Written and Art Journaling and Online Classes

One of my main purposes for making this blog is to have a place where a journaler can find EVERYTHING about spilling your life… books, videos, online classes, reviews, blog posts, freebies… all in one place. When I started out art journaling, it was hit or miss. I googled this and that and had to hunt for instruction, ideas, guidance, opinions and other art journalist and journalers.

My next project is to make a listing of Online Classes, Upcoming Online Classes, and Freebies. These lists, along with my Book, Magazines and Site Lists,will be posted and will be constantly updated as I receive approval from the artists to link and include class information from their sites. If I have taken a class with an artist/writer I will let you know. If you hear of a site or upcoming online class that you would like added to my list, please let me know!

Another reason I wanted to make an Online Class list is that when I started it was mainly artist and writers offering classes to help others find the joy of art and written journaling. What has happened in the last few years is that the classes have become strictly a money-making endeavour for some offering classes. There are even Online Marketers that are selling the formula to make your fortune selling online classes. So, in amongst the artist offering the very best material that includes their heart and soul, there are now many people selling online classes that offer little or nothing of much value, let alone any heart… often at a very high cost.

 

My rule of thumb when taking a class from a new instructor is to see if they have any free offerings or any YouTube or on site videos available to see if I like the instructor’s style and the content they present. This is really important because there are all sorts of ways of presenting online materials. Some instructors use strictly text and photos, others use videos to show step by step instruction, yet others set the camera to roll and show their techniques with no explanation – only music in the background… Or maybe you could take a less expensive class to try out this instructor. This particularly comes into play for me when the class is expensive, and for me, expensive is any class over $75 dollars. It is hard for me to swallow a text and photo based class if it costs over $75 UNLESS I know the artist and have faith that the material will really be worth it. It is hard for me to be satisfied, if I pay for a $75 or over class, and only get a few 5-10 minutes videos and some pdf content, UNLESS that content is OVER THE MOON FANTASTIC… I will feel (and have) jipped. Why? Because I have been so incredibly fortunate to have taken some of the most awesome, content filled classes by some of the most fabulous artists and writers out there! After you have taken a class with tons of wonderful video content for $30 and pay for a $97 dollar class that turns out to be text-based rehash of what is out there all over for less that $10… you tend to get VERY ANGRY. Don’t get me wrong, there are some classes that are offered over $75 that may be FANTABULASTIC, and are. But more and more, unless you know the instructor, there is more of a chance to get taken.

Spillinglife.wordpress.com, allows you to meet the artist and investigate/enjoy their sites and see what classes and freebies they have to offer. Have fun, learn, explore… that is my goal!

Happy spilling!

 

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Sojourn #6 Time for Fun!

You spent a week journaling and adding bits. Did you enjoy the week’s practice? Did you have any special insights? Did you feel like the pages had any value? Did you go into your daily practice wanting something special out of it? Or did you work more intuitively? I would love to know?

One of the things I found with the “brain dump” method of journaling is that the pages and pages of generated journaling often aren’t very satisfying if you want something pretty, interesting, funky?

This week we will change the practice up just a bit in order for you to continue the “brain dump” practice but to give more flexibility to make the page into something more interesting.

What you will need is a lighter colored pen. I actually picked up a small set of pens at my local drug store that had orange, pink, light blue and purple ball point pens for a few bucks. {( wouldn’t use the purple color for this week’s exercises, it’s a bit too dark but any of the others will work well). You could use Flair markers, Gel pens, even Crayola markers as long as you pick a lighter shade… one you can read but not too dark. You want the pen after it covers the page to shade the page but not be so pronounced that it can be easily read. You will also need a dark pen with a medium point. It can be any type of pen you like to write with or to do lettering. You will also need a magazine or a stack of images/photos/scrapbook paper/…. your choice, and glue and/or tape (or anything that will affix any images you would like to add onto the page). Any other art supplies you might feel like using.

Your mission is to do a brain dump, this time on both side of your page, each morning. Again the size of the page doesn’t matter, just remember to journal on both front and back. Use your light-colored pen. Keep a scrap sheet of paper handy so if you journaled about something you wish to keep a record of or explore further you can jot it down after (and only after) your brain dump is all done.

So, you have completed your journaling. The next step is to decorate the page. You can cover it… or not. Put down some interesting magazine pictures, photos, paper, bits and bobs… anything in any way that pleases you. Decorate both sides of the paper. The journaled paper is your background. Use it as the first layer of whatever you want to create. Maybe you just want to put down some pictures that strike your fancy. GREAT! Maybe you want to doodle a bit! TERRIFIC! Maybe you want to do both! DO IT! Whatever you want… if you have paints and want to paint. DO THAT! But that isn’t necessary. I think you will find the less different types of supplies you have a choice of, the easier getting something down will be. BUT IT’S YOUR CALL ALL THE WAY!

Keep in mind what you may have noted on your scrap paper. Was it a few words? A few ideas? A few important decision, discoveries, or conclusions? Was it an important paragraph? I want you to use your dark black pen to document these notes on your page… Maybe you want to doodle them, write them in fancy lettering, or just write them again, over the top of the collaged material or the light written background in a way that you can see them.

