Saturday, January 9, 2021

2021 Journaling Q & A

2021 Journaling Q & A

Over the past few weeks I have received a number of questions about my journaling plans and journals for 2021. I thought I would take some time to share and answer those questions. Links for any supplies mentioned will be at the end of the post.

About my journals:

Q: What Journal are you using?

A: For my Rhythms of Life weekly spreads I am continuing to fill up the Leuchtturm 1917 journal I used last year. It is an A-5 with grid paper. 

A. For my word of the year/One Little Word 2021 I am using a Moleskine Art Japanese Album with black pages. The pages fold out accordion style.

Q: What are you doing for your weekly spreads?

A. I wanted to reconnect with doing weekly page spreads much like I did back in 2013-14 with the Documented Life Project. But I also wanted to tailor my weekly spreads to fit my style and include the things that make up the rhythm of my daily life. I made a sample layout listing the various things I might focus on each week.

I practiced with it in December (See this post) to see if it was a fit. Which is was! And now have my first weekly spread for the new year.

Q: There were a number of questions about my weekly spreads: Do I lay out the spreads in advance and then go back and fill out the pages? Do I complete my spreads all at once as a weekly review or do I record them as I go? Do my spread topics change each week?

A: I don't lay out the spreads in advance. At least, I haven't started out that way. I may add some of the topic titles to the page in advance, but for the most part I wait and see what happens throughout my week. I usually start filling in my page spread on Friday and Saturday looking back at my week. I am starting to make notes through the week of things I want to remember. Which has lent an added bonus of making me more present with the little moments and events of my days. Some weeks the topics may remain the same and some weeks they change. It all depends on what is going on in my week.

Q: What kinds of pens do you use?

A: For lettering I like black Sakura Pigma Micron pens, mainly sizes .01 and .03. For colors I use Staedtler Triplus Fineliners. They have a great variety of colors and are thin enough to put color between the lines of my letters.

Q: I receive a lot of questions about my hand lettering. Years ago I took a lettering class by Hope Wallace because I liked that she used hand lettering that wasn't calligraphy. You can check out her website The Soul of Hope, although she no longer offers the class. I practiced and practiced and eventually it morphed into my own style of hand lettering. Here is the one tip I can give you about my lettering: I write the letter and then go over it a second time so that the imperfections actually become a part of the lettering. Easy peasy. Practice a lot and eventually you come up with your own style. You can print a pdf of the photo below if you like here.

Q: What is a commonplace book?
I first came across the term 'commonplace book' from my friend, Jean, about ten years ago. When I looked up what they were I realized I had been doing the practice for all of my adult life. A commonplace book is simply:
  • 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 common place.
A visual commonplace book simply adds a visual element to it. Keeping commonplace books have been a practice for centuries, especially before the invention of the typewriter and the computer. I have always written passages from books I'm reading in my written journal. When I began art journaling I carried this practice over to my art journals as well, creating a visual commonplace book. I'm doing more of this practice this year with my weekly page spreads.

Q: What is the Words Art & Faith Group and what is a Words Challenge?

A:  In the Words Art & Faith Group we are talking about anything that has to do with words, our faith and art. God's Word is the central focus and how we interact with The Word creatively. This month we are focusing on coming up with a word of the year and the different ways to explore and research it. There will be ongoing conversations through the year about that. Because I have a great love for digging deeper in Bible study I often will share tips and techniques. And then the group for members to share their creativity, their prayer requests, and their responses to Words Challenges.

A: Words Challenges are month long art and faith challenges I began a few years ago with Advent Words. There is a daily word with a few passages of Scripture to accompany the word. Then I usually will write a Bible study devotion to go with the word along with how I responded to it creatively. Advent Words is an annual challenge. For two years I have done a summer Words Challenge where we go through a book of the Bible using 30 significant words found in that book as creative prompts. Those words are also accompanied with a daily Bible study devotion. These challenges offer us ways to do creative bible study. I only have time to do two full Words Challenges through the year, but I may find a way to add in some shorter challenges.

Q: Where do you find all the vintage papers and office supplies you use in your art journals?

A: I love the hunt for vintage paper and books and, especially, vintage office supplies. Nothing excites me quite like a stack of vintage ledgers or graph papers! My husband likes to do wood working with vintage hand tools. So a number of years ago we started going to estate sales and flea markets. We have a great time hunting down the vintage things we enjoy n our hobbies. Here is the problem: When I find something vintage I like I can't resist buying it, even if I don't need it for myself. That dilemma led me to open an Etsy shop seven years ago, so I can buy those special finds and share them with others who love vintage as well! There is a link to my shop, Found on Brighton @Etsy, in the right hand sidebar. And this leads to the final question for today:

Q: Where did your name, Found on Brighton, come from?

A: When I made the decision to start my Etsy shop I was brainstorming ideas for what to call it. There is a great antique and gift store I love to visit up in Ann Arbor, MI called Found. I have always loved the name and it really fits what I am doing - finding vintage items I love. The street I live on is Brighton Avenue, so it morphed into Found on Brighton from that day of brainstorming. So here on my blog you can read about the things I find to make art with, the treasures I find in God's Word, and the insights I find in life and the world around me. Oh, and visit the shop to see what I found at estate sales over the weekend!

I hope I've answered your questions. If not, feel free to ask more in the comments below or in the Words Art & Faith Group.

You can follow a few of my hashtags on Instagram to keep up with what I'm doing: #wordsart&faithgroup, #foundonbrighton, #wordoftheyear2021, #rhythmsofdailylife 

Finally, I have linked to a few of the products I use on Amazon. Full disclosure: I make a small percentage off sales purchased through the links on my blog. They help keep the lights on in my online world. :)

My current journals:


My favorite pens: 

My favorite paper for gelli printing:

Currently reading: