If we were having coffee I’d tell you about how this is my third year choosing a word for the year to focus on throughout the year. The first year I chose the word positive. Last year I chose the word thrive. But this year the word choose me. That first year I started out really strong. I added quotes about staying positive, the glass half full, being mindful, and anything that might be related to being positive. The more I used the word or a related word the more mindful I was. By the end of the year, I realized it was all about being more intentional. When I slacked off and didn’t write down the word, a quote, was mindful in my everyday life about being positive, staying positive, finding something positive in even the darkest of days/times/events/etc, then the negative things like self doubt, fear, anxiety, etc. would creep back in.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s been a few years since I chose the word positive and yet there are times when I still have moments of self doubt, fear, anxiety, but I’m a much more positive person now. I look at the glass as refillable–to me it’s not about whether or not it’s half full or half empty, but that it’s refillable that matters (especially when it comes to my cup of coffee or my glass of ice water on a hot summer day here in humid South Carolina).
That first year there were times when I forgot my word. Yep, that’s right. When I was so focused on manifesting positivism in my life that I forgot it was because it was my word of the year… being mindful of the positive things, changing my attitude and being intentional about the “refillable glass” became a habit. I’d never really been a “negative Nancy” but there were too many instances when I’d let my anxiety rule and I’d focused on the negative instead of the positive. Last year I thrived in some ways, but in other ways I slacked off. And the majority of the reasons I slacked off had to do with procrastination, fear, doubts, anxiety–not being brave enough to do things, to try things, to get out there and reach for the stars. Continue reading
I am, and always have been, a lover of all things stationery. I started writing in my first diary when I was in elementary school–my parents bought me a pink Barbie diary with a lock and key. I loved that diary but didn’t really use it consistently until after my daddy died when I was seven years old. I started writing letters to my daddy, instead of “dear diary,” my pages read “dear Daddy.” For well over a year I wrote to my daddy and told him about my day, school, home, Mom, my little brother J____ , and anything else that I thought was important. I didn’t want him to miss anything.
As the years passed, I used regular spiral bound notebooks, composition notebooks, diaries, journals, anything I could use to write in I wrote in. Like reading, I was avid about writing in my journal. I would sit at the table eating my breakfast and read the outside of the cereal box, then I’d start writing in my diary. To this day, I still read the outside of cereal boxes, but the types of notebooks I use for my journals has changed. I suppose it will continue to change as I find different journals I like and/or love, as I try out different sized notebooks. Depending on the purpose of the journal, I prefer my art journals to have either Tomoe River Paper or Mixed Media Paper, and I prefer plain for sketching and dot grid or grid for regular art journaling. Are you and avid journaler? If so, What kinds of journals do you like?
When I first started adding art to my journals I wasn’t aware that I was actually adding art, so much as I was just adding bits and pieces of things like pictures, ticket stubs, receipts, stickers, and a doodle here or there–that was back in the late 70’s-early 80’s. A few years ago I came across the journal community on YouTube and got lost in all the different types of journals, and the different styles and ways that people journal–one in particular was the Hobonichi. I then found out about the Fauxbonichi. Since then I’ve tried out a number of different styles and types of journals, but the thing that hasn’t changed is my love of adding art and words to a blank page.
Over the past few years I’ve rediscovered my love of art and fallen in love with watercolor. In Cathy Johnson’s book “Artist’s Journal Workshop: creating your life in words and pictures,” she states that an artist’s journal is “a personal journal kept by the creative person…your fingers itch to capture the moment…your curiosity is piqued and you search for your own answers, make notes and sketches as you go. You celebrate a milestone or the everyday occurrence. Your journal can be a place to capture all of that, to capture the moments of your life.” And that is exactly what combining art and words is for me… capturing the bits and pieces of my life on the page, whether I am drawing, watercoloring, adding a picture, a piece of collage, a sticker, text… Whether it is about my trip to the grocery store or a day spent with family or friends or the new recipe I tried or my thoughts and/or feelings.
Lately, I’ve been expressing bits and pieces of my life with sketches or watercolor. and I’ve taken it even further by taking myself out on dates for urban sketching or plein-air sketching. In order to that I’ve had to minimize what I take on excursions. Instead of taking my “journal travel bag,” which includes a lot more. My family and friends, even Mr. Rockstar, looked at me funny when I walked in carrying a large pink satchel bag or my bookbag or leather messenger bag (depending on the mood and/or where I was going) and then broke out my journal “stuff,” which is quite a bit of stuff even in my journal travel bag. But to go urban sketching, or plein-air sketching no way was I going to be able to tote the large bag, the portable chair, and the camera bag. Nope, wasn’t going to happen, especially in the humidity we have here in the South. So I took out everything. Looked at what I had and broke it down into piles: 1. Need 2. Want 3. Unsure. I took away the “want” items and then went back over the “unsure” items. Minimized my “travel art bag” so that it all fit into one bag. And… here is that video (There is a list of the items I have in the bag in the description on YT. Some of the links are Amazon Affiliate links, which don’t affect the amount you pay, but do help me out a little with supplies and things. 😀