Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Encouragement Journal

The project is finished. The Encouragement Art Journal has been delivered.
And I am at a loss for words.

If you are new to my blog and you would like to know more the art journal project, you can read about it here:  Encouragement

When I first thought about collaborating with others to create this journal, I imagined it would be fun and encouraging for us all. And it was. But, it was also so much more. I am not sure what I expected from the final result or who I expected would receive it. Looking back, I may have pictured it to be light, and cute, and be delivered to someone who needed a "pick-me-up".

I was so, so off. 

I mailed each artist 2 sheets of mixed media paper and another smaller sheet of paper. Their instructions were simply to create an art journal page (2-pages, facing) that would be encouraging to another woman. They were to do whatever they felt led to do after thought and prayer. On the smaller sheets, I asked them to write a little about themselves or their pages.

We began discussing possible "nominees". Several women who were facing hard circumstances were suggested. I was overwhelmed. How would we decide?  We kept working, praying, and waiting. None of us discussed our theme or page ideas. We kept in touch through our facebook group and just as in the Between Friends Project, a special bond began to be formed between us.

I had pretty much decided that when all the pages were returned and I had them bound into one book, I would draw a name out of a hat. I had no idea how else to decide who we should give it to. And then I got the pages back. And then, another nominee emerged. And then, I bound the book. And then it was confirmed. I knew who it was for, and the others agreed.

I planned to post a video of  the journal pages, post photos, maybe even do a tutorial on the book binding. All of that changed when the journal was finished and delivered. This was no ordinary art journal, and the young woman who received it is no ordinary girl. The journal is BEAUTIFUL. It is full of love and hope, and all of the messages are so much more than encouraging. I cried so often while binding the journal. Tears of thankfulness,  tears of awe, tears of HOPE. The tears first came when I looked at the pages for the first time, and they continued until the final embellishment was in place on the cover.

I have decided that the journal is too personal to share. I may do a post on the binding later, but I am not sure about that yet. There are two reasons why I am doing this follow up. One, because I promised a follow up and some of you were expecting to see the finished book. Two, because I want to encourage anyone who enjoys art journaling, or any type of mixed media art to consider participating in an art collaboration project. I  have been involved in two of them, and both of them have impacted my life richly. Both were fun; I was stretched artistically, and I the relationships developed are irreplaceable.

The Encouragement Journal was given to a beautiful young woman who was recently diagnosed with cancer.  She is also a very dear friend of our family. All who worked in the journal felt privileged to be a part of it. It was an honor to confirm to her that she has....HOPE.

The Encouragement Journal

I've shared this post on
Inspiration Spotlight
Freedom Fridays (My Turn for Us)
Inspire Me Monday #52


  1. I am so privileged to have participated in this journal of encouragement. I cried reading about it as well as every time I think about it. Cymp .

  2. What a beautiful, worthwhile endeavor of love & hope! Bravo to all involved! T.

    1. Thank you Tina. It was definitely worthwhile!

  3. Wow! What a great idea! Love it! I am happy to become a Follower of your Blog. Have a wonderful weekend and all the very best for 2013!
    Judy - Judy H-J's Thoughts

  4. What a awesome act of sharing and giving encouragement! I am so touched by this idea. I love it when women totally support each other!

    Thank you for joining Lets Get Social Sunday!

    PS Did you share this post at Freedom Fridays Blog Hop (I may have missed it).

  5. No, I haven't shared it much. I couldn't decide if it was "appropriate" to share. I want to honor the young woman and the journal, and I also want to encourage others to start this sort of project. So...maybe sharing more will do that?

  6. I just sprinkled this post at all my Favorite places : Facebook, twitter and Pinterest.

    Thank you for sharing at Freedom Fridays Blog Hop and thank you for being one of my Five Faves!

    Hopefully this wil encourage others to do this project and spread the love and encouragement:)

    Have a great week!

  7. Oh Evelyn, I am touched! Thanks for sharing it and spreading the "Encouragement"

  8. What a lovely thing to do! Thanks for sharing @ Inspiration Spotlight! I hope you drop by this week & share again in the new link up starting Friday!