Thursday, June 13, 2013


Can you turn driftwood, two by fours, cereal bags and coasters into journals? If you get the third issue of Pages magazine you can; those are just a few of the projects included in this Summer 2013 edition. There are also two articles on how to make journals you can wear on necklaces which look like fun; I'm definitely going to try my hand at both.

Over the last couple of years the evolution of journal-making as an art form has been fascinating to follow. Mixed media artists are bringing new materials, techniques and perspectives to the craft that are entirely unexpected, and taking the journal in all sorts of new directions. Pages does a great job in sampling some of the most interesting of these as well as presenting ideas I've seen nowhere else. As with previous issues the mag offers multiple projects with detailed instructions for bookmaking, covers and binding, inside pages and the art of journaling, and as always there are plenty of ways you can repurpose and upcycle materials to keep your projects green.

One of the articles in this issue, Boiled Books by Laura Ryan, involves combining botanical material with paper in a layered packet that you boil to transfer the natural dyes in the botanicals to the paper. You may remember I did something like this (admittedly on a much smaller scale) with my tea-dyed index card journal, and the results were very pleasing.

Laura's results are stunning:

Personally I can't wait to try her technique. One note of caution on this project: many plant materials like oleander can be highly toxic, so be sure whatever botanicals you use are safe before you handle them or toss them in the boiling water (and Laura makes quite a few suggestions of non-toxic organic materials you can safely use in the article.)

In the editors' picks section I noted one more thing I immediately wanted, this watercolor pocket field sketch box by Sakura. It's hard for me to travel with my watercolors, and this kit sounds ideal as a take-along. The brush in the kit contains a reservoir that you fill with water; if that really works and eliminates the need for a water dish that will make the kit super convenient for watercolorists who want to paint on the go.

You can usually find Pages on the magazine racks at most big chain booksellers, or order it online here in print or as a digital download here.


  1. I love this magazine! Now to find a copy!

    1. It's so amazing. Wait until you see the two-by-four journals. :)

  2. Yipes... it looks so interesting, but dang, is it pricy! Even the digital version.

    Speaking of digital, did I ever mention that the Writers' Forum magazine you like is available in a digital format, and is a much more reasonable price that way for those of us on *this* side of the Atlantic?

    It's - and out of curiosity, have you tried the one that is called Writing Magazine, available on the same site?

    1. It is pricey, Shawna, I have to agree. But I've given up all my regular subscriptions now (and donated something like 500 once-read mags to the library) so buying this one didn't make me feel as guilty as paying $150.00 a year for stuff I was reading only once.

      Thanks for letting me know about; I will definitely check them out. I haven't tried Writing Magazine but I'll have a look. :)


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