Sunday, February 28, 2010

Got Your Notebook or Journal?

Well, here it is... tomorrow is the big day!

Got your notebook or journal ready for the March Madness Journal Challenge?

Yesterday, I stopped in at my local Surplus Outlet and grabbed a composition notebook just for this month's challenge.

I'm excited to get started, and I hope you all are too.

I've spent the past week preparing, but not getting too prepared. This is a random challenge afterall, so what fun would it be if I had everything plan out right?

So if you haven't done so yet, grab a journal or notebook, and sign up. Tomorrow starts the first day of the March Madness Journal Challenge.

Are you up for the challenge?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sign Up Now for the March Madness Journal Challenge!

It's coming up quick! Only three days until the launch of the first annual March Madness Journal Challenge, so start signing up now to participate.

Why sign up? The main reason - it's going to be a ton of FUN! Secondly, by signing up you will automatically receive your daily challenge in your inbox. Thirdly, by signing up you are committing yourself to the challenge for the month of March.

Don't forget to invite your friends to take the journal challenge with you! I'll be adding prizes to be given away randomly throughout the course of the month. By inviting friends doesn't increase your chances to win, but increases the number of prizes offered.

To sign up, click the "FOLLOW" link on the side bar of this blog. :)

Yesterday, I spent the day writing and formulating the official rules of the challenge. You can check them out on my website at

As the morning dawns today, school is cancelled, and another winter snow storm is on it's way, I am thinking up what craft projects and activities I can do to keep the kids entertained. Perhaps I'll have time to work on the newsletter this afternoon. If you are not receiving the newsletter you can click and join MRsCHADT's Google Group to get it.

There's a lot to do in three days... I better get moving. I've already got my to-do list underway.

Don't forget to sign up! Click on "Follow' over on the side bar and commit to the challenge to day. It's going to be fun, it's going to wacky, it's going to make you laugh, smile, and create a piece of art - your own journal!

***Beware... Journaling can become contagious.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Japanese Stab Stitching Journal Workshop

Last evening I indulged myself in a workshop for learning how to make a Japanese Stab Stitch Journal. This was the first time this class had been offered at the college where Chad teaches. It was fun and very informative.

We started out learning some basic facts. Like did you know, that in Japan they don't have coil bound note books like we do? That's where Japanese Stab Stitch comes into place. Traditionally, Japanese books, even the notes books, tablets, and journals they use are all bound by a variation of stab stitch technique.

Not only is the technique of book binding decorative and practical, but it's also environmently friendly.

We started out learning the basic Japanese Stab Stitch on a piece of printed cardstock.

As you can see, I mastered this first step pretty well. The knotted end and strands hanging from the sides are considered decorative.

Once we learned the stitch, we moved on to making our own journals. We started out by folding in half our pages for the "signatures" inside our book (double sided pages).

After all the pages were folded, since they precut for us, we moved on to the cover.
The cover of our journals were a choice of decorative fiber based paper.

Centuries ago paper was made from cotton fibers and often when clothing turned to rags it was recycled and turned into paper. This type of paper lasted far longer than the regular tree based pulp papers we use today. Fiber paper is acid free, and most often used for printing resumes.

Acid free paper is meant to last a life time, but resumes change all the time and we print it on acid free paper. ( a little humor from the instructor of the workshop.)

Once I had all my pieces cut it was time to choose from the four different variations of Japanese stab stitches for my jounal's book binding. I choose one called tortouis shell which was much more challenging than the basic.

I took my stitch card template provided at the beginning of class and marked my holes. I clamped the end of my book, opposite of the binding, and used an awl to punch my holes. Some of the students in the workshop used a drill with a brad nail in the end for a bit.

After a few minutes of following a diagram of the correct stitching technique, here is my Japanese stab stitch journal!

It's the perfect size at 4 1/2" x 5 3/4" to keep in my purse to write notes when I need it.

I can't wait to teach my oldest daughter how to sew using the Japanese stab stitch.

The instructor suggested I teach some workshops of my own at the college. It was the second time that day someone had asked me if I was a teacher or suggested I should teach.

Who knows, maybe in the future I will. But for now, I'm just happy being the student.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Welcome to the World Baby Book

A few weeks I undertook a project for my new niece. Since she was just born a few days ago, I wanted to wait until I was sure at least the baby book had arrived and my sister-in-law had a chance to open it before posting it here.

I am so blessed to have so many wonderful nephews and nieces, and when each one is born I like to do something special that is just for them.  So I thought what better gift for a new baby than to make a special baby book for recording information about all the first time experiences, family tree, and other memorial times.

This was what I came up with...

First page of baby book

Family Tree

My Mother and I


Special Dates

I wish I could go on and show you pictures of about every page, but there are too many. But these should give you an idea.  My oldest daughter helped put the pages together, while my son helped punch the holes in all the pages and cover. My youngest even had a hand, she pulled down the lever on my Zutter to close the wire.  It was truelly a family project.

