Have a cuppa

Have a cuppa

After asking on Facebook what people thought about a journaling site I have started to build one. Many people see journals on Pinterest etc but have no idea where to start. There are many basic questions like what is journaling, how to choose the right journal, what supplies are needed and then what to journal about, how to mix image and text and then by far most people want prompts, creative ideas and inspiration to keep journaling. Before I get on to prompts however I need to build a few basic resources so I can point people to information on the what, why and how of journaling. So I am asking for people to bear with me while I build a resource that people can use.

As a result of questions I was asked when I floated the idea I have sitting in draft (in very dodgy state of draft) articles such as
How to choose a journal
Journals don’t have to be perfect
What is the difference between art journaling, sketch booking, visual diaries, and studio journals? How many types of journaling practices are there?
Why keep a journal?

Remember I am travelling at the moment so this will have to be a slow build for the next few months. So my general plan is to start building some resources then introduce prompts and challenges as many people want those.

For people who have never tried journaling before what questions do you have?
For those who really want to get to heart of it and tackle the prompts how often do you want them and sooner or later? Did you want to start in a month or so or make it a new year thing? ( I have drafted out a few ideas so can jump either way) I think many people will want a facebook group for the prompts which I can do but would like feedback on that before I set it up. Perhaps people can let me know in the comments what they think. Also any questions leave them in the comments so they can go on my to write list.



  1. I would like an autumn/spring start. Like many others I do not use FB due to the relatively public nature and prefer dialogue on a blog. A prompt every couple of weeks sounds good.

    English quilter
  2. I would like information on working with a journal if one is artistically/drawing-challenged. Also how to get over the fear of “wrecking” the journal with bad work and how to handle “bad” pages.

    English quilter
  3. I’m not confident with art, so starting each time with a blank, white spread is quite scary for me. I’m always afraid of wasting materials and producing something rubbish!
    Creative sketchbooks are kind of a new interest for me and, to be honest, one I’m not sure I’ll have more than occasional time for, but I’m keen to find out more anyway. Not sure how my impression really fits in with journalling as such.
    As well as lack of confidence and time, another issue for me is not wanting to accumulate any more stuff (can you believe that I halved my fabric stash yesterday???), which can be off-putting. However, I would like to use what I’ve got…
    Lots of uncertainties…

    1. Hi Elizabeth – I will did out some examples of not so perfect studio journals so you can see them – they are tool and ideal workhorse for someone like yourself but real studio journals are not neat and tidy things – they capture ideas but the finish off process of that idea takes place elsewhere – so something is an idea for an embroidery but the its the embroidery where the final idea is realised. Hope that makes sense – I will post something in the next few days for you

      Sharon B
      1. Saw it on YouTube, thanks! I think perhaps my main problem is am age old one: Too Much Else To Do at the mo. I’m still trying to deal with taking care of my mum, cutting my stuff down (which means a lot of reading so as to reduce the book load – you know how it is – as well as managing sales of other stuff) and so on. I’m not really focused on art (or music) these days. I suppose I can only do so many things at any given time, but I do want to get more paper based stuff accomplished – if only to use up more supplies instead of hoarding them to no good purpose. Maybe doing sketch/double page spread per week might be manageable for me?? Hmm, I’m thinking I could do that and post it on my art blog. Something to think about next insomnia attack!!

        BW to you both. =) xx

  4. Hi Sharon, this couldn’t have come at a better time!
    Like Diane I make sketchbooks all the time and then they sit blank on the shelf because I don’t have the confidence to fill them with art work.
    I’m with Beth regarding Facebook, started TAST full of good intentions but whilst I have continued to work up samples I’ve drifted away from Facebook so I’m happy to subscribe here.
    Autumn feels like a good starting time, think I’m still working in school term segments, and prompts once a month seems realistic.
    Just as an aside I want to thank you for all your efforts, you are a very inspiring lady. I belong to a textile group here in Edinburgh where I discovered another ‘pintangle’ fan, we’re often enthusing about your work and referring people to your site, your hard work is very much appreciated.

