Elisabeth Grover
07794351958

Tag: art journaling

Vision Boarding for Beginners

For those who haven’t heard of vision boarding, I’d like to introduce you to this art form. Using vision boards for a few years now, I have found that it can be a simple method of seeing your goals come to life. I really enjoy the process too.

Vision boards can come in different forms and each one is as individual as the person creating it. I like to create a vision board in a book rather than a board so I have a Moleskine A2 watercolour book where I keep a few pages dedicated to my vision.

I create my pages as-and-when things change for me and my goals need to be tweaked. I’ll be doing another board this summer to adapt my goals after a winter of ill health.

Before you start

It’s important to think about your goals before you start. Otherwise, you will spend time creating a nice scrapbook and not much else. In order to create your list of goals, please check my posts entitled Living your Values . This link will take you to the first post so work through that one and then read the following four leading up to the conclusion.

These posts will give you an idea of the direction in which you are heading.

Equipment

Material

Creating a vision board can be quite reasonable – or you can spend a lot on various pieces of ephemera! If you are on a budget, I would advise you to surf the internet and take images from there to print off. If you have a little more ready cash available, invest in some magazines which resonate with you. 

By this time, you should know the areas you are looking at, so you may want to invest in some travel magazines or perhaps those dedicated to the home or health and fitness.

Perhaps you can buy a handful and then fill in the gaps with some print-off’s from the internet.

Board or book?

You can buy a board from your local art shop quite reasonably choosing the size you want. I think that A2 is a good size as A4 can be quite restrictive.

Perhaps you’d like to put your images on a cork-board instead?

I prefer to visualise in a book so I can use different pages for different themes. I also create mini vision boards in my journals to keep me on track but these are a lot smaller and more compact, printed off from the internet.

Pens, glue, stickers, scissors

Anything you can get your hands on to create an atmosphere of fun and enjoyment while you do your board.

If you are in the UK, you’ll find a shop called The Works is pretty good for stickers and glitter. I personally love Etsy for my stickers but they tend to be a bit more expensive.

You may not be a sticker and glitter type of person and that’s fine too.

Time

Yes, I’ve put time on the equipment list! It’s the summer holidays and time is a little less restrictive. No checking the clock for the 3pm pick-up so you can create some space in which to do some work.

I think this is a great activity to do with your children. They can do their own while you do yours. Of course, there’s wont be goal-orientated but they will have fun sitting at the kitchen table cutting and sticking with Mummy.

But how do I do it?

I gather my equipment together and start by flicking through my magazines and seeing which images catch my eye. I cut them out and put them to the side ready to glue into my book.

Sometimes, I cut out images that may not seem to ‘fit’ with my ideas as I find it interesting to see why that picture resonated with me, Sometimes I don’t find the answer straight away but it’s when I go back to it that I discover what it is about that image that drew me to it.

I have a break for a cup of coffee at this point and relax for a little while before going back to my book.

When I sit down again, I put my images in some semblance of order. I have different pages for different types of goals and sometimes I have pages for values that resonate.

For example, I have a page that says ‘peace’ to me and although that’s not strictly a goal, I like to collaborate all my pictures together into one section so I can go back to it and remind myself what peace means to me.

This can sometimes take longer than the time available to you and that’s ok. Simply put the images in a safe place with the book or board and return to it when you next have some time to spare.

So what’s stopping you?

Pick up some glue and a notebook or board from your local newsagents when you are next in town along with a handful of magazines. Work out your life values when you have some time in the evening.

Grab a pen and a notebook and work your way through the short exercises instead of flopping in front of the telly!

I know you’ll find some nuggets of information from doing these exercises as it really helped me when I had young children at home and no time to myself. So give it a go and let me know how you get on.

I’ll be running some short workshops in the autumn term for mums with very little time who would like to work on their vision board. Or perhaps you’d like to learn a little more about journaling instead?

Why not drop me an email if you are interested in joining me in the Garden Sanctuary for a session of arts and visioning.

You can find me on elisabeth@thegardensanctuary.co.uk.

In the meantime, have a great summer break.

 

 

 

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Journaling Prompts

Following on from last weeks post about being yourself, I thought I’d take a look at using journal prompts as a tool to self-discovery.

Why use prompts?

If your journaling practice is your Morning Pages or a simple diary entry in the form of a list of activities you have done that day, you may be curious as to how journal prompts can help you. I hope this short post will help to clarify a little.

