Juicy Journals

Juicy Journals & Wild Words

Recipes for Creative Journaling Entrees and Mixed Media Delights

By Molly J. Anderson-Childers | Updated September 22, 2018

Recipe for a Sizzling Creative Journal


  • One large blank journal with unlined pages and thick, high-quality paper
  • Pens, pencils, pastels, crayons, charcoal sticks
  • Watercolor paints, brushes, mug of water, and palette for mixing colors
  • Mod-Podge, small sponge-brush, and assorted found art objects for collage. (Stickers, shells, buttons, concert tickets, magazines and postcards to cut up, ribbon, and glitter are some of my favorite ingredients for a yummy collage!)
  • 2 C. Inspiration
  • 1 Tbsp. Time
  • 2 Gallons Creative Energy


Preheat with a brainstorming session. Incense, candles, good music, or a change of scene can all help you generate new ideas. Think about the types of projects you would like to do in this journal and keep a list of ideas in the back pages. If you are ever experiencing a blocked or stuck feeling, these ideas can inspire you. Combine all ingredients and heat to a boil, stirring occasionally. Allow the mixture to bubble over and make a huge mess! Serve hot with a side of creative writing, a collage salad, and mixed painting and drawing sorbets for a refreshing dessert.

Yield: Infinite, and limited only by the bounds of your imagination!

Recipe for Spicy Creative Writing


  • Passion and Pain, in equal measure
  • 1 C. Joy Abounding
  • Heartbreaks Galore, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. Curiosity and Courage, well-blended
  • Two million tiny stories


Close your eyes. Visualize yourself, fifteen years from now. You are happy, healthy, and doing work which delights you. Picture every detail of your life; your home life, job, family and friends. Open your eyes. Write as fast as you can, without stopping, and describe your future self, living your wildest dreams. Write in the first person, and stay in the present tense. Mix well with colorful adjectives and original detail. Serve hot!

Yield: Will serve and satisfy an unlimited number of guests!

A Note from the Chef: We each contain all of these ingredients, no matter how deeply they are buried within. This scrumptious dish will actually help you to unearth the contents of your truest heart. Often, I do not know something is true until I have written it down, utterly surprising myself. To prepare the other varieties of creative writing presented here, use the same method: a visualization, followed by free-writing. This type of writing is most exciting and effective if it is done quickly, without crossing anything out or doubling back to check spelling and grammar. This allows you to separate creative writing from editing, and lets your ideas flow freely. You will surprise yourself with the endless variety of tastes and textures this recipe produces!

Inspiring Ideas:

  • Write a letter to your Muse, then craft a response and mail it to yourself.
  • Describe yourself in 100 words or less, creating a brief verbal self-portrait.
  • Write about everything you are, and everything you are not.
  • Write a postcard to your seven-year-old self.
  • Send yourself a love letter or a Valentine.

Recipe for Fresh Collage Salad


  • A Fine Eye for Detail
  • 2 Heaping Tbsp. of Ability to Think Around Corners and Solve Problems
  • 1 C. Enjoyment of Puzzles
  • Play clothes — this gets quite messy!


Assemble ingredients and cover work area with newspaper or an old sheet. Change into play clothes. Chop pictures and words into small pieces.

Brush outer surface of journal cover with Mod-Podge and stick on images, words, glitter, or anything else that catches your eye. Choose ingredients which represent yourself, or your creative goals, for this collage. Wait a few moments, until the Mod-Podge is slightly tacky, then brush a second layer of Mod-Podge over the top. Allow to dry, then add another coat if desired. Use sparingly — thin layers will dry clear, but thick layers will not. Serve chilled.

Yield: Many wonderful, creative collages!

A Note from the Chef: A collage can be a wonderful tool for self-discovery. Collage a self-portrait, or the portrait of a loved one. Make a collage of your creative blocks and fears; burn it and release them to the air. Make a collage to represent your creative dreams and goals for the future. Write a poem and cut it into pieces to use in your next collage. Make a collage from old letters and birthday cards. Make a collage to celebrate your Muses. Make a collage while watching a favorite movie or listening to music.

Marvelously Mixed-Up Drawing and Painting Sorbets

Ingredients for a Fabulous Fresh Sorbet of Drawing:

  • 2 Comfortable shoes
  • 2 Wide-open eyes
  • 1 Willing hand
  • 1 Open Heart


  • Take a walk in the sunshine… visit a new neighborhood, cruise the mall, or hike your favorite trail. As soon as you spy something interesting, find a place to sit down. Examine it closely, then try to draw it without allowing your pencil to leave the page, in one long continuous line. Pick a new subject, or draw the first one in a few different ways:
  • Draw your subject as a caricature or comic book character.
  • Draw with your non-dominant hand.
  • Sketch it quickly — five minutes or less — without erasing anything.
  • Draw it slowly; try to reproduce every detail your eye sees.
  • Draw the subject without looking at the drawing itself. This will look very weird and surreal, and usually does not resemble the subject in any way.
  • Draw the negative space around your subject. If your subject is a tree, don't draw the tree itself… draw everything around it, leaving a blank space where the leaves, branches and trunk are. Then, write a poem to fill the blank space.

Yield: The number of subjects for drawings is unlimited. Work until your hand gets tired!

Ingredients for a Pineapple Painting Sorbet:

  • 1 Large Love of Startling Colors and Shapes
  • Bright sunlight or moonlight, to taste
  • 1 Gallon imagination


Close your eyes. Visualize a beautiful mountain with a castle high upon the North side. Try to imagine every tiny detail. Mix well, stirring vigorously. Open your eyes and make a rough sketch of the basic shapes of the mountain and castle with paint. Build on it slowly, trying to capture the scene within your imagination. For best results, use a fairly dry brush, with a fine point. This prevents fine detail work from being spoiled by excessive water. Freeze overnight and serve chilled.

Yield: Many wonderful paintings can be created with this recipe; let your imagination soar!


  • Paint a self-portrait or family portrait
  • Paint your Muses
  • Paint an imaginary landscape from another planet
  • Paint a picture of the way you are feeling right now
  • Paint yourself as an animal
  • Paint yourself as a tree
  • Paint yourself at seven years old
  • Paint a picture of your creative dreams and goals
  • Paint your favorite fictional character

Next: Creating an Artist's Sketchbook

©2005 Molly J. Anderson-Childers. All rights reserved.