Monday, June 10, 2013

Create and Altered Journal or Commonplace Book, via Crafting a Green World!

How To: Create an Altered Journal

A fabulous Repurposed Book as Sketchbook tutorial by Livividli Lifestyle Blog was linked up to our Green Crafts Showcase this month. I was so inspired by it that it will not only be featured tomorrow as one of the top 5 projects, but I wanted to create my own version. Instead of a sketchbook, I repurposed my book into a journal.

What You Will Need:

1. An old book. You can easily find these at garage sales or thrift stores.
2. Crayons or any other items to decorate your journal.

How To Do It:

1. Decide what the purpose of your journal will be. Here are some ideas:
    • a travel journal
    • a place for quotes or poetry
How To: Create an Altered Journal
    • a scrapbook (almost like a smashbook!)
    • a sketchbook like Livividli Lifestyle Blog
    • write down creative project ideas– I always have a journal in my purse for when ideas pop in my head!
    • an everyday journal
How To: Create an Altered Journal
2. Go for it! The great thing about this project is that there aren’t any guidelines or rules. Envision what you want for your journal and then put it on paper.
3. Optional: Decorate the outside of the book. You can easily glue recycled paper to the outside of your book to cover it and make your own “title.” I didn’t decorate the outside of mine because I like that it’s “incognito.”
What do I do with mine? I like to write different quotes from Pinterest that inspire me, ideas for projects, and everyday journal entries. As Laura from Livividli said, I love the layered look of the words underneath and the surprise aspect of someone opening the book and finding something different.

What kind of journal would you create?

Nicole Ellie says: I LOVE books. (For those of you that know me I'm sure this is an understatement.) I love to read them, look at them, write in them, art in them. I've never thought of doing an altered book like this; I always put way too much work into making the book a canvas for some failed art project or something like that. This is so much easier, and way more fun. So easy, in fact, that I'm pretty sure I and my little guy can each begin one today. If I don't have a book lying around that I can sacrifice, I can always hit the Salvation Army or my town's Little Free Library. (Not necessarily what the Little Free Library is for, but I make regular donations. They won't mind.)
   Getting back to Crafty Green Bonnie's question, what kind of journal will I create?? I've already got a journal: I've been keeping one steadily for a couple years now. However, amid daily complaints about washing dishes (will they ever learn to wash themselves???), random cookie recipes, introspective soul-searching (I'll find it one of these days), and scrawled story and poetry ideas, I add quotes from books, snatches of poetry that move me like mine never can, and my thoughts on them. 
   These are the grounds for a Commonplace Book, a journal-like device most popular in the 17th through 19th centuries, though the poet W.H. Auden and novelist E.M. Forster both kept and published, Commonplace Books. My first experience with the Commonplace Book was in my Western Lit class (aka, the Dead White Guys class) at GCC some years ago. I found the concept difficult, mostly because we were creating a Commonplace Book about the class' reading material, and with the exception of Sappho and Hilda Doolittle (thrown in so it could avoid being called the Dead White Guys class), I found the reading material exceedingly boring. That, and I'd already translated Virgil's The Aenead from the original Latin in high school, thus earning the wretched book my everlasting hate.
   And yet, while rereading my stack of journals, I came to realize that I had an appreciation of the Commonplace Book and continued to include it in my regular journal. No more! I have a large-print copy of Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress sitting on my shelf. I had intended to read it...after all, it was Louis May Alcott's favorite book, and if it's good enough for my idol, it's certainly good enough for me. However......

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