A little depth

If you’re looking to add a little depth to your self-reflections then journal prompts are a great tool. A simple word or sentence can help you to think about what that word means to you and how you would like to express it.

The blank page doesn’t lend itself to writing if you don’t find it easy to put words on paper. You can sit and look at it and wonder just where to start.

If you can’t come up with something profound, then where does that leave you?

Different meanings

A set of journaling prompts can mean different things to each of us. I am working through two different types at the moment. For my Boho Berry Challenge I use an art journaling style.

This one tends to be more visual with photographs printed out from my Sprocket mini printer and painted around. I don’t use a lot of words for this type of journaling.

An example of this can be seen below.

The prompt was ‘Favourite Techniques’ and I printed off images of an abstract acrylic painted in squares with a layer of Gesso over it. It’s one of my favourite images.

Alongside this image, I have glued a watercolour to demonstrate another favourite technique that I like to use. There is no writing on this one except a painted header and a prompt.

Post on FB and Instagram

I like to post these on Facebook as they keep me to task and allow others to comment on my work. I can get a feel for what works and what doesn’t.

Other Prompts

The other prompts that I am using at the moment are the Lisa Sonora ‘Root’ prompts. I use these as my written journaling tools and have only just started using them so can’t say much at this point. I like to mix it up with art prompts and written too so that I’m using different parts of my brain.

What journals do I use?

I love my Chic Sparrow Outlander travellers notebook for my written prompts as I can take it out and about with me on my journeys.

My Instagram feed has some images of my little adventures with my notebook so check it out here @gardensanctuaryjournaling

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Scribbles That Matter journal is better for my art journaling as the paper is lovely and thick and it’s an A5 size which is slightly bigger.

Next Steps

There are plenty of prompts out there for you to try – Pinterest and Instagram have some good ones. Or you could try googling to find prompts that resonate with you. Find yourself a nice journal, get your paints out and have a go today. Don’t forget to let me know how you get on!

If you would like to book an appointment with me, you can find my appointments page by clicking here

Or contact me : elisabeth@thegardensanctuary.co.uk

So, what’s the point?

I was thinking about my blog this week and what I should talk about with you all. The things that come to mind are my favourite life tools – walking, journaling, solitude and creating a calm day. My tagline for The Garden Sanctuary is Tranquility Within and I would feel incongruent if I didn’t incorporate some serenity into my life.

Search Engine Optimisation

I went to a Search Engine Optimisation workshop not long ago and we talked about optimising your website so that Google can find you amongst the crowds. I was sitting smugly when the presenter was talking about using a blog to optimise your website as I blog regularly until I realise that I hardly ever talk about reflexology and doula work! My face dropped and my smugness ran for the door!

It made me think about my blog and purpose for blogging.

I went away from the session thinking about changing the direction of my writing to incorporate more reflexology and doula work but something stopped me.

Why would I change the content if I enjoy what I do?

I’m never going to be a multi-million-pound industry and those who read my blog tell me that they enjoy it so shouldn’t that be enough?

Instagram and Me

I’ve been journaling about this in my Morning Pages as it has been on my mind recently. I feel the same way about Instagram as my feed (@gardensanctuaryjournaling) contains images of my journals and early morning dog walks. I I look at the feed and I think ‘that’s me’.

I browse through the beautifully curated images and wish I could reproduce them but I can’t. I’m not a white, curated kind of person and, although I enjoy looking at others work when they create beautiful flat lay images, they aren’t me. I’m a slightly messy, hippy-dippy type of girl.

My photography needs work and that’s ok.

I’m a work in progress too

Take the Lesson

So I will take the lessons from the SEO workshop, look at the white flat lays on Instagram in awe, and carry on improving my slightly quirky ‘look’ to find my voice in this busy world. The pictures can inspire and entertain me in the same way as a film about climbing Everest will. I’m never going to do that but I enjoy looking at the top.

What kind of images inspire you? I’d love to know if my readers are Instagram fans too and if you have any hints for being ‘discovered’ for who you are. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

My daughter with her vibrant pink hair and Coco (“The Mrs”) can teach me a lot. They are both are very happy in their own skin and I love this picture of them together.

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My Life in Journals

I’ve been looking through my old journals recently and feeling amazed at the amount of history contained in all these little books. The image above is just a small collection of my writing as I have many Moleskine extra large journals on my shelf that I use for my Morning Pages.

