I’m excited to share another junk journal interview with Laura, a lovely lady I discovered on YouTube known as The Papered Soul. She’s so sweet and fun, and what a lovely name.
I love Laura’s videos and creations. Her journals are absolutely beautiful and it’s an honour to interview her. Thank you so much Laura for taking the time to answer these questions and share so much of yourself and your journey. It was a pleasure getting to know you more and learning from you.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Well, I’m just a southern gal from North Carolina, born and raised. I’m married with 4 fur baby kitty cats, whom I adore! I have a saltwater fish, his name is Hobbs. I’ve always loved animals. I’m a Dental Hygienist, but not presently working. Taking some time to work on my Etsy Shop, The Papered Soul, which is a shop that I opened to offer supplies with journal makers in mind, but also much of what I offer can supply any crafter, scrapbooker, card maker, doll maker and even people who are in need of some party supplies, etc. I also enjoy making and selling my journals which I have been making for about 2 years now. I have a YouTube Channel, also called The Papered Soul, where I enjoy sharing my creations. I created my YouTube Channel because I wanted to be apart of this wonderful group of crafters who inspire and share their work. I have never had anyone to craft with as my friends never seemed interested in it. So, I have enjoyed getting to know so many creative souls out there and I love the encouragement that everyone provides for each other!
How did you come up with your business name?
I just happen to be a soul that loves pretty papers and all of the wonderful creative things you can make with paper in addition to journals. And when I am creating journals, my soul is happy.
How did you first hear of junk journals?
I have been creative all of my life. I have loved cross stitching, quilting, crocheting, card making and stamping, jewelry making ( Figgy Lane Jewelry on Etsy – my neglected jewelry shop 🙂 ) mixed media collage, art journaling…you name it, I have just about tried it all. I had finally told my husband about 2 years ago that I was not going to be getting into anything new…that I had decided on those fun, creative things that I liked to do. And right after I spoke those words into the universe, I stumbled across junk journals on YouTube. I had been watching videos on mixed media collage and art journaling and I guess it was destined that I would find junk journals and, alas, a whole new world was opened up to me. But the thing I loved about these journals was that I found a new purpose for my stamps that I have had for years and also for all of the beautiful paper pads that I would find at the craft stores. I have purchased these pretty packs of papers for years and had no clue or purpose for them, but knew they were so lovely and surely I would find something wonderful to do with them: Junk Journals, Y’all !!
What kind of junk journals do you make / do you have a particular style?
My journals are usually vintage and shabby chic in style, but I love all styles and I believe in branching out and trying anything and everything new that appeals to me. I love colors, textiles, textures and fibers, ribbons and laces! I always like to incorporate my lovely stamps…they’re too pretty and cute not to utilize. I also like to add quotes, sayings and words to my journals. All the pretty embellishments and the flips and flaps and fold outs and what nots!
How did you find your style?
I have certainly been inspired by many of the wonderful and talented ladies from the Junk Journal Junkies Facebook Group as well as on YouTube. The thing I love about junk journals is that everyone has their own style even if the same kit or paper is used, it will always have the special touches of each individual. All are unique and one of a kind! The saying: “We are only limited by our imagination” is so true and you never know what small thing will spark your creativity; which is another thing I love about journal making…you really never truly know what you’ll end up with in the end. You may have an idea of what you want to do, and then be even more amazingly surprised at what actually comes to fruition from that original idea. I also feel that one’s style can go through a continual transformation, too.
Do you use your junk journals? How do you like to use them?
Well, I really haven’t created a journal specifically for myself since I usually sell them, but I would like to, eventually, and would want to use it for writing down my creative ideas, things I would like to do and try, keeping quotes tucked away…I would also like to organize a list of all of my wonderful friends and their information to their shops, websites and YouTube channels. When I was doing my art journaling, I did some of the more typical journaling in those that kept up with special days and happenings…or the ho-hum “today was a good day or a bad day”…LOL. I would also like to create a Gratitude Journal…that would be fun!
What do you love most about junk journals?
Gosh…I love everything about them. I love that anything goes…there’s no right or wrong. If you like the look, go for it! You can be kind to the environment by using up things that just get tossed away. I do try to recycle everything possible in my home life anyway, but it’s a lovely thing to keep an envelope and make it pretty to add to a journal instead of putting it in the recycle bin. I love the different size pages as you flip through that allow for different colors and textures to peek through. I just love the freedom and creativity of junk journals.
Have you always been creative? Tell us a bit about your creative journey.
As I said above, I have always been creative; it makes me happy, it feeds my soul, it’s peaceful. When I was growing up, my family was in a constant state of dysfunction and discord and perhaps this is what pulled on me to escape the drama and feel good about something in life. I had a Grandmother who was very special to me and she loved to sew and quilt, along with many other creative outlets, and I was very influenced by her. Spending time with her was when I was the most content and happy when I was growing up. She provided an environment of quiet, creative moments. I miss her. 🙂 Today, as I am sewing paper for my journals…I always think of her and it brings such sweet and happy memories of her and I would love to see her reaction if I could just say to her:
Look , Grandmother, I’m sewing paper!!! She would get a kick out of that! I think she would love junk journals, too!
What does your junk journal process look like?
I call my process, ‘The Gathering.” I usually have an idea or a pretty kit, theme or beautiful paper that inspires me and that’s when I decide on the papers that will be in my journal and I start to pull out my stamps, look up quotes, consider beautiful thoughts that I could bring out onto a page. I will take little sticky notes and jot down where I want pockets, tuck spots, belly bands, envelopes, stamps and stenciling etc. as I flip through my pages and stick it to those pages. I do this so, hopefully, there will always be something pretty to look at with each turn of a page. I do try to make sure there is always a good balance of writing space as well. Once I place these elements, I decide where I will do sewing in my journal and then get to work on tags and journal cards which I usually always sew around. After this, I work on embellishments to the elements and I continue on until the journal tells me it is complete. I know that sounds crazy, but I flip through the pages over and over again as I am creating my journal to get a feel for what I have on the pages so far and to figure out if it needs anything else. Often times, I will think, I am done, but as I flip through, something else will come to me which is why I always say: The journal will tell me when it’s done! 🙂 I create my covers last and then sew in the signature(s). Then I decorate the cover.
Where do you get your ideas and inspiration?
Inspiration can come from just a color, which creates a mood which can quickly shift you to a theme etc. But I get my inspiration from everywhere. Of course, we all inspire one another. I am always absorbing inspiration from Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram etc. Words inspire me, colors, textures. I think the best opportunity for inspiration is to find your happy, crafting place and just start playing and you’ll be surprised what you come up with even if you don’t feel especially inspired.
What is your creative philosophy?
My creative philosophy is to work with colors, themes and mediums that you enjoy the most and that is when you’ll come up with your best work. As far as journals go…I think journals can be made and used for eye candy only or for actual journaling. How lovely to just have a pretty journal that you can pull off the shelf and flip through and just enjoy for its creative beauty alone. They don’t have to be written in…not everyone likes to write.
What is your current crafty project and what’s next?
I just finished up a Paper Stack Challenge by Pink Odd Bird on YouTube and I created 6 Traveler’s Notebook Sized Journals with a Paris and Travel theme. These were so much fun to work on and because of paper stack I chose to work with, it was a nice change in style and color. I do have 3 of these journals left for sale in my Etsy shop at the moment. My next project will be a Halloween themed journal that I am creating for Ellie Pinkbutton Wilder of Ellsiebels BookShelf. She has asked me to be on her Design Team for her journal kits that she has put together. I would love to work on some more Halloween themed journals after that, but I think I’m running out of time…LOL. I do have an autumn paper stack that I just recently purchased that I would love to create some journals with, so we will see…stay tuned! 🙂
What advice do you have for fellow junk journalers?
Create around what you love and enjoy and always be looking to learn new things and techniques, and don’t be afraid to try out new ideas! But above all make sure that the time you spend perfecting your craft brings you joy and happiness and makes you smile!
What has the response been to your journals?
I have found that people have been very supportive and kind in this community. It’s very inspiring and satisfying when you realize others like what you do as well! I feel I have had a very positive response to my journals and what I have created thus far.
What are your dreams for the future with your journals and business?
I am a soul that, if too much time goes by without being able to create or make anything, I literally start to wilt. So, I will create and do creative things no matter what and in that process, I hope to make many journals that others will come to know and love and would like to call their own and grow my business where I can provide supplies and inspiration for others to do the same!
You can find Laura here: