Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Starting A Journal - Tips And Tricks!

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Something I really love about journalling is the layers you can build on a single page. If you want to express yourself, if you want to write how you are feeling but you want to keep it safe in your heart you can have the release of writing, and just cover it up afterward. The beautiful thing is your journal doesn't have to make sense, it doesn't have to be pretty, you don't need to have an exceptionally interesting life or things to write about. Anything remotely to do with you deserves to be in your journal. And it can be as irrelevant as a quote, or a word you like. It can be something you want to remember, a to do list, a shopping list. It can be a scribble, a photograph- a piece of paper from your favourite magazine or a receipt from something you bought. There are no rules! That's the beauty of it. Journalling can help you be more in touch with yourself- your creative self, your emotional self. It can help you remember, reflect and release. Your journal doesn't have to be a beautiful place, just a safe place. Somewhere you can be without judgement. Without pressure! It can allow you to accept imperfection and understand growth through mistakes.
Another reason I really love keeping journals is the satisfaction of finished page/s or even a finished book. To be able to look back on moments you had forgotten about and to simply see pieces of your life pressed on a page. It really does add a value to your life because you have taken the time to document it. You start to exist on those pages, and that makes it feel important, even the little things. You can personally appreciate your own self, and all the small things that make your life yours! Journalling can be therapeutic, it's fun, it's private. Get to know yourself through journalling! Explore your own mind and your own creativity. It's a process that never has to end and it keeps your mind expanding creatively while keeping in touch with yourself.

Sometimes getting started is the hardest part about journalling. That blank white page can be all too perfect and intimidating. We tend to think our journal should look perfect and pretty and that our writing should be interesting, meaningful or purposeful. That's just not the point! Once you start on a page, finishing it becomes so much easier. Depending on the type of journal you are using- whether it be a diary style, an art journal, a collage or scrapbook style- the best place to start is just to start! Don't plan too much or get caught up making things perfect. Splash some colour on a page or glue an image or a piece of ephemera and use it to help prompt you to write! Or if you don't like writing collect little pieces from your days and stick them down in your book however you feel like! Journalling should be an intuitive and impulsive process! Allow yourself to express freely and just do what makes you feel happy! Sometimes the actual process is so much more important than the end result. Writing, drawing, gluing, painting- it can be a healing or reflective activity. It can be fun and relaxing. It should be don,e from start to finish, without any pressures from yourself. Allow yourself to start, to make mistakes and to ENJOY the process no matter the outcome. Never criticise or second guess it, just allow yourself to get lost in a page and be impulsive about the way you create it. That's what it's all about!

If you're anything like me, you grew up writing in a diary as a child, and stuck with it through your teenage years.. Well, if 'stuck with it' meant stopping and starting in a million different journals, always getting bored and giving up. Starting in a journal is always exciting, it's like that feeling at the beginning of a new year- a fresh start. The book is pretty, it's clean and perfect and ready to be filled with amazing stories and memories, right?
Not necessarily!

My first tip, a very important one which I included in my top 5 in Get Creative Magazine in May- it doesn't matter what you journal about! It doesn't have to be exciting or interesting or even make sense. Your journal is for you. It's a place to enjoy, unwind, be yourself. Write little things you want to remember or work through issues through writing- like therapy if you wish, it doesn't matter what the content is as long as you want to write about it.

Next tip, don't ever put pressure on yourself to journal every day. YES you need to make time to journal, but it should be done freely without rules or limitations. I don't journal every day! I journal whenever I feel inspired to do so.. Sometimes I have something in particular I want to write about, sometimes I have pieces of ephemera from my days that I want to glue in. Some weeks I may feel like journaling every day, other times I won't journal for weeks! Your journal waits for you! Make good use of it but allow it to be your happy place, too.

But don't get stuck on writing.. Writing in your journal can be fun, and therapeutic but it's not the only way to do it! If you like to draw, do that! If you like to collage, do that! I like to collect ephemera from my life- mail, tickets, labels, photos etc, but I also like to incorporate images or papers that simply look appealing to me. The fun thing about journalling is it can be whatever you want it to be. And filling blank pages with images that make your heart sing can be so rewarding all in itself!
Which brings me to my next tip! - use memorabilia in your journals! This can make your journal so much more exciting to use and read! Things from your life can help jog your memory and even help prompt you to write! Again, the writing teamed with your memorabilia doesn't have to be exciting and your memorabilia can be as simple as a piece of packaging from something you bought or a stamp off some mail, use your imagination and you will be surprised at how much of your every day life can be documented in this way!

Another fun way to keep interested in keeping a journal, is to add interaction to your journal. Pockets, envelopes, hidden tags and tucked away journalling can make your book so much funner to write in and read through. Using washi tape to add extra envelopes and pockets is easy, fast and it looks pretty! You can also use glue or double sided tape, there's no rules, do what works for you!

