Saturday, July 29, 2017

New Journal Themes

Last week on an Instagram post someone shared her artsy commonplace book and I remembered how much I loved this concept. A few years ago a friend got me connected to commonplacing, which is described as:
"Commonplacing is the act of selecting important phrases, lines, and/or passages from texts and writing them down; the commonplace book is the notebook in which a reader has collected quotations from works she or he has read. Commonplace books can also include comments and notes from the reader."  (From "Commonplaces: An Introduction" by John Hilgart and Van Hillard

Some other definitions:
  • A book into which notable extracts from other works are copied for personal use.
  • A notebook in which you enter memorabilia.
  • The recording of words and ideas in a commonplace.
I have always done this practice, even before I knew it had a name. In my writing journals I tend to write down quotes and passages from books I am reading in order to take them in deeper and to come back to them again.

When I saw the Instagram post, and then went over to her blog, I got the itch to make an art journal just for commonplacing. Again, I already do this in my written journals, but I love the idea of combining the practice with art....cuz everything is better with a little art added, right? 

Here is the picture that caught my eye. Lovely, isn't it? You can see the rest of Brandi's commonplace book at

Now that I have completed the 100 Day Project, and I have 100 Rolodex cards in my holder, I'm kind of tired of working on the small scale that the cards offered. 

So, I spent this week thinking about what art project (um, projects) to do next. First I decided to take a binder I had that is kraft paper covered and already had a paint background on it. I don't even remember what I had originally made it for. Whatever it was I changed my mind and didn't use it. I covered the inside covers with some patterned paper and will use this for my commonplace art journal.

I haven't decided on a title for this book yet. My first page is the quote I used by Shelly Miller when I spoke at my church two weeks ago. This quote, along with a similar quote by my pastor, has become quite significant to me and I want to memorialize this part of my journey.

The other project I started this week is connected again to my speaking two weeks ago. (I wrote some about it in this post) For the past six months God has been doing some deep healing and transformation within me and the passage in Philippians I spoke out of has played a significant role. I want to have something tangible to serve as a reminder. So I transformed a Traveler's Notebook insert into a journal devoted to this. The practice of taking what God showed me in that passage and doing art journaling from it will also plant it deeper into my heart, mind and soul. Not only does art journaling give me a venue for using my creative muscles, it is also another tool in my therapeutic tool bag.  

I just don't seem to be able to work on one project at a time! 

Enjoy your weekend and make time to be creative! :)

Saturday, July 22, 2017


July is the midpoint of the year and I find myself looking back - in fact, I've been doing a lot of that lately..but I'll save that for another post. Right now though I find myself at a place of contentment within this year. It's had some pretty rough spots, but it has also held some places of growth and healing, and of trying new things.

I have been on a journey over the past 6-7 years to find ways to use my voice. It has felt like a deep calling from God. Art, photography, and this blog have all been ways that have enabled me to, both find and use my voice. Last week I tried using my voice in a completely new way: I preached!

I have used my voice in different small ways before in our Sunday service - leading the service, doing an announcement, even partnering with my pastor a few times when we have talked about being missional or about outreach. But this was the first time that I took a passage of Scripture and preached a full message from it. You can hear it on our church website by clicking on the picture below:

Again, in a future post, I'll write more about the journey behind the message I preached. For now I just want to touch on the experience of it. I found myself amazingly calm and at home in the midst of speaking, which totally shocks me looking back at it. I was quite nervous in the time leading up to it. I love digging into Bible study and contribute from my studying on a team at our church which  collaborates to help form our Sunday messages and service. But taking what I have studied and turning it into a 30 minute message - that made me nervous! Being vulnerable and sharing parts of myself live and in-person in front of a bunch of people - that made me nervous! Yet I also experienced growth in the midst of it. And I think, in some way I haven't totally figured out yet, it was another step in my journey to becoming whole - my word for this year.

I shared a quote in my message from this summer's Grace Table Book Club book, Rhythm's of Rest by Shelly Miller. I find I keep coming back to this quote. It is ruminating in my soul. Especially when I combine it with a quote from a message my pastor preached from Galatians 5:16-21 earlier this summer. He said:
"There are these pockets of resistance within us that we continually struggle against." ~Doug Rumschlag

Shelly Miller writes mostly about practicing Sabbath. I find that God has so much for my whole being in the topic of Sabbath and rest. You can learn more about Shelly, her book, and Sabbath on her blog

While I'm sending you to read blogs I'd also like to send you to Kris Camealy's recent blog post, "When It's a Slow Transfiguration"I really resonated a great deal with what Kris' wrote in it.

On the art front, today I completed my final Rolodex scrap collage card for the 100 Day Project. While the project officially ended on the 12th, I'm okay with getting done late because IT'S DONE! It was a good challenge. It challenged me to work small, to use up scraps of paper and ephemera, and to get creative almost every day. I ended it with a favorite quote from Dr. Seuss. I like to end my travel journals with this quote, and believe me, this 100 day project has been a journey!

For the last seven weeks of the 100 Day Project I combined it with the ICAD (Index-Card-A-Day) challenge, using many of their prompts. The ICAD challenge doesn't end for another nine days. I'm feeling the itch to move on to other projects, but I may keep going and finish this one since I'm so close to the end. I have posted my 100 Day Project and ICAD cards on Instagram. (Link in the right hand sidebar.)

I feel somewhat caught up now. :)

I'll be back sometime this week with more on my journey and some thoughts on Commonplace books. I recently read a blog post about them and it reminded me how much I have loved this practice in the past.

So, how are you doing midpoint in the year?