Daily Planner Dilema

I have gotten back to Art Journaling. However, I also wanted to have something creative for my daily planner. I have just gotten a beautiful Midori Travelers Journal and decided to make a Midori insert to use as a Planner. So I grabbed some old printouts (on regular copy paper – you know printed copies of website articles, calendars… junk). Then I glued on some scraps of painted papers, collage papers and scraped on some acrylic paint. Then I scrapped on a thin coat of white acrylic paint to tone down the color so that it would be easier to write on.



A project that I thought would take an hour or so took way longer. I liked how the pages came out. I just hated the insert once I started to use it… and I can't really tell you why. It is formatted similarly to other Journal/Planners I have made. I should have loved it. But no, I didn't at all like how my writing looked in it. And I couldn't think of a way to change things to make it work.


Ick. So, what to do?

I pulled out the 16 month Weekly Planner that I had gotten last August. It was one of those coloring planners. Coloring sounded good to me but doodling sounded even better. I can practice the doodles that are on the pages and also keep track of my daily schedule. Then after the Planner is finished I can use it as an art journal. Sadly, I can't use it in my Midori. Still, it feels like the right choice.


The flowers on the left are ones I doodled. I also added some of the bugs. I really would like to color with crayons but the doodles are too intricate. I might add color to the background once I have finished the week with crayon(because it is almost impossible to write with anything over crayon).

I will give this a try and see how I like it.

What do you use as a planner? Something creative?

Let me know.

Happy Planning!


11-9-15 Midori Journal/Planner: Daily Entry and Weekly Commitment Circle

I wanted to share with you my new device to keep track of my commitment to practices. Using a circle with center and 7 rings, I divided the circle up in to several pie pieces. There are as many slices as practices I am working on for many areas of my life. My goal is to work on each one at least a little bit each day. My eight areas for practice: Relationships, Spirituality, Finances, Work, Fun/Creativity, Mental, Health, Home. I know I will be change some of titles but it was the best I could come up with last night.

Relationships: Spend some time working on one of my key relationships: my husband, my family, my friends. I really want to divide this pie piece up in half. One half for my husband and the other half for my family (I don’t have hardly any left) and my friends.

Spirituality: I wanted to actually wanted to add a meditation practice to my day. I think taking time to try let go of my thoughts (those crazy worries, the critic in my head, mental tapes that play over and over…) even for five minutes… can only make my life better. I also want to be able to do some spiritual/uplifting reading.

Finances: I really need to get a handle on my finances. So I will take at least five minutes to review the purchases of the day… how I feel about them… working on my budget… keeping track of my budget plan. In this area, one I am particularly not consistent at, any forward movement is a big plus. At least for right now.

Work: What do I really want to do for work? This includes deciding what I don’t want as much as what I do. Again, this is an area where any little bit of thought I put into it daily will keep this issue on my mind and help me move forward… until I figure out what my next step should be.

Fun/Creativity: This includes any kind of art (that is fun), writing, watching the sunset, hula hooping…

Mental: Anything that improves me… classes, puzzles…

Health: Moving – not exercising. I put it this week because so often “exercise” is something you do to burn off calories. A self-inflicted MUST that is part of the diet mentality. I have given up dieting… which has been a very difficult road but I have realized the “diet/exercise treadmill” isn’t the answer. At least it isn’t my answer. I want to move and eat… naturally. No rules, no guilt, no MUSTs and MUST NOTs. Funny enough, moving can be just the same as exercise… or completely different. Today, I did my Kettlebell swings and rode my bike in between swing sets. But I didn’t do it to burn calories… I did it because I am terribly out of shape. I wanted to feel my heart pump and that is the easiest way I know. I didn’t work out like a mad person, or push myself over the edge to prove I could and to lose fat. I worked fairly hard during my swinging sets and used the bike to gently bring my heart rate down a bit. It is all about feeling. But I could have easily picked a walk on the beach at sunset (unfortunately the sun sets now before I leave work), or took a bike ride, walked around the block, or hula-hooped.

Home: Anything that helps improve my home. Right now my focus is on purging – getting rid of all the collected stuff that no longer serves me.

And each day my goal is to color in the daily ring of each daily practice. It is a way to be able to keep track of how I am doing with my practices. By the time I wrote this blog, this is how much I have gotten done.


This is a compact and super easy way to keep track of my progress in my practices.

I have a couple more things to get done. Have a great Monday!


Holy Guacamole, Batman… Do I Have An Idea!: An Amazing Art Journal Cover

I have had an epiphany… a light bulb has flashed on in my head… It is a doozie of an idea… A truly inspired idea. A fabulously amazing idea… if I can only figure out how to do it!

