Handmade Journals: Soul Whispers | Linda Matthews | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (44m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Gathering Inspiration

    • 3. Making the Pages

    • 4. Making the Cover

    • 5. Assembling the Journal

    • 6. Soul Whispers and the Stories They Tell

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About This Class


Use the whispers of your soul as inspiration for making beautiful and artful journal pages that hold your secrets and personal stories. As you infuse the energy of your emotions onto the pages, your stories become transformative.

In this class I'm sharing techniques for creating a small mixed media journal using images and words, fabric and paper, paint and glue. The pages of this journal are perfect for telling your stories in an abstract and artful way.

You can find the supply list by accessing the "Your Projects" link on the menu above.

If you enjoyed this class, check out my other classes

And make sure to visit my website for more free creative journaling tutorials and resources

Meet Your Teacher

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Linda Matthews

Digital & Mixed Media Textile Artist


I’m a full time digital and mixed media textile artist, designer and teacher and I love nothing more than sharing what I’ve learned as a way to encourage and inspire the creative spark in others. If you love to tell your story using images and words, visit me at www.www.CreativeArtnSoul.com

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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Linda Matthews and in this class I'm sharing techniques and processes for making a soul with specific journal. These little journals use the whispers of your soul as inspiration for making beautiful and artful journal pages that hold your secrets and personal stories. The soul seems to whisper at times when you most need to hear it. So these channels can also be transformative. As you turn you with space into visual stories within the pages of the journal, you can infuse the energy of your emotions into the actual fabric, paper and stitch that you use to create the story. Using this process, you can turn negative energy into something more positive through the creation of beautiful art. I've designed this journal using light and neutral colors as a way to represent the reflective nature of the soul. However, I invite you to use whatever colors you best respond to. I also encourage you to work intuitively and let the story unfold in its own way. In this way, the general will become a true reflection of your own soul. When you feel lost and lonely or tired and disillusioned. This journal is a safe space where you can transform that style energy into creative beauty. I've made many of these little channels over the years and find comfort in peace within their pages. It's my wish that you will also. 2. Gathering Inspiration: Before you begin any new project, the first step should always be to gather together some of the supplies and inspiration that you might use along. This gathering and collecting process is a ritual that I always use Before I begin a new project. And it acts as a signal of sorts that sets in motion my creative process. The words that you use can be your own words and phrases. That can be found words, which are words that are cut from magazines and bolts. You can even use purchased with snippets and phrases. I like to cut them out and keep them in a small box so that I've always got a good supply on hand. And when I start a new journal, I've got plenty to choose from. And find that using found words are a good way to get started. And they act as inspiration for eventually developing words and phrases that come from my own heart and soul. I like to cut words and phrases from a variety of different types of magazines, but generally ones that have positive and uplifting content. And when I cut them out, I don't try the magazines away because I find that certain words and phrases have different meaning for me at different times. And I choose today may not hold the same meaning for me tomorrow. So each time I look at a page that I've previously browse through, I always seem to find something new and relevant. As with words and phrases, I also keep several small boxes of pictures and images that are taken from old magazines will that I printed out and don't use up the time. If I don't have a good range of photos and my stash that relate to my theme. I also saw some online from free photo websites. And sometimes I also purchase them. The pages of this journal made using collaged papers. Although you could always use just plain paper if you choose. Collage pipe is a fun and easy to make and create an interesting background. Stories. To get started with collaged pages, you'll need papers in neutral colors such as widen, cream. These will be the foundation paper that you'll use to build your collage backgrounds. Ideally, you want to use thin paper that is strong, so it doesn't disintegrate when you apply the glue. Using thin paper allows you to build up the collage into a thicker paper. That's perfect for journal pages. For these types of pages I like to use are the rice paper or mulberry printing paper. Both these types of papers are used for printmaking. So while they quite thin, they're also very strong. So you can safely apply glue, paint and stitches without fearing they'll fall apart. Another thing I particularly like about these papers is that when you tear the paper, it leaves a lovely soft feathered edge. Alternatively, you could use thicker paper for the foundation, but this will make the page is very thick. Thick pages aren't necessarily bad, but that