I really like composition notebooks. I like the size of them and how they feel in my hand. I like to write, keep notes, even visual journal in them (yes, the paper works just fine). But I don't like the cover, it bores me a bit. You can easily paint over them, and I have many times, but I also like to cover the notebooks with copies of my favorite journal spreads.
I use a liquid matte medium to adhere the images to the notebook. When dry I cover with a satin varnish. You can use mod-podge, but I find the matte medium works better for me and the varnish is not sticky like mod-podge sometimes is.
It's an easy and cheap way to create some fun notebooks.
Also don't forget to print some of your favorite journal pages to make cards to give. Even crops of your journal pages make interesting cards.
Oh, just a reminder that when you are using copies make sure they are printed on a laser printer not ink jet. Ink jet images will smear when you and a medium or varnish on them.
As always I had no preconceived ideas of where I was going with this spread. They are a mystery to me as I begin. And there was something I loved about each stage of this spread. Part of me wanted to just stop at each point because I like how it looked and was afraid I would lose it.
(I take photos at each stage because of that)
But even though a page may be visually appealing to me, I kind of know in my gut that I need to keep working. By the time I came to the last version of my spread I felt I had really screwed it up. I felt that I had really over-worked it. It was really dark so I glued down some pieces of old ledger paper I have. I wrote on it and as I sat back to look at it I realized I was telling myself something that I needed to hear right in that moment, something I had not planned on writing and probably would not have written if I had stopped at any other stage of this spread.
I realized I had spelled envision wrong (my spelling is crap) but someone on a Facebook visual journaling group I'm a member of said this, "I like how you wrote in-vision, like you were following your inner vision". I like that too.
I want to encourage all you visual journalers to not be afraid to go with your gut when creating. No matter what stage you are at, if you feel you need to keep working or keep pushing, even if you like what you see on the page, keep going. Remember, it's not about creating something of beauty, though often it will turn out to be beautiful. But rather, it's about working out what's on the inside. It's about revealing feelings and thoughts that need to be surfaced. It's about digging, excavating the old to make room for the new.
I'm not saying every spread will be like that. Many will be lighter, simpler, and can express joy and happiness. They're not all these deep, dark, internal spewing expressions...it's just in my case visual journaling is a way to me to release deep emotions and feelings. It's a way for me to work through confusing and unsettling feelings. Not everyone will work in their journals in this way. You will choose you own way of working in them.