Joy Journal Project Assignment #2

The ability to quiet, allowing oneself to rest, both are becoming lost forms of self care. Benefits of quieting and resting include being able to creatively think through stress, being able to act like oneself in moments of overwhelm, simply being able to slow down the pace and enjoy moments of life more fully. Why do we not allow ourselves these moments? Our culture tells us to go, go, go. Perhaps it is not so for some cultures. Perhaps they have maintained the art of quiet. Let’s all return there.

What does quieting oneself have to do with joy? The two are intertwined. With proper self care, our capacity to maintain a joyful state feels more natural. With stress levels diminished, joy prevails. Quiet and joy are sisters.
Today we will begin the assignment with a moment of quiet. Take 3-5 minutes to sit quietly, relaxed and comfortable in posture, breathing slowly and deeply, before we dive into the creative realm. Set you timer if need be, close your eyes if it will relieve you of distraction, and with music off, sit so quietly.

Beeeep. Times up. Take a couple more deep breathes and let’s dive in! First, gather your supplies around you. Please set aside your inner critic and choose your collage papers with little thought and planning. Let it evolve, choosing what you are drawn to at the moment.

#1 If you’d like, slip some waxed paper underneath your pages to protect the rest of the journal.

#2 Collage time. I’m going to show you a couple different ways to apply your collage papers, so you may want to read the next few steps before continuing. With a brush or your fingers, apply some gel medium anywhere on your page.

#3 Press some of your collage paper in the spot. With a plastic card (like a discarded credit or gift card), scrape across the paper from the middle outward to the sides. This will remove air bubbles.


#4 The paper should be stuck to the gel medium, so now rip away all the areas that are not glued down.


#5 Repeat by applying another spot of gel medium, and another piece of paper, scrape and tear. OR


#6 Apply gel medium to the back of the collage paper, utilizing your old magazine as a disposable surface.


#7 Press onto journal page and scrape with plastic card to remove any air bubbles.


#8 Repeat. Fill the pages with your collage papers using either method. Try them both to find which you prefer.


#9 Pour some paint onto a palette or disposable plate. (There’s always a supply I forget on the list.) If you are using a heavy body paint, thin with water.


#10 Cover your collage with a layer of paint. If you feel you are covering too much image, add water to thin your paint to more of a glaze consistency.


#11 Using a roll of paper towels, roll over the surface to remove any excess paint. Let dry.


#12 Add a second layer of paint, thinning with water to the desired consistency. Use less coverage with this layer, brushing loosely over the pages.


#13 Go through your collected “quiet” papers and choose what you are drawn to today. This is an intuitive process. I choose the paint colors and images intuitively, expressing how I feel at that moment. Somehow, it always comes together cohesively.


#14 After playing with layout, adhere your images with gel medium, scraping out the air bubbles with your plastic card.

#15 Now continue to play, adding paint and perhaps other smaller collage pieces as satisfies you. Here, I’m adding a circle by painting gesso around the rim of a lid, then pressing on the page.


#16 And play some more. If the inner critic tries to whisper in your ear, brush it away. Take a moment to quiet again if need be.


#17 After your page is dry, you made add words to your journal pages with various pens to share how the quiet page feels. Feel free to write whatever you please. This is your journal. Or write nothing at all. My memories are attached to this page. I don’t think I’ll be adding words, but if you’d like to know more about the peace I feel, read this.

I would love to see your pages and hear your stories as well. Please connect by:

  • leaving a comment with a link to your blog post -OR-
  • joining the facebook group to share photos and stories
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3 thoughts on “Joy Journal Project Assignment #2

  1. Judy Shreve says:

    Amanda – I love this project! I will be a few weeks late with doing this one. I have to unpack a million boxes first. We made the move yesterday.

  2. Paula says:

    Amanda — I love the story of the memories behind this journal spread!

    I’m still working on my “Quiet” spread — having so much fun with it. I’ve been working on it while in the hospital having a chemo treatment, so it’s been kind of weird to have an audience of strangers while I work. People have been interested, but not “responsive” — which makes that inner critic pipe up and say that I’m just making a mess, not art! But I’m pushing past that and finding joy in the process, regardless of whether I end up loving the product 🙂

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