Welcome to the world ILA!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Coming Soon...March Madness Journal Challenge

Last evening as I sat working on cutting the pages of a new journal I got to thinking. (I know, my husband tells me that can be dangerous - thinking.) March is soon upon us.

It made me think about all the things that happen in the upcoming month, like my son's birthday, Saint Patrick's Day, Tax deadlines, and kite flying. But as I sat putting together a new journal it also made me think about how March is a month that can wind us up and let us go like a spinning top.

March either comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb or visa versa. Some days are windy and cold, some days it may snow, or some days may be spring like and pleasant. This is where I think of the "March Madness" syndrome we can all fall into.

So that's why last night, randomly like a March day, I decided to start the March Madness Journal Challenge. The key of this challenge is do random fun things, on random days to a note book to create your own journal. The goal of this challenge is to relieve stress and have fun with journaling.

Each day you will be given something random to do inside your journal. Then go on for the entire month of March. At the end of the challenge, for those who participate I will be giving away a free prize that I will picture on my website and here on the blog March 1st along with a more detailed guidelines and how this challenge will work.

I'm so excitied! For all of you who tell me all the time that you just don't have time to journal or don't know what to write, I challenge you to get started with me on March 1, 2010.

I will be posting the challenge daily on my blog and website. Be sure to add this site to your dailly RSS feed.

I'm so excited (oops I already said that) for the 1st annual March Maddness Journal Challenge!

Stay tuned... more details yet to come!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Journaling Pens

Yesterday the kids and I engaged in a little creative outlet. Instead of playdough, we grabbed some polymer clay, Bic pens, and our imaginations. We spent much of the day rolling, shaping, and baking our masterpieces. Chad, my husband, was kind enough to help in the process of pulling out the ink part of the pens while we made them.

The pens pictured above are what we came up with. The marbeled ones were done by my son and the striped ones were by my oldest daughter. I'd like to say my youngest daughter had a hand too.  A hand in

After all, one must have a pen to write in their journal right?

This one is my favorite, but as you can see the "holder" part isnt deep enough so at the slightest touch the pen falls out. But as they say, "you live and you learn." Next time we'll know better to make that part a little taller by our lady bug on a leaf. Isn't the lady bug cute?

We were,,however, at least successful with this little rose pen holder and flowered pen set as you can see below.

Well, I'm all out of pens for now...

Don't forget to keep journaling!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Journaling Idea #2:Create a Sketch Book of Your life.

Last week, I joined up with a valentines swap, and I came across a group swaping journals. I've come across alot of journals swaps in past, mostly handmade journals being swapped by the creators with blank pages inside.

This particluar swap I came across requires you to "Sketch Your Life". For those who would prefer to draw than to write this can be a fun an different approach to journaling.

here are the suggestions the swap makes for sketching your life inside the journal, that you'd share through their swap, or just keep for yourself. 

1.Draw your breakfast. Talk about morning routine.

2.Draw your lunch. talk about who you eat lunch with.

3.Draw your dinner. Talk about your family.

4.Draw something you can't make it through a day without. Tell us why.

5.Draw something from your childhood. What memories do you have with it.

6.Draw what you are doing right now. Tell us about it.

7.Draw your favorite place you've been. Talk about why you enjoy it.

8.Draw a place you've never been but would love to go. Tell us what you would do there.

9.Draw a dessert. Share the recipe

10.Draw your foot. Talk about where they walk.

11.Draw your house, front door or in side you decide- Talk about home

12.Draw your favorite hobby- Why do you enjoy it.

13.Draw your purse, wallet and things inside- what do you carry.

14.Draw something related to your swap partners profile- write a letter to them.

15.Go somewhere new and draw there- What do you see.

16.Draw your favorite smell- Talk about it.

17.Draw five things you can touch from where you are- make a list of 15 things you can see, hear, taste, touch from where you are.

18.Draw a favorite fruit or vegetable. How do you like to eat them.

19.Draw something from a favorite movie- Why did you like the movie.

20.Draw a friend or family member or something that reminds you of them. Write about a memory with them

21.Do a page of doodles or zentangle.

22.What inspires you?

23.Draw a sound

24.Draw something related to a holiday. Write about why you like the holiday, what special traditions do you have.

25.Draw something related to Valentine's Day.

26.What can you see on your tv? What do you like to watch

27.What does the view look like outside of your window?

28.Draw your favorite outfit or piece of an outfit. When do you like to wear it?

29.Draw an animal stuffed or real.

30.Draw something that made you smile today. Why?

31.Draw something you have made.

32.Draw a project you are working on. Share how to make it.

33.Draw something you look forward to.

34.Draw something hot.

35.Draw something cold.

36.Draw why you get up in the morning.
Having all this prompts to draw, I thought of my oldest daughter, who'd rather draw me a picture than write a letter. I'm excited to share this project with her and see what she comes up with.  I may just make her a blank journal and place these drawing prompts on the pages for her to work on at her leisure. We'll see if I can share the pages when she's done. :)
If you'd like to check out this swap or become a part of it, you can find it at:  Sketch Art Journal Swap

Friday, February 12, 2010

Anniversary Book

From the website: Under the "Romantic Ideas for Married Couples" I came along this post
submitted by a woman named Lina.

