Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Preserving Memories

My very favorite thing about art journaling is thumbing through old entries
and looking over little pieces of my past.

I pulled out an old journal today.
These are a couple of pages from over a year ago:

Time goes by so fast, doesn't it? 

The thing I enjoy most about art journaling is preserving memories.

Before art journaling, I had grand intentions of scrap-booking on a regular basis.  That little ship sailed and sunk, my friends.   I felt like I was swimming in photos and scrapbook paper.  (Those adhesive mounting squares frustrated the heck out of me too.)   And then, before I knew it, I'd feel so guilty about not creating a keepsake for my family.

Art journaling is my happy medium.   I can still put together a scrapbook every now and then if I feel like it;   I don't have to feel like I'm overwhelmed with memorabilia;  I get to scratch my creative itch;  and I can preserve meaningful memories every day.

It's been a happy adventure.


How about you?
How do you preserve your memories?  What's your favorite thing about art journaling? 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Sketchbook Journal - August

I just got back from a mini-vacation.
Boy, I am already missing it!  
Back to being busy, busy, busy.  

I'll be posting a few pictures of my weekend later in the week.
But for now, here are my prepared pages for the week to come.
watercolor and paper clippings.


How was your weekend?  :-)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Art Inspiration - Sophie Blackall

I used to love taking train rides into Philadephia....
and wondering about the other passengers' stories.

Where were they going?
What struggles were they facing?  
What did their day have in store for them?   

Here's a wonderful little treat from Sophie Blackall.


What adventures are ahead of you today?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Gratitude Journal - H20

I take this one for granted so often...

I'm grateful for clean, running water.  

Honestly, in other parts of the world,
flipping a switch for water is pure luxury.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Gratitude Journal: Silliness

There are a few people in my life around whom I can be a complete goofball.
My little brother and sister are two of them.   
They always make me feel like home, no matter how far apart we've been.
I love them to pieces.  


With whom can you be a silly mess?  :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

New Little Project

I've been working on watercoloring a Golden Retriever.

It's nice to take a break from my big old, 18"x24" art pad. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sketchbook Journal - July

New pages prepared for the week.

In watercolor.

Art Inspiration - Dropbear

Stop Motion 

This kind of stuff mesmerizes me.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Art Tip #3 - How to Mind Map

I wish I knew about this technique when I was in high school & college.  Writing term papers would have been much more exciting!

It's a creativity technique that's been around since the 70s, but I first heard about it only a year ago.

The idea behind it is to literally map out your thinking.  Our brain is wired to think in associations and connections, kind of like a spider web or branches from a tree.  So why are we still stuck taking notes with the old, linear Roman Numeral system?    

                     I.  Mind Mapping
                                 A.  Mind
                                 B.  Mapping
                                 C.  Creativity

Mind Mapping is much more fun and effective. :)  

It's used in businesses, collaboration, psychology, note-taking, brain-storming, etc.   I personally use it a lot to journal or schedule out my week.   Sometimes I use it when I'm facing a challenge and need to sort out my thoughts.  

So how do you Mind Map?  

This is what works for me:  
  1. Pick a main topic.  
  2. Draw a circle in the center of your paper.  This circle is going to be slightly larger than the other circles, which you'll draw later.  
  3. Write down your main topic inside the big circle.  Or draw a picture.  
  4. Look at your topic.  What's the first thought that pops into your head?  Write it down anywhere on your paper.  This is a subtopic.  Circle it.  
  5. Repeat Step 4 for any other ideas or themes that come to you.  If you have 3 subtopics, you'll have 3 small bubbles.
  6. Connect your bubbles to the main topic.  You can draw a simple line or fancy doodles.  Whatever floats your boat.   
  7. Now branch off of each subtopic, and repeat the brainstorming process.  What's the first thing that pops into your head when you look at one of your bubbles?  Write it down near the bubble.   Draw your connecting branch.
Pretty soon you'll have a map that looks like this:  

It's an old journal entry.  I shared it with my husband.  He remarked, "With all of those thoughts in your head, no wonder you're ADD!"

It's one of my favorite little tricks that helps keep me sane and focused.  :)

Happy Mind Mapping

How do you like to organize your thoughts?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Quiet Time

Playing with my watercolors before I go to bed.


Night, all.  ♥

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sketchbook Journal - July

Pages prepared for the week, 
using watercolor and ephemera.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Gratitude Journal: My Mom... and Severe Depression

I probably had one of the best childhoods ever -- two parents that loved my sister, brother, and me unconditionally.  A big farmhouse with a big backyard and lots of animals.  Safety, affection, fun memories.

I had it pretty good.

My teen years?   Lots of growing pains.   I didn't learn until I was about 16 years old that my Mom was severely depressed and had dealt with debilitating depression her entire life.   Whatever a "normal" mom was, I wanted one, and I began carrying feelings of sadness, resentment, bitterness, confusion, you name it, for a very long time.  ...Truth be told, I still wrestle with those feelings every now and then. 

My mom is living on her own now and has been recently transitioning into a new apartment.  The other weekend my daughter and I drove to her home to help her pack.  I begrudgingly thought about how I'd rather be at the pool or cleaning my own apartment, but we showed up, ready to help, and greeted each other with hugs.  We sat together on the carpet, surrounded by newspapers and bubble-wrap, and began boxing up her china dishes for the move.  

We talked.  And laughed.  And I watched her interact with my own daughter, her granddaughter.

I smiled at the thought of how much fun we were having.  We were happy.  I was grateful.  

I was grateful for her campy sense of humor.
I was grateful for her depth.
I was grateful that my mom was so nurturing and gentle with us kids, even with her depression.
I was grateful that she was the first person to introduce me to Jesus.... with bedtime prayers and Bible reading.
I was grateful for her bringing me and my siblings into the world.   
I was grateful for her passing down her love of art to me.
I was grateful for her compassion and sensitivity.
I was grateful for her strength and resolve to hold it together in daily living.
I was grateful for my mom.

watercolor & acrylic, with photos 

I am grateful for my mom.... and those moving boxes.


Do you ever still deal with hurts from your past?
How have they brought beauty into your life?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Soldier's Sketchbook

I recently stumbled across a wonderful illustrated book from WWII veteran, Joseph Farris.

As a young soldier fighting in France and Germany, Joseph mailed home hundreds of letters and sketches.  They were collected over 50 years ago and published into a 2011 memoir called,  A Soldier's Sketchbook:  From the Front Lines of WWII.

“Through Farris’ letters, sketches, photographs and memorabilia....he describes life on the troop ship heading to the front, the experience of spending Christmas Eve in a snowy foxhole, the shock of losing close friends, his exhilaration when Germany surrendered and how wonderful a hot shower felt after months on the front line."  

I wish I could articulate the depth of my gratitude toward all of our service-people such as him.

You can find out more about Joseph Farris and his book here.

Happy Independence Day

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sketchbook Journal - July

Sketchbook Journal pages,  
all prepared to be filled in for this week:

Watercolor & ephemera

Who's going to see fireworks on the 4th?
Have a great week!