Journaling Outside

It’s been a beautiful sunny week in the UK and the pleasure of being outside and writing my thoughts on paper. I have kept a journal since I was a teenager, making lists, enjoying stationery shops and creating en plein air.

 

I  remember my diaries from those days, the aspects of my life that I used to journal about and all the history those books contained. I was utterly devastated when my mum threw my books out during a house move. I don’t think she recognised the importance of those little books and how I would have enjoyed looking through them now.

30 years on..

I am still keeping a journal but it’s moved on a little since then. I write my Morning Pages as soon as I get up. One page of an extra large blank Moleskine and sometimes it’s a struggle to know what to write. It may be stream of consciousness stuff but putting it all down on paper, and the routine of making it part of my early morning, is very therapeutic. I light a candle or burn incense and write…and write…and write……

Different Types of Journal

I get back from my dog walk at around 7.30 and I go into the garden with one of my faithful friends, sit in my hammock with a cup of herbal tea and I paint. I have different types of journal depending on how I am feeling that day.

Scribbles that Matter

An A5 dotted grid journal that I use for watercolouring in and journaling over the paint. I also create my daily spreads in my Scribbles journal.

I have been really impressed with the engagement of the company letting me know when the new Scribbles journals are back in stock and replying to queries on social media. Out of the three ‘Big Hitters’ – Moleskine, Leuchturm and Scribbles, the latter is my favourite.

My Travellers Company ‘Travelers Notebook’ (or TN for short).

I have looked at these TN’s for a while and not been convinced that they fit my needs but recently I have become rather hooked. They come in different sizes and are made by companies other than Travellers Company, and are rather beautiful.

I have the passport sized, which is tiny but fits in my bag and is ready to go. I create a basic weekly spread so that I have my week in front of me when I’m out and about, and I have a notes page too. I love the size and the flexibility of this cute little journal.

My Chic Sparrow Outlander

This is a brand from the States which I found by accident but I can see what all the fuss is about. Beautiful leather with pockets for all sorts of ephemera and is a good size. Mine is a pocket which fits the little Moleskine Cahier pads that you can buy in Waterstones. That makes it handy when I don’t have time to check out the amazing range of inserts on Etsy.

I use this one for taking out and about and writing notes in coffee shops using this. It’s such a pleasure to keep in my bag and bring it out when inspiration strikes.

I bought mine nearly new in the UK as the shipping is high. There is a FB group where you can buy the American planners second hand or nearly new and it’s been a godsend for me (and my budget!).

Journal’s Creed A5 size

I’m waiting for my new journal from Journal’s Creed to arrive so I’ll let you know what I think when I get it. I loved the look of it online as I could customise and choose the colours that resonate with me. Of course, I chose purple!

I’ve got some pretty inserts from Citridori which I am looking forward to using. I’ll use this one journal for painting and creating pretty lists of meaningful things.

Filofax A5 Malden

This is my business planner so all my appointments go into this diary and I take it out to appointments with me. I have had a custom made cover for my business and I am thrilled with the beautiful felting with a picture of Bumble, my therapy room on it.

 

Earthworks Journals

I have been a fan of Earthworks Journals for many years and the featured image shows my collection of different sizes and types. Beautiful leather and perfect for my ‘Dear Diary’ type entries.

Art Journals

These aren’t strictly journals as I don’t write in them, but I still find them therapeutic to use. I have a collection of different sizes and use each one dependent on how I’m feeling that day. I tend to use acrylic and gesso in my art journals and paint abstracts but I have been leaning towards watercolours recently.

I have spent a lot of time over the years creating a collection of journals that I love spending time with. There’s something wonderfully calming about looking at all of the journals on my shelf and thinking that each one is filled with episodes from my life. I liken it to my bookshelf where I look at each book and know that I have read it at sometimes in my life (apart from the big pile of non-fiction books by my desk clambering for my attention!).

I hope you have a great week with your journals, please let me know if there’s anything you’d like me to write about. My next post, which is almost ready to publish, looks at the subject of comparison in the journal community. I hope to see you there.

 

 

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Journaling Your Way

In the last post, I looked at the basics of journaling your way and the process that can give such pleasure. Looking through others ‘Bullet Journals’ I have found lots of inspiration for spreads that resonate with me.

