Category Archives: Journaling Ideas

Mapping your Interests

This morning I started searching for weekly art challenges, but didn’t come across anything that called out to me so I returned to reading one of the chapters on discovering a sense of perspective in Walking in this World by Julia Cameron.

One of the sections in this chapters calls you to map out your interests in groups of [5].  So far, I’ve only got four with each prompt, but it’s a start.  Also, not all of her prompts call out to me so I created a couple new categories of my own:

Five art forms that interest me are…

  1. Drumming ~ Helps balance the left/right brain and create a mind*body*spirit connection.
  2. Jewelry Making ~ As someone that has traditionally been a painter, it’s cool to explore a new avenue of creativity that gives me the opportunity to wear my designs.
  3. Journaling ~ Besides just writing, I recently started creating hard cover wire bound journals.
  4. Soft Pastels ~ Soft pastel sticks are essentially pure pigmented color binded in a stick.  When applied to paper, the powder breaks up into pure color dust that can be molded together with your fingers.  And to me, there is just something powerful about taking pure color and molding it into something. 

Five Projects Ideas…

  1. Affirmation Magnets ~ I have these in mind for the office, but they would also be great for the home, school, or anywhere you need a little boost of inspiration.
  2. Drum/Musical Inspired Painting
  3. Hand crafted wire bound Journal ~ To date, I have crafted four hand crafted wire bound journals, but none have been designed for myself. So I need to brainstorm on the elements I want to incorporate into one I would use on a daily basis.
  4. Madonna inspired Christmas Cards ~ Christmas is just around the corner so I need to find an Madonna image to serve as my source of inspiration in the design of this card.

Five Abandoned Projects that I need to finish…

  1. Wine Cork Trivets ~ Most of the hard work has been completed.  Just need to finish painting the frame, attach the backing board, & glue the wine corks
  2. Non-Conforming Necklace ~ I call it the non-conforming necklace since it doesn’t follow any traditional pattern or design.  All the beads are random placed.
  3. Kitchen Curtains ~ They are sitting up in the sewing room.  All clean and just awaiting a simple trimming so they don’t rest on the floor where they tend to get dirty quick!
  4. Mat Newspaper Article ~ The author of the article gave me a beautiful high gloss print of the article that I have all the supplies to proper mat & frame it.  Just need to set aside the time to complete this project.

If you feel inspired to map out your interests on your blog, please post a link here so I can check it out.

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Top 10 list of Creative Endeavors

When it comes to living a creative lifestyle, we often know deep down what keeps us going. For me, it’s a myriad of regular activities:


  1. Walking
  2. Keeping lists
  3. Daily Affirmations
  4. Sketching in my pastel journal
  5. Connecting with fellow artists
  6. Keeping an image folder
  7. Treating myself occasionally to new art supplies or books/mags on art
  8. Checking out local art events
  9. Experimenting with new methods of creating art
  10. Participating in online art challenges such as Inspire Me Thursday

When constructing your top 10 list of creative endeavors, seek out activities that aim for a balanced creative lifestyle. Keep an image folder of inspirational images that call out to you. Experiment with new methods of creating art. Create a list of daily affirmations to keep you thinking positive thoughts. Seek out opportunities to connect with fellow artists by attending local art events. Get out of the house and go for walks to keep your body, mind, and soul healthy.

These are just some ideas to get you brainstorming on your own list. As Goethe once exclaimed:

Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action (boldness) has magic, grace and power in it.

You get the idea. Just seek out small steps each day to take you closer to your long term goals. And if you get off track, just dust your shoes off and begin once more.

Feel free to add one of your own favorite creative endeavors in the comments or even link to your own list in your blog.

[Illustration inspired from Create a Connection's artist tip on creating word art]

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Late night adventures at the bookstore

Inspiration is always just around the corner if you’re willing to seek it out. Get out of the house. Drive down to the library or the bookstore. Visit the museum. Go listen to live music. Attend a spoken word event. Seek out your inspiration. As Julia Cameron writes in the Sound of Paper:

In order to make art, we must first make an artful life, a life rich enough and diverse enough to fuel. We must strive to see the beauty where we are planted, even if we are planted somewhere that feels very foreign to our own nature.

