Jan 30

Thursday Favorite Things: My Art Journal


The main reason I jumped into The Documented Life Project at the beginning of the New Year was to give myself some direction, even a bit of accountability, for making and taking time for my creative side. In the midst of all the daily activities and demands of life, it is easy to keep putting things off that you really WANT to do but feel that there just isn’t time for . . . . until another year goes by and those fun projects are still in the craft cupboard.

DSCF1512But that’s the same reason that I decided this year was my time to take piano lessons. Something I’ve wanted to get back to for a very long time, and I finally decided this was the year. But I’ll admit that sometimes it is quite challenging to find time to do those “extra” things when so many other responsibilities keep calling my name every day.

It has been good to have these “commitments” to keep me moving in the right direction, even when it is not easy to squeeze them in around everything else. One of the things that seems to help keep me on track is the planner part of this art journal project. Even though I used to be a list maker (you know, the kind of list maker that will write something on a list after it’s done just so I could cross it off!), for the past couple of years it seems like I’ve just been flying from one thing to another so fast, I just didn’t even have time to write it down.

DSCF1515But the down side of that approach is that I had to keep everything in my brain, which would frequently give me a headache. So I decided to give the whole list making thing another try, and found that when I combine it with the fun of creative planner pages, I’m much more likely to take the time to actually look at my lists.

The creative prompt this week was to design pages for the art journal / planner that included doodling . . . . lots and lots of doodling! It was great fun, but I’m still working on getting past my natural tendency to want everything to line up and be “even.” I found some vellum paper that had lines on it, so that was a good, safe place for me to start.

DSCF1516Then I layered the lined white vellum paper over some scrap book paper that is kind of a peach-pink color with pink roses along the edges and in the corners.

That was enough activity for me for starters (which seems kind of silly now that I think about it, because whenever I sew, I put all kinds of prints, patterns, stripes, polka dots, and everything else together and don’t have a problem with all that activity!) – but it did provide a place to do the two things that I set out to do with these pages:

1. There are lines for each day of the week so that I can actually “Plan” in my planner.

2. There is room all around the edges of each of the lined boxes where I could “doodle.”

DSCF1514And then, along one edge I wrote the word “Perseverance,” because that is my word for this week. After all the cancellations, delays, rescheduling, rearranging, and general chaos for the past month because of the weather, I have needed to remember to persevere to be able to get anything at all accomplished!

And since I couldn’t choose between doing “doodling” pages that were practical or just pretty, I actually decided to do both. These pages are my practical, planning pages where I reminded myself to take Annie to her piano lesson, and to take my self to my piano lesson; to take the girls to Youth Group and to take myself to the class I’m teaching on Wednesday nights; to take Gracie to Bible Study and to take Annie on her field trip. Most of the things that needed to be taken care of actually happened this week!

The other “doodling” pages were created in shades of purple, blue, and green with butterflies and birds . . . . but that’s for another blog post tomorrow!


If you haven’t taken the time to check out The Documented Life Project, please visit their blog HERE and join the fun. You can also catch up with all the participants on their Facebook page HERE. It really is a good way to keep yourself focused on the creative side of your brain, and your life, even in the midst of all of our other responsibilities. It really is great fun and helps keep my stress level in check!

Fullscreen capture 1102014 91807 AMYou are also invited to join the Thursday Favorite Thing Blog Hop, sponsored by Katherine’s Corner. The Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop is where you can link your favorite post of the week or write a post about your favorite things and share it with old and new followers. The hop is hosted and posted on 4 different blogs! Please follow all of us. Your link will appear on the blogs of Katherine’s Corner, Over 50 Feeling 40, Vintage Mama and The Tablescaper. Four times the opportunity to make new bloggy friends and to share your wonderful blog and discover others too.


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  1. Amanda

    Great to be on your site, popping over from Katherines Corner. Really like the Journal and what you’ve done with it, will check out the documented life looks good. Have a blessed weekend! Amanda

  2. Diane | An Extraordinary Day

    Nina…your journal is wonderful. I have always admired art journals, but that’s as far as it goes. I’ve also spent lots of money on ‘important’ planners….sure I write some words in them here and there…but mostly thoughts go down on random notebooks and everything else stays crammed in my brain. I hope you have a lot of success at this. How wonderful to look back at the end of the year and see all you’ve done and in such a beautiful form.


    p.s. is Nina like Nine-a or like knee-na? 😉

  3. Lori

    Hi Nina,
    What a beautiful journal! I think I need to have a documented life too–I’m inspired…Thanks so much and aloha, Lori

  4. Heather {Woods of Bell Trees}

    Great post! I have been working on getting it together in the commitment to various things in life department!

  5. Create With Joy

    What an Elegant design!
    I am so happy to see how Enthusiastic you are about this project!

    Can you tell we’re celebrating the letter E over at Friendship Friday?
    Come share some of your beautiful Expressions of creativity with us! 🙂

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