Friday, March 1, 2013

My New Gratitude Journal - Step by Step!

Hello Dear Blog Readers!
Today, I am finally sharing the process of creating my new gratitude journal. You can think of it as a follow-along tutorial, while I am learning new techniques in book making at the Artful Journey Retreat today...

I began this book project using an art journal page I began creating and eventually became unhappy with*:


I thought of making changes to the page for my journal, but decided that it might be best used to make my gratitude journal. Here is the page with some paper ephemera and rubber stamping that I added knowing it would be cut down:


Here is a detail shot of what will eventually become my journal covers, after cutting them:

Top cut is the front cover; bottom cut is the back cover...

Then I began to make a 'girly' for my journal cover, using the techniques from Kelly Rae Roberts book "Taking Flight"; I also learned this technique from Kelly Rae herself when I attended the first Artful Journey Retreat. I had not made a 'girly' since that time!

A 'girly' begins to take shape amidst the collage art background...

Detail shot of my 'girly' face

I scratched a word into the hair of my 'girly' just as I did with the first 'girly' I made at the retreat - this word works for my gratitude journal:

'Girly' made using Shiva paint sticks allows some of the original background to peek through...

Detail shot of my 'thank-full' girly...

I thought I would give my girly a cute outfit. I used some paper ephemera from an old French paperback book and some manuscript paper, decorated with a rubber stamp and watercolor paint...




I clipped the pieces onto the cover so they wouldn't get lost on my cluttered work table!

Floral and stripe 't-shirt' for my "Cover Girly" glued down...

I thought this cover looked pretty good, but then I decided to add a few more elements to the front and the back...

"being thank-FULL" - the theme for my journal!

Writing down things to be thankful for is a great reminder of what 'a good life' I actually have...


And now for the paper! I have some lined paper that is generally used in elementary school classrooms, but I like the texture and the lines on it, even if the lines are large sized, probably for practicing learning how to write and spell:

I like this paper and the feel of it for writing on, so it's going in my journal!

The inside covers did not have any art on them and they had gotten a bit messy after re-working the page. I thought I would add some end papers before binding the book together. I tore some pages from a vintage dictionary, looking for pages with botany images. When the glue had dried, I added a touch of color using some of my colored pencils:


Here is a detail shot so you can see the plant I chose: sassafras...for my 'sassy' self!! ;)


Covers are made, end papers are glued, inner pages are cut...we are ready to start the binding process!

I punched the holes needed to stab stitch the journal together using the new stitch method I learned:

Pattern of holes for sewing the stab stitch binding that adds extra stitching on the corners...

I then stitched my journal together and my new gratitude journal was FINALLY ready to use:


And I have begun to use it already!


I write in my gratitude journal nearly every evening since I began this practice and I look forward to using my new journal while I'm at the retreat. This journal will last for nearly 6 months, then I will need to make another journal...unless I decide to support another artist by asking Kristen to make a special journal for me, again!

I discovered the practice of a gratitude journal from the book "Simple Abundance" by Sarah Ban Breathnach. I received a copy of this wonderful book from one of my knitting buddies and I have been reading it daily for over two years. I really enjoy writing in my gratitude journal before going to sleep - it puts good thoughts in my head as I prepare for sleep...

Do you keep a gratitude journal? If so, do you write in it during the day or at night? 

I hope you enjoyed seeing the process of creating my gratitude journal! I had a lot of fun making it and I've thought of making more. I'll let you know if I make more of these hand-bound books, so be sure to stay tuned!

BTW: I still have a raffle taking place - you can learn all the details HERE to enter...

Thanks for reading and enjoy a creative weekend!

* - This seems to be a recurring motif lately!

2 comments:

Kathryn Hansen said...

wow...what a transformation!!! look great!

Ktag said...

Beautiful! Thanks for sharing! <3