"For our first month anniversary, I made my husband an Anniversary Book. I bought a blank, red, hardcover journal from a bookstore, and decorated it with a "Happy Anniversary" sticker as the title and a heart on the back cover. Inside, I made a title page (not forgetting to add a mock copyright page) and instructions to the book: every month, he and I would write each other a one-page love letter expressing something wonderful about the other person, whether it was something special they did that month, or whatever. He absolutely loves it, and added his own twist to it: he sneaks the book away when I'm not looking, writes a letter, and leaves the book somewhere in an unexpected surprise location. It's a great way to remind ourselves at least once a month how much we love each other; needless to say, we always look forward to our monthly anniversaries!"

As my 10th Wedding Anniversary is coming up soon, I thought this was a great idea to share.

Many of you who are married with busy jobs, and/or kids would be able to appreciate a Anniversary Book as described by Lina.

Often, my days consist of playing taxi, chef, housekeeper, and mom. Alot of times, I forget I'm a wife. Especially, when my husband is gone all day and when he comes home still has work to do. Our main communication consist of little snippets of emails throughout the day - that is if I have time to read and reply.

I'm thinking, however, an anniversary book just might be the perfect gift to begin a new decade of marriage.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Memory Journals

I've been working through a book lately, titled "Making Memory Books and Journals by Hand."

Today I came across an interesting little sidebar that I thought I would share.

"Stronger than a string of diary entries, more powerful than your average photo album, able to recall long-ago experience with a single page, memory books just might be the finest way to celebrate all you hold dear. It's no wonder they have become so popular.

And one of the best things about memory books is that anyone can make one. We've all got our memories, our snapshots, our mementos.

How far you choose to go with your memory book is entirely up to you. Be sure to enjoy this artisitc freedom.

This is a very personal craft. that means whatever direction you go in with your book is the right one. You have only yourself and your memory to satisfy."

From KRISTINA FELICIANO, Making Memory Books by Hand, Introduction, copyright Rockport Publishers 2000.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Memory Box Lane - Formal Tradition Memory Box Album

Tradition has many meanings for people.
According to Webster, Tradition is story or a body of beliefs relating to the past that are commonly accepted as historical though not verifiable.

As individuals and familes we adapt, create, and maintain traditions throughout our lives. While these traditions exist, they also leave lasting impressions on us, called memories.

We box up alot of things to move, store, and cherish.  Memories are no different. Along with traditions, we can box up mementos, photos, and write down memories of participating, creating, and valueing traditions.

This 4x4 memory box is perfect for storing and capturing that family tradition and sharing it in the years to come with family and freinds.

With the formal appearance of a black tie affair, this family tradition memory box album is perfect for holding those photos and mementos you hold dear.  This memory box contains twelve pages, 4- 4"x4", 4- 3.5"x3.5", and 4-3.25"x3.25"

Can you think of those family gatherings and family traditions that you could put inside one of these little boxes?

I admit, while creating this box, I thought about the weddings, receiptions, birthday parties, and more formal events that don't happen as often, but remembered more.

Formal Tradition Memory Boxes make great gifts and can be a wonderful conversation piece in any room of your house. Not to mention bridesmaid, groomsmen, and party gifts.  Sit one in the middle of a table at a prom or dinner party and marvel at your guests reaction.

You never know, you may find yourself taking the lid off and opening a lane of memories and making a new tradition of your own!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Journaling Depression Symptoms - January 2010 Issue of Healthcare Traveler

Every once in a while, a friend or family member will send me some interesting articles.  Today was no expection, as a family member was reading through the January 2010 issue of Healthcare Traveler, when she came came across this little bit of discovery on page 20, this is what she said, "this is an article that backs up your charting of depression."

Of course, I read it, I thought it was very interesting, and just had to share it with all you.

The article, "Depression Linked to Over Reporting of Symptoms," illistrates the importance of why those who suffer from depression should write down their physical symptoms on a daily basis.

According to the article's source, University of Iowa, "New Reasearch indicates that people who feel depressed are likely to recall more physical symptoms than they actually experience."

Psychologist Jerry Suls of the University of Iowa, who led the study, attributes the findings to depressed people tending to recall experiences differently, dwelling on and exaggerating bad aspects of a particular memory.

Reportively, 109 women participated in this study.  Each of them filled out a survey to access the level of their depression. Then each day for three weeks they reported whether they felt any of 15 distiquinshed physical symptoms.  On the 22nd day, according to the article, they were asked to go back and recall how often these symptoms occured in the past weeks.

Suls comments, "People who felt depressed made the most errors when asked to remember their physical symptoms."

Sul goes on to recommend patients to write down their symptoms as they are happening.

What better way than to use the 2010 Daily Mood Organizer or Mood journal, right?

For more on this article you can read it here.


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