in which i ramble about journaling mojo and the lack thereof...

on my mind

Arg! Lately, my laptop’s been dying without giving me the Low Battery warning; I wrote half an entry and then BAM, black screen.

Anyway, where was I (and I’m writing this one in Word, so as not to lose it; plus, my internet’s down)? Ah, yes. Snuggling in blankets. Yes. Have you done that recently?

Maybe it’s a winter thing, but I love wrapping myself up in a nice blanket, putting something fun on TV or grabbing a good book, and just….becoming still. In fact, right now, I’m in a blue blanket crocheted by my Mom. There’s something different about a hand-made blanket….it’s like you can feel the love that went into it.

Winter is quiet. When a thick blanket of snow covers the ground, when you can see your breath in a cloud, you can hear your soul speaking to you. These days, we’re all so focused on getting there faster, more efficiently – oh, how I’ve noticed this in customers at work! Everyone seems….obligated. As though they have to buy these gifts and are no longer enjoying the act of giving. Why? Is it because they’re simply doing it to be normal or right, or because they’re not taking the time to think about what they really should be doing. Does everyone require an expensive gift? Or can they make due with a beautifully written card, a small drawing, or a nice hand-me-down handbag?

Why do we all feel we need to buy things in order to be happy?

I admit, I’ve been a compulsive consumer. I used to fill myself with things rather than emotions – a quick patch fueled by credit cards I couldn’t afford. When I began collaging, I felt the newest or coolest paper and supplies would make the best art. And I soon filled an entire room with drawers of papers in all sorts of patterns, with every sort of embellishment I could find, with books of vintage images. But soon, there was just so much stuff, I found it overwhelming to create anything!

You’ve heard me talk about limiting your supplies; this is the direct result of being overwhelmed with supplies and papers and everything that I needed to get away. I love the challenge of working with less – it requires thinking differently, trying things that you haven’t seen before. Yesterday, I pulled out some wrapping paper I bought and used it in my journal – if I still had that room of papers and such, would I have thought to use some wrapping paper I found?

Probably not.

second chance

Let me tell you – painting on wrapping paper is HARD (see entry above!)! First, you can only use acrylics or dry-brushed gesso. Second, even colored pencils won’t work on it. And third, it is shiny, so you can’t work with direct light. While I adore the pattern, I probably will make a color copy of some pieces at Office Max or wherever and use those instead of the original paper (which I can now use for fun wrapping!). If I still lived my life thinking I needed to buy things to be happy instead of re-using what was already in my life, I would have missed out on that thrill of discovering something new – even if it wasn’t a pleasing discovery (then again, I usually learn many things while working, so I can’t say the page was a complete debacle).

I have been SO overwhelmed by emotion lately; my journaling mojo took a vacation, hoping to return when seas weren’t so turbulent. I can work myself into a frenzy, seeing everything as oh-my-God-do-it-now-or-the-world-will-end instead of stepping back, listening to myself, and acting from a center of grace and calm, and it can really stress me out. The whole ‘zine thing’s really had me stressed since the middle of November, so much so I considered walking away – I never knew the time commitment would be this much – I see now I was very naive about the whole thing!

Sometimes, I can’t journal about something – I just don’t know what to say. If I did, I’m sure the pages would just be spreads of colors, messy mixtures that wouldn’t be very appealing at all. No collage or writing or anything. Just color swished every which way. Unfortunately, I usually feel this way when there aren’t any paints around, and only in the middle of it can I capture the colors. I want to practice this more, working purely in color with no shapes, because I think this could be valuable to me – who says art is what we’ve already seen? Why can’t a journal be brushstrokes of color?

Is there a true definition of a journal, anyway?

Okay, I’ve rambled long enough. Sometimes, people tell me I should write a book – what could I possibly have to say? -- but every now and then, I get a bit long-winded! I have so many ideas and thoughts and inspirations on the topic of journals, I could go on forever! But this is a blog, and long entries can be trying on readers (which is why I always have pictures!).

fish pouch!

Ooo! I’ve made a cute little pouch and am going to fill it with supplies – a dip pen and some ink – and SO want to give it as a present to someone. My own Christmas isn’t going to be much this year because of my mom’s recent stay in the hospital, so I have to create my own…and giving ALWAYS makes me happier than receiving. Comment by Friday, and I’ll use a random number generator to pick a winner.


Ps. New lovelies up on flickr; take a peek!