Visual Journal Part I

20 Comments
posted on February 28, 2012 by  |  posted under Crafting, Fun With Kids

How to make a visual journal

I have always been an avid journal keeper…okay that’s a lie…I used to be an avid journal keeper- writing about anything and everything going on in my life. Well, that is until I went to graduate school. Then, I found writing three to four papers and essays a week was all the writing that I could handle and my journal began to collect dust… literally.

Yearning to express my inner thoughts,  I knew that I needed to do some journal re-inventing. So, I came up with what I called my “art journal.” Yes, I used the word “art” and many of you are ready to move on to the next page because you just thought to yourself, “Well, this doesn’t apply to me because I am not an artist.”  Whoa there…before you leave- let me change that intimidating word to “visual.”  How does visual journal sound? Better?

I didn’t realize that some people had such an aversion to that word until I had a great discussion with my good friend Steph from The Daily Digi. She talks about her new found love of visual journaling opposed to “art” journaling here .  So, in order to keep your attention,  I have decided to call this book a Visual Journal.

 I took a black spiral sketch book with thick white pages and began thinking of creative ways to fill each page with my dreams, vision boards, thoughts, quotes, or whatever I am in the mood of.

How to make a visual journal

Anything goes in this journal. There are no rules! Personally, I like to combine writing, magazine images, photographs, doodles, paint, paper, stamps, and pretty much anything I have laying around in the moment to express myself and how I am feeling.  It has taken the stories of my life and transformed them to pieces of what I consider expressive artwork that convey much more than words; they bring in my emotions.

How to make a visual journal

I can open to any page of my journal and see the image that I created and automatically can recall what I was feeling or thinking that day. And I must add  as a recovering perfectionist and someone who would spend hours on getting a scrapbook layout “just right”- it was freeing to just let go and not have a plan in mind.  You see, with  visual journaling there is no right or wrong way to do anything. It just sort of evolves.  It is through the process of creating and not the final product that a person can find relaxation and identify emotions occurring in that moment.

How to make a visual journal

So, I am at the end of this visual journal and have been ready to try something new to re-invent my journaling once again…and that by using a vintage book.

How to make a visual journal

This is what I did.

 I went down to a local used book store to see what kind of treasures I could find and there were SO many to choose from that I spent WAY too much time in there!

How to make a visual journal

So, I may have walked away with two…or three…or six Vintage books all with their own story to tell. Some with written notes and dates on them. Oh it was exciting!

How to make a visual journal

Then, I decided to go to a local fabric store and choose fabric and felt iron-ons to decorate the front cover.

How to make a visual journal

Using a hot glue gun I glued the fabric on the cover leaving some of the original book exposed.

How to make a visual journal

I added some black felt embellishments on the cover and glued ties and covered a piece of cardboard and glued it in the inside.

How to make a visual journal

Now for the fun part – creating blank pages to journal on.

You may first want to first remove some pages with a razor blade as the book can get very fat at the end. However, this is something you can do as you go along if you wish.

How to make a visual journal

Then take your Gesso and apply a thin layer to a page and allow to dry. I like to let some of the letters still show through the pages as an extra element.

How to make a visual journal

And there you go…you now have a clear canvas to begin to paint, glue, whatever you desire! These journals are not only great for you but also your little ones (who can’t write yet) and for the older ones who love to collage and express themselves someway or the other anyhow!

How to make a visual journal

I’d love to show you more ideas on how to actually do the visual journaling part- but that will have to wait my friends for another post!  So, keep your eyes open for Visual Journal Part II!

How to make a visual journal

For more ideas on visual journaling you can visit me here at www.weedstowishes.com.

xo

{linking up to these parties}

20 Comments
COMMENTS
  1. February 28th, 2012 at 8:24 am
    Anonyvox says:
    Ooh, that's pretty! I like the colors you used. As I was reading this, I was thinking that it would be neat to be able to do an online visual journal; my blog is where my writing gets done, but it would be cool to be able to have custom pages with images, backgrounds, clip art, etc. I'm not a web designer and not much of a coder, so I'd have to have my platform do it for me. But it'd be so fun!
  2. February 28th, 2012 at 8:33 am
    Shelley says:
    Ah! I love this idea. Where is the nearest used book store?!!! ;)
  3. February 28th, 2012 at 9:34 am
    Missy says:
    I have always wanted to try something like this - so artistic and simple. Love it!
  4. February 28th, 2012 at 2:14 pm
    Deb Gale says:
    Cristi,

    Did you put Gesso on every page to use it? Or just to start off with?
    • February 28th, 2012 at 4:40 pm
      Cristi Dame says:
      Hi Deb- I didn't put gesso on every page- just on the one I was about to use. You can always paint the pages or just paste stuff over them as well. So, I like to keep my options open!
      • February 28th, 2012 at 7:16 pm
        Bobbi says:
        I absolutely LOVE this! I want to make one..right away. Where do you buy Gesso? I haven't heard of it before.
        • March 2nd, 2012 at 9:35 am
          Cristi Dame says:
          You can get it at any place that sells art supplies- I think Hobby Lobby has it. It is so fun- you can add some paint if you like and it will add texture- play around with it!
  5. February 29th, 2012 at 11:10 am
    Nesleirbag says:
    Very, very cool! I am going to teach a workshop in keeping personal histories and I will mention this clever idea!
    • March 2nd, 2012 at 9:36 am
      Cristi Dame says:
      Oooh that sounds awesome! Yes please do!! Can't wait for part 2!
  6. March 2nd, 2012 at 7:52 pm
    Alison says:
    What a fantastic idea! :) I love the idea of using a vintage book as the actual journal itself. This would be a fun girls' night out to choose the books, the fabric, etc. Thanks for sharing at oopsey daisy!
  7. March 5th, 2012 at 1:38 pm
    Lowri McNabb says:
    Awesome journal and a really great post! Looking forward to checking out your site for some more ideas :-)
    Lowri
  8. March 6th, 2012 at 4:35 am
    Ruth says:
    Well I think you're quite arty! I keep thinking I'd like to do one of these but have never plucked up the courage. Well done. it looks great!
  9. March 6th, 2012 at 4:52 pm
    Jill says:
    Oh my goodness... Love the journal!!! I would love for you to link up to my party going on now at Jillify It! Hope to see you there!

    Jill
    www.jillifyit.com
  10. March 6th, 2012 at 8:24 pm
    Alicia says:
    Love, love, love these! I've altered books in the past, but I've never finished a whole journal before. Definitely on my to-do list. You've inspired me even more!
  11. March 9th, 2012 at 11:52 pm
    Lindsay says:
    Hello,
    I love this idea so much and want to do it ASAP! I was just wondering.. do you paint the pages with gesso one at a time and let them dry? Or can you do lots all at once?
    Thanks for this tutorial. It is such a fabulous idea.
    Lindsay
    • April 11th, 2012 at 2:27 pm
      cristi says:
      Lindsay-
      I do either. sometimes I will do one page at a time and use a blow dryer to dry them or I will prep a bunch of pages to use later all at once. You can do each page in sections if you want- just adding a little at a time- they make for really fun pages!!
  12. April 7th, 2012 at 2:14 pm
    Elysia Raimondo says:
    AW this is so cute i loved making it
    check out my blog-http://natureisflowers.blogspot.ca/
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