Art journaling is an activity that helps me a lot with self care, artistic expression and just general management of life. Lately I’ve been experimenting with combining some artistic expression with material I’m learning in Social Engineering class. There are a lot of acronyms and concepts to remember – things that lend themselves well to bullet journals, art journals and chart and graph type graphics.
These pairs of pages you will see are in progress. I made them to have something to do adult coloring and other paper craft based activities on when I want to relax and be creative for a bit. As I work I can study and memorize the “bullet points”. I’m going to erase some of these pencil lines as I go. For a couple of the more complicated layouts I made drawings on tracing paper and chipboard templates to help cut the paper pieces to the right sizes and shapes.
Some of the stencils I used are commercial products I sell in my online Etsy shop. If you would like to see the selection, it’s at this link: Stencils and Stenciling Supplies.
I hope these pages in progress will give you some ideas for organizing information in a creative and fun way!
I hope you can join me for a demo this Saturday, March 18 from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm at JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts in Maplewood, Missouri. Try your hand at writing, lettering and embellishing a journal page. We’ll supply you with background paper, a rubber date stamp, stickers and 48 colors of gel pens for you to try out!
The samples I made will be on display and I’ll be demonstrating in the store while helping you out with your own designs. Take home a personalized page that you can put in a journal, a planner, a memory planner or a scrapbook.
Awhile ago I wrote about making a planner out of a sketchbook. This helps me keep track of my work because I can take notes and make sketches in the same book that is my planner. I try not to go anywhere without it! I have designed and purchased some rubber stamps to help me incorporate planner pages into my sketchbook.
Over the last several months I have been battling severe depression as the result of an abusive relationship. An ex-boyfriend gradually used emotional abuse techniques to persuade me to think there was something wrong with almost every part of what made me myself – my work, my hobbies, my goals in life, my family, my friends, my financial acuity, my physical appearance, my lifestyle, even how I packed for camping trips. Over time I internalized these criticisms and came to believe I wasn’t worth anything.
I’ve been fighting hard and using lots different tools to combat the depression. One reliable mood-lifter for me has been the acronym G.R.A.P.E.S. Here is what each letter stands for.
Being Gentle with yourself
I read on a depression support web site that you should try to incorporate at least one activity each day that fits into each of the six letters in G.R.A.P.E.S. I’ve come a long way since I counted making it through a day of work in the Achievement category, but that’s how it was for quite awhile.
I’m doing much better now and surrounding myself with people who support me and seem to think I’m ok the way I am. I want to keep maintaining my progress so I have redesigned my planner page to remind me to schedule activities covered by G.R.A.P.E.S. I also included a line to check them off to track my progress.
On the page shown, the left column is for items that should be done some time during the week. The right column is for appointments and scheduling. I used letter stickers to spell “G.R.A.P.E.S.” at the top. The number stamps and ruled line stamp are by 7gypsies and the month of the year and day of the week stamps are by my own Carolyn’s Stamp Store.
Last night I listened to a really fun and informative podcast by The Scrap Gals on the topic of Memory Planners – using a planner to help stay organized and also save as a scrapbook-like keepsake with photos, decorative papers and all kinds of other fun things that we associate with scrapbooking. I’ve saved old planners or calendars on occasion because the records in them really bring back vivid memories. Memory planners are a really great idea but I don’t anticipate having the kind of time to exploit the idea to the fullest.
One idea on the podcast that really had me intrigued was the idea of combining an art journal with a planner. This got me thinking. I have kept sketchbooks since 1985 and I’ve saved all of them. They have a lot of thumbnail sketches and notes about future projects in them, and occasionally other things that get in there because it’s the handiest blank paper around – supply lists, to-do lists, hours that I’ve worked for various clients to be transferred to electronic records later, web site notes, class notes, things like that.
A sketchbook could incorporate aspects of a planner. I have rubber stamps in my Carolyn’s Stamp Store collection with months, years, and days of the week – designed for memory crafts, but adaptable for making a planner too. I also have several sets of letter and number rubber stamps and stencils from other companies, some are even vintage. Along with my rubber stamps, I got out a pencil and ruler and started playing around with page layouts.
I used the wall calendar that I keep in my office as a reference and filled in the first two weeks. On this first attempt I tried to include 14 days per 8.5 x 11 inch sketchbook page. Some good things were happening, but I decided that I needed more room for each day. As a result I came up with this second layout:
This is the layout I’m going to stick with for awhile. The month, day and year stamps are from my own Carolyn’s Stamp Store. The large numbers are from ‘Lil Davis Designs and the pointing hand and ruled lines stamp are from 7gypsies. A page like this is quick to throw together. My stamping got a little sloppy there on the numbers but this is pretty much for my eyes only so it’s not a big deal. My plan is to add a new week as needed wherever the next blank page happens to fall in my sketchbook. I’ll write in things like work schedules and appointments and also make a brief note about what I did that day. I went through my rubber stamp collection and picked out ones I thought suitable for journaling and put them all together in a bin with the inks I used on this page so they’ll be handy when I need them.
I’m looking forward to this new way of getting organized and recording my activities. When this sketchbook is full, I may switch to a 3-ring binder and put 8.5 x 11 inch sheets of drawing paper in it, with the flexibility of adding additional pages wherever I want of any kind of paper or cardstock if I want to expand the memory aspect of the planner/sketchbook combo.