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My heartfelt thanks for stopping by for a visit to my blog. HFTS is all about friendship, feathering one's nest, and sharing a creative spirit. Thank you to all of you who take the time to leave a comment. I read and appreciate each and every one. Your notes are the only way I know who has stopped in for a visit.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

J is for Journals


is for

Journals



Journals have long been a favorite means of recording one's thoughts, ideas, or experiences. Though I'm not one who keeps a daily journal, I often record experiences in a travel journal and enter observations or ideas into a garden journal to help transition from season to season.


Page From One Of Laurie Doctor's Journals

My recent studies with Laurie Doctor have inspired me to be more attentive to journal writing. Laurie advocates writing a line a day. She suggests that one give one's self at least 10 minutes a day to write in a personal journal. It need not be prose. She says write down random words or thoughts, sketch something that catches the eye, or even attach a snippet of something meaningful. It can be a poem you've read or a song you've heard.


Page From One Of Laurie Doctor's Journals

Another idea that Laurie shared is to use the journal space randomly. One doesn't have to fill a page before moving onto a new page. She flips back and forth between the pages of her journal. This provides interest to each page as if it is a collage of time or place or ideas. I also feel this makes the process easier and less structured. Notice in the above example, Laurie has used different writing styles, turned the page a different angle, and used colored ink at times.


Page From One Of Laurie Doctor's Journals

Here Laurie has added braille to the page along with a piece of foreign currency. She then included her own interpretation of the bill.


Page From One Of Laurie Doctor's Journals

The morning before departing, I had breakfast with Laurie at our hotel. As we sat visiting and enjoying some leisure time, Laurie made entries onto a page in her journal. She had drawn off a series of small squares and then sketched a piece of fruit from our breakfast into each box. Then she quickly tinted each with her watercolors. I noted that she added a little line about where she was and who she was with at the time. It is just such entires that she advocates. Simply record the moment.


Page From One Of Laurie Doctor's Journals

I'm not an artist or a calligrapher, but the idea is that one can use their own handwriting and do different things with it. Sketching can be simply drawing the lines of the shapes one sees. The focus is on using the page as a means to express something for yourself. It doesn't need to be shared with others. It's an echo of a memory, something that reminds us of the moment.


Page From One Of Laurie Doctor's Journals

I like the way Laurie mixed words with sketches for her thoughts on this page.




Sara Midda published IN AND OUT OF THE GARDEN IN 1981. It's a wonderful potpourri of garden lore, while SARA MIDDA'S SOUTH OF FRANCE SKETCHBOOK, 1990, is a personal journal of her year's sojourn in the south of France. Both are beautiful examples of the type of entries one might include in a daily journal. Delightful and delicious, the pages of both these books offer inspiration.


Page From One Of Laurie Doctor's Journals

Laurie makes her own journals so that the size and paper is of her choosing. Her journals are bound so that they lay flat for ease of writing or sketching. Arches paper is perfect for the pages because it takes both ink and watercolor. I noted that Laurie also mixes in a few other types of paper for variety. Some are folded to add different dimensions, and pockets or envelopes are also added. Laurie likes to either use a brad or a needle and thread to hand sew items onto a page.




I recently read Sandra Gulland's trilogy of Josephine Bonaparte. Ms. Gulland skillfully tells the story through the voice of Josephine in the writing of fictionalized journal entries. It is an enchanting means by which to reveal the life story of this intriguing lady. The series left me feeling as if Josephine were a close friend who had shared her most intimate thoughts.



Though each of these novels stand on their own, I recommend that they be read in succession as they seamlessly chronicle the life of Josephine Bonaparte. Click here to read my review on THE MANY LIVES AND SECRET SORROWS OF JOSEPHINE B. Click here for the review on TALES OF PASSION, TALES OF WOE. Click here for the review on THE GREAT LAST DANCE.

Thank you for stopping by today. For more Letter J Lessons in Mrs. Matlock's class, click here.

And a huge THANK YOU, MRS. MATLOCK for the thoughtful gift certificate. No doubt there will be new books arriving soon.


38 comments:

  1. Love this J post. If it weren't for family keeping JOURNALS I wouldn't have been able to tell their story on one of my blogs. Yours are JUST awesome...

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  2. Such a journal is a piece of art - or a piece of art on each page.
    Another beautiful post from you!

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  3. Such an interesting J post, Sarah, the Journals are true works of art, representing as they do LD's life as she lives it.
    I have finally got my hands on the J trilogy and hope start the first one this weekend.
    ~Maggie~

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  4. Every page is art; I could spend hours looking through her journals.

    You had such a wonderful opportunity to learn from her. I'm Justifiably Jealous!!

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  5. Good Morning Sarah!

    I'm not a "J"ournal keeper/writer either. In hindsight, I wish that I had been. There are so many things that I wished I had recorded for my children and grandchildren. I guess I stay too busy--and that is a shame! Life just gets in the way sometimes--LOL.

    I do hope that things are going well with you and yours...I enjoy reading your posts and seeing all your wonderful pictures!

    Thanks for sharing today.

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  6. I've never been much of a journal keeper. But this post really inspired me. I love the idea of random "memory keeping", rather than a daily diary. And the pages are just lovely. What a wonderful time you must have had learning with such a creative person. Kathy

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  7. beautiful journals. It's a glorious habit to get into. I'm a thrower awayer, though :(

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  8. Keeping a journal would be a good idea, one I've often thought I would do, but never seem to get around to it, though I did keep a Diary as a girl.
    I've enjoyed Sara Midda's books too.
    Interesting post, I admire people who do take the time.

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  9. This was such an interesting post about journals. I like the idea of drawings (even though I don't draw) but I guess that's the whole idea of a journal. You put anything you want in it.