Fill the page, front and back, until you are satisfied… or until you don’t know what else to do. YOU ARE DONE!

Continue this for the week. It is my hope as you are adding your pictures, papers, ephemera, photos… that you add things that make you happy. What is nice about this week’s practice is that you are doing triple duty. You are clearing you brain, getting it down on paper, (then when you are done) making quick notes of anything of particular value that you wrote. Then you get to use your creativity to make the page into something that you enjoy… Turn the blob of words into a page filled with things that make you grin! Journaler satisfaction is key!! We have been journaling and adding bits but the focus hasn’t been specifically to create happiness on the page. The practice itself was what was important. Now we are bringing in the fun, the creativity, the joy of pleasing yourself on the page but keeping one of the most powerful of journaling practices, the “Morning Page” style of brain spill.

I hope you really have fun this week! At the end of the week I want you to be able to flip through you pages and SMILE. I want you to feel like there is something to journaling!

Please leave me a comment about how this week’s exercise went! I would love, love, love to hear how it is going! Happy Journaling and I will see you next week!

 

 

The Mountain and the Nightlight: a fable for Journaling and life in general.

This last year has been one difficulty and challenges after another for me. I gained 75 pounds, lost all almost all of the family that lived close to me, had to give up a job position I loved because of crazy long hours that were made unbearable due to life happenings going on at home. I became a couch slug. Whenever I came home I was too exhausted to do anything but vegetate. The normal habits of taking care of myself and the house just fell by the wayside. They felt too hard. They felt impossible. How would I ever get back into shape and be healthy when I couldn’t seem to stick to a healthy eating plan let alone get off my butt to exercise? How could I get my home back into shape when I was too exhausted to cook dinner when I get home? I would generally never share all this with you… I do now, because this situation was my mountain. It looked insurmountable! It made me feel like a loser. It made me feel terrible. It made me feel hopeless.

Funny enough, as I was trolling for sample books on Kindle I found Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Really Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath {click} It was all about how to motivate change for yourself and others. What an amazing book. In the first couple of chapters, Switch explained that no matter how big and insurmountable a change may be there is a trick to finding a way to change that is crazy easy. That is where our nightlight comes in. You need to focus on the bright spots in the area you need to change and forget about all the problems that you can’t deal with. For example, the “mountain” of figuring out how to get fit and lose weight is made much easier if I shine my “nightlight” on what has worked in the past. Focus on that. Not on the other problematic stuff. Just the bright spots that your find. For me, my “nightlight” brought to mind my Trikke. My Trikke is a bike kind of vehicle that I love to ride. It folds down so I can keep it in my car and use it whenever I can find the time. And it is fun. It isn’t like exercise but a relaxing, yet a good cardio workout. Focusing on that, I actually worked out three times this week. Three times! It was effortless and fun! And it showed… I might be able to get over that mountain… I might be able to do this, really do this. Which is really amazing. I haven’t felt good about my mountain situation in so long.

If you want to see what Trikking is all about here is a cool video.  No, that’s not me and it couldn’t be farther away from my West Coast Florida home but I think you can see why Trikking is my “nightlight” to my mountain!

 

 

Journaling can be the same way (as well as any number of other things in your life). You can focus on all the things you don’t know or are uncomfortable doing (your mountain) when all you have to do is find one or two things that work (shine that nightlight) and focus on them… So do you have a Mountain in your life? If yes, relax and think about where your bright spots. See if strictly focusing on your Nightlights and not worrying about the Mountain helps.

Clogged… no spillage.

 I have not gotten into a daily habit of Spilling. Establishing habits for me, especially new ones, is very difficult. I seem to do well for a couple of days… then I get distracted. Like with all the information that I have to consider about blogging. There is no point in me going into details but the more I look into whether I am on the right format for me, the more things I find I should consider for the long run. And I do see the value in at least attempting to have a plan for the future.

I had decided to stick with one blog provider when I found that another has a lot of behind the scenes set-up options that make my blog easier for people to find and interact with. So for the past few nights I have been going back and forth between my old blog set up and a possible new (one) to see if it would be worth the change over. At first I decided no, the new blog was not as user friendly to set up and it was looking like it would be a giant struggle… but it had lots of cool stuff that would improve readability organizing my blog in a way that would just make much more sense. Sadly, this struggle kept me from spilling. Silly girl that I am. I tell you to take 5 minutes if that is all you have. What do I do? I don’t follow my own advise.

So after another night of struggling with setting up this new blog, I finally remembered the point. The point of this blog, of the practice I let fall by the wayside, yet again. To take just a bit of time if that is all I have and spill it. So here I am. If like me you are caught up in a project, or chores, or life in general and have been forgetting or just plain putting off your journaling practice, all I ask is for you to reconsider. For just five minutes (or more, if you can spare it). Doodle, journal about your day, tape pictures… just do a bit. You might be surprised how good that little bit of peace you get from just knowing you took time to stay with it can give you!