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