can be a bit out of proportion when using an Small journals. Cloudy paper is one of my favorite papers because it's soft but strong and slightly rigid and has lovely head made feel. I also like using handmade papers from journals such as those that are made in India and Nepal. These types of plane papers have lovely visual texture and unusually strong enough to work as backgrounds for collage. You could even newspapers such as drawing or sketching paper, or even a good quality copy paper. Although these papers aren't really intended for what media, you can usually apply a light code of glue without any problems. And a suitable for collage would include papers that have a vintage field to them, such as all letters, gentle pages, pages from books, or even vintage style scrapbook paper. You can also use papers that have images, such as collage tissue paper. Tissue paper with vintage style colors and images. Use teabag papers and printable papers. Fabrics should also be a neutral colors of whites and Koreans types of textures. You could also use some darker neutral colors, which would help to create contrast. So when you are looking for with fabrics is to make things look interesting by varying the colors and textures. This talk of journalism so perfect for using laces and vintage fabrics. An old family alien textiles that you might have stored away and never thought to use. A small piece of your heritage inserted into a journal, turns it into a lovely keeps site that makes it all the more precious. 3. Making the Pages: To make the launch pages for your journal. Since decide on a size for the journal, then cut or tear some plain paper pages. You can make your journal any size, but smaller pages are more suitable. Someone preparing my pages at around four inches wide by five inches high, which means I'm tearing the paper about eight inches wide by five inches high. The pages don't have to be all the same size. And in fact, if you make each page with a slight variation in size, the gentle ends up looking much more interesting. You can use any type of paper for the pages that the paper should be strong enough so that it doesn't disintegrate when you apply the collage glue. As a foundation for my pages, I'm using mulberry printmaking paper, collage. You can choose from a variety of different types of glue. General medium as a popular choice because it's quite thick but it spreads evenly, which makes it easy to work with. Take apart glue such as launched punch or this stake out brand. And also a good choice because they quite thin and runny. So you can split the glue evenly over the surface of the paper. A basic clues such as elements, craft bond glue is a good economical choice. This type of glue dries clear and does acid free and alerts quite thick, you can mortar it down to create a good running collage glue. I usually work with a ratio of about one part glue to half part water. So one tablespoon of glue to half a tablespoon of water, then mix it well until it's smooth and little water at a time until it's the right consistency. Who should be slightly running. To make the collage backgrounds simply CARTO tear small pieces of decorative paper, lay soil fabric and glue it to the plain paper. For this type of collage, you can use up all your small pieces of paper and fabric. And things don't have to fit perfectly together. Simply overlap them to make them fit on the page. To make the pages look interesting, terror, irregular shapes and mix the papers up a bit so the page looks like it's been pieced together, glue each case individually, and overlap them on top of each other until the page has been filled. Sprint the glue using a small paint brush and be sure to use plenty of glue so the pipe is straight, separate or come loose. For this journal, I am using a soft vintage style color theme. So I've chosen papers, licensed fabric. Very soft colors, so they look a little old and vintage. Making the pages as a process that doesn't require a lot of thought or skill. You shouldn't stress about what paper or what shaped to use. Simply pick up a paper, tear it, and glue it to the page. Your goal is simply to create an interesting background on the page so we can add images and words that tell the story. The use of color evokes an emotional reaction. So be mindful about the choice of color that you use. Right? Colors have a strong energy and evoke strong emotions, but soft pale colors are fairly neutral. And if I clearly motion this Mike's neutral colors, a perfect choice to use as a background that will not have a POW. The story that we want to share in this contemplatives, gentle. Once the page is glued, allowed to dry for a bit, then add some random stains to the page using ink from a stamp pad, such as distressing. You don't need to use a lot of ink. Just apply it lightly here and there. Once you've applied the ink, used a small pallet knife to add some paint mocks. Use white paint or JSON and run them north across the paint to apply a very thin layer of paint along the whole length of the underside of the knife. Then lovely run the underside of the knife across the surface of the page. Doing it this way catches all the bumps and irregularities on the surface of the page and leaves random mocks of paint. Once the page is complete, allow it to dry fully before glowing collage papers to the other side. You can add links, pieces by gluing will sewing them directly onto the page. I added this piece of lice long the top by first gluing it, then sewing it on my sewing machine using a zig zag stitch. The stitches on the other side help to add extra texture to the page. Once the page is completed. Again, at some Incan paint marks to make the page look a little aged. You