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September’s Wrap Up and October’s Happenings

 

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Finding Water Week 4 Finding a Sense of Balance

I’m sorry it has taken me 2 weeks to complete this week, but that might have been synchronicity at work, since this week is actually about:

Pivotal to any creative journey is the ability to resist the cliff’s edge of drama. All of us are tempted to binge on negativity. It is the careful husbanding of optimism that allows us to move productively forward. This week’s spiritual toolkit is aimed at dismantling the hobgoblins of fear and distrust that poison your well. You will align yourself with a Higher Power that extends itself in benevolent ways on your behalf. Sketchbook in hand, you will practice being in the now, where there is always sufficient safety for you to experience balance.

Over the past two weeks, I’ve incorporated my morning and evening stretches, my evening pages, walking, self-care, art, writing, reading, and a bit of meditation into my day.

“As an artist I must be able to see into the future. I mist be able to cast an idea forward and see it fleshed out and standing on its own, a real creation.” That really hit me this past week. Since I’ve been fleshing out the outline for my novel for NaNoWriMo using tarot and the hero’s journey (Arwen’s 33 Days to Finish Your Novel course), I’ve been in the “now” with the novel, but I’m also seeing what finished work in my head. How it’s all coming together. I’m also noticing that my art, at least my daily sketches that are part of this week’s chapter, as well as my daily art for my journal, are changing. Not a whole lot, but enough that I’m noticing what feels more “me.” I’m finding my authentic voice with my art. ūüėÄ That feels good. I’m not quite there yet, too many days are not really thought out and just thrown on the page because I’m in a hurry. I need to slow down. Enjoy the process.

“Anything that curbs our enthusiasm is the enemy.” So true. Comparing yourself to others is a good example of something that curbs our enthusiasm. I look at my drawing, at something I painted with watercolor, or my art journal page and then I look at someone else’s, someone who is trained, or how has been at it for longer, or…and no matter how decent my page is it’s not going to look decent compared to someone else’s… It’s like comparing apples and oranges. I’ve had to stop doing it. Now I watch other people’s process videos for helpful tips, tricks, techniques. I refuse to compare my works to theirs, unless about a technique–if I’m doing something wrong I need to know what I’m doing wrong and how to correct it.

“Each day I must find something to love in my day at hand.” STAY IN THE PRESENT. Since I started the little sketchbook Jen sent me I’ve been practicing the “Illustrate your life” portion (It’s one of the Divining Rod exercises) and it has helped me focus on being more in the present, on finding something positive each day.

“It shall pass.” Remember this, she says. Use it as a touchstone. There are cycles of acceptance. She says there are “bleak seasons and fruitful seasons. Successes and failures….to find the dignity in the doing…and (to remember) it counts for something.” This is something I am still working on. I realized how one bad day, or one bad piece, or one bad… throws me off and then the “I don’t know why I’m even trying to be a writer, to draw, to paint, to…” starts in my mind. I’ve got to learn to be more resilient when it comes to things like that, and to keep it simple. To find my “Calm oasis and listen, enjoy a sense of communion with a greater power than myself.” Getting outside for the walks, communing with nature, with the universe, really does help me. And sketching at least one small piece of my daily life has been fun…it makes me slow down.

 

 

 

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My Favorite Art/Journal/Craft Supplies

We have been discussing our favorite supplies and products for the Decorated Page project.

Here’s part of my list:

Carbon Desk Fountain Pen

Carbon Ink Cartridges (Waterproof ink)

TWSBI Eco Fountain Pen (Clear) with Fine Nib

Pilot Kakuno Fountain Pen Fine Nib

Grace Watercolor Brush Set

Prismacolor Pencil Sharpener

Karetake 36 watercolor set

Noodler’s Heart of Darkness Ink (with free Noodler’s Fountain Pen)

Platinum Preppy Fountain Pen

Akashiya Sai Watercolor Brush Pen Set

The Decorated Page by Gwen Diehn

Sakura Watercolor Field Sketch Set with (aqua)brush

Derwent Inktense/Watercolor 12 ct pencil tin

Saunders Uhu Glue Stick

Uniball Signo Broad Point White pens

Pentel water/aqua brush set

Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils 24 ct

Ebay: I look for used books. I also got the Yarka St. Petersburg watercolor pans from there, as well as Jinhao fountain pens.

