My “junk journaling” journey


My beat-up quote notebook, started in the 1970s and a yellowed piece of my “cute” stationery with quotes I liked.  I used to hang up pages of quotes for inspiration.

Like many people, especially girls, I kept a diary as a young teenager.  Into those pages, I poured out my heart, especially about how madly in love I was with some boy.  That diary-keeping probably set the tone for my life of “journaling”.  One of my sisters found my diary and she had it in hand, ready to regale me with a dramatic reading of it, when I walked into our bedroom one day.  She proceeded to give it her all to her performance of reading out loud how much I loved that boy, interspersed with her wild laughter.   A chase around our bedroom  began, as I tried to retrieve my diary, as she continued to laugh hysterically and mock me about what I had written.  I got so angry that I picked up my desk chair and was ready to smash her over the head, when our mother rushed into the room and stopped me.  My mother took my diary from my sister and handed it to me.  I burst into tears and ran outside.

Out in the country many people burned their paper trash and we did too.  A short distance from our house, my father had an empty oil drum, with holes spaced near the bottom for air circulation.  Later that day, I tore my composition notebook diary apart, page by page, and burned it.

I had taken up letter-writing and acquired numerous foreign pen pals.  That served as my outlet to express myself in writing for many years after my rather humiliating diary writing experience .

Over the years I thought about keeping a journal, but always hesitated.  I signed up for a free Penzu journal long before I began this blog in December 2012, but I had written only a few very impersonal entries.  I have purchased many nice blank books and even notebooks over the years, intending to keep a journal in them, but never doing so.   I did turn one into a personal cookbook, where I jot down recipes, but I always got stuck when attempting to keep a journal.

In October 2012, I pulled out the ugliest blank book I have (pictured above), a Dollar Tree purchase, after watching a woman on a show talk about the benefits of keeping a journal.  One journal entry made it onto paper and then I put that journal on a shelf on the hutch of my desk.  In that journal entry, I mentioned the episode with my teenage diary:

That episode made me wary of writing down my thoughts.  Add to that the fact that my life flows rather uneventfully for the most part.  Same ordinary worries and concerns – work stuff, what to cook for dinner, chores around the house that need to get done.  So, do I have anything worth putting down on paper?”

The answer is probably not.  That was the last entry in that journal, until I pulled it out on July 10, 2017 and decided that it is going to become my “gratitude journal”, where I focus on the many blessings and things I am, or should be, grateful for.

Just a few words on my Penzu journal.  After I began this blog,I  did begin writing a great deal in my Penzu journal and I sent my password to Gladius Maximus.    I moved to the Penzu Pro journal option in March 2013 and presently have 22 journals with titles, beginning with “Susan’s Journal”, through  “Sweeping that witch into the dust”, “Messages of mhere decoded”, and I am currently writing in “Sick of the BULLSHIT”.  Yes, I have vented a lot since 2013.  However, I want to stop venting and work toward more positive personal expression.

After watching a lot of YouTube videos on “junk journals”, which are homemade journals, made out of anything from an old book to pieces of old cereal boxes, I decided I wanted to attempt one and I posted the picture of my first attempt a few days ago:

Here’s the back of the book, decorated with all stuff I had on hand – bits of lace, a piece of 6″ X 6″ floral scrapbook paper and the stamp is one of my favorite rubber stamps from Stampin Up.  I have used that stamp many times on cards and bookmarks I made:

What I am using this “junk journal” for is to write in quotes and poems I like.  There are no rules to junk journals, but I prefer some sort of rules or parameters with everything I do, so the pages are mostly florals and birds.  I’ve worked on decorating a few pages so far.   I want to type out the quotes and poems in pretty fonts, then print them on cardstock paper, because my penmanship is a big, fat F.  Here are a few pages I’ve decorated:

This Victorian girl image was a free image from online that I printed out and cut around.  That plant tag is one of several I’ve stuck in this journal and I found them in a junk drawer in my kitchen, that I cleaned out.  Decluttering my house is also an ongoing project in recent months.  These plant tags are all plants I planted in my yard and I like them in my junk journal.   The Yellow Rose of Texas post card, I’ve had for decades.  I didn’t have washi tape to match, so I used plain old masking tape to tape it in and it flips out, so I can write on the page underneath.


This “junk journal” adventure has been very enjoyable thus far.  Aside from a $1.99 booklet of Audubon bird seal stickers, I haven’t bought anything to go in this junk journal.  As I said in the previous post, I used an empty cereal box for the cover, which I covered in brown kraft paper.  At the same time as working on this junk journal, I’ve made very simple altered composition books for my granddaughters.  With that project, I glued in some pictures throughout their books, but decided to cut pictures out of old magazines for them to glue in.  I also made some paperclip tassels for these composition books, using all stuff I already had in my sewing/craft room  The paperclip tassel idea, I saw on YouTube videos, naturally:

Later today, or tomorrow,  I’m going to write another blog post on some life lessons relating to my Dollar Tree “gratitude” journal and I’ll post more pictures, but in that post, hopefully, there’ll be a bit more introspection, thoughtfulness and less crafting how-to.




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Filed under General Interest, Messages of mhere

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