Monday, January 4, 2016

Journaling in a Midori

Japanese Midoris are a system for journaling which are well-made, compact and flexible, not to mention portable.  They have totally changed the way I journal . . .  I am now using them as my art journal, calendar, note keeper, to do list, etc.   My habit of only journaling in hand-made books worked for me for quite a few years, but I find now I need more flexibility and the Midori journal really achieves that. It's smaller, refillable, and a pleasure to hold.

The system is basically a heavy leather cover with elastics that can hold in any number of inserts which you can buy or make yourself.  I like to combine a few plain-page purchased inserts with some scrap/junk paper inserts that I make myself.  I also like to add pockets and clips to hold paper supplies and ephemera, so all I have to do is grab some pens, double-sided tape, and perhaps some inks and stamps, and I am ready to take the show on the road.  It's so nice to have a separate section for lists, reminders, and day-to-day tasks, and another section for calendar items, and a third for pure art journaling.

Here is my cover, and a few of the inserts I have already filled up.

To start making a junk-paper insert, I like to gather pages from the pile of large books from the thrift store.  I use a tear bar to tear out the pages, and pile them up in random order.

I cut the papers into 8 1/4" x 8 3/4" sheets using my amazing paper cutter, and I then fold them in half.
The extra scraps of paper left over make nice small pieces that fit nicely into the little pocketed folder I made in my Midori, useful for collage.
I assemble the folded sheets into signatures.  (It's nice to also include some blank papers so the pages are not all covered in images.)  A signature is just a stack of folder papers.

Once assembled, I trim the signatures' edge so they fit neatly into the Midori cover.

I use my sewing machine to sew the signatures (you can use a large straight stitch, or of course, sew them by hand if you prefer.)  I tie the thread ends to hold them together.

It's fun to see the random arrangement of papers; it kickstarts my creative brain to have some image or color to work with, so the collage doesn't start with a totally intimidating blank page.

I insert the signature booklet into the elastic band. I like to insert one junk page signature, along with two blank page booklets.  Since they stack, you end up with alternating sections of blank and picture-filled sections.

A page ready to collage!

Assembling my journaling materials and I'm off. It helps to use binder clips to hold the book flat.
Some ephemera, stamps, glue, pens, ink, and a page is done.

“A good journal entry - like a good song, or sketch, or photograph - ought to break up the habitual and life away the film that forms over the eye, the finger, the tongue, the heart. A good journal entry ought to be a love letter to the world.”
― Anthony Doerr

and more Midori ideas can be found at my Pinterest Midori Board

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