Hand made card with sepia butterfly over striped background, featuring ribbon roses.

Getting started with junk journals

Like many makers out there, before I got started with junk journals, I was deep in the world of handmade cards. In my case, I was sick of European style Christmas cards full of snow scenes. I wanted to make something more representative of the Australian summer experience.

Over time I got more proficient, and gave packs of cards to family and friends as presents, donated cards to charity groups that my mother was involved with, and even sold through a bookstore. I had made it!

Handmade cards everywhere…

BUT – after a while, you end up with more cards than you can use. Even giving away and selling them isn’t enough. I love the different colours, and styles and techniques, but I needed an end use for it all. So I started branching out, off the page. I moved into mixed media, and decorating canvases and wooden projects. After that, I did a mixed media class with Finnabair and then started incorporating photos into some of my work. Then I started to do art journalling classes, and had a wonderful time creating a mess.

Due to some ill health, I spent a lot of time at home, not feeling up to crafting for a while. My crafting tools languished, but I moved to digital collage. I started to incorporate vintage photos, digital ephemera, and loved the effect. You can see this image I call ‘The Flapper, which I did as a tribute to my late grandmother. When I saw the photo, I thought it looked so much like her as a young woman that I wanted to created something special.

Junk journals and the scrap pile…

More recently, I wanted to get back into physical crafting and make a mess again. I couldn’t remember how to use a bunch of my products, and my local craft store recommended a few makers on YouTube to me. It opened up a whole new world, and showed me the fantastic world of junk journals. It was like a nexus of everything I had done before. The stamps, inks and papers from card making, the mixed media products from canvases and art journals. And the digital images I had used in my digital collages, but printed out. Junk journals are perfect for me!

I’m still learning a lot, but I do have a bit of a head started because I am familiar with so many of the products and techniques involved already. Plus a huge pile of scraps. I mean, it is never ending. Even when we set out to use them up, we end up with more. It is like feeding Gremlins after midnight…

Anyway I had an accident that left me with a pretty terrible injury just before Christmas. Humorous break with spiral fracture, dominant arm. It is now 4 months in and it is still showing ‘non union’ which means the bone is still separated. So my much anticipated Christmas break, which I was planning to spend at the gym as lockdown had ended (nope) and crafting (nope), became me binge watching makers on YouTube. And when I was able to finally move my arm a bit, I started to practice what I had seen. You can find out more about what I did in my Summer Makes Walkthrough video. There are links to all my inspirations in the description.

Stay in touch!

I’m going to be doing blog posts about different techniques, experiments, possibly some disasters (well they are all part of the fun!) and more. If you are interested in joining me on my junk journal journey, please sign up to my mailing list. That way you will find out about updates, PLUS you will get a free digital download that I have designed! It has tags and labels, and I think it is gorgeous.

You can also see many of my past projects on my mixed arts site, Synaethezia. This site includes cards, mixed media canvases, art journal projects, theatre reviews, and an assortment of other treasures. I’m a bit behind, but it still gets updated sporadically.

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