Goulet Pens: I’ve ordered notebooks like Rhodia Webnotebook, as well as the Leuchtturm1917 softcover, ¬†and nibs for my fountain pens.

And the SevenSeas Crossfield, Standard, and Writer.

**** This post contains ¬†some affiliate links. In plain English, this means that I might receive a small commission (this doesn’t cost you anything) if you subscribe or purchase something through some of the links I’ve provided. You will never see me post a link to a product or service that I haven‚Äôt used myself and love! (Learn more here)

 

 

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Commonplace journal and an Omni journal

Notes and art from my Omni Journal

Notes and art from my Omni Journal

A commonplace journal is a book that you put information in, where you compile knowledge, ideas, facts, quotes, anecdotes, observations, and information. It comes from what used to be known as commonplacing, or a commonplace book, which is “the act of collecting ideas and notes in a single place, ” thus, commonplacing. ¬†Many famous people such as Auden, C.S. Lewis, and others had Commonplace journals. They’ve come back into style, though I’m not quite sure of why they ever stopped being in style, or if maybe they just weren’t talked about much until the past few years.

P1000243

“A gray day” journal page

I have always combined things like quotes, notes, facts, etc into my regular journals. I never knew there was a special journal for those things. But as you can see from my journal pages I combine a number of things onto my pages. From what I’ve found out, that is also called an omni-journal.

An omni-journal is a journal that contains multiple elements, or “of all things” (which is the definition of omni) so it would be a journal of all things: bullet journaling, art journaling, sketch your day, illustrate your day, scrapbook style journaling… And it could also include what you would put in a commonplace journal.

Real Life page from my OmniJournal...

This is Real Life page from my OmniJournal…

Since my journal is a combination of the primary definitions of a commonplace journal and an omni journal I was trying to think of a term that captured it without using the term Omni Journal, which is described here on this blog post and in Yippie Cahier’s YT video. I came up with the term Comni-Journal, but I still like “Omni-Journal” better.

Real life page from my Omni Journal

Real life page from my Omni Journal

My Omni-Journal has bits and pieces of everything in it, from my ideas, musings, knowledge, quotes, pictures, drawings, art, ephemera, to-do lists, observations, facts, anecdotes, plans, and more.

I’ve been experimenting with different styles of journaling, with different types of journals and different types of paper. The one thing I keep going back to is the combination of things, a little bit of everything goes into my journal pages. I can’t seem to help myself.

I’ve been asked about my Omni-Journal quite a bit lately. I’ve posted pictures that are from older journals, and from my current journal. I can see the difference. But if you look at what I did for this year’s mini-cation it’s quite a bit different. Not that one is necessarily better than the other, they’re just different. and I’m alright with different.

Here are this year’s:

P1000256I can see how far my journaling has come now that I’m adding bits and pieces in. Today, in my Omni-Journal I wrote notes about this blog post. I’ve also written notes about YT videos I want to make, jotted down recipes, quotes, brain dumps, mind maps, etc. I have also done a bit of bullet journaling in my Omni-Journal. I don’t limit myself as to what I put in there. Don’t get me wrong, I have a journal specifically for brain dumping, an insert for collections and one for daily tasks, as well as a few for other specific things, but my Omni-Journal is the catch all for almost everything.

Here is the last of my pics… A bit of my favorites from last year and this year…

 

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Let’s talk about #onebookjuly 2016, bullet journals, planning, and stuff

A couple of years ago I heard about #onebookjuly on YouTube.

ONE BOOK, ONE PEN, ONE MONTH… I thought, there’s no way I could use just one notebook for planning, art journaling, regular written (diary style) journaling, and all the other things I do…

You see, I’m a journal/notebook (office supply) junkie. Hello, my name is Burgess and I’m a journal, office supply, coffee, chocolate, book addict.