So tonight I went hunting for inspiration and found it at the bookstore. Found a book,  Artists’ Journals & Sketchbooks: Exploring and Creating Personal Pages, by Lynne Perrella. It’s full of page after page of ideas and visual inspiration to get you thinking and exploring different styles of artwork.

So here’s my list of top ten ideas sparked from this evening’s adventures:

  1. A dark and moody portrait
    with suns and moons
    in the background.
  2. Experiment with
    image transfers.
  3. Build a collage
    inspired by a
    famous art quote.
  4. Explore different fonts.
  5. Backgrounds with text.
  6. Music Notes
  7. A series of bird
    inspired pieces.
  8. Butterflies.
  9. Tarot card.
  10. Architecture.

So what does your list look like?

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projects this week


Hmmm…I may have just discovered my new blogging fetish, library project cards, thanks to il Bloggo.

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20 Things

2007 Weekly Planner Along with the recent purchase of Walking in this World, I discovered the coolest weekly planner for only $4 at the bookstore! With it’s unusual shape, it’s large enough to keep track of my whole day, and yet, I can still see the entire week on two pages, which I love since I typically goal set in weekly chucks of time. But unlike most planners, it was designed with style so I can envision myself using it for both work and personal goals.

As for embarking on my adventures in reading Walking in this World, the first exercise in the book is to make a list of 20 creative small steps you can take right now. It’s an exercise that I’ve done in the past, but it’s not something I’ve been particularly good at following up on. As a result, some projects stay in the back of my mind and get pushed to the side as I come up with new creative endeavors. So I’ve been thinking of creating a master list somewhere on the site similar in theory to 43 things, that way I’m constantly reminded to finish what I start…

1. Replant my orchids into ceramic pots: one down, two to go once they stop blooming. :)
2. Create a homemade card organizer.
3. Create another cut flower garden on the south side of the house.
4. Redesign and organize my studio.
5. Sell my prints on ebay.
6. Buy a plant for my mailbox hanging plant holder.
7. Create a spring desktop image.
8. Have a spa night with my mom.
9. Finish collaging my seed box using pressed flowers and rosemary.
10. Find a new image box to keep inspirational clippings.
11. Have a fabulous photo taken of my mom and me.
12. Recover my artist stool.
13. Make a list of my favorite creative books.
14. Sew a window seat for my cat, Cleo: ok, credit goes to my mom for this one, I just watched and learned.
15. Discover some new music for my ipod.
16. Make a Valentine’s Day card for my sweetie.
17. Plant a lemon tree.
18. Mat the orchid print for my mom.
19. Go to a local botanical garden center and take pictures.
20. Paint the spring wall plaque.

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Cures for the Daily Grind

A couple weeks ago, a friend remarked that my art had taken backseat to the daily grind, which indeed it has. But that is not necessary a bad thing unless it takes us years to return back to those pleasures in life that bring a smile to our face.

The challenge then becomes finding the time when our to-do lists seem to conquer over lives. So during those moments in life, simply make a commitment to find 15 minutes to do something creative. And if you can manage four 15 minute sessions in a week, you’ve accomplished an entire creative hour in just one week!

Now the question is what you can do in only 15 minutes?


Well, if you already have a creative project in the works, just set your timer and work on it for 15 minutes. Or you can try one of the ideas I have listed below:

1. Brainstorm for project ideas

2. Take your camera with you, and make a pit stop on the way home to take pictures somewhere interesting

3. Draw your day

4. Take a creative walk

5. Go looking through your magazines for collage clippings

6. Collect interesting quotes

7. Dance to your favorite song

8. Collect pictures for a scrapbook page

9. Make a card for a friend

10. Have a couple of tea and read something inspiring

11. Make an artist trading card

12. Write in your journal

13. Make a floral arrangement from your garden (or pick one up at the grocery store) to brighten up your creative spot in your home

14. Make a collage using the quotes and collage clippings you collected on a prior 15 minute creative sessions.

15. Press the flowers from the floral arrangement right before they start to droop

The key to 15 minute creative sessions is learning how to build upon them and break up tasks that normally would take you an hour to accomplish so by the end of the week you realize that it is possible to find the time.

