Craft of Coping


That's Semour, my stress skull. He says journals make him warm and squishy inside.

Anyone who writes submits themselves to criticism. But that process too can be beautiful. Still, rejections roll in seemingly faster than the submissions can roll out. So, I found something to do with them other than brood and weep. I’m calling it scrapjournaling. But, let’s start at the beginning.

This inexpensive album of dreams (pictured here open) hangs above my desk, full of replies from editors. It was fun to decorate and assemble with some cardstock, two metal embellishments, and a little suede lace. I printed out replies from editors in what I thought were appealing typefaces and colors. I then glued the printed replies in with my favorite desktop utility: a gluestick.

Gluesticks are much more fun now that I’m an adult.


Semour sees you One Buck...

Then came the day that Semour and I needed to expand. So I set off to make my first scrapjournal. Scrapjournals and I are alike by nature: unruly, askew and homemade. They’re prettier than covered-over comp book journals. And they’re IN. Kay? I saw it in a craft store so it must be so.

Scrapjournals are easy to make. The first step is gathering papers that coordinate and follow the theme. Then, the papers are put in an order that best suits the book and folded at vicarious angles to get that messy look that just screams artistic. After the pages are secured my stitching, glue, or basically whatever happens to work, it is time to add memories, recipes, pictures, etc. Mine will house my responses from editors and anything else closely related.


Colored ink makes us smile.

Taking one plastic file folder and cutting the front off it with my safety scissors gave me a bright durable cover for journal one. After collecting coordinating papers to stuff inside, I decided to sew the first journal together at the fold with embroidery floss.
NOTE: Do yourself a favor if you try this method and prepunch your holes with something sharp.


Postcard from Frederik Meijer Gardens. That sculpture looks rather suspect from this angle.

I selected a postcard for the center of each of my journals. Inside are envelopes and plenty of pages to affix more and more rejections, I mean replies, to. The pages include various colored journal papers, notebook papers, photocopies, and even pages from wordfinds.


Postcard: Gerald R. Ford Museum. Photo: my livingroom.

I chose to hold my second journal together with some suede lace through a centered hole (hole punch = 98ยข, no callus = priceless}. I like this, because it allows for revision!

Inside the second, there is a photocopy of a likeness of the Declaration of Independence. And some old printshop bookmarks. Also, I utilized some leftover cardstock for the cover, as you might notice.


Grue's Personal Submission Survival Kit. That cover really beings out Semour's eyes.

So that is the tale of my ever-growing garden of rejections, I mean replies, and their newfound beauty. Hope you enjoyed.

Merideth Grue

BTW: Semour is a Halloween-themed stress skull I purchased last season. He is the most invaluable tool that I own. When you squeeze him, blood-marinated maggots form massive bubbles in his eye sockets. He’s my best friend, and a dang good paperweight.