What am I ranting about? The merging of two fabulous tools into one. Homemade art journal pages and a Midori-like cover.

So what is the big deal. Well, first off, I like journaling in one book. But it never ends up that way. I always have extra paint and need to slap it down somewhere (other than the current page I am working on in my current journal) or start a new class and want a separate place for that, or don’t want to wait for current project to dry so I work in another  journal… The point is, I always end up with many partially filled or newly started journals lying around. I hate that. I happen to like keeping my work in a pseudo-datelike order.  Having so many  different journals makes keeping similar dates together almost impossible. I also do not like having partially filled journals all over. It is more a mind thing, so many partially filled journals makes me feel like I can’t complete anything (yes, I know… I am doing the work, why does this matter… but it does in my brain).

Second, making an art journal can be a pain! When I started out art journaling, I just knew I would NEVER be interested in making a journal… certainly not when I can just buy one. Years have past and I have made a few journals now… but the fact is I do not like fooling around with binding – which most of the time seems to be the main part of making an art journal. I don’t like the sewing and the awl poking and all that fooling around. I have done it but I don’t like it.

Third, sometimes you just want to work with journals with different size papers… maybe an entire journal with smaller pages, or a journal with all sorts of different size pages (which generally you can’t buy and have to make). So you are left having to start another journal — one you had to hand make  to get  the  paper  and sizes  you want.

Fourth, sometimes you would like to keep a lined notebook (composition book) journal along with your art journal for  notes  and such  – especially if you are taking a class.

Fifth, sometimes working in a bound journal is a real pain. You have a  gutter between your two spread pages to deal with… and because it is bound you are limited as to the page order. By this I mean, once it is down it stays were it is. It is not like a loose leaf kind of notebook (or even a spiral one where you can take the spiral off and then reinsert it once the journal is done) where you can take pages in and out.

The answer to all of the above is a Midori-style cover that can fit  all  your journal books, lined notebooks, and art paper pamphlets.

If you have never heard of a Midori journal, it is a cover that has two or three elastics running from top to bottom inside the middle “binding” area. You slip a journal or pamphlet under one or two elastics and that holds it in place inside the journal cover. Typically they are pocket-sized and used for written journals, appointments, planning, and sometimes art journaling. What makes them unique is that you can buy or make all different kinds of pamphlet inserts. Now if you could get a really big Midori… one that would fit your art journal and/or art journal paper… with lots of elastics…. you could have a cover that would fit all our journals and journal paper inserts. You could put several all in one bound type book. All you need is a Midori-like cover that will fit your biggest journal or journal paper inserts.


This is a Midori-style cover I made for my Written Journaling.
This is the inside with the four elastics running from top to bottom.
This one has a pamphlet insert and a Moleskin elasticized inside.
The pamphlet pages are just nested, not bound together at all. The elastic does all that work.
I attached the Moleskin with one elastic in the front cover and one in the back, that held the big book in nicely.


If I could figure out how to make this, I would make at least two covers from the start. For my first Midori-like cover, I would put in my Journal Page Jumble. It is pages from multiple journals that I have three-hole punched and bound together with three silver binding rings (my past answer to the above problems – and not a very satisfactory or pretty answer at that). Then add one or two of my other journal as would fit.

For my working journal, I would use the Midori-like cover for art journal paper pamphlets. Pamphlets similar to the ones made in Teesha Moore’s “How to Make An Art Journal” videos on Youtube: Click to go to Teesha’s Video. Her Art Journal is super easy to make out of a big sheet of art paper (she uses a specific type of paper – but I have experimented with all different types and have had great results). Use each of your Teesha Moore journals as one pamphlet. What is the best is that you don’t need to sew it together. Stick half the journal under one of your Midori-like elastics to hold it not only in the cover but also “binds” the nested pages together. That allows you to move pages at will. You still will be somewhat limited by the pages divided by creases but you will have lots more flexibility to move pages and work with individual pamphlet pages (without being nested together with the rest of the pages). The Midori-like cover would hold lots of those types of journal inserts. Or you could make your insert out of many types and sizes of paper. Or even buy a pad of art paper and fold the pages in half using those nested pages to make your inserts. And if you wanted to keep notes, you could also add a lined composition book too, if you wanted.

Here is a stack of Teesha Moore style pages.
Each piece of paper makes three insert pages that are nested together to make one art journal.
Here are two insert pages getting ready to be nested.

Here is a stack of two art journals, each made from a stack of three of the page inserts.