can also make pages that are entirely covered with lice or fabric. When making these types of pages use the stronger glue. So gluing this pace of lice, I'm using full strength cropped bond glue. Using a small paint brush, spread the glue over the papers evenly as possible, and make sure there's a thick layer of glue. Then press the fabric in place. That's with the pipa pages. You can make the lace look a little aged by applying some ink and paint stains. You can also use thin fabrics such as cheese cloth or other types of Shia fabric to add texture. First apply glue to the page and then scrunch the fabric to create texture. Then add some more glue on top of the fabric to hold the text string place. Manipulate the fabric with the fingers if necessary, to make sure the texture looks good. Once the glue has dried, you can then add income paint marks. To finish the pages. You can sew strips of fabric down the center of the page, on the inside and the outside. This will help to reinforce them and prevent them from tearing. You can also assign some lights along the edges. It's best to do this before you assemble the journals. Otherwise it gets too difficult to so to make it easy to sit, lightly glue the pieces in place, then sew them on your sewing machine. Or you can just simply leave them glued on without selling. I've stained the fabric strips and lice using summing to keep the managed appearance. And I haven't put fabric strips on all the pages, just sum of stones on some of the pages. So I'm going to insert page sub-pages, stone wall have to be paper. You can also use fabric, can lyse. 4. Making the Cover: To make the cover cut to pieces of corrugated cardboard. One for the front, one for the back, about the same size as the journal pages. On one side of the cardboard pieces tear away some of the top layer of paper in random areas around the edges, allowing the corrugated sections to become visible. Don't worry about being too neat about tearing away the paper. You want the surface to be kind of rough. If you find it difficult to release the top paper, use a two with a sharp point, such as the same repo to lift it. Once you're happy with the way that it looks, paint over the surface with some white paint. Just give it a light coat of paint and leave some areas of the brown cardboard showing to create a contrast in color. After the paint his stride at some ink stain to random areas over the paint. To embellish the front cover. I'm using an image of a butterfly with a piece of teabag paper on life's underneath and a small little crop frame on top of a piece of painted girl up the word soul whose spins inside the frame. For your own cover, choose an image and a word or words that best symbolize your journal. You don't have to use the same type of images or words that I do. Instead, choose something that has meaning for you. Because these little journals are so lovely and meaningful. You can make many of them over the course of time, each with different themes and different types of pages. So each of them can have a different cover featuring different sentiments. Once you've decided on the design for your cover. Simple glue the pieces onto the cardboard using a liquid crops glue or a craft strength glue stick, like show to use enough glue, the pieces start fall off. On the back. You can also tear away some of the top layer of paper the same as the front. However, I haven't bothered to do this as I'm adding pieces of lice with a small paper collage section on top. So you wouldn't really see the cardboard underneath. I made the cloche piece in the same ways for the pages. And then I sowed around the edges on my sewing machine. I cut so that the edges extended beyond the cover. And this makes a lovely lice frame when you look at the front. That's what the front cover uses. Strong crops glue, declared the paces in twice. Once the lice was glued down, by then added some ink Stein. So the back cover, I simply glued on a piece of collage paper on the outside and on the side. And another piece of collage paper. This is the inside on the front cover. Before the glue dries on the inside cover sections. Make sure to insert the binding type for the spine. To calculate the length of the tape. Insert the pages between the covers and measure across the spine. The width of large journal spine is one-inch. So I've cut two strips of fabric, one inch wide by six inches long. When you cut your strips, allow one inch on a chain to glue onto the cover and then add the width of your spine section. Then cut the fabric strip twice the length so you can fold it over to make a double thickness. And this will make it a bit stronger and stiffer. Monk fabric strip is six inches long and when folded it becomes three inches, one-inch at each end to glue onto the cover. Someone age, spine width, folder, fabric in half lengthwise. Knock the spine area with pencil marks. Then apply some glue to the inside to adhere the fabric strips together. The fabric that I'm using for the spine tape is actually some slightly stiff fabric interfacing because I just like the visual texture of it. But you could use any type of fabric ribbon for this purpose. Position the canvas with the insights facing up. Carefully peel away the fabric along the inside edges, and insert the type sections using the pencil marks as a guide. I'll use two tapes positioned about a half inch from the top and bottom edges. If you generalise longer, you could use three or more tapes spaced evenly along the length of the cargo. Apply additional glue to make sure everything is glued together well and won't come apart. 