    1. Thanks Beth I am pleased there are a few folks out there that tire of facebook! And only too happy to focus things here. I have noted another Vote for the norther Autumn

      Sharon B
  5. Hi. I would be happy to start either in the autumn or New Year. As somebody who has been meaning to start for a while, I think this is a wonderful idea – thank you so much for doing this. Sarah Jane

    Sarah Jane Kerr
  6. What a great idea to have a journaling blog….I have to say I quite like the “visual Diary” type of book with a spiral binding for any design work.
    Yes I agree a book you have made yourself is a really good idea. For years I have paid for an expensive diary with recipes in it etc glossy paper all the best…start the year with gusto and then slowly drop off as the year progresses. I made a book at a workshop and vowed to use it rather than just put it on the shelf….then I went to the store and brought a little diary for $3 and tucked it in a pocket inside the front cover and I actually use it and it is very handy, dont know why I didnt do it years ago

    Thanks for all your wonderful ideas and inspiration.

  7. Several years in a row I made a book each year that I carried as a calendar but there was plenty of room for collage with whatever came my way. Then I got busy and just adapted notebooks I found and decorated. I do enjoy a bit of glue and tape…

    Currently, I am trying to keep track of my days in a book as well as in my blog. I did pretty good for several months when I was using my handmade books. My practice has fallen off since I went back to using up purchased books. I think there is a message there. I should empty the shelf – give them to charity and go back to making my own.


    1. Diane you touch on a really interesting topic/question as I am always interested in noticing my own stall points – perhaps hand made books are your stimulus. Interesting how a little shift in a habit like that can mean a practice happens or stalls

      Sharon B
  8. Fall is as good a time for new starts as any time – The beginning of my childhood school year was always a good feeling – new pencils and notebooks ….. But I’m oK with January as well.

    I would prefer to NOT do facebook, if possible. Having it come to my email inbox is much better for me. Perhaps there is a way to have facebook notify me by email … will investigate

    Prompt frequency … for me, maybe no more often than every other week. Monthly may be better

    1. HI Beth thanks for your input – you can have in a minute ago delivered to your inbox by using the follow feature in the side bar – no need for facebook. If I offered a facebook group it would only be for those who want to use it. I actually prefer interaction to take place on the blog as it feels more real to me. Facebook is all about the like and scroll and to be honest I don’t find it at all satisfying. That said many do so I offer that option as well but it is alway as an extra to site not the main game.

      Sharon B
  9. I think the starting time should be when you are ready; once you have got home or when you are in a place that is comfortable for you.

    One of the things that I am interested in is something you mentioned on Tones and Tints; making a journal.

    About FB it is a good meeting place but may I suggest that the group be a closed one. There doesn’t seem to be so much ‘troll’ activity if it is closed.

    Hope I haven’t gone on too much, but you did ask πŸ™‚

    1. HI Juno great to see your comment – yes I think book binding basics would be a great topic. I am not the best but I am getting better at it with basic equipment ( no great huge presses etc) so may have some useful tips for people

      Sharon B
  10. My question is “what type of journal should I purchase?” The standard lined bound book doesn’t sound like it’s going to fit the type of journaling you are going to promt us through. Unless I have it all wrong. Personally I like paper and pen. The computer or lap top seem to get in the way of my writing and thought process.

    I don’t believe in new year resolutions. Personally, September or October seem to be good times to start new goals. Probably because of teaching for so many years. October is my birthday month and it has been natural to “turn over a new leaf” then. Any time you feel ready to start is good with me.
    I hope my input helps.

    1. Hi Kathy I am working on a small short video on this topic now – it will be up in a week or so. In the video I talk about journal choices and what I do.
      Timing is different where you live here in Australia our new school year is in February and our summer holidays is January but I take your point about it not necessarily being tied to the new year – feels a bit far off to me.

      Sharon B
  11. I would love to start as soon as you can get it underway , I am also away from home at the moment but should be home for Sept. A face book page might encourage people to share . Prompts could be every 2 or 4 weeks to give people time to explore in a little depth, of course they wouldn’t be obligatory
    but I find a little challenge most helpful! Thank you so much for considering this, I don’t, know how you find the time.

    Yvonne Wright
    1. Thanks Yvonne – I agree with what you say about facebook – although I would use a group as the pages are not as interactive. I think a challenge/prompt type thing would be fun

      Sharon B

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