Creativity is responsible for our mental, emotional, and spiritual vitality. Thus, a daily habit of creativity is vital to our fulfilled existence.

- Jill Badonsky, The Nine Modern Day Muses

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Big Idea Book

As someone who is always having creative ideas, I have always struggled with how to keep track those ideas for a rainy day. In the past, I would try to log them in my journals, but over time I would lose track since the ideas were kept in between long winded journal entries. I even debated using a cork board or a jar with scraps of paper, but nothing seemed quite right.

As I debated the perfect way to track my project ideas, I started to keep track of the search terms visitors were using to find my site in a little scrap notebook. In time, I started to realize how perfect it was to have one little place to log ideas…and by chance, this little notebook became the big idea book.

The key to the idea book is that you only log key words. The idea book isn’t the place where you expand upon your ideas. It’s sole purpose is to become the ultimate index of your ideas. So to get started in keeping your own idea book, look around the house for a little notebook. Possibly even something small enough to travel with you. And then you might also look for a larger notebook to expand upon your ideas later.

While you might prefer lined pages, you might experiment with blank pages so you can brainstorm on the page, and connect corresponding ideas with arrows. Or even sketch pictures of your ideas.

To get your idea book going, here are some ideas of things you might track:

big idea book- Painting ideas
- Favorite Quotes
- House Projects
- Garden Projects
- Art supply wish list
- Yearly/Monthly Goals
- Favorite Artists
- Art Projects
- Artist Dates
- Sketching ideas
- Photo Shoot ideas
- Journaling prompts

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Draw your mood

blue moodWhat would you do if you just had one creative hour? An hour where there is no distractions, no worries, no demands from the real world. It’s just you and your favorite medium…waiting to be explored…

This week I challenge you to draw your mood. Are you happy? Sad? Angry? Bored? Inspired?

If you could color your mood…what would it look like? Even if nothing pops out at you…just pick a color. Go with your instinct. And feel free to post a link to your site in the comments section if you decide to share a visual picture of your current mood with the rest of the world.

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How to make your own Exercise Journal

Exercise JournalBack in college, I created a exercise journal, and discovered how logging my workouts would become one of the biggest success factors in keeping me motivated to workout. By taking the time to write down my workouts, I had a list of my accomplishments in black and white that illustrated how far I had come.

For many of us, time is usually one of the biggest barriers to developing and sticking to a workout routine. But to be completely honest, I was just as busy back then as I am now. During college, not only did I go to school full time, I also worked, and participated in the art community. Thus, my workouts were not always the traditional treadmill or lifting weight routine. Sometimes I would log dancing at the Pub on Friday night. Other times, my source of exercise was walking at the mall or gardening. Basically, any activity that got me moving was noted so by the end of the week, I did feel as though I accomplished something.

Exercise is never a chore if you find activities you love.

Having a workout routine that was flexible and ever changing was probably one of the main success factors that kept me working out solid for the three years I logged workouts. To me, exercise was never a chore because I chose activities I loved to do. While I had a core routine of walking/jogging and lifting weights, if I didn’t feel like working out at the gym…I did it at home. If I didn’t feel like doing the usual routine…I did something else. I’d go swimming or riding my bike. If I needed some motivation, I’d find somebody to workout with for that day. If I was starting to feel sick, but still wanted to workout, I just do some simple, gentle stretches. And occasionally, I would even make up my own routines such as funny ball. It’s my version of tennis since I cannot play it to save my life. The basic premise is just to keep the ball moving…it doesn’t matter where it goes on the court just as long as it keeps moving…it’s a good alternative to real tennis if you’re like me and zero coordination/skill even after taking summer tennis lessons.

Exercise JournalAnother key ingredient of my exercise journal is inspirational clippings. Each page is decorated with motivational quotes, pictures, or exercise tips that I cut out of fitness magazines or printed from the computer. And if you’re an artist, I suppose you could even draw little figures working out. By taking the time to personalizing your journal, you’ll really start to look forward to noting your progress.

I refuse to let myself feel guilty when I miss a workout.

However, there will be times when you don’t workout, and I would log those too. Getting sick, having surgery…all of those are valid excuses not to work out. And during the times when my excuses were not exactly valid, I would note the effects of not working out. Typically, I was not handling stress and feeling as energetic during those periods. And when I would note the changes, it would serve as a tool to motivate me to get back into the routine because I had a journal full of workouts telling me that making time to work out always left me feeling healthy, positive, and less stressed. But also keep in mind, that we’ll always go through periods when we get out of the routine so don’t beat yourself up…just get back into the groove.

To get you started, here are some details you may want to record in your exercise journal:

  • Time of day: Are you a morning or night person?
  • Details: If you are weight training, how many repetitions and sets did you complete? How many pounds did you lift? If you are cardio training, how long did you workout? Over time, these details are a way to measure your impovement.
  • Weather: Was it sunny and warm? Or cold and brisk?
  • Workout Buddies: Did you do the afternoon jogging routine with a friend?
  • Mood: How did you feel before the workout? How did you feel afterwords? Did the workout spark any ideas?
  • Health: How are you feeling phyically? Fatigued? Energic?
  • Inspirational Clippings: Cut and paste inspirational quotes, pictures, and exercise tips into the journal.
  • Excuses: And if you just can’t seem to workout…log the reasons why. Sometimes they are valid excuses such as getting sick.
  • A list of favorite workouts: By having a list, you’ll have a good resource of choices for those days when you’re at loss of what to do.
  • Goals: Log what you hope to accomplish in the next week or month. And list a reward if you accomplish it…maybe a new workout outfit or some new exercise equipment.
  • Week in Review: Weekly check in are a good way to judge how the workout routine is going. Is your motivation slipping? Or do you find yourself becoming more committed everyday?
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Photo Shoot Ideas

A list of places & things that I would like to get around to shooting:

In Florida, we have several beautiful parks, and there is one that I have in mind that has the most beautiful live oaks trees that twist in all these interesting directions, definitely interesting subject matter.

Ybor is the old Cuban neighborhood where you can always find a good cigar, a stiff drink, and a pretty lady to dance with. In recent years, they have worked to renovate the area to make it family friendly so there is a outdoor mall, a movie theatre, and a couple interesting stores that you can visit during daylight hours.

Tarpon Springs is a little Greek community in the area that has a historic area along with a tourist area down by the sponge docks that would be interesting to shoot sometime.

We have two downtown districts within the area that I would like to sometime drive down to shoot.

A little art community in the area that I would like to visit sometime when the weather starts to cool off.

As corny as it sounds, it has been awhile since I took a sunset picture at the beach.

I don’t know why, but I have always thought it would be interesting to go to the flea market to take pictures. Although, I’m sure I would get tons of weird looks, not to mention, would the sellers even let me take picture’s of their stuff without buying anything?!

We have four botanical gardens within driving distance that I can think of that I would like to visit.

Several years back, I was driving to work, and something magical happened. I don’t know how to describe it, but the lighting that morning created this beautiful hue on this factory that I past everyday. It was one of those events that never reoccurred, but to this day, it sparked my interest in going on a photoshoot of something industrial.

Back home, the university I attend had one of the largest outdoor sculpture collections, and just in the past couple of years, the city commissioned several statues for the downtown area and I do mean several. A year ago, when I went back for my sister’s graduation, she humored my love of photography and we went downtown for a photo shoot. The submission for today and yesterday are just a couple of the shots I got, now if I only I knew where to find statues down here besides the store.

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