5. Assembling the Journal: The pages assigning to the journal individually using a nontraditional bonding technique. Because the pages are all different sizes, you'll need to mock the stitching holes on each page individually. Opened the Kaba and center. One of the closed page is along the length of the spine. Using a pencil Mike, pencil marks on the side of the tapes along the folded edge, the page. Make sure to leave about 1 eighth inch aside just to give the stitches some wiggle room. Using a bookbinding role or launch embroidery needle punch holes through each of the pencil marks. Tunnel length of bookbinding thread will think embroidery thread about twice the length of the page. Starting at the top Hall and the inside. Push the needle through to the outside, leaving about a three to four inch threat tile on the inside. So over the fabric strip, then back through the next hole to the inside. So through the next TO, Back to the outside, over the fabric strip, then back to the inside. Make sure that the thread is taught. Then waives the needle under the long stitch in the center and tie the thread off. So each of the remaining pages in the same way. I ended up sewing my pages using a light color for it because it blended better with the rest of the journal. 6. Soul Whispers and the Stories They Tell: So now that the little journalists made within its pages lies the safe space for you to capture the whispers of your soul. The soul seems to whisper at times when you most need to hear it, but you can only hear it if you learn to quiet the noise in your head so the whispers can be heard. I find that the best way to quiet the chatter in my head is to just show up in my work room with the intention of working creatively. This is like a signal to the universe that your intention is to be present and mindful about what you are doing. Instead of reliving things of the past or worrying about things of the future. You're simply being as you are in the present moment, absorbed in your creative work. Soak whispers, things that we need to hear most. Lessons to be learned, hurts to be healed. It doesn't change your condemn. It simply brings these things to the surface so we can deal with them. I've been using these types of journals for years and I've come to understand that by working with soul whispers in an artful and creative way, we can learn to transform that said stale energy into something beautiful. And this in turn helps to ease that burden and healer hertz. In this way, the process becomes transformative. The easiest way to get started is to choose a word or phrase. Don't overthink things. Simply choose a word that resonates or evokes an emotion. This is one of the ways that the soul whispers to you. You don't need to know why or understand the meaning. The someone distance things on a deeper level than you brain, such as following your intuition one step at a time. This is a creative journey and a process that doesn't need to be analyzed. Simply trust and allow things to unfold. To get started with these types of stories, I always choose a word or an image that evokes an emotional response inside me. For this page, I was inspired to use the words, what remains. These words brought to mind how we need to be careful and thoughtful in our actions and deeds as we traveled through this world. Because after we've gone, these are the things that will be remembered for. I found two skeleton leaves that I felt symbolized the sentiment. And then chose page in my journal where he thought the leaves would look best displayed. I then taught the leaves together at the stem with a short length of embroidery thread. When I place the leaves against the page, however, I noticed that they blended with the background and could hardly be noticed. So I applied some ink stain to dock in them. They would stand out more identically. The leaves together with the words onto the page using a glue stick. Even though you might not comprehend the complete story, you get an essence of its meaning simply by the association of the phrase and leaves. Your stories don't need to make complete sense to anyone else. So you can use whatever symbols, images or words hold meaning for you. You can be as creative as you want in the interpretation of your stories. And use the supplies that you have on hand to create small pages of art that are personal and meaningful. On this page, I already had an image of a butterfly which are glued on as part of the background. Butterflies or one of my favorite personal symbols. And a strong reminder to me that anything is possible if I put my mind to it. Sometimes it's difficult to believe in yourself, particularly when you're faced with personal challenges. So a butterfly brings to mind the transformation that has to take place in order for it to fully evolved. And reminds us that we too can evolve and grow and transform if we just believe in ourselves and complete this story by land some Fabric scraps. I made a small fabric collage, which are glued onto the page together with the words dwell in possibility. Or use a lot of small stitch collages on my journal pages. Sewing for me is a meditative process. And I use this time to think about what the sentiment of the journal page means to me and how it relates to my life at the present time. Instead of riding my words, emotions, and thoughts into a journal, I instead prefer to stitch them into the fabric. And I believe that the energy of my thoughts are infused into the fabric as they stitch. These fabric collages then hold meaning and relevance for me in a very personal and private way. When you look at this page, you might only notice the image words and fabric collage laid out in a pleasing way. When I look at this page by sea and feel a fully developed emotional story that tells of my frustrations and fears and hopes