Have you ever had so many thoughts that they just crowd your head and your poor brain feels overloaded? I’m pretty sure we’ve all felt that way sometimes. Recently, we were gifted this lovely journal kit from Sizzix designer, Eileen Hull, and I found a way to help my brain by making a dual sided journal to capture all of my thoughts and ideas. Aside from art which is my number one passion, I also love to write, walk in nature, and take notes to help me remember things. I mostly bullet journal these days as it seems that’s all I have time for, so I knew I wanted to create something that was easy to use, easy to carry, and multi-functional. I had also spent hours combing the interwebs for a traveler style notebook that I liked but I couldn’t find one that I just loved, so I knew exactly what I wanted to do with this opportunity! I decided to create a dual-sided, multi-purpose traveler’s notebook that gives me the flexibility to flip the inserts in and out, depending on where I’m going or what I’m doing. A traveler’s notebook or journal is the perfect solution for me.
The Crafter’s Workshop provided me with some product to create this project. The opinions I share are solely my own.
I have recently fallen in love with Dina Wakeley’s gloss media sprays, and purchased a few in my soul palette colors which I used to spray the die cut mat boards that form the journal’s front and back covers. Warning: Please learn from my mistakes – Do not use too much wet media on mat board as it will separate the layers!
I also used the gloss media sprays on the outside of the journal cover. These paints dry with a gloss finish, which makes them super easy to draw over using acrylic paint pens. I used my uni-ball Signo black pen with stencil TCW2314 Punch Card Slimline Stencil to create some marks across the journal cover. These randomly scribbled marks add tiny moments of depth to the cover design.
To add some depth and dimension, I used TCW9008 Clear Modeling Paste with a palette knife through TCW936 Messy Writing stencil.
Once dried, I used TCW9006 Gloss Gel Medium to seal the layers before proceeding.
Using a stiff bristled brush, I dry brushed TCW9002 black gesso over the dried and sealed modeling paste. This allowed me to retain some of the background color in places, while preparing the surface to add additional layers of colors and mediums.
One of my favorite products to use for adding shine and additional sealing properties is colored wax. I love using these Art Alchemy waxes by Finnabair. Using my finger, I lightly smudged a range of colors across the journal cover to accent the messy writing stencil design. The wax shows up wonderfully against the black gesso and adheres wonderfully to the ‘tooth’ of the gesso too.
Now, it’s time to prepare the decorative elements for the journal. I wanted to make these smaller pieces resemble brass or metal, so I first used TCW9001 white gesso for texture, then walnut ink for color, and TCW9011 matte gel medium to seal the ink.
I used shiny copper brads in different sizes to attach the decorative elements to the cover. I also used TCW9011 matte gel medium under each decorative element to help strengthen and hold it in place.
For the opposite cover of the journal, I decided to go with an inspirational nature theme. Using matte chalk acrylic paint and a cosmetic sponge, I used TCW243 Ferns stencil to add two fern fronds to the cover. I outlined the dried fronds with a black uni-ball signo acrylic paint pen. The fronds looked a little lonely and forlorn by themselves, so I used TCW862 Maidenhair Fern stencil with a green pitt artist brush pen outlined with black uni-ball signo pen to add a couple more fern fronds to keep them company.
Now I wanted to create the ‘ground’ with some dimension and variety. Using TCW9005 white modeling paste and TCW357 Cell Theory stencil, I stenciled some ‘rocks’ as the ground. I used Chunky Embossing Powder from Lindy’s Gang to add to the texture and heat set it using my heat tool.
Using a black and a gold uni-ball signo pen, I stenciled TCW873 Orb Mandala stencil onto the cover, then added the decorative elements.
Remember I said earlier not to use too much wet media on mat board? Well I did use too much and my cover edges ended up separating, so I used washi tape and TCW9011 matte gel medium to seal the edges and glue them back together again. I used elastics in the middle for the book binding holders, and I added a closing mechanism that can open and close from either side (because I made it a double sided journal) and it can also double as a book mark when the journal is open. When the journal is closed, you flip it vertically 180 degrees to open the other side!
If you’d like to watch a super quick fly-by video (1:03 seconds) of this journal creation process, please hop on over to my YouTube Channel @TealHareCreations.
The Crafter’s Workshop Design Team Member
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2 thoughts on “Handmade Journal”
Thanks ever so much, dear friend.