Thursday, June 22, 2017

Smash Journal for The Woman Unleashed Retreat

I found a link to The Woman Unleashed - an online retreat on Linda's blog so I followed it and decided to participate.   The first activity is to make a smashed journal in which to record your insights as you participate in the different parts of the retreat. So this evening I decided to create my journal.  One of the most significant comments on the video was that creating this journal was more about the process - what was speaking to you - rather than creating art.  So it is about YOU - what is calling you, what do you like, how do you feel and taking the time to really connect with your inner self so you can bring about the transformation that you intend.
I remembered having a blank book years ago and went on the hunt to find it amid the boxes in my studio!!  After a few, I started praying for guidance because there are a LOT boxes in my studio and instead of finding the book I was looking for I found a stack of kraft pages that at one point had been bound but were no longer.  I took it as a sign and decided to make covers for this stack of pages.

I have LOTS of different papers in my studio and could have used any of them to cover the cardstock covers I had created but I felt called to use the paper from this flour sack instead.  It speaks to me of health and making good choices for wellness. So I cut open the bag and smashed the paper over and over again until it was nicely wrinkled and had lots of texture.  I trimmed two pieces the right size to cover my covers which I cut pretty much the same size as my pages and glued the brown paper to my bright yellow covers.  I really like the bright yellow and the cardstock is a reminder to me of the beginning of my journey into art.

I used an old gift card and glue from my little pot of glue stick leftovers to adhere my paper to my covers.  I trimming the corners and the edges to leave an even margin on the inside.
Here you can see my two finished covers and the stack of pages.  I used the stack to make holes in the covers using my awl. The covers fit really well on my stack of pages.  I decided to use elastics to bind my journal because they will allow my journal to lay flat by stretching the bit that is require for that action to take place.  I used my awl to enlarge the holes sufficiently to allow the elastics to slide right through.  I tied the short pieces using square knots on the spine.

We are encouraged to set an intention for the retreat so I decided to journal about my intention on the front of my journal.  Using a fine tipped Sharpie I started writing and just joined all of my words and sentences into multiple lines of writing until I had filled the whole cover leaving a bit of a margin all the way around.  Next, I decided that I would doodle a border in that space.  After my doodling I was still feeling inspired to journal my intention so I flipped my journal and continued to write going across the writing I had already put on the front.  That felt better and I like the wonderful texture that it gives my front cover.  
As I finished up the last of my journaling on the cover I felt I needed to refine what I intended into a short phrase.  In the end, I decided on two which when I had finished adding them to my cover worked together quite well.  I found the letters for "voice" and "prayer" in my letters stash - a little plastic container in which I put all the letters which are leftover from any of my creative projects.  Once I had them arranged the way I liked them I adhered them with white glue.  I like that they are sort of random and not perfect.  It was great that they were colourful as well.  I found my creative writing book and added the rest of the words using the fine tip Sharpie I used for journaling and a bullet tipped one I had in my stash.  It was fun to use different letter styles for each word.  The border was calling out for colour so I started with gel pens and it was not quite the look I was wanting so I dug out my watercolours and painted it in with them!!  Watercolours are my favorite!!  We were encouraged in the video to gild the edges of our pages so I did mine in purple!!

We were also encouraged to smash all of our pages - just crunch them up!!  After crunching you can see that my journal has become a little thicker!!  I am really happy with how my journal turned out but it still needs ribbon and some scent which I will add later once it is dry.  I am looking forward to the next activity on this retreat!!
I hope you will consider joining the retreat and taking the challenge to unleash what you want into your life!!  Remember you create in your life using your thoughts, your words and your actions!!  Choose wisely!!