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on September 16, 2003
I'd been holding off on buying Diehn's book until I'd picked up a few that I thought were "more important". So when a friend sent it to me, I was AMAZED at how wrong I was about needing others on this subject.
Diehn goes through almost every aspect of creating a journal that's unique, personal, and most importantly (to me) VISUAL. There are background and layout techniques for those days when you just don't want to do too much drawing, lots of examples that are more inspiring than a personal visit from the Muse, and a TON of SUBSTANCE -- real ideas for turning your daily logs into works of art that you can flip back through with pride. It answered quite a few questions that I'd still had for a while now (and I wrote a book on visual journalling, so these were big questions), and got me moving in a forward direction again.
If you're just starting out, or if you've been keeping journals for what seems like FOREVER -- this book WILL HELP, WILL INSPIRE, and will be WORTH EVERY PENNY. Go get it now!
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on March 26, 2003
I started journaling in 1999 after reading about it in Teesha Moore's zine, The Studio. Ever since then, I read everything I find about journaling. I bought this and was disappointed. Not only had I seen a lot of the ideas before, but I disagreed with some of the things said. For instance, Gwen tells readers to be careful with what she calls "predetermined materials" - anything that is common enough to be a cliche. She gives the example of a certain kind of gift paper that is popular and advises not to use too much of this sort of thing, lest the journal become cliched. Well, I used a Playboy bunny head sticker on a journal page last summer and was happy with how the page turned out. The Playboy bunny must be the most "predetermined material" there is - everyone is familiar with the rabbit head and has strong opinions - good or bad - about what is stands for. Due to copyright concerns, I would never be able to sell this without legal hassles, but I don't care, as this was a journal I did for myself.
Nevertheless, this book is good for someone new to journaling. I prefer Teesha Moore's PLAY.
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on March 9, 2003
I journal in the straightforward way with a lined journal, pen, and my thoughts. While I enjoy getting my words and impressions on paper, I often feel as if there is something missing from my memories - that there is something I can be doing to make my journals go from being average to amazing.
Enter THE DECORATED will be challenged to create lasting pieces of artwork within your journal pages and in the process evoke more feelings then you ever thought possible. I have often seen books with creative journalers' pages presented in a "look-see" kind of way, but never thought I'd be capable of making such pages myself.
Gwen Diehn presents lists of supplies you need to get started and many methods of creating within your pages such as mandalas, cut-outs, grids, and others. She also shows different ways to present your thoughts within your writing. You will be inspired to use this book as a springboard for your own artistic and thought-provoking journal entries.
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on December 8, 2002
I am a big fan of books, and love art, but not as much a fan of "do-it-yourself" books. This book, however, changed my course in journaling. It describes clearly a process for making an "every day" journal into a piece of art. Gwen Diehn writes and then provides examples of how to create either a simple or an eloquent journal page. She sets a slow and steady pace giving the reader an opportunity to "absorb" the content. Each page builds on the preceeding page and its examples are helpmates for either the novice or the experienced artist/journaler to build his/her own skills. She elected to show some very experienced journalers, many of whom I recognize from other art communities, and all of whom are able artists. The book is not intimating, and it is perhaps its lack of pretense that both delights me, and confuses others into assuming this is a beginner's book. While I may have known some or many of the techniques Gwen Diehn shares in "Decorated Page" I found her re-igniting my desire to do it rather than just think it. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in journaling, collage and altered books. While the book is not necessarily directed to altered books or collage artists, many of the schema are apt for these venues, and certainly they can be easily adapted. This is one of the few books I read "cover-to-cover" and keep next to my ready read room. I am certain I will be referring back to its text and admiring its content for a good long time.
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on March 1, 2003
This book tries to do too much and too little at the same time. It touches on a number of ways to embellish pages in books, whether blank or already written on. For those pursuing these kinds of papercrafts, this is a book about "artist's journals" and "altered books."
This book has a smattering good information on each topic, and the "supplies" section at the beginning is very well thought out, but the organization of this book is very strange. There are little historical essays, which are very superficial, stuck in among technical how-to sections.
Good for a roadmap but not an overview of its subject. It would have to be a lot longer.
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on March 23, 2004
I've been journaling since I was a child -- more than a half century ago -- and in all those years it never occurred to me to make those journals into more than just pages of writing. I took the writing (and thinking) too seriously, I guess.
"The Decorated Page" is full of ways to trim, color and decorate pages so there's more to a book than the words and thoughts. I'll have fun experimenting with this and it occurs to me that in using color, trims and other embellishments I'll be challenged to make my words more effective in order to compete with the decorations!
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on December 8, 2003
I am both a journal-keeper and a scrapbooker. I thought this book might help me combine my pages and pages of writing with my interest in added elements such as leaves, drawings, etc. into a journal setting. Not disappointed! This is an EXCELLENT book, and I totally agree with the reviewer who commented it is "eye candy with substance". Fun to read, fun to to look at, and full of decent ideas. Has practical, simple & affordable suggestions for tools to use, approaches to take in journalling, etc.
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on February 9, 2003
There are many wonderful books on how to create handmade blank journals, but not much is shared on how to use them. This book fills the void, with both practical guidance on techniques and beautifully reproduced pages to inspire further. While certainly accessable to the beginner, I don't agree that this book is useful only to that group. I consider myself an "advanced" art journaler, and gobbled this book up! When done, I had enough new ideas to keep me busy for a year. Highly recommended.
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on January 5, 2003
I love this book! Blank books are so scary to me, too much white space to deal with. But Gwen's direction really helped calm my fears. My favorite part is how she shows many ways to prep the page before working on it. I have finished my first book, now I'm ready to start my second. If you've always wanted to take part in the art of journals, this book is a great help in doing so. There are a lot of photos of different works, many of which you say "I can do that!". That's what got me started.
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on February 16, 2003
Gwen Diehn does a wonderful job of demystifying the process of creating a visual journal. With complete instructions and suggestions of what materials to use and how to use them she has given us a workshop in a book! Throughout the book are color photos of journal pages from everyday people with everyday experiences who, through their collages, writings, and drawings, show us how to make each day extra-ordinary.
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