Currently Crushing…

Last month I blogged about my consumeristic wants and I wanted to do the same this month, but I’ve been pretty busy with the new baby and not really looking at much to have a lot of wants. I think the only thing is my planner obsession and wanting to buy supplies – so much cute stuff! I want to sign up for planner kits, I envy people with access to Target’s dollar spot, and keep drooling over items on ebay…


However, I want to reflect back on my previous list as well. I’m finding that it really helps to write it out and give myself some time before actually purchasing. Over time we get a better sense of really wanting/needing something or if it was just an impulse at the time.

In my planner craze, I ended up signing up for The Creative Planner Workshop instead of the kits since it was a one time fee. I really enjoyed indulging in my new planner obsession, but I am holding back on buying supplies. There’s just too much stuff!

I decided not to buy frixion pens because with heat your writing can actually be erased… I really don’t need the novelty which is what it’s all about for me. Pass.

I did sign up for a trial with creativebug and enjoying the classes… I’m afraid I just need more time!

I skipped on the coffee maker because I also discovered cold brewing and now I can’t decide what to go with. The book by Amy Poehler is still on my list, but just haven’t had the time to read much these days.

Thoughts on Art Journaling and Why It’s For Everyone


What is Art Journaling?

Art journaling is difficult to define because it can be so many different things. Although there might be trends and popular ways to approach art journaling, I believe there truly aren’t any rules at all.

In fact, the more I think about it, the more I broaden my definition. Art journaling is a record of your thoughts, emotions and experimentations over time in a book-ish form. There are those who have illustrated diaries, sketchbooks, travel journals, diet diaries, dream journals or simply to-do lists… but really they are all a type of art journal for that particular person.


Perhaps it is the word “art” that throws us all off. We think of “Art” with the capital A and suddenly a whole lot of expectations are thrown into the mix. Shouldn’t an art journal be beautiful? Don’t you need artistic skill to art journal? Well, I think our lives are most definitely our “Art” – so anything you create and record in your journal is valid. Perhaps we can think of it as the “Art of our lives.” It is different for everyone and the ultimately it is the process not the end result that is important.

For those that are into the planner craze, decorating their notebooks and filofaxes… I sort of think that is a form of art journaling as well. It’s creative playtime after all!


Art Journaling Is For Everyone

I think art journals are for everyone because it is a safe place to express yourself – in whatever way and with whatever medium you wish. The details of how don’t matter. It’s the process of creating that is magical, not the end result.

You might art journal to let it all out, writing out your emotions in raw form. You might art journal as a way to experiment and play with new ideas, techniques or supplies. You might want to document your life and your thoughts. You might just enjoy the creative fun and process of playing in your journal, creating something on the blank page. All of the above perhaps?


So really, anyone can art journal, there is no skill involved. You can have a whole journal filled with ink splatters and criss crossed lines. Or you can just collage magazine clippings. The process and motion of making marks… putting imagery together… that means something. The creative action helps you let out some energy, expressing your emotions in a different form. It’s healing and soothing and hopefully, really fun and enjoyable as well.

The action of creating feeds your soul and I think it makes us better and healthier in the end. That is why art journaling is for everyone. I think we all really need it as a part of our lives.

When I give myself some art journaling time, I’m usually in need of letting something out of my heart and soul. It might be serious and deep or it might be light and happy. Either way, my art journal is a safe haven for me to mull things over. I definitely need that space and time in my life.


Sharing Your Art Journal

These days we see a lot of folks sharing their art journals online for all the world to see. But I don’t think you ever have to share and more often than not, your art journal is more of a personal workbook than a finished piece for exhibition. We can easily be disillusioned by all that we see online, but remember that is only one facet of the person posting. It’s rarely ever the whole truth.

Don’t think you have to reproduce and mimic what you see. It can be fun to join in on the community, but I don’t think that is the core of what art journaling can do for you. It’s so personal and raw that it’s totally okay to keep it to yourself… at least most of it to yourself.

I often share the light and happy parts of my art journaling, not all the other stuff that is deeper, darker, too personal for a public audience. It’s an individual choice really.

Why Not?

I often wonder what stops people from joining in on the wonderful world of art journaling. Notions about what it has to be? There are no rules, just go for it. Fear of being judged? Don’t share. Don’t know how to get started? The easiest way is to use pen and paper and just write your stream of consciousness. Let it flow and slowly go from there. You’ll be surprised how easy it really is. No time? Don’t tell me you don’t spend countless minutes and hours waiting in line, shuffling from one thing to another or zoning out in front of the TV. Instead of letting those little bits of time slip through your fingers wasted, think of how you can take that time for yourself. It will only do your soul good.


Let’s Art Journal

If you would like to get started art journaling, I highly encourage you to do so with simple pen and paper. You don’t really need fancy supplies or an expensive journal. Once you get into it, you’ll naturally expand and explore all that it has to offer and perhaps the fun of getting more supplies as well.

If you want more guidance to start out, consider my Pensieri zine #1 – Art Journaling. It’s my most popular issue and guides you through while being a starter art journal itself!

Are you an art journaler? Want to join in on the creative fun?


2015 Umbrella Prints Trimmings Challenge

While surfing the web last month, I came across Umbrella Prints and their 2015 trimmings challenge. They are an Australian textile company specializing in organic printed fabrics and the patterns were so darn cute, I couldn’t resist ordering a packet of fabric trimmings.


