Letter Journal Love – 7. Working in someone else’s journal

WHAT DO I DO WHEN I GET SOMEONE ELSE’S JOURNAL?

Each time you receive a journal from someone else, follow this general pattern: complete two spreads, and add to backgrounds. Here are the exact next steps:

  1. LET US KNOW IT ARRIVED

Yes! please drop your group a quick note in the group message. And if you can post a picture on Facebook in the LJL group of the beautiful envelope and tag the people in your swap. Communication is key! Let people know every time you post or receive an envelope and it will keep everyone really happy. Especially if accompanied with fun photos.

2. HAVE A GOOD LOOK

Enjoy the journal. See which pages are finished (signed) and which ones are not yet signed. Think about what you might like to do in there. See what colours or topics are in there that you might want to also play with. Give yourself a few days for this if you like.

3. WRITE AN INTRODUCTION
If the inside front cover is for introductions, write a short one.

(Steps 4 and 5 can be done in either order)

4. WORK ON BACKGROUNDS

Now it’s your job to add a little to some of the unsigned pages. This means adding some colour, pattern etc to the pages of the journal. Not every single page, but most of them.

What might doing a background involve? Up to you but could be:

  • smearing paint thinly on a page
  • doodling with coloured markers
  • getting your kids to draw in there
  • some stamping
  • blotting ink or paint on with a sponge
  • creating ‘borders’ with wash tape, coloured markers, or thin strips of paper
  • sticking one random collage item on
  • doodling with paint pen
  • writing a poem or quote
  • adding elements that speak to what is already there (e.g. of there are flowers you could add leaves)
  • adding polka dots, squiggles or other things in the gaps
  • drawing an animal or person on the page

Whatever it is, it’s not a completed artwork and it’s not too heavy with thick lathers of collage. And it will also be changed and worked on by the next person, and the one after that.

5. COMPLETE TWO SPREADS

After you’ve told people that you’ve received their journal and done some backgrounds, and before you send it out you need to also make artworks in their journal. You finish two ‘spreads’ (two pages side by side – imagine you are reading a book, we would be talking about the page on the left and the page on the right that you can see when reading – that is a spread).

You can do that by drawing a picture, doing a collage, finger painting, or just making pretty patterns by sticking things on. It’s completely up to you – your unique style and exploration is welcome!

Please put your name and the date on your finished spreads so people know to leave those pages alone and not go over your work🙂

6. POST IT ON

You always post to the same person in a swap. Let’s imagine Lucy, Mel, Betty and Steve are in our swap. Lucy set the swap up and said that the swap order was Lucy then Mel, then Betty then Steve. If I am Lucy I always post to Mel in this swap. If I am Mel I always post to Betty. If I am Betty I always post to Steve – no matter whose journal arrives (from this swap) I send it on to the person on the list after me. HOPEFULLY everyone in your group has written the swap order and full addresses in the back of the journal as per our guidelines, so it is easy to see who comes after you and simply send it to them.


 

CHECKLIST

♥ Do you know how many pages you do in someone else’s?

♥ Do you understand that a signed page isn’t for working on – that you leave this one alone?

♥ Is it clear that you ALSO add to backgrounds on pages that you wont be finishing?

♥ Do you understand where on Facebook you share the good news when a journal arrives in your mail box?

♥ Are you clear on who you send to next?

You have now FINISHED your induction and training! Read here for a special message.