and dreams with, along with those fears by also see possibility and hope. So the story has transformed my negative energy and turned it into something more positive. On this page, I was inspired by this image of a flower gone to seed. The image brings to mind a feeling of fragility and reminds me that we all feel particularly fragile at times. You'd even with this feeling of being so Fred child that a puff of wind could shatter everything. If we dig deep enough, we can find the inner strength to hold things together. I infuse this story into a lie. It collage made using the image together with some fragile papers and fabrics and all held together with a few strong stitches. It becomes easy to tell your story using visual odd by finding things that symbolize elements of the story. In this case, fragility is represented not only by the image of the flower gone to seed, but also in the elements that make up the collage. Teabag paper is quite French island can be easily torn. And cheese cloth is also very fragile, being made using threads woven together in a very loose Sweave, easily torn and shredded. But when these papers and fabric so layered and then gluten stitched together, they become stronger and less fragile. You can see how this collage then becomes a visual depiction of the story, embracing all the emotions and feelings that you want to convey. So for someone who didn't know the full story, when I look at this page, they might just see a pretty collage. But having developed the story and stitched and infused into the collage, I can feel the French general emotions and fear that the collage represents. But more than that, I also know that along with the fragility, there exists an inner strength. The negative energy is once again transformed into something that holds a more positive vibration. So who is buzzwords of encouragement? It's sometimes difficult to hear them amongst all the noise and worries and confusion that surround us on a daily basis. So it becomes important to take time and makes space and our life to find a way to quiet the noise and just listen. One of the best ways I know to do that is through the simple act of creating something such as these types of journals or other types of artistic practices. The act of creation is like a signal to the universe that you're trying to connect. That you're ready to listen and participate in the conversation that your soul wants to have. This journal page is a simple reminder to do just that. Not all stories have to be Orpheus. Some can be private, gentle reminders to yourself to take time to listen and try to make sense of the whispers of you saw. I'm stitching that reminder into this totem. I started making totals quite a few years back, was stitching together long strips of fabric. Similar to totem poles that are used in some cultures, that are carved with spiritual symbols and cultural beliefs. These fabric totems also act as a symbol of things that have importance for me. I like to stitch and embellish them and include a symbol or message. Something I need to be reminded of that shouldn't be forgotten. I don't worry about sewing or cutting things perfectly, and I don't force things to be a certain way. Simply work intuitively and allow the story to unfold in the way that it's meant to. With these sort of totems. You can include words or an image underneath the flap. In this way, it becomes a very private story, one that you can reveal if you want to keep completely private. I ended up gluing a pocket on the inside of the front cover. The whole things I might want to include in the journal at a later time. This little journals don't need to be rushed. They're intended to be a place where you can return to. At times when you need a quiet space in your life to listen to the whispers of your soul. Stories don't need much embellishments such as this fun. It's a simple reminder to not hold onto things too tightly. Nothing in their lives is have a permanent and everything is always in constant change. Are not holding on to tightly. We can let things go with ease and grace instead of pain and frustration. I left some pages blank so I can work on the middle later time. Messages and stories can be hidden in creative ways. Butterflies always remind me of contented spirits. Phrase here now reminds me to keep focused on the present and not get stuck in things of the past or worries about the future. If we wrote needs, the path reminds me of what I can accomplish if I keep my mind focused and on track and not be distracted by other things. The road is wide with lots of destruction and turns, but the path is narrow and more personal. I've attached little stitched Fabric scraps in various places throughout my journal. This is my personal symbol of gratitude to my soul for showing me how to turn my low energy into a more positive vibration through the creation of these stories. Life unfolding is a phrase I often use and marginals and reminds me to stay in tune with the flow of life and be more accepting and understanding of what evolves. Like a flower, life seems to unfold one pedal at a time. Some days bringing change and challenges. And other days hopes and dreams fulfilled. Create beauty every day is something I always do. Working with my journals in creating beautiful pages is something I looked forward to, even if it's only for a few minutes a day. Once you completely assemble your journal, it's easy to come back to it every day and make another page. The soul is revealed once you know the key to unlock the secrets. And this process that I've just shared will do exactly that. I hope you'll find endless inspiration making these little journals and discover for yourself that transformative powers.