Hmmm. Now all I have to do is figure out the easist way to make one. I have some treated canvas that was supposed to be used to make a painted kitchen floor mat. I could make one pretty quickly using that. But I would like to figure out how to make a Midori-like cover with simple to get materials with as little sewing as possible, something super easy to make.

I will give it some thought. And experiment a little. I will let you know what I come up with!

Do you like this idea?  Let me know, in the comment section!

Happy Saturday!


Focus or Lack of It and Journaling

One of my struggles has been to stay focus on a project and continue it to the end. I have noticed that isn’t easy for me and very often I move from project to project, never completing one before moving on to the next. I thought that it was a matter of distraction, or boredom. And I do think that plays a part. Really though, I do finish the project… in my own way.

I just wrote an updated post about my Junk Journal. That was truly an on again off again project. Mainly because I hated how the cover came out. I hadn’t done much work to it, other than adding ribbons to support the inner pages and once I finished the cover I didn’t like it. I fooled around with it adding a bit of sparkle. Glitter is always good, right? Well the sparkle might have been nice but my glitter glue changed the color of my paper in a really icky way. The dark maroon color over the plum background went terribly wrong. My clear glitter glue turned whatever was underneath it, maroon zebra stripes and leopard spots an awful looking green. Yucko! I have no idea how the clear glue could possibly turn (of all colors) green but there it is. What I thought was a once dark, boring cover, now looked absolutely dreadful – and I hated even looking at it. I had no idea what to do with it. Sure I could paint over it and start all over but I didn’t feel it, at all. So I put it aside.

Junk Journal


No worries. While I was making my Junk Journal, I happened apon an article about Midori Journals. They are a nifty little journal cover that you put little notebooks/booklet and such in. The notebooks and other additions are held in by elastic cords strung in the middle of the inside of the cover. As I looked at it I thought, hey, I could make one of those. So I had some stiff, treated cotton fabric and went to town. I actually covered it with the purple leopard spotted paper I used for the Junk Journal. It was the lighter color that I had used as an embellishment. I glued the papers on the canvas really thick and it turned out pretty nice. I liked the cover way better than my Junk Journal… except when I folded the cover over at the binding the paper started to get little tears in it. Now I have used this paper technique on another collaged covers and I didn’t have a bit of trouble with tears. It didn’t make me happy, but I did finish by stringing the elastic and using it as my daily traveling journal until I could get one I really liked (that didn’t look like a mess).


I jumped from that to designing the booklets for my Midori. At first I made more structured type daily pages. I was going to use my computer to make the pages but sadly I had computer problems and my desktop was out of commission and I needed that to format pages correctly. Or did I?

I really wanted to start using my Midori daily to keep track of some of the things I wasn’t handling so well. Like budget and finances, blog statistics, my calendar. So I hand-made my own, using washi tape and my own lettering. The resulting booklets, which was only going to be a test until I got my computer up and running, turned out to be really cool. I used one booklet. Changed the pages a bit. Tried it some more. Finally I decided I really didn’t like wasting so much space if I didn’t have something to write in the sections I had made for my daily pages. So I made a blank booklet on fun colored papers with a grid pattern. Even though I missed my graphics, I felt like I only used the space I needed per day and that was better.


I used the new booklet for several weeks and then… I just stopped using my Midori. Again, I had found another project to work on. I wanted to make a special journal for keeping track of my tarot practice. I use tarot cards, not for fortune-telling but more as a way to look at different options and different ways of looking at things happening in my life. I am slowly learning the cards. To make it easy I wanted to make a journal where I could write down my meanings and notes about each card. I wanted to have different sections so that I could easily find what I was looking for. And I wanted it to be fun! I had a Moleskin Journal that I wasn’t using… So I grabbed it and used foam stamps I made from jewelry, coins, shells… all sorts of stuff around the house, got out my distressed ink pads and stamped each section with a color and design that I thought went with that particular section. It was super easy and I loved how it came out. [ It is a quick (because you really don’t have to wait for the ink to dry before going on to the next page), easy, way to bring color and design to your pages. If you use lighter colors you can see any ink pen you might use to journal in it. If you use darker colors you may want to use a dark black felt tip like marker or even a dark brush tip marker for your journaling.]


I finished that and do you think I have used it yet? No. I haven’t. I am focusing on an online class and my daily practices.

So, why do I jump from project to project? Why can’t I finish? Well in a way I do finish. The secret is in the making of this or that… I look at something, decide, hey I can figure out how to make that… and I do. My hope is that I will get back to it and really use whatever I have made. But if I don’t, the point is I made whatever it is, in the first place. That is what the original goal and I did it.

How ’bout you? Do you find yourself jumping from project to project? How does that feel to you? Please, let me know!