Saturday, 2 February 2019
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After my nanna passed away last year, my sister's and I resurfaced a very special old book amongst her treasured photographs, albums and awards. This book was a soft cover gatefold style, which meant it opened out on both sides (like a gate) with binding on both sides. Inside, it held articles and newspaper clippings of family history, mostly to do with performances done by family members, and some real estate history. It was fragile and fascinating, and if I happen to get my hands on it again i'll be sure to take some photos to add to this post. I had seen this book a few times before, but this time, it struck me hard with ideas that I could recreate in my own handmade books, it was the sole inspiration for this special collection of journals.

I decided to make my own set of gatefold journals, in my usual style, with more interactions and details than I usually include in my premade books. I planned, sketched out and thought long and hard about how I could create this style in the most usable way. To me it made sense to dedicate each half/side of the books to one particular purpose, which is why the right side has pages of pockets and tuck spots, whilst the left side has plenty of plainer papers and pages to customise until your heart's content!

I do have a youtube video sharing these journals and you can view that >here.<
But since they have so many details, and the video had to be quite condensed, I wanted to make a post to share some extra photos and back story behind this collection. I really poured my heart into this set, for 6+ months. I feel that it was a great healing process for me, as well as a fun creative challenge, twice as difficult and twice as timely as my usual journals!

Below I will add some photographs for each book so that you can see how each theme was carried out (boats, horses, birds, travel, botanical, baby boy and baby girl themes)
Each book has more than 50 pockets and lots of fun goodies tucked inside them, including many authentic vintage pieces and some new pieces. It was impossible to show EVERY tiny detail, but I hope that those whose hands they end up in, will enjoy discovering some little surprises!

Due to the labor of this set, I'm not sure if I will make more books like this again, perhaps SOME time well into the future I will revisit this idea.. but for now, this is a pretty unique collection, and I hope you like it!








So that's it guys.. the seven in the set that will be available on etsy.. Which is your favourite?


  1. Wow, JoHanna! I know how much work this collection was! You are truly gifted. You have been the first one to inspire me to start making journals and I am so impressed with all of them. I would have a hard time choosing, but because I am a Glamma and a boater now, not a young parent, it would be between the boating, botanical or birds. Only because I am not a horse person! Lol It is not just that you put these together, it takes a great deal of time to collect each item and make each page to the color and tone to coordinate with the others, then the stitching of pages and pockets to the layering of papers and ephemera, which I have never even heard of until I saw your first video, so I looked up the word thinking it must be an Australian term only to find out that there is an Ephemera Society of America! Lol Where have I been? Under a rock. It takes even more time to take the photos, film and edit the video, and enter it all into a blog and YouTube. You have completely changed my attitude about paper, which I did not have a very good relationship with it, because of my skin being dry and paper seems to absorb the moisture that I do have from my skin. My art studio, did not exist until recently where I have dyed paper and sewn paper and have collections of paper, and all sorts of accessories, like stamps, ink pads and ephemera, and of course old books for the purpose of making ephemera and altering old unloved books. Anyway, I always enjoy seeing what is new that you create and hearing you talk about your ideas. I hope 2019 is a very blessed year for you and your family.

  2. This is so beautiful! I understand why it took you so much time! It is so delicate and detailed. I've been following you on Youtube for a few weeks now and I really love what you make :) Keep creating and journaling!