • Collect ephemera, junk mail, images, words, ribbon, handmade paper, paper yields you've used as paint rags, napkins ...
  • Include a pocket for "Oracle Cards" to pull out as a mini reading (collage or watercolor, cut out using a circular template)
  • A friend created a Soul Collage® journal, where she does her collage on the page, then writes her "I Am the one who," interpretation for each card.
  • Create calendar pages with projects for that month in diffent colored bubble
  • Glue some pages together for added strength, and use gesso or watercolor ground to prepare the surface for paint and colored pens. You can also use glazing medium or clear gesso over words and images.
  • Scrunch the pages if it's a composition or altered book, and gild the page edges using metallic paint. 
  • Reinforce the center of a composition book with pretty ribbons, and include more (3-5 total) for bookmarks.
  • Find the center of your book, and make a Grounding or Resting page - often we trace around our hands, or perhaps place a tree ...
  • Thread and wrap ribbon through the spiral of art journals, and add a few for bookmarks
  • Use a stretchy headband around your journal to hold it shut 

Process and paint or collage: 

  • Your journal is a great way to process, then cover it up! 
  • Ask questions, vent, write across the center,
  • Spiral around the page, write in sections with watercolor pencils them activate with water ... 
  • Use any journaling prompt and write, then cover your processing with paint and or collage - how do you feel?

Trips and Tricks

  • Make pockets! And more pockets!!
  • Use envelopes from cards for pockets (and images from the cards on your cover or pages) 
  • Glue them in/  add Washi tape in the edges
  • Make your own Washi tape: put strips of masking tape on waxed paper, and use extra paint on the strips, patterns with stamps or stencils - cut into narrower strips of you wish. Metallic paint adds zing!
  • Use ideas from your journal page to make affirmation or Soul Compass cards to access your insights 
  • Keep a piece or two of parchment or waxed paper in your journal, to use as spacers for wet pages (and use a hair dryer to speed drying)
  • Mix some Mod Podge with acrylic paint for a lush, silky surface
  • Stamps, stencils, metallic or Pearl paint add interest
  • Collage on pages, following a prompt or letting images you're attracted to guide you. Write about several of the images
  • Paint or collage the cover of art journals you already have 
  • Write and draw notes from calls and classes
  • Work on drawing or watercolor paper, or with white ink on a dark page and glue after dry.
Juju Journal cover and composition book

Need more ideas? Here are some resources 

Happy Juju Journal time!! 

* Juju means energy, the experience of positive and negative forces all around us that charge our lives, and shape each unique day in this planet. Good juju company


Sue (this n that) said...

Hi there Nadya, your art journals are so creative, I think the covers are delightful. I can imagine how much fun it must be. The idea of re-purposing composition books etc is a good one. Loved your post. Happy PPF :D) xx

leekrek said...

thanks for sharing your great ideas, and wonderful books

Tracey@Hotchpotchcreations said...

Absolutely fabulous, I love what you have created... There are so many wonderful used prompts. Super way of creating.
Thank you for sharing and Happy PPF Tracey

DVArtist said...

These are truly wonderful. Thanks for sharing Nadya.