Joy Journals

      I’m back with a colorful new project that I hope inspires you to not only create with paper but create with your pen as well!
      A few years ago I began a meditation practice.  If you’re new to meditating, there are hundreds of ways to effectively calm your mind, body and spirit, but here’s what I did:  I started with a traditional prayer of praise and gratitude, then moved into focusing on all of my senses; paying attention to the sights, sounds and smells around me; next I concentrated on just breathing in and out.  Before I realized what was happening, beautiful words came forth like a ballad, so I grabbed pen and paper and began to write.  My writings became little treasures to me and I often go back and re-read the messages to reveal the profound words of wisdom I’m needing to hear.

    This intuitive writing event happened time after time until I realized I needed journals handy each time I went into the quiet, meditative state of receiving.  I purchased journals whenever and wherever I stumbled upon them.  Because many were too bulky and heavy to tote around with me, I decided to make my own journals in custom sizes.  They now fit in my purse, tote bag, vehicle’s glove box, etc.  I even keep one by my bathtub for when inspiring thoughts, to-do lists or whatever needs to be jotted down can easily be done so.

     Today, I’m sharing with you a couple of journals I recently created using scraps of paper I hand-marbled months ago.  Because the marbling process is tedious and time-consuming, I’ll have to create a blog-post on just that with lots of how-to photos.  Please check back for my hand-marbeling tutorial soon.

    The paper I use for hand-marbeling is 100% cotton paper because it absorbs the color so beautifully. has lots of such papers available and offers different weights and sizes to choose from.  Of course, you don’t have to hand-marble paper to create beautiful journals. Lovely patterned papers and fabrics do well also.

     To create the journals photographed, I used a chipboard backing paper, such as CutCardStock’s Kraft Recycled Chipboard (.022 thickness).  I love using recycled papers and products, so this in particular is commonly used in many of my projects!
     I cut the chipboard just slightly larger than my interior journal pages and glued the decorative paper to the chipboard.  I used spray glue to affix the two papers; however Tombow Mono Multi-Purpose  Liquid Glue can be used as well.  Once the pieces are glued, I hand-score the center and drill holes for ribbon.  I chose a hand-dyed silk ribbon for these journals because I liked the way they tied and the colors I had on-hand worked nicely with my marbled papers.  

The interior pages were created on my word-processor, using the “table” feature.

     Once all pages were printed, trimmed, holes drilled to line up with cover, I corner-rounded the pages and cover before assembling the journal.  I have a table corner-rounder I operate with a foot pedal for drilling the holes,  but a small hand-held punch works just as well.

     Once the ribbon is inserted and tied, I cut small pieces of the marbled paper to make matching gift tags.  Because it is so close to Mother’s Day, I chose to gift my mother with the journals and wrote Mom in calligraphy on the tags.  CutCardStock has a set of easy-to-use calligraphy pens for the novice calligrapher.  Voile’!  Pour a cup of tea, relax with some simple meditation tips and enjoy writing in your new journal!

     I’d LOVE to see your unique journal creations!  These are truly one-of-a-kind pieces than can become a practical, inspirational and daily reflection of the joys in your life.
Thanks for viewing!  Kathryn Podorsky

P.S. I hand-painted the teacup (with hydrangeas) shown in the last three photos.  China Painting is another art form I dabbled in some years ago.


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