Saturday, January 21, 2017

January Art Journaling

So far this month I've finished some projects, continued others, and started a few new ones. Here's a view of the journals I worked in this past year.

A few completed pages in my journal for the Minimalist Art Journal course with Caylee Grey:

This collage used scraps from my scrap box and found poetry:

The last two pages for the Get Messy art journal community Season of Gifts challenge:

This page was done in response to one of the podcasts I was listening to from Jeanne Oliver's course "Salt and Light".

Friday, January 20, 2017

New Things in the New Year

I can't believe it's been weeks since I last posted! I had great plans for my blog this month but something abnormal happened after the holiday slow down. I actually slowed down again! My calendar this month has remained relatively free of activity and I have embraced it. I've had three weekends in a row with nothing planned and I've been hibernating and enjoying it. This slow down in my calendar has fit nicely into the direction I want to go this year and has enabled me to bring back some soul practices that I let slip away.

Find a window of time that cultivates a restful heart.       ~Shelly Miller, Rhythms of Rest

This year restoring my spiritual health has to be a priority. As an introvert, periods of quiet time by myself are needed to restore my energy. A combination of slowing down at least one day a week and spending time daily reading Scripture, praying and journaling move me to healthier places. I've spent a lot of time over the past few years learning ways to try and keep burnout at bay, learning to understand how I am wired, and which activities best restore my energy. Yet, even with all of this knowledge, I find I can easily fall back into old habits of distraction, habits of over-commitment and running off of adrenaline - all of which result in unhealthy areas of life for me. In these weeks of slowing down I have found such refreshment from restoring those soul practices.

In the midst of all of this another strange thing happened - my word for the year changed. In December I had chosen the word "restoration" for 2017. It felt like a fit and I lived with it for well over a month, thinking about how it flowed nicely out of 2016's word "rest". I was doing some reading and journaling a few weeks ago and it seemed that the word "whole" kept popping up. This happened again and again over the course of a few days and slowly the word started resonating with where I have been lately and with where I want to go. Whole fits the picture of health I want for all areas of my life. This is the first time since I started the practice of selecting a word for the year that I've changed my word.

I am once again joining Ali Edwards One Little Word (OLW) community to develop ways to keep my word active throughout the year. Last year I used her binder system for journaling my word. While I enjoyed trying a different style, I found I wanted to return to more of my own style of art journaling and mixed media art. I had intended to make a journal but then I started seeing posts on Instagram of these wonderful Traveler's Notebooks that people were using for planners and art journals and I was drawn in! If you are not familiar with a Traveler's Notebook, it is a leather cover with elastic bands inside to hold a variety of mini notebooks, called inserts, that are like the signatures you make for books.The various notebooks you place inside can be used for a variety of things such as calendars, note keeping, to-do lists, sketching, memory keeping, and on and on. Japanese company, Midori, makes the original Traveler's Notebooks, but a number of companies and people have developed similar ones know as Fauxdoris. I read and watched a number of reviews and ended up purchasing a Nomads journal, which was about half the price of a Midori. I figured I'd start out with this one and see how I like using it before purchasing something more expensive.

Two things happened as I explored this new Traveler's Notebook (TN) world. First, I decided to do my OLW journal in a TN sketch insert. Then as I explored the many uses for the TN I decided to use it for a planner as well using inserts for my calendar, my weekly organization planner, and idea notebook for my blog art and creativity. I have been happily organizing it all! In the past I've had my calendar binder which held my overall calendar but then was mainly used for work stuff. Then I had a smaller notebook that I used to organize my art, blogging and other creative pursuits, as well as my Etsy shop stuff. The TN helps me pull all of it together in one notebook - ideally. I say "ideally" because I actually may need to add a second TN for my art journals, but I'm going to live with one for a while and tweak my system. But even if I do add a second one their size (4.25x8.25") is nice enough to fit in a purse.

I purchased a variety of inserts, some Midori and some from a shop I found on Etsy, Yellow Paper House.

I set up my notebook with my 2017 calendar, a weekly to-do insert, a insert for the details of my creative life, blog and Etsy shop, and an insert to record significant Scriptures and quotes (kind of like a commonplace journal). That filled up my TN so my OLW journal and other art journals are just separate right now as I sort out using my TN.

So that's how my new year has begun - full of slowing down, refreshment, and organizing! Next week is busy so I'll see how well I navigate while trying to keep up with my soul practices.:)

How are you starting your new year?

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Time Between the Old and the New

I really love this time of year. For two weeks life slows down for me. I enjoy taking time to look back over the past year and reflect on the happenings of my life, while at the same time looking for the direction God is pulling me in for the new year. I love the crisp, clean edges of a fresh new year, a chance for a fresh start. A year full of empty and clean white spaces on the new calendar.

Shelly Miller, of the Sabbath Society, calls this time at the end of the year, "Sabbath margin - a sacred stretch of time between what was and what is yet to be". What an apt description of wonderful time of year. As I move from a year of "Rest" - my 2016 word for the year, it seems that the word "restoration" is calling me to spend the next year journeying with it. Restoration feels like it is flowing out of my time in rest. So I'm sticking with it. Let's see what the new year holds!

"Sabbath margin - a sacred stretch of time between what was and what is yet to be."

But I'm not quite ready to leave 2016 behind. This past Monday the day was overcast but in the mid-50's -  a treat in the Midwest winter! So we decided to get out of the house a bit and went to explore our city's newest park Middlegrounds Metropark. This park is located in downtown Toledo on the banks of the Maumee River on ground that used to house the roundhouse for railroad shipyards. So while it is on the river, it is also planted in the middle of old industrial buildings, which made for some great scenery for those of us who love paint-chippy, rusty vintage things - including buildings! On our way out we passed the old Oliver House Hotel which now houses The Maumee Bay Brewing Company and a few other restaurants. They have great old-school advertisements painted on the brick exterior. Enjoy the photos and have a Happy New Year!