Monday, December 28, 2009

Getting Started

The first step in creating a discovery journal is to collect a few necessary supplies. A stack of magazines to cut pictures from, sharp scissors (I have a pair of cutter bees that I've used for years and they're still sharp, they also have nonstick blades, so you can cut tape, stickers, etc. without having to stop and clean the blades), glue sticks (Hobby Lobby carries photo safe ones that are very reasonable, and I have left-overs from scrap booking), pens, pencils (including colored pencils and watercolor pencils), markers, stickers, rubber stamps - just stuff that I have on hand and would normally use when creating scrapbooks, cards, etc. You get the picture. Right now I'm only gathering what I have on hand. I know that I will continue to add to the stash as I go along.

I needed some way to organize all the pictures I'm collecting. The journal has several manila pockets to organize things, but I can never do anything in a small way, so I went to Walmart and purchased an expanding file with 26 pockets. I looked at several that were cool colors and designs, but found that most didn't have POCKETS, they had dividers (open on the bottom so small pieces could slide from place to place). Some were even open to the outside along the bottom edges. So I ended up with a hot pink plastic file with 26 enclosed pockets, tabs on top to label and a sturdy handle so I can carry it around.

I'm also not following the suggested divisions from the journal. My brain works differently, so in order to be able to find things that I need I've created the following divisions: self/style, home, family, garden and words. I'll add more as I discover a need and may change those that don't work.

So I'm off to collect pictures that appeal to me. There doesn't have to be a reason, just things I like. I already have a small collection of things like Victorian images, landscapes, flowers, copies of photos of my family when I was a kid, crafty ideas, decorating ideas, but few modern women, clothes and accessories. I need to focus my attention on filling in gaps (but I know I won't be able to resist collecting other categories that I like). I can't wait to complete my first collage and post pictures!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

My First Post

After having at least 1 major life-altering event in my life each year for the last 5 years and just celebrating (?) my 50th birthday, I felt listless - questioning why I am here - out-of-sync with the world. I half-heartedly searched for something that would help me through this midlife crisis (I hate that term, but I did feel as though I was in crisis). A good friend and coworker introduced me to Sarah Ban Breathnach's book, Simple Abundance. I read a few passages and decided I liked her attitude, so I went in search of a copy of my own. I love to shop because I'm a teacher and I know my purchases are supporting literacy here in the U.S. as well as abroad, so that was my first 'stop'. I discovered Ms. Breathnach has written many books, and I was delighted to find "The Illustrated Discovery Journal - Creating a Visual Autobiography of Your Authentic Self". She had me at 'visual autobiography'. I've been scrap booking for many years (even before it was chic), I'd moved to artist trading cards and finally began dabbling in collage.

This blog was created to follow my journey as I discover my 'authentic self' and let go of my past. I really want to work on a discovery journal, but I know me and I will give up my journal time for others. You'll notice when I describe myself that I list wife, mother, etc. before artist. I was raised in a time when women were taught to put everyone else before themselves. I graduated high school the year that the equal rights amendment was ratified, so I've been part of the generation of women who had to build the bridge from previous expectations to modern ones. I've always been able to assert myself in the workplace, but have had difficulty on the home front. By blogging this process I believe I'll be more likely to take the time to create my journal and currently plan to post pictures of my journal each week. That way I can justify my time spent; because after all, I have promised others that I will post my work. Yes, I know I need to work on this aspect of my life - I'll try :)

I invite you to join me in my journey. If you are already working on such a journal, please consider sharing you experiences. If you have been looking for a way to start a journal and assess your place in the Universe, join the fun. I'd love to hear from you on our journey to discover who we really are and why we are here!