Embellishing My Written Journal

I had a few different blog posts I was working on this week, but I really just wanted to write about something that I'm loving right now, so I'm going to do that. As I've written before, I'm getting a lot out of keeping up with a regular writing habit. Writing in a journal consistently helps me to cut down on my anxiety, identify patterns and things that are coming up over and over, and get my ideas down on paper. 

I think something that makes this type of writing enjoyable for me and helps me to do it consistently is adding some kind of decoration, color, and interest to the pages. I DO NOT want it to be too elaborate or take up any time at all, because I would rather spend the time I'm working in this journal writing and the rest of my creative time making art, but I feel like making the pages look a little bit interesting and spending a minute adding some stickers or collage to a page can help get my brain going as I figure out what to write. So here are my favorite quick and easy ways to add some visual interest to my written journal pages.

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1) Stickers! - If you're anything like me then you have a bunch of stickers that you've been hanging on to but not using. I buy them, get them free with online orders I make from other artists, receive them in the mail from my Feminist Sticker Club subscription (gifted to me by my lovely friend Hannah) and I can only put so many on my laptop and sketchbooks, so my journal is the perfect place to use them up. Sometimes, I find a use for a sticker that I previously didn't have a place for previously, but is perfect to go along with whatever I'm writing about. Stickers are also super easy to include. Literally just peel and stick - it takes about 3 seconds to add something interesting to my journal. 

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2) Washi Tape - This is another thing that is super easy to use and that you probably have on hand if you are at all like me. I bought a ton of this a few years ago and it feels great to have another use for it (I actually want to buy more but I"m trying to control myself). There are a few practical ways that I use it, like to patch things up if a page tears or gets loose, or to tape in an index card, but I also just use it for decoration. It is great for filling up space, to create a divide between entries, or just add some color.

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3) Labels - I bought a bunch of labels in different colors and sizes on clearance from Paper Source. I write dates on the smaller ones and write whole entries on the longer ones.  

4) Other Labels - I had seen several people using these old school label makers and became obsessed for some reason, so I got one. I love using them for dates and titles. I cannot explain why, but these labels (and making them with the clicky label maker) bring me so much joy. 

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5) Photocopies - Lately I've been photocopying all kinds of things and adding them to my journal. Photographs, tarot cards, artwork, and more. It's great for things that I don't want use the original of (old photos, cards from my tarot deck), etc. but is also a lot quicker and easier to hit the copy button on my printer/scanner/copier combo than to set up a printable with a bunch of images on my computer (especially because my computer is struggling to connect to the printer these days). 

6) Block Letters - Writing in block letters takes the most time out of all of these options. I love the way it looks and sometimes it can be meditative to fill in the lettering. I use it for dates, words that stand out, and, once, a long quote when I just wanted to zone out and letter. 

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Other tools I'm loving are: my fave pen for writing, a roller date stamp, index cards, highlighters, paint chips. 

Do you have any favorite journaling embellishments or techniques? These are making me so happy right now. 

Happening Now

Hello! It has been a few months since I've done an update like this, so here are some things that I'm working on, enjoying, or thinking about right now on this first day of November.

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Carve Out Time for Art Pinkie Swear Challenge (#cotfapinkieswearchallenge)

This is a really fun 5 week challenge started by Marissa and Heather over at Carve Out Time For Art. The idea is to complete a project in 5 weeks using weekly check-ins on Instagram to create a sense of community and accountability for everyone. My plan is to make another zine. I absolutely loved making my first zine and was really happy with the finished product so I have wanted to make another one ever since. I think I can get it together to get the zine completed in the 5 weeks of the challenge (there are 4 weeks left now) as long as I put in a little bit of work consistently. Right now the plan is for the zine to be a compilation of sketches from my life right now, pretty much like my first zine, but with less feelings and more pencil work. And I think maybe it will be in color! I'm really excited about that right now.

Nonfiction November

I'm excited about reading nonfiction in November! Nonfiction November is a challenge started by two YouTubers, Olive of A Book Olive and Gemma of Non Fic Books and the challenge is exactly what it sounds like: to read more nonfiction books in the month of November. I read a little bit of nonfiction throughout the year, but for some reason I'm super hyped about this challenge. I just finished the fiction book I'm reading, so I'm super psyched to get started on a bunch of nonfiction reads. Right now I'm considering Hunger by Roxane Gay (who already wrote one of my favorite books of the year), Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann, All the Single Ladies by Rebecca Traister, My Life With Bob by Pamela Paul, Living a Feminist Life by Sara Ahmed, and more. There are just so many to choose from! But I'll keep you updated in my next quarterly reading update post about how I get on with my nonfiction reading this month.

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Fall

The weather has been unseasonably warm throughout September and pretty much all of October, so it is just now starting to feel like fall here in Boston. I'm trying to enjoy wearing sweaters, the crisp, sunny days, seasonal foods, colorful foliage, and other fall positives before it becomes really cold and dark here. It also means that the holidays are fast approaching, which means that I am working on a shop update for all of your gift giving needs. Let me know if there is anything specific you want to see from me or fill out my contact form if you'd like to commission something special. 

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Journaling

I wrote a whole post about this not too long ago, but after accidentally leaving my written journal behind for most of the month, I'm so happy to have it back and have been using it tons. Inside, I do mostly writing with a little creative flair and I find that it really helps me to cut back on my anxiety and stress. Lately I'm loving writing in block letters, using a date stamp, and photocopying interesting things (old photos, tarot cards, artwork) and pasting them in.

Video - Art Journal Flip One

I'm back this week with another video! This time it is a flip through of my first ever art journal, which you may have seen photos of in this post. I love listening to people talk about their sketchbooks though, so I thought I would update that post with a video. 

Do you like watching sketchbook or art journal flip videos? I could watch them all day long, so I hope that you enjoyed this one. Let me know if you have any questions about this particular art journal or something you'd like to see in a future video let me know! I'm having a blast making these.

Video - Current Journals

I love watching people talk about their artwork and art journals in videos on YouTube. I could watch them for hours and hours. Partly to get recommendations for good journals and supplies, partly to gather some inspiration, and partially because it is just so fascinating to listen to people talk about things I love. 

So I thought I should contribute some video content of my own, instead of just watching. So here's a video of me talking about my current journals, what I'm using them for, and some general journal thoughts. I don't have any fancy editing and I'm not the most comfortable talking to a camera yet, but it's a start!

Are you a fan of these kind of videos? Would you like to see more of them from me? I have a few other videos up my sleeve, like journal flip throughs, but I'd love to know what you'd be interested in hearing me talk about it.