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05 July 2012 @ 09:23 pm
Creative Journaling  

I have been keeping physical journals off and on since I was in middle school, though most attempts ended in only a few dozen entries and months (if not years) of silence in-between. However, since August 2011, I have managed to transform my journaling into an activity that is fun, creative, and easier to do on a regular basis through the use of scrapbooking stickers, pressed flowers, photos, souvenirs from trips and outings, my own doodles, quotes, and much more.

Biege cover of my journal.

This beige, soft covered journal was purchased in 2008 from Barnes & Noble.

Since 2008, I have been using a soft covered journal purchased from Barnes & Noble. I think it is important to use a journal and/or notebook that is attractive to you as it makes the journaling even more personal. I was drawn to this particular journal due to the Italian (I believe) writing on the cover, the neutral color, and the look of the pages. I also feel that having some way of keeping the journal closed is important, especially as I put lots of things inside. This journal has a tie, I have seen others with a band, or you could make your own tie/band/what-have-you.

Leaves from an outing.

Leaves and a list of names from an outing in early spring 2012.

After transitioning into a more creative style of journaling, as opposed to just recording events, I began to look for interesting things to put into the journal to help keep the memories of events alive. In the photo above, I used two types of leaves I procured during a day trip to the Maymont Estate in Richmond, Virginia, and a scrapbooking/journaling accessory to write down the names of the great people I spent the day with.

Photos alongside records.

A few photos taken during a picnic with friends.

More recently, I have also taken to printing out selected photos I take with my digital camera to help illustrate various events. No need for expensive photos or shiny paper, I simply insert the images into a Word document, adjust their size, and print on copy paper. Fast and simple. I do not use glue, as glue tends to cause paper to crinkle. Instead I use Scotch tape and this allows me to hide things (quotes, a funny conversation, a doodle, etc.) underneath the photos and other papers I put into my journal.

Photos, Stickers, and Doodles

A spread showing photos, scrapbooking stickers, and my own doodles.

This spread shows not only photos, but some of the scrapbooking stickers I am slowly collecting. Scrapbooking supplies are, unfortunately, expensive so I have been building up my stock slowly. Just this week, there was a clearance sale at Wal-mart for some stickers, and I ended up buying six different sets. This spread also shows some of my own doodles.

A pressed flower.

A pressed flower and one of my favorite Scripture verses.

Since 2011, I have come to love pressing flowers and inserting them into my journal entries. I have pressed flowers from bouquets, from my garden, or one that was given to me. This particular flower was given to me by a young girl who attends my church when we were setting up for vacation bible school. Next to the flower, I put one of my favorite Scripture verses (Philippians 4:13).

Pamphlets, tickets, and a church bulletin.

A pamphlet and tickets from a historic house tour in Charleston, SC, and a church bulletin from Barstow, CA.

And here is an example of odds and ends that I keep. On the left is a pamphlet and tickets for a tour of a historic house my mother, sister, and I took when visiting Charleston, South Carolina, in October of 2011. On the right is the church bulletin from our last Sabbath in Barstow, California. Hidden underneath the bulletin, I recorded my memories of that day, as it was a special Easter Program in which I gave the sermon.

I am very happy that I changed from simply writing down events to a more creative form of journaling. As a writer, I still do a significant amount of recording, but as a designer, I also love adding artistic touches. As you can see from the photos, I only write on the right side or “front” of a page and never write on the left or “back” of a page. This is an old habit from using notebooks with thinner pages and the ink sort of bleeding through. My current journal has thicker pages, but I still like limiting the writing to the “front” of a page. This allows me plenty of space on the “back” of the page for adding keepsakes, stickers, art, and more.

So how do I keep my entries interesting? This is a problem that recently plagued me. Simply recording: “I did this, x-person did that” is not much fun and I doubt would be very interesting to read years from now. So today I did a bit of searching online for some new inspiration on topics and such for my journal. I am sharing some of the more useful links: