MICHELLE RAUF: Oh I loved the series on T.V. (I have the trilogy of books to read on holiday). I love supernatural and fantasy films and programmes, and it really inspired me to want to make a journal based on the Book of Life as it intrigued me to think of what was inside, (as at the time of writing this, we haven’t seen much about it, in the series). I really thought making the cover emblem would be too much of a challenge for me, but I was so pleased with the results.
PEGASUS PAPER CO: I’d be pleased too. It came out amazingly well! Can you tell us a little bit about how you got into junk journaling?
MICHELLE RAUF: Oh yes, well I have to say first of all I’ve never been interested in paper crafting as such, I mean making cards (my cousin made beautiful cards before she passed and probably would be laughing her head off at me now), or scrapbooking. I don’t really love collaging… anyway I digress…. I actually saw a post on a group I’m with of the most beautiful wedding journal and what really grabbed me, was all these little secret pockets, tuck spots, hidden gems to explore and find. I have never found this post again, but I had to find out what it was all about.
I actually started at the beginning of Lockdown, researching different Journalling terms and gathering supplies. I really jumped in at the deep end.
PEGASUS PAPER CO: Do you have any advice for people just getting started with crafting their own journals now?
MICHELLE RAUF: Watch some YouTube tutorials, join a few groups, but don’t be afraid. I think that’s the biggest step….. you’re not sure if you’re doing it right or wrong, you get daunted by the white page or paper in front of you, everything that can stop you. Just do it! It doesn’t matter if it’s not how you want it to be, what’s important is that you take that step, and you are creating and learning. There aren’t any rules. Just have some fun. I remember when I started I agonised over trying to get the right measurements for a paper bag cover,( I laugh at that now)… I’m not great with numbers and measuring…. it honestly really doesn’t matter…. just free your mind and get creating. Once you’ve made your first one it’s s piece of cake!
PEGASUS PAPER CO: Speaking of the crafters out there, you’ve created a really special private Facebook group that’s bringing together people at all levels of the junk journaling community, from absolute beginners to skilled craftspeople. Can you tell the readers a little bit about the group and what happens there?
MICHELLE RAUF: Well the group is called ‘Junk Journaling for Everyone’…. and I started it because I was a member of a lot of others and couldn’t remember all the different rules of what you were allowed to post or not, (some will not let you post a journal you’ve made with other people’s digis, or you can’t post links, or mention other groups, etc.) I wanted a group where everyone of all skill levels could get help and support from a group with not a lot of restrictive rules.
I have a great team of Admins and Mods who give their free time in helping me run it smoothly. I try and keep it fun too, so that everyone can feel involved and part of a bigger family. We have a lot of events too e.g. A Banner Challenge ( if you post and support other members, you have a chance to get your artwork as the group’s banner pic for a few weeks), swaps, challenges, etc.
Members post up all their gorgeous progress pics and flip throughs and journals… and anyone can ask any questions to get help.
PEGASUS PAPER CO: What are your dreams for this group, let’s say 1 year down the line?
MICHELLE RAUF: Oh good question…. I haven’t really thought that far, but I suppose for it to grow and be there with help and advice for anyone who wants it. I’m always open to ideas.
PEGASUS PAPER CO: What kind of members are you looking for?
MICHELLE RAUF: Anyone who agrees to (the very few) rules we have, so everyone is welcome who is interested in anything to do with Junk Journaling (whether that is using just junk or Digis and anything in between).
PEGASUS PAPER CO: Where can people join?
PEGASUS PAPER CO: And last, but not least, five things I always want to know:
1. What’s your favorite book at the moment?
MICHELLE RAUF: I actually don’t read a lot,(I’m more a visual doer (?) lol…. I love local author Peter James’ series of Roy Grace books as they are based in Brighton, 20 mins down the road from me.
PEGASUS PAPER CO: 2. Who’s another handmade junk journal artist whose work inspires you?
MICHELLE RAUF: Oh gosh, so many, it would be rude of me to name only a few…. every person’s work I see inspires me in some way… I would just like to mention though that at the very start of my journey I would like to thank Linda Israel for showing me you could make journals without having to sew in signatures, and Paulette Slater (Printables for your Junk Journaling with TLC), who’s challenges introduced me to tags, cards, pockets etc.
PEGASUS PAPER CO: 3. What music sets just the right mood in your craft room?
MICHELLE RAUF: Oh great question…. my lovely daughter set me up with Spotify and Alexa and I have made up my own smooth chill out playlist that I mostly listen to, but if I have a particular themed journal I’m making, I might make a special playlist e.g. Halloween, Christmas etc.
PEGASUS PAPER CO: 4. Do you have a favorite quote?
MICHELLE RAUF: Yes… ‘What’s for you won’t go by you!’
PEGASUS PAPER CO: 5. What’s next for you?
MICHELLE RAUF: Oh my, I have a long list of themed journals I want to make e.g. Medieval, more Steampunk, Tudor, Ancient Egypt, Sewing, Ballet, Dragons, Mermaids…. but the very next is Boho (really looking forward to that).
I also make Steampunk outfits as my husband and I are (real life) Steampunks, and hoping to go to Asylum next year, (it’s the largest Steampunk festival I would say in the World), but due to Covid it didn’t happen last year, and not sure what’s happening this year).
PEGASUS PAPER CO: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?
PEGASUS PAPER CO: Thanks very much for taking the time to chat with me today, Michelle. I’ll see you in the craft room!