But the more I thought about it, especially over the past few months since trying and failing more than one #onebookjuly, I realized I needed to do something. Back then I was using a Filofax for planning, or at least I was trying to use a FF for planning. I was using a Moleskin for my regular journaling… I have tried the Hobonichi, Traveler’s Notebook’s (TN) with fancy and plain inserts, a Fauxbonichi, a thick black journal, a sketchbook, ¬†and a Productive Luddite Really Big Notebook…I’m sure I tried other things, but those are the one’s that really stand out.

I gave one FF (the personal size) to a friend, sent her Happy Mail that made her day, which made my day, and the A5 FF that I still have I haven’t used in I don’t know how long now–I was converted to using a TN. Then came along the bullet journal… I tried. I tried in various ways, especially since I’ve always been a “list maker,” a “to-do” list kind of person.

I used to use those yellow tablets (or the white one’s) and make a list of my my “to-do’s” and when I started it I’d make a check mark, when I finished it, I’d make the check mark an X–that way if I was interrupted I knew what I was working on…

So when I happened across the YT channel Rhomany’s Realm and saw not only info about bullet journaling, art, planning, TN’s, and #onebookjuly, or MissVickyB’s YT channel with video’s about all of those things, and Carie Harling’s videos…I felt like it was fate, destiny…I just knew that I could finally get my planner peace, one book (to rule them all). Only I tried #onebookjuly and realized I love journals, and I like having some separation of journals… I don’t want every single thing in one journal, BUT at the same time I would like a sort of Omni-Journal that I could use for my planning and for my regular art, sketchyourday, illustrateyourday, Hobonichi, Fauxbonichi, Smashbook style journal(ing).

I tried using a Leuchtturm1917 for my bullet journal, and my TN for my “art” journal, and then I tried using the Leuchtturm for all of the above (the paper isn’t all that great for the watercolor, markers, etc at least not with the abuse I put paper through since I’m heavy handed when it comes to watercoloring–I’m a newbie so give me some slack). The Leuchtturm’s paper is awesome for writing, though I have to say the Rhodia’s paper feels better when using a fountain pen. I love the notebooks, but not for art/watercoloring.

So off to find something else I went. The Hobonichi would work, especially since I love Tomoe River paper, but being limited to one page for day made me feel creatively caged. I needed to be free to use up as many pages per day as I wanted. Some days I draw more, some days I write more, some days I add a little bit of everything…I wanted something I could use for all of the above: bullet journaling, art, writing, collage, watercolor, ephemera, pictures, etc… I didn’t want to be limited by the paper, the page number, etc.

THEN low and behold, I found out about Nanamipaper’s Seven Seas ¬†A5 journals with Tomoe River paper. The Standard has plain Tomoe River paper, the Writer has lined TRP, and the Crossfield has dotted TRP. I fell in love. Once I got hooked on them, I found out how hard they are to come by. They’re almost always out of stock. Back to searching again. Since I’ve tried the Stalogy 365 journal with Tomoe River paper (TRP), and now the Mystique with TRP from Taroko Design shop, which so very similar to the SevenSeas Crossfield. Pricewise they’re pretty much the same, but the shipping is a bit more–though Taroko Design’s journals aren’t¬†out of stock nearly as often as the Seven Seas journals are.

Now, on to why I’m once again trying #onebookjuly.

I am the proud owner of 3 A5, 1 PP (passport sized), and 1 FN (fieldnote’s sized) #Jonelifish TN’s. ¬†(TN’s made my Jonel Imutan). She is an artist, and her work was worth every penny and the wait. My bifold A5, otherwise known as Shakespeare–my writer’s notebook/bible, my trifold A5, otherwise known as Hans (after Hans Christian Anderson) –my art/life TN, my corset trifold A5, now known as Tennyson, is my spiritual/witchy TN, and my PP is used as a wallet, and the FN is used a mini writer notebook… Not to mention that I have a Buteo Bunker TN (wide). SO…With all of those TN’s, and their various uses, I really felt the need to streamline, especially since bullet journaling in separate notebook wasn’t really working.

