As my journaling practice evolves, inevitably so do my junk journals. If you follow me on YouTube or Instagram, it’s no big shock to hear me say within this last year, I have found myself completely aligned with the seasons. The rhythm of nature and the turning of the seasons has become the drum to which my life beats.
I used to absolutely loathe winter. But then something strange happened. Instead of moving through winter, I started living in winter. I began to take note of the different winter birds at the feeder. I noticed the intricate and varying snow patterns on the evergreen trees lining the backyard. Normally holed up inside and complaining about the cold, I started going outside more. And it was pretty amazing — cold, crisp, quiet.
Attuned to this new awareness, I became happier in the present. And gosh, what a change that was and it certainly reflected in my journals and journaling. I adopted a seasonal way of living — to the best of my ability, of course — rooted in what the Danish would call a semi-hygge lifestyle. In American English, this means I simply try to find comfort , pleasure, warmth, and contentment in small things. Don’t get me wrong, I still live my 21st century life full of microwaving, grocery shopping, Amazon-ordering, and expressway driving. At this stage in my life, it simply cannot be avoided.
So how is this hygge lifestyle represented in my days? I try and incorporate small acts into my daily life that make me happy. I run outside almost every day. I listen to classical music while I’m working. I use pretty dishes when eating or drinking. I consume gallons of tea mixed with copious amounts of honey. I research and read books aligned with the seasons. I watch a lot of period piece dramas. Much to my children’s delight, we have started eating dinner by candlelight using tapers and thrifted candlesticks on the kitchen table. These are the things that bring me joy.
This way of life has naturally trickled down into my journaling. It seems these days I always needs a paper connection to the past and to the present. Winter has become such a joy to me; I want to celebrate it.
I created a new junk journal kit called Wintering — a collection of vintage winter photos, illustrations, textiles, art, postcards, and ephemera. This kit is now available in my Etsy store. It can be assembled however you like. I’m always amazed at how two people can produce two totally different journals using the same kit. But in case you’re wondering, here’s how I approached putting my journal together:
- I started with this beautiful Claude Monet painting titled The Red Cape and used it as the cover. It’s one of my favorite winter paintings. I glued it onto a piece of 6 x 9″ (12 x 9″ flat) coffee-dyed card stock.
- I used the vintage wallpaper in the kit as the back cover, gluing it on the card stock as well. I wrapped about an inch or two of the The Red Cape over the spine. I printed both of these images on Southworth cotton linen paper. The texture of the paper provides a very authentic feel.
- I added some soft vintage shirting to the bottom half of the cover and back cover and attached some vintage lace over it.
- I spent some time trimming and distressing the French invoices (also printed on the Southworth cotton linen paper). I used the top of one, in combination with more of the vintage shirting and lace as a pocket on the inside cover and back cover.
- Next I went to working assembling my signature. I used all of the pages and lace hankie in the kit, plus a few from my other kits (Winter’s Kiss and Sweet Blue Vintage Wallpaper). I also incorporated some vintage sheet music, coffee-dyed paper, and other coordinating scrapbook paper. I love mixing multiple mediums in one journal.
- After getting the paper organized and in order, I sewed the signature to the cover. If you need help with this step, see my video, Making A Simple Soft-Covered Journal on my YouTube channel.
- I added some lace and other minor embellishments. I don’t like to heavily decorate my journals. It really slows down my creative juices when I am ready to sit down and journal.
Finally, I began working on my first page. You can watch this process on my latest YouTube video:
If you’d like to follow along as I work in this journal, I’ve created a playlist for all of the videos on my channel using this journal.