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Monday, June 2, 2014

Summer Challenge - Part One: Pocket Journaling

Today I'm issuing a summer challenge; I'm challenging you to start journaling and, if you are already journaling - whether just text or art journaling, then I'm challenging you to share tips and prompts with those who are just beginning. I'm sure you have heard about the benefits of journaling. If you haven't, please visit these links to learn what it can do for you in terms of mental and spiritual, as well as physical well being.
Maybe like many people I've suggested journaling to, you have a number of excuses for why you don't do so. Just a few I've heard frequently include: It takes too much time. I just end up with a list of what I've done that day. I don't know where to begin or what to say. I don't write well. I look at the blank page and freeze. Let me refute these for you. You can journal for only a few minutes and still benefit. You talk, don't you? Then you can write. Remember, this is for you so no worries about spelling and punctuation and so on. If a blank page intimidates you, then start with one that has something on it.
I'm going to make this challenge really easy so you can get started journaling and you can easily expand on it later. Here is the plan. We're going to incorporate a little art journaling into traditional journaling, but this doesn't mean you have to be able to draw or be particularly artistic so no worries there.. We're going to start small, using some journal cards I'll provide for you to print out and carry with you. That way, whenever you've got a few minutes or the mood strikes, you can journal a little.
You've probably seen any number of "journal cards" provided for sale or free by various digital artists. Sometimes these are just small blank or decorated tags where you can add titles for photos on scrapbook pages or other notations. Sometimes the journal cards are . . . well, more journal oriented with prompts or phrases with blanks for you to fill in. For this challenge you will get (free) a combination of blank backgrounds, some elements to decorate them with, some decorated cards with prompts. And sometimes a couple of separate prompts (independent of cards) that you might wish to use and sometimes what I call a Care Card – an ATC with a quote or thought or words of encouragement
The one thing I will keep constant is the size. I've decided we will use the standard artist trading card (ATC) size of 2.5" x 3.5". That's the size of a standard sport trading card. My reasons for this choice are several: how intimidating can something that small be? It's a good size to tuck into your datebook, pocket calendar or purse to carry along. And you can cheaply buy thin plastic sleeves meant to keep sport cards fresh to store your journal cards in if you choose. You might also want to buy a pack of pocket pages which hold a number of sports cards and fit into a looseleaf binder. That way you can keep completed pocket cards together to do some journal jumps (I’ll explain more later.) I would recommend you printing the pocket cards out on cardstock (Walmart has it for low price.) as plain paper tears too easily
I had hoped to make this more coherent than it's going to be this first time, but my father became ill and I had to go take care of him. I want to go ahead and get you started even if the "goodies" aren't quite right. The first packet will include collage sheets of cards you can print out and also pngs versions in case you want to use these another way. To start, I made 3 decorated cards and 4 blank cards, plus one care card. At this point in the year, most women (at least in the USA zone) are thinking about summer attire, especially beach wear and perhaps having some concerns about their weight. You first care card addresses this, reminding you that your weight is Not your worth. If you happen to be overweight, or thinner than you'd like to be (Today this might not be the issue it was for me when I was young), don't be hard on yourself. You do not have to be model perfect to be beautiful. True beauty comes from within. Now, if you want to lose weight (or gain), you can make that a goal and we can talk about goal setting and journal about it. A bit later in the week I will post some embellishments and probably more cards. Meanwhile, if you use one of the blank cards, add whatever embellishments you'd like from your stash, draw on them, whatever.
Some topic ideas for this week (use back of your card too if you like): 1) Pansies are for thoughts - a good card to jot down things that keep running through your head so you can explore them later 2) Cameo card - think of that lovely silhouette as you. List your 5 best qualities. 3) Daisy card or any other - Every one has some qualities they would like to improve. List your 5 worst qualities. 4) Goals - choose one goal for the month of June. What is it? Why is it important to you? Set a deadline to accomplish it. 5) Gratitude - try to list one thing each day of the week that you are grateful for. This is a good repeat exercise to help you see how even the smallest things can be important and add joy to our lives. 6)What is your favorite pasttime? What is special about it? Just jot down notes to yourself. 7) When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? What's the first thing about this you remember? 8) What topics would you like to explore? These are just ideas in case you think you don't know what to write. Remember too, these cards are for you. I will probably share some examples with you, but you are not obligated to share any of your cards. However, if you would like to do so, you may send me a copy at with Journal Challenge in subject line and I will post for you.
I welcome your comments and suggestions. Pick up zip here:

1 comment:

Stacey said...

these are great! thank you! hopefully this will be the kick in the butt i need to get started.