Inspiration for Junk Journals | Linkinbio

Gypsy or Boho Junk Journals

Gypsy or boho junk journals are very colourful. Pictures, lots of frills and laces, as well as charms and tassels decorate the pages of these books. They are a delight to hold and browse through.

First of all, what is Boho?

Boho comes from Bohemian, and today means unfettered by society’s norms. Free spirited, I am always drawn to pattern on pattern. My interior design style is eclectic, now called (trendily) Boho! My quilts delight with their colourful and unusual use of patterns together. My dress sense is gypsy-ish too!

So, what’s inside a Gypsy or Boho junk journal?

The pages contain colourful imagery, paisley patterns, borders of lace or fancy trims and so on. As well, the journalling cards and tags are as bright.

Chrissie Crosser shows you her gypsy junk journal
Enjoy this one from delygirl1961

Making my boho journal

My latest journal is a gypsy/Romany junk journal. Not at all my usual style, but I love the pages. The journal began with a damaged book.

We moved into a shed a year back and soon afterwards there were two severe storms. Plastic bins held much of my studio stuff, outside on pallets and covered with tarpaulins.

Creating With Paint

Months later we found time to get into the bins and bring stuff into the house. Many bins had water inside! Ruined books, ruined fabrics…

A favourite book by Sherrill Khan, Creating with PaintNew Ways, New Materials, was among the ruined ones.

I salvaged what I could and began collaging torn scraps of the pages together. Gradually, a Boho themed journal idea emerged as I worked.

Creative excitement!

Tag made with paper scraps from the Khan book
Tag made with paper scraps from the Khan book

Finding the ephemera

Searching online for “gypsy”, I found lots of information about who the Roma people are.

Would it surprise you to know that the Roma (gypsies) originated in Northern India? They migrated west in the 1000s. They prefer the name Roma or Romani instead of gypsy.

Gathering public domain images was great fun. I collected as many as I thought might be good in my gypsy journal.

Public domain image of a Gypsy
Painting (in the public domain) of a Gypsy musician

Three images from the New York Public Library digital collection are seen in the journal spread below. One picture shows some Tarot cards. Another pictures a lady getting her fortune read while her gentleman listens in! One way that Roma earned money was by telling fortunes.

Public domain gypsy junk journal images
Fortune telling images

See the name of the song? What a hoot!

Naturally, it just had to go into my gypsy journal.

Feathers are common in gypsy or boho junk journals

But gypsy feathers are not bird feathers. They are the beautiful long hair around the legs and hooves of the gypsy horses (called vanners or cobs).


Inside ‘Gypsy Jan’ junk journal

Some junk journals have fabrics throughout, but mine don’t as a rule. This boho or gypsy junk journal is different. Fabric snippets, flips and braids abound.

Each spread is coloured differently from its neighbours. The tags and journalling cards are handmade and tell the Romani story in snippets.

More gypsy junk journal content

Inside the front cover I doodled in gold on black to create the frontispiece.

Gold and black doodles, sequinned fabric, lace …

Mini journals are tucked inside pockets and belly bands, along with notepaper for writing your story. I also stencilled envelopes to make journalling spots.

Mini journal under a belly band

Why is there a camel in my boho journal?

Collaged tags from the damaged book make colourful additions to the pockets. This one has a little gold camel charm. A camel?

Several of the images from Khan’s book have pyramid shapes and other imagery reminiscent of Egypt.

I wrote the story of the name gypsy on a journal card which tucks into a side pocket

As it happens, in Europe when the Roma first arrived, people thought they came from Egypt. The French word for egyptian is égyptienne/égyptien. This eventually became ‘gypsy’.

Would you like to own this gypsy (or boho) junk journal? You certainly can! Buy it now, there’s only one!

Sold 12 July 2020!

Jan T

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