Stories within Stories within Stories

Marbled journals. The above beauties are being shipped out today to a new home. My canvas journals are, in my humble opinion, rockin' awesome. I love them. The canvas covers alone make them unique ~ the fact that they are marbled canvas is just icing on the cake. What I also like about the canvas covers is that they are durable. They can withstand coffee (and wine) spills, being shoved into and taken out of travel bags, and even being tossed across the room on those less than perfect days. And the fun doesn't stop on the outside ~ inside the journals you'll find more gems: marbled signature wraps and small, inspiring charms sewn right into the binding.

While I'm over the moon about the journals, they take FOREVER to make. Bookbinding is not my specialty so everything is done slowly, by hand, slowly...and then slowly some more. I don't "mass produce." Even when I cut, fold, and weight down the signatures, I do it one journal at a time. (All the REAL bookbinders out there are shaking their heads right now.)

Marbled Journals

I usually only sell my marbled journals during the holidays, specifically at the annual Peach Tree Gallery Holiday Show. But to build up enough inventory, I have to start making them about this time of the year. Did I mention it takes me a long time to make one? Yeah.

Last year, when the last journal was made for the show, I thought to myself, "This is WAY too much work for such little financial reward. I'm not doing this again." But when I pulled these babies out today and got them ready for shipment, I fell in love with them all over again.

They. Are. Beautiful.

Really, they are. And they vibrate with an energy that is both invigorating and soothing. Whoever has one holds something special ~ every detail from the button clasps and colored thread to the embellishments, charms, and matching marbled signature wraps has been thoughtfully decided upon. As I am making each journal, I'm envisioning its own journey ~ how it will be used, who has it, what the hands holding it look like, how it is held, where it is kept and where it is pulled out to be written or drawn in, what the journal itself means to the person.

My journals have stories even before they have stories.

Many of you who know me know I'm not a big consumer. I don't buy things just to buy things. Nor do I like to receive things just because it's an occasion like a birthday or Christmas. And given the choice between a gift (I bought you jewelry!) and an experience (I bought you tickets to a play OR hey, I'll take you to lunch!), I'd choose experience every single time. I think that's why I can't "just make" journals. I don't make "stuff." I make experiences.

And my journals are a way to experience the beauty of marbled canvas (something I've never seen anywhere else before). Their simplicity allows for the freedom of expression without the pressure to do so. The charms are there to give pause...or to inspire. But most importantly, whether it is realized or not, they are an integral part of my own personal marbling experience ~ the journey I am on as a marbling artist, the journey to bring marbling to the masses, the journey to create something that cannot be found in the slick pages of a catalog, behind a computer screen, or in the storyline of an over-produced television show.

So as these beauties are leaving my world and entering a new one, I'll return my attention to marbling canvas over the next few months and see what new paths this next round of journals will take. Who knows where I'll end up, but wherever it is, you know there will be a story behind it.