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  10. Wow, I never thought about that before - just recording the moment. Simple yet brilliant!

    I have so many half-filled journals it's not even funny. I'm just a sucker for a pretty and empty vessel which I can fill...or half or quarter fill...!

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  11. I have kept a journal since I was about 16. I have lately tried to, and even finished, a "family history," by the years. Those journals sure came in handy. Now I am in the process of putting in pictures...the hard part...too many to choose from. My journals have kept me semi-sane throughout the years and there are only a few pages that I wouldn't want anyone to see. Loved your post. Joni

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  12. Thank you for sharing such beautiful journal pages. I have kept a journal off and on but nothing as pretty as these.

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  13. Fascinating post, Sarah! I've bought so many journals and sketchbooks ... I just have trouble remembering to USE them. I like the back-and-forth approach approach Laurie uses. Interesting concept. Thank you for sharing.

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  14. Hi I just love your Alphabet Blogs they are so colourful I especially liked the ginger one and you were a well deserved winner. This blog is equally good, It makes me wish I had started Jornalling earlier.
    It is so therapeutic. Thank you for sharing

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  15. i loved this post ... I am a fan of journalling ... and keeping ... and mixing ... gorgeous examples!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier!

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  16. Those are fabulous journals, very inspiring! Thank you for a great J post, and a new idea ... journals, I must start new journals :) .
    Blessings,
    Catherine

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  17. These journals are works of art.

    Writing is really vital for me.

    I do it each day...both on my blog and then on some other things I am working on.

    But this type of writing is an artform.

    Just lovely.

    Thank you for sharing.

    A+

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  18. I so enjoyed reading your "J" post and I thoroughly liked the pictures you included. I don't keep a journal but I can see the value in this art form.
    Thanks,
    Loretta

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  19. Hi, thanks for your comment on mine - I see we share an interest in Paris too

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  20. How beautiful those journals are! The idea of writing, and sketching or painting in the journal are just brilliant..I love your post!

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  21. I do like the concept of journals and I think that using your handwriting as art is a another way to express yourself. I have lots of journals, travel, school
    (where I write down the funny things my children say, my goals...I also have a journal where I brainstorm ideas, I guess it is more like an book of lists. You can really get to know someone if you read their journa, it is like looking inot their soul. Thank you so much for your prayers for Cindy! I will post how everything goes, we are at Vanderbilt now~

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  22. I love the artistry of letters, sketches, images, words, and life found in journals. Lovely post.

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  23. beautiful journals - these days people go electronic instead of hand written :D

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  24. I love the journals. I keep several myself. I had to start one about my breast cancer journey. It has helped me in the healing process. Thanks for coming to visit my blog!

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  25. Lovely. Thoughtful. Inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

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  26. Fascinating subject, Sarah. I've written little bits & pieces all my life but don't have them gathered into one central location. Funny, but my sister is just now discovering my Mother did the same thing. Notes all over the place about little incidents in her life.

    I think I would have trouble bouncing back & forth. I'm very much a regimented, straight-line kind of person. I would want it to be a dated & chronically correct.
    I sometimes think of blogging as a form of journaling for me.
    Thanks for this thought provoking post.

    fondly,
    Rett

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  27. That's supposed to read "chronologically correct" ~~roll eyes~~

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  28. Hi Sarah,
    I keep a journal but no where near that creative!
    The books sound like ones I would enjoy-i will have to see if the library has them.
    It would have been nice if you could have come for tea in the garden last summer-maybe you will visit again soon!
    Take care,
    Carolyn

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  29. hi Sarah! Those are wonderful journals! They look so pretty too. I used to keep a journal when I was young...seems now my blog is my journal, and I do believe we can have these in print...I have to look into that. This was a great J post!

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  30. You've inspired me to go back to journal keeping..what a beautiful post.

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  31. What a beautiful post. I've always wanted to keep a journal and have off and on during different periods of my life. I appreciate the inspiration you gave in your post about some of the ideas. Maybe I'll try again.

    Blessings,
    Tricia

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  32. Hi Srah
    I am very interested in journals. I have written in one for years and just recently have branched out a bit and have put pictures in it. The next step is to draw in it. I have that sweet book In and Out of The Garden. Funny, but Elizabeth at French Village Life mentioned that same book just the other day!
    Hugs, Rhondi

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  33. wow, you've been very busy. Nice post!!

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  34. I like the idea of journals and no matter how it's use, it's a perfect medium to express ourselves

    thanks for your visit

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  35. Oh my gosh - what fabulous journals! Each is a work of art and very inspirational!

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  36. What a great J post! I was really inspired by the journal pages you showed....I am interested in reading the Josephine book too...I am going to keep a garden journal this year as it is my first year in Utah....It is fun to look back and see what works and what doesnt.....thanks for visiting my post too!

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  37. Oh Sarah, that was lovely. I'm a life-long journal keeper. I love the choosing of the book, and the pen, and the place to write. When they fused my wrist and I could no longer write manually without great pain, I was lost. Where to put my thoughts? I finally started journaling electronically in a handwriting font, but it just wasn't the same. Recently though, they've finally found the answer to my chronic pain and I'm journaling again. Your post made me smile and say "oh yes" over and over again as I read it. I'm new to the alphabe-Thursday party and am SO looking forward to getting to know the "class".

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  38. What a wonderful J post! great inspiration... I have my doodling everywhere! It makes better sense to keep my doodles contained :o)

    Blessings & Aloha!
    (thank you for stopping by! I have been out of town so am just now catching up on blog reading! Yay for a mid week day off! have to catch up on housecleaning too... some drawings and... some doodling :o)

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Thank you to each of you who take the time to leave a comment. I read and appreciate each and every one and will respond to any questions. Your notes are the only way I know who has stopped in for a visit.

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