Streamline. Get back to the basics. Figure out my goals, how to use my beautiful works of art (my Jonelifishes) to their full potential. Thus, my participation in #onebookjuly2016, even though I failed previously. You see, I really like the idea of one book (to rule them all), BUT I know it’s not completely me, so if I can streamline what I’m doing, all that I’m doing, into one TN, then I believe that will help me set up my TN’s (once this challenge is over) in a way that really works for me. Plus, I’m glutton for punishment.

I’m already participating in the #HotandSticky summer novel writing challenge, and #campnanowrimo july starts, and #onebookjuly2016 V. 2.0 is one book, one project, one month, so I’m combining V1 and V2 and making mine: one book (TN); one bag (with watercolor pencils, watercolor brush, a fountain pen (my TWSBI Eco) with Noodler’s Bullet/Waterproof ink, and whatever else will fit into that one little bag; one project (one of the july journal/art challenges), and one month…. WHEW!

Plus, July is my grandson’s birthday month, and my birthday month.

YES…” M.O.O.N spells moon” (Stephen King’s THE STAND reference).

SIGH!!! I’m adding my “Let’s talk about #onebookjuly2016” coffee chat video so if you’d like to see some of what I talked about here you’ll be able to… I’ll take some pics and write another post once I have everything together and set up.

Thanks y’all!

 

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The Halfway Mark/The Artist’s Way

I just passed the halfway mark of the self-guided course from Julia Cameron’s book “The Artist’s Way.” When I first opened the book I thought it was sort of ¬†hinky. In that I-can’t-believe-it’s-a,and I’m-reading,-yet-another-self-help-book way. But after reading the introduction…and definitely by the time I was midway through the first week/chapter, I knew it wasn’t just a self-help book. It’s a guide to openmindedness. It’s door towards finding out how to delve into your deeper ideas of what you really think about creativity, especially your creativity. It’s also an ongoing exercise into being honest and open with yourself about yourself.

I could go on about what it is, but the simple truth is: It has helped me realize that:

  1. I feel guilty when I write, create art, take time away from my other obligations like the house, my husband, my family (children, grandson, parents, in-laws, etc.), my friends because I am writing…
  2. I feel selfish for taking that time for myself to write, create art, etc.
  3. I feel guilty when I don’t write.
  4. I feel more anxious, depressed, and stressed out when I don’t create art, art journal, etc.
  5. I have perfectionism syndrome, which is the root cause of my fear, procrastination, anxiety, stress, and depression, especially in regard to writing, art, etc–Creativity.

There’s more, but I’ll go into the more at a later date.

From now on, I’ll be posting my check-in’s on the blog, as well as on YT. I think it’s important that when I’ve finished the course I do a proper review of the book.

 

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Working Towards Living a Creative Life

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA(this was the info I found for it, it's Not My image... It came from Google...

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA(this was the info I found for it, it’s Not My image… It
came from Google…

I’ve been sick for the past three weeks. The worst kind of cold/sinus/flu thing. I’m not well yet, but I feel better. Over the past few weeks there was little in the way of working on my novel in Scrivener. However, I worked on the novel in my writer journal. I worked on characters, plot, setting–I journaled about it. When I finally got back to writing I missed and was so excited to be back to writing. I felt guilt for not actively working on my novel.

I started my fourth week of the 12 week self-guided course from Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way.” So far the course is helping a great deal. Between the “morning pages,” the tasks, and the check-in’s, not to mention the artist date’s, I’m facing all kinds of things I had no idea were even issues, or that the issues were as bad as they are. I am filled with self-doubt. I self sabotage. I have writer impostor syndrome.

However, as I found my way through the “morning pages,” and went on my artist date’s, read the information…as well as working in my personal journal, my “art” journal (which is more of a sketch your life, illustrate your life, smash journal, etc), and my writer-ly journal I found myself being more and more creative, wanting to be more creative even if I couldn’t manage to do as much as I wanted to do because I was sick–I made a new list of things I’d like to accomplish over the next few months: DIY projects around the house and yard, urban sketching, poetry workshop, plotting workshop, making my journaling work for me in a better way, in a more productive, creative way.

embrace struggleJournaling helps me me in ways I wouldn’t have imagined. Things are more vibrant and positive. I’m more passionate about life, my pursuits, relationships, and I’m more open. My communication skills are improving. The more I work through the Artist’s Way course, the more in depth my creativity becomes, the more open I am to figuring out why I have so much self-doubt, why I sabotage myself, ¬†and how I can fix it. Working on the self-doubt isn’t easy, it means facing things that are painful. Insecurities. Memories. Fears. And working through those takes courage, but it’s worth it. I find myself procrastinating. I get distracted. I make excuses. Reluctantly I find myself avoiding my writing, or my art, because I’m afraid that it won’t be good enough. Perfectionism. What if it sucks? What if my beta readers laugh? What if I’m really not that talented? Maybe I should just give up now before I embarrass myself. But as the words flow onto the page in my journal I find myself more and more open to the possibility that perhaps it’s just the fear and the insecurity that are causing me to have so much self-doubt, or to feel the self-doubt to begin with, or that I’m procrastinating and self-sabotaging because of fear. Plain and simple.

These insights into my creativity, or lack thereof, ¬†are a start. A start to opening the door to living a more creative life, to being successful in my creative pursuits, and to opening myself up to being successful in my creative pursuits.¬†I knew I had a few issues because of the self-doubt, ¬†writer’s block, procrastination, and yet I didn’t think it was as bad as it was until I began reading the “Artist’sWay.” ¬†As hard as it was to sit down every morning, in the beginning, and work on my morning pages it made me see how important it was to be open, to let the words flow. I also realized that the resistance was because of fear–insecurities are rooted in fears. I’m not really a fearful person. Even when I am I sort of “fake it till I make it kind of thing.” You can only do that with writing for so long before the insecurities/self-doubt eat you and end up with writer’s block–at least, that’s what I’ve experienced. Facing the resistance head on isn’t something I’ve done in my morning pages, the morning pages are just about being honest with myself, but I have been facing those fears, insecurities, and self-doubts in my personal journal.

The Writer's Life

The Writer’s Life

When you think about it, really think about it, the procrastination, self-doubts, insecurities, perfectionism, and avoidance are all about fear, based on fear. I’m not a fearful person at heart though, I’m more of a sassy, feisty, stubborn, determined, and resilient kind of person. So I buckled down and wrote it all out in my journal. I wrote and wrote and wrote, honestly and openly about my fears. Facing some of those fears gave me insight, but it didn’t fix the problem, but it did make me realize and understand that I’m the only one holding me back. I am the only one who can do something about it. I decided to take mini-artist dates, do little things to make me feel good and be more open to being creative. For example, I went outside with my cup of coffee and a book of poetry and read for 15 minutes, I went outside with my coffee and my sketchbook and had some fun, I went to my hair stylist and had my hair done (washed and styled), I ordered myself a few cute little diary stickers and 2 new watercolor inserts for my TN (Traveler’s Notebook), as well as a cute little magnetic bookmark with a coffee theme. (I also ordered one for my daughter with a unicorn on it, she’s an artist and a welder, as well as being a single mom who suffers from depression and like me, she suffers from self-doubt at times.) Twice a week, on the first day of the new week of the self-guided course and halfway through the week I go on an artist date and take myself to Starbucks. One of those dates I journal and the other day I draw and watercolor. I love watercolors. I love journaling. So I’ve decided to combine the two and try doing what people are calling “Urban Sketching,” or “Illustrate your life,” or “Sketch your life.” It makes me feel really good when I do that. I don’t make my artist dates about my novel, I make them about something else creative. The more creative I am, the more I want to write, the more I feel able to write and less self-doubty.

I’m amazed at how much it has actually helped me with the writing.

 

 

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