Tips and tricks for low budget – a series

“how to make a junk journal on a low budget”

A series

This is a series of articles that I’m creating with the purpose of helping anyone who would like to make a beautiful junk journal but has a low budget or no budget at all.

I’m going to give some tips and tricks according to my own experience.

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  • You can’t hide yourself
    When I was in my twenties I was labelled as a “gothic” girl. I would always wear black clothes, boots and accessories. I would hide myself behind a veil made of mystery and quite a rebellious behaviour. Time went by and I’ve always stuck to that image of romantic nostalgia and foggy eyes. Black was my colour and grey for the happier days. I’m in my fifties now and still, when looking at the clothes shop windows, I’m attracted to all that’s the opposite of sparkly and happy. Metal accessories and silver items complete my outfit. You can understand the surprise when I first let my creativity flow unleashed and floral pinkish shabby chic journals took life from my crafty hands. Laces and ribbons galore, delicate, and romantic scenes sprung out of the pages, and soon was I caught in a contradictory spiral of “who am I”? Well, here my true self shouts out loud that I’m not who I thought I was. I see myself in a distorted mirror and I wonder if that’s really me. After questioning this strange experience for a while, I’ve made peace with my soul and realized that we are who we are, no labels will ever be enough to name our many facets and we just need to accept what instinctively comes out of our spirit. So now I’m the vintage, not-too-shabby chic journal maker. The gloomy side of my soul asks for aged and darkened papers, while my romantic and sweet side adds frills and laces and bows and ribbons, flowers and butterflies, a granny look and wise aphorisms. This long preface is a warning for you guys, who will purchase my journals or simply will watch one of my flip throughs: you will find a harmonious mishmash of sweetness and wistfulness and, if you recognise yourself in a similar contradiction of feelings, we will identify ourselves as part of the same bizarre circle of human beings.
  • Altered book
    Among the different styles and types of junk journals, we find also altered books. But what are they and why are they different? A regular junk journal is made from scraps from A to Z, pages included. A variation of this technique is when you use a whole book to create a journal. I like to use thrift store books, or even the books that libraries need to discard. The funny part is to fold the paper of the pages in all the ways your creativity tells you: pockets, folds, many different ideas. After you fold your pages you must be brave and tear some pages out. I usually work on two pages and tear 8, and so on. Why you need to tear pages? Because you need space to load your pockets, sew laces and fabric, add decorations and what not. And there you have it ! A beautiful journal very quick and easy. Follow the series on my YouTube channel_IPvCRAV1YDzl
  • Everyone has a story to tell
    Here I am, at the age of 50, smiling at life and enjoying the small treasures I find along the way. Too many people are judging my lifestyle but I can finally state that I’m ok with that and happy about my accomplishments. These days I am part of a team who’s judging 500 candidates for a job in public health care, so I have the opportunity of meeting many different people. It’s inevitable that, each time one of them enters the room, an idea of this person would take form in my mind. We all do have experiences piled up at our backs that make us judge someone at first sight. Well, guess what? It’s so amazing to discover that every single one of them has a personal story of grief, difficulty or loneliness. There’s always a reason behind that veil of exterior shabbiness, that makes me feel guilty for the idea that I had shaped in my mind. So, I’m forcing myself to be a as impartial as possible, and just welcome them and listen to what they have to say. And this made me think over my own life and my own experiences. I’ve always lived my life looking for the approval of the persons I loved most, my parents, my husband, my daughters. There’s nothing wrong with that, life is a balance game. But I also realized that sometimes I was pleasing them without thinking “who am I?”. These last two and a half years my life has changed completely, it went all upside down, all that was taken for granted just disappeared and I’ve been left with empty hands and a devasted heart. I was left looking at myself in the mirror wondering who was that person staring back at me. What are her passions? What habits does she have? What kind of clothes or hairstyle does she like or what’s her favorite food? I lived some months when I felt absolutely adrift with feelings of pain, fear and loss. After these first terrible moments I just stopped and breathed and said to myself “you are you and you’re not alone”. By magic, I realized that I had some passions, some abilities that I’d never expressed. Little by little, step by step, day by day, the real me was emerging from years of being a connector between people and a peace keeper. Now, when I look at myself in the mirror, I’m proud of who I am, aware of my many flaws as well as my many values. This is a revelation that passed through grief but I’m so happy now that I almost feel I could fly light and free. The message I would like to convey through this experience of mine is that we all should stop judging people at first sight instead, we should give everyone the opportunity of showing who they are because, behind a fierce look or a sad face there’s always a story which, often, tells about pain and struggle. Be kind to yourself and to each other.

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