In a Minute Ago


In a Minute Ago is a site about contemporary Journaling. Most of my adult life I have been interested in journaling. In the last 20 years the way people keep journals has become a rich diverse landscape of different creative activities. The internet has influenced the development of these hybrids.

Sometimes journals are more about the images between the pages of the book than the written content. Contemporary Journaling often combines visual elements such as sketching, collage, painting, printmaking, photography with text.  Journaling is heavily influenced by the book arts and artist books. Some journals explore the format of the book with pages that fold out, or have concertina pages, while others hold memorabilia in constructed pockets.  There are even journals that are not kept in notebooks but on filing cards, or postcards. Then there is the whole world of digital journals which include photos, video and sound.

Icon for journalsJournaling as a genre is currently behaving like a teenager, with all the passion and energy of young life, rebelling against the tradition of keeping a hand written journal in a note book and bending definitions. That does not mean keeping a journal is an activity for to the teenage years. The people I know, who keep a journal are well into their adult years. They are beyond that phase of life, and are not interested in too much introspection and recording angst. Instead their thoughts and interests look outward. They are externally focused. They witness events in their community, recording their reaction to life. These journalers pay attention to what happens on their patch of the globe, recording by sketch or photograph the places they live in and what they see. Since the development of the internet I have seen this grow via online groups such as Urban sketchers, and Everyday matters. These journal/ art diary/ sketchbook hybrids are still growing and developing which is fun to see.

My aim with In a Minute Ago it to track this vibrant genre. I enjoy seeing what people are doing with their journals, how they are using them and why. At the moment there are sites that focus on sketching and art journaling but not much on writing and the practice of keeping a journal. There are other sites that focus on writing but not on the visual elements.

I plan to mix the two topic areas as I do in my own journals. We encounter life with our eyes as well as our other senses. For me to represent the world visually adds meaning and depth to my journals. I use both words and images to make sense of an idea, or a thought. Sketching helps me to understand what I see. Sketching is not about a finished piece of Art with a capital A, but an activity that leaves a trace we call a sketch. There is also the practical side of keeping a journal, how to find time, establish a routine, what goals to set etc. Then there is the supplies to use such as what notebook to use, how to choose art materials etc  I have been an avid journaler for over 25 years – some would say that almost a habit – as I have written and/or drawn almost every day since 1989. I have also taught courses on how to keep a studio journal. So I figure I may have a few tips to share on journaling that may be useful for others. Sharing creativity sparks in the form of prompts, quotes,  books read, gallery visits and travel may help others with journaling ideas. Since my own journal practice is always changing as I try out various techniques both visual and written I will share them with you.

About In a Minute Ago: Who is the author?

My name is Sharon Boggon and my online name for years has been Sharon B. Training in the visual arts started in Perth, Australia. I originally trained as a painter. Then further studies in the Textile workshop led me to teach at the Canberra School of Art which is part of the Australian National University. I was there for 12 years, starting in the textiles workshop, before my career shifted to teaching what was then quaintly termed ‘Computer Arts’. This meant I taught such programs as Photoshop and Illustrator also by then I had branched out into Web Design.

In a Minute Ago as a static site first went online in 1995. As you can imagine the site has shifted and grown in many directions. Creating and maintaining a personal website has influenced my life in many ways. I am hope this next section about In a Minute Ago,  which is a mix of personal and professional material will enable you to gain a sense of who I am, what I do and how this site might be of use to you.

Where is the textile related stuff?

icon for stitch dictionary You will find fibre related and textile material over on Pintangle which focuses mainly on contemporary hand embroidery and crazy quilting. You will find my stitch dictionary of hand embroidery tutorials and, free hand embroidery patterns. Pintangle is where I host the Take a Stitch Tuesday (TAST) challenge. Pintangle also houses many fiber related tutorials.

On Pintangle there is a series of articles on my crazy quilt I dropped the button box. The series also gives out free crazy quilt block patterns and details about embellishing the seams. There is A Brief History of Samplers, also Pintangle holds my own quirky sampler project which is a hand embroidered sampler of 100 feet long.

In 2013 I had the thrill of imagining a product, designing the perfect item for me and then taking it that step further to be manufactured. It was a great thrill to have something made that did not exist before other than in my imagination. I am speaking of my Crazy Quilters Templates which I sell on Pintangle.