My last tip for now, which is possibly the most important of all, is to allow yourself to journal freely without striving for perfection. As soon as you put pressure on yourself to make a perfect page, you suck the enjoyment right out! All the little accidents you make while you journal are a part of you, your real life and they capture a certain charm or element you won't find on a 'perfect page'. The little marks or scribbles give substance to your journalling and add character and make it so much more interesting anyway! You can't ruin a journal by using it, using it is what makes it interesting and oh so special!

Don't be afraid of your journal- just dive in and enjoy the journey!

If you're still feeling stuck for inspiration you should check out some journalling process videos on youtube! I have done some on my channel here. And there is a wealth of inspiration available to you from other creative people too!

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Starting My Traveler's Notebook

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It's been a while since I've posted over here! I have a small pile of post ideas all lined up but finding the time to actually sit at my computer and put them together is a whole 'nother story! Story of my life! - I want to do everything and have no time for what I already do!

Anyway, I thought I'd pop up some photos of my latest projects. First up- I am finally jumping the bandwagon and trying a traveler's notebook! I plan to use it for my personal journaling, with an insert for each of my kids and an insert for bullet journaling my days. Since making journals is kind of my thing, I knew I would be making my own inserts for the most part! And I got so carried away making my firt set of 3three, that I went ahead and made my next set too! I am challenging myself in this book to write more often, try new things and hopefully discover along the way what works for me! But I don't hold any expectations, pressures or rules upon myself for my journaling journey, we will see where it takes me!

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Penpal/Travelling Journal

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I've been a little absent on youtube and social media recently; just trying to keep life little more balanced and less techy. I have also just been super busy being creative and I can't wait to share a bunch of new things I have been working on soon!

Something I do want to share today though, is a book I have made to go back and forth between myself and a penpal of mine; Britteny from the USA.
This project has been a long time coming, and was first planned between us many months ago. It took me some time to collect extra bits and pieces I wanted to send to her and her family but it is finally on it's way!

The idea is that we will each keep the journal for a period of time, and do various entries in it while we have it with us. I have included a booklet in the front for collecting ideas of entries we could do, some of those for example are- collections of ephemera, such as food packets from things we ate in one day, drawings, nail polish swatches, collages, the list goes on and on. Today I will share just a few photos of what the book looks like, as I don't want to give too much away before she gets it! But I may do a youtube video some time in the future, or the next time the journal is in my possession.

So far, the cover is half covered in stamps- and we have decided to add more and more of them as we go. I have stitched the pages in quite loosely as I think after we finish it, it might be nice to divide the pages between us into two separate books.

Britteny also asked me create another grungy journal for her using some materials she provided such as the leather cover and the binding thread. She wanted it super grungy so I did some inking and staining to the pages. Inside she asked me to put a few little bits and pieces throughout it randomly for her to discover. I had lots of fun making these books and I hope she likes how they turned out!

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Printable Vintage Ephemera Freebie

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Recently I tried my hand at creating some digital/printable journal kits. I created a kit for baby's first year, and a floral vintage kit- with an add on to transform it into a guestbook. I had so much fun making them, and I was so happy with how they turned out, that I have now made them available for download in my etsy shop! And to celebrate this new-found skill (fluke) I have put together some freebies which include journal cards, a postcard and various pretty ephemera to use in your journals or other projects. You are free to use these personally, and for small commercial use.

Download the full size here:
Vintage Ephemera Freebie

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Vintage Game Pieces Junk Journal

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Today I am sharing a journal I created for a friend of mine that I met through my ventures on youtube! I came across a lady by the name of Renee, who curates junk journal kits with a variety of vintage pieces she has collected. Renee and her husband have an etsy shop where she sells the kits, along with an assortment of other amazing vintage items! If you'd like to check out her shop click here. She also has a youtube channel where she showcases her kits, if you want to see that, click here!

Anyway, as I was saying; Renee was kind enough to send me an enormous parcel full of goodies, just as a random act of kindness! It was a little bit of a surprise as I never expected to receive such a generous gift, and though she never expected anything in return I knew I wanted to send her a thank you present! For this journal I thought it would be fitting to use some of her amazing pieces to put together a journal with her in mind. 
I used an altered book for the cover and collaged over it with a variety of vintage game pieces, playing cards, book pages and more! I also created a chunky charm made out of 'found' pieces, varying from game pieces to buttons and some beads to pull it all together.

Inside the journal I also added a bunch of random tabs using more playing cards, vintage pieces and some bits from my own stash. They overhang the pages for an extra element of interest!
Inside the journal I made the signatures up of scrapbook papers and vintage book pages, along with some ledger sheets and lined papers. I have also added some paper bags and created pockets using flash cards and other bits and pieces. Throughout the book I have tucked loads of fun vintage pieces and journal cards in to be written or stuck down as she uses it!
 This journal was SO much fun to make and it was a great way to kind of 'break in' those gorgeous vintage items I was a little scared to use up! Now I am so excited to create some more journals using some of the same pieces!
If you'd like to see more of this journal, I have also shared a flip through of this journal on my youtube channel here.