Although I’m not a quilter or sewer (I use my sewing machine for paper more than anything) I decided to give it a try anyway. There’s something about rolling up your sleeves and trying out a new crafty technique that brings excitement and creative energy!


My initial thought was to use the patterned fabric to create an illustrated scene, but I sort of wanted to sew rather than just cut and glue… so thought perhaps I could quilt pieces together randomly to use as a journal cover. It didn’t seem like that exciting of an idea however, so I thought a shape could be created by using cut paper to sort of frame over all the quilted pieces of fabric.


I had everything laid out on my table, but it took me a long while to actually get to sewing. I was sort of afraid to dive in, for fear of making a mistake. The days flew by and suddenly I found myself at the end of the line. Not only that, our second baby is arriving soon, so there’s no time like NOW to get going. So I dove in and just did my best. Even if it’s all a bit lumpy and imperfect, I love the mix of patterns and colors… so happy, cozy, cute and lovely.


I thought the finished piece would be larger, but that’s because I didn’t really think about all the sewing seams… oops! Talk about a newbie, right? I’ve actually taken a sewing class before, but I’m just not very good at it either way! Regardless, I forged ahead and will love my sewing, imperfection and all! I decided to use a classic heart shape for the frame on top. Basically, the idea is to create a wall hanging to put on my studio wallspace. After cutting the heart shape I realized most of the fabric was not showing up and it such a shame. So I got ambitious and starting to cut more areas out of the paper.


As I got into it, I just check going and kept cutting out more areas to reveal the pretty fabric pattern underneath. I got really ambitious, even though the whole time I was so worried that I would make a mistake! Props to all paper cutters out there, for sure. I was just cutting straight lines, but it was nerve wracking regardless. In fact the top and bottom bars were supposed to be multiple lines, but I was too hasty and cut through. However, I’m happy with how it turned out in the end… a very cool geometric kind of cut-out frame.


Here’s are some shots of a few details, imperfections and all. It’s not easy to cut paper precisely and I certain freehanded a lot of lines and corners.



The final product is pretty cute and I love that I have another crafty project to display in my studio. This year is all about making my workspace more happy, motivating and “me.”


Now I just need to decide on how to hang it… using a traditional frame, hanging from a dowel or clip or something else? There are so many creative ways to display work on walls, I want to explore my options…


Do you have any ideas on how to hang pieces on a wall? Did you participate in the Umbrella Prints Trimmings Challenge? Either way, you can always grab some bits of fabric and just play.


In fact, I didn’t want to throw away the tiny pieces of fabric trimmings I had left from the project, so I threw it into a page of my art journal to create a patterned background. Maximum use, no waste! Yay!

If you want to check out all the Umbrella Prints Trimmings Challenge entries, you can follow the Pinterest board here… can’t wait to see everyone’s creative work!

Fauxdori DIY Experimentations


If you are new to the Midori Traveler’s Notebook and don’t know what it is… you may want to check out the Midori 101 video by TheResetGirl – it pretty much explains everything!

I should have watched the video myself before experimenting in making my own notebook which I blogged about – Make Your Own Midori (Fauxdori) Traveler’s Notebook – previously.

After fiddling around with my DIY notebook for awhile, I realized that I kept thinking that the elastic bands had to be more than the height of the insert you slip in, but that’s not entirely true. Technically the elastic can stretch out, but the key is to get the tension perfect, otherwise you start wrinkling up stuff.


Anyway, I decided to make another fauxdori from my DIY learnings… and yes, this means I’m building up a collection already, but each one is slightly differently since I’m actively experimenting with the little details.

I decided to reinforce the holes punched with eyelets – duh! Since I’m a scrapbooker I have lots of tools anyway, so why not use them? I also used a decorative one for the center hole, pretty darn cute, huh?


The funny thing is that I’m such a homebody and SAHM nowadays that I’m not really traveling much as compared to my 20s (I toured Europe and backpacked all over!). However, I’m making this fauxdori to be my in-the-purse notebook, so I have a pretty journal for when I am out and about. Waiting for the doctor, appointments and those kind of situations.


So the result is a roughly A5-sized fauxdori notebook cover with the regular midori sized inserts. I also added a paper pocket on the inside front cover and a back area for a quote to attach my pen holder elastic.


Slowly but surely, I’m customizing and getting the details down to create something I really like.

Yay for DIY, right? With just a little bit of effort you can really get crafty and create your own custom planners and notebooks, suited just for your use and taste. Are you getting crafty or into the whole planner world?


I’ve been taking it easy this month, waiting for our 2nd baby to arrive (any day now!) but still keeping myself creatively active via Instagram. It’s probably because Instagram is so easy to update on a day-to-day basis. I joined in on the #The100DayProject challenge all about the process of making for 100 days in a row. You pick your own challenge and get to it for a 100 days, posting your progress. I kept it simple by challenging myself to create a simple sketch every single day and it’s working because I’m still going at it 40 days later. Pretty cool!


Even though I know that when the baby arrives, I might run into a time crunch, it’s worth incorporating a creative routine into my day, no matter how small or quick. It’s proof that it doesn’t take a lot of time to inject a bit of creative mojo into our busy schedules. It always seems like such trivial progress, but when you look back you realize how much you have accomplished. It’s never too late to join in or start your own initiative or challenge, so I say go for it!