Books I have written

holding my book in front of quiltI have written 2 books. The first is  The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design: Simple Stitches, Stunning Results  which shares detailed practical methods about how to design and make a crazy quilt. From fabric choice, to balancing colour, texture and pattern, in order to balance and direct the eye around the block.  I cover how to stitch, build decorative seam treatments in interesting and creative ways. My book is profusely illustrated as my aim was to be practical and inspiring.

Creative Stitches for Contemporary Embroidery book coverThe second is  Creative Stitches for Contemporary Embroidery: Visual Guide to 120 Essential Stitches for Stunning Designs

Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned embroiderer, Creative Stitches for Contemporary Embroidery gives you techniques to encourage and develop a fresh and creative embroidery style. Discover play points in your embroidery. Explore variations in height and width, stacking stitches, or using repetitions of the same stitch to create areas of texture and shape. All these techniques and more will give you creative variations. I have included numerous demonstrations of small tweaks that create big effects. To send you down your own creative path, the book is richly illustrated with plenty of eye candy.

About In a Minute Ago Older Textile stuff

There are also a number of projects that I have run in order to raise money for charity. Some are archived here All that Jazz was a fundraiser for survivors of the Katrina hurricane disaster. I still host a site where can see the quilts and individual blocks here on In a minute Ago as I am very proud to have organised this.

Can-Bra was another charity project. The First National Crazy Quilt Retreat was held here in Canberra in October 2004. Attendees were invited to decorate a bra in order to raise funds for Breast cancer research.

Bags of Fun was a challenge run in late 2005 between September and November. The idea was to make a bag or container of some sort, from recycled jeans embellishing them using any technique available. I had so much fun with this challenge that I am often tempted to propose it again.

I live in Canberra Australia in one of the suburbs that was hit by the firestorm on January 18 2003. “Safe as Houses” is a small crazy quilt I made in response to the fires.

Other blog stuff

Tones and Tints is no longer active as I used it to reclaim some of my sketching skills after years of using a computer daily. Sketching related topics now reside here on inaminuteago.

One of my past projects is titled “Wisdom of the Ages” I am asked the public to respond to the question: What lesson have you learnt in life? With this project I aimed to create a snap shot of common sense or popular wisdom. The idea was simply to share some of the lessons in life and hopefully people will take pleasure in reading it. This project is no longer active but archived here

Past Exhibitions

As I have said above I am trained in the visual arts and have exhibited work. Past textile exhibitions have been archived as they stood. So if the sites look a bit old fashioned some sections are over 20 years old!

Samplers and Sampling was exhibited in 1995 and went on the website in 1996. Samplers and digital technology both manipulate information in a manner that questions the value of the ‘original’. This question surrounding a value system associated with an ‘original’ object has proved to be a fascinating theme which weaves itself constantly through out all my work.

Playing False was exhibited in 1997 and it is the first body of work in which I looked at how the internet was being used. For this project I took screen shots of women’s homepages with their permission. I then digitally manipulated the image with Adobe Photoshop, printed the image on fabric and embroidered them. These stitcheries were mounted on small panels and exhibited in groups of 4.

Reflections in the Screen : playing in mixed reality” was an experimental project that was part of the “Craft is Dead -Long live Craft” exhibition held at the Craft Victoria Gallery in 1998.

Abbreviations was held in May of 1998 at the ANCA Gallery in Canberra ACT Australia. With this particular group of works I explored the idea of virtual travel.

In the Shareware Project in the year 2000 I explored the notion of cultural exchange and how it is tied to narrative. I wanted illustrate the social aspects of textile communities online. At the time I had my stitch dictionary free online. I requested that people who use my Stitch Collection pay me for it- a ‘shareware payment’ but I was not interested in money as such. I was interested in their story so I asked people to send me a piece of fabric, a button, or lace that had a story associated with it. I then scanned the objects and using Photoshop, worked a series of postcards. When I made the shareware project blogging software was not around, in fact Facebook was founded 4 years after this exhibition. I built a site and illustrated the stories associated with the items I had been sent, at the same time illustrating the process of creating a “postcard” from the materials sent to me. The idea was to illustrate social contact online but remember this was before we had ideas of social media.

Please note that these projects were archived as they stood at the time of publication. I have an extended page which covers the ideas that drive my work and an artist statement.

About In a Minute Ago Comments Policy

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I hope that keeps everyone happy. Enjoy In a Minute Ago!