Weekly Spreads

Most of my spreads are weekly. The benefit of this kind of journal is that you can choose how you format it and I like to experiment. I have tried vertical and horizontal versions depending on how I feel at the time. I enjoy creating the boxes and thinking about the week ahead and how it will work for me. There’s something quite meditative about drawing the lines and lettering.

I feel envious when I look at others lettering as there are so many amazing accounts with beautiful lettering but then I remind myself that it’s the process and not the finished art.

Daily Spreads

At the moment, I haven’t got enough to write about in order to create a daily spread but when I start work again, I will use one. I have done this one as a practice to see how useful it would be for me.

Monthly Spreads

A monthly spread is good as it provides me with an overview of the month ahead. I tend to use a standard calendar type monthly and paint around it with my watercolours to create a little interest. I love the work of Little Coffee Fox and this is one of her monthly spreads.

Step Tracker

As part of my recovery, I have been measuring my step count daily. Having my step count in list form inspires me to continue on those days when I don’t feel like going out. It’s also good to see how far I’ve come.

I use a simple list form for my step tracker with steps, mileage and hours of sleep which I take from my Fitbit data.

The Mind Garden

I have a couple of pages for my thoughts and scribbles and I call it the Mind Garden. I have used some watercolour paint to create an interesting background and I sit down with this page when I have random thoughts.

Sometimes I use it as a Morning Pages kind of journal as I find it really helpful to write my thoughts and feelings on paper. There’s something about switching off from the laptop and the phone, finding a pen that I enjoy writing with and finding the space to write.

The Garden Sanctuary Goals

I have a few pages which I dedicate to my business goals. To separate the areas in my journal, I use Washi Tape so that I can look at the journal and immediately distinguish each part. Washi Tape is similar to masking tape but comes in a range of colours and patterns and is so pretty. For those in the UK, Susie B and Colour Splash Supplies have great shops on Etsy.

Values and Quotes

I love having a page of my favourite values on one page. It helps to ground me when I can surround myself with words that resonate with me. Quotes that motivate me are part of this page too with simple watercolour shapes.

Other Spreads

Pregnancy Spread – a month by month account to help visualise where you are on your journey. You can add your appointments to this and also news items or personal diary items that you’d like to remember. It’s a special time in your life and this is a great way of remembering it.

Birth Plan Spread – the power of visualisation to create your birth plan in your head has been shown to be hugely beneficial to your mental health. How about making a spread with all the aspects of birth you’d like to incorporate.

Birthing Affirmations – in the same vein, you could use your birthing affirmations in a spread.

Relaxation Spread – Ideas for self-care activities on one page.

Exercise Tracker – A log of the exercises you do in a week.

Over to You

I hope I’ve inspired you to get your pretty pens out and find a nice book to journal your life in. If you have missed my previous post about starting your own journal, you’ll find it by clicking here. Good luck and let me know how you get on.

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Three Life Tools for the Journey

My last post described my story and I wanted to follow it up with another looking at the tools that have got me through.  Before I was affected by sepsis, I was an active person running my own business and coming to terms with the post-sepsis fatigue has been quite challenging for me.

Creative Journaling

I have enjoyed painting for many years but lately, it has been difficult to find time whilst establishing my business. My enforced rest has given me an opportunity to revisit my love and start creating again.

Initially, I could only do a little at a time from my bed but as time went on, I found it useful to stand while I painted. This helped me to start getting upright again and move gently but it also gave me immense pleasure to create.

I started small with little Moleskine watercolour books where I used watercolours to paint shapes of different sizes and colours. I was never going to win any art prizes with my work but, in a similar vein to the plethora of adult colouring books on the market, I found it mindful and calming.

I enjoyed watching the watercolours blend together and create patterns and I enjoyed looking at them the next day as the images changed.

Painting is something that we can all do if we let go of our expectations of creating a piece of art. It’s the process of creating can therapeutic, the gathering of supplies together – my paints, brushes, pens – and letting ideas flow.

This led to creating my own planners, also known as Bullet Journaling.

Bullet Journaling

There are times when I really wish I lived in the States! Whenever I mention bullet journaling to friends over here, they look blankly at me.

On a very basic level, a bullet journal is a planner that you create yourself.  The original idea came from a product designer named Ryder Carroll in New York and you can see the original work here.

I have always loved buying planners and trying them out for size, but they never quite fit my needs, the monthly calendar is in the wrong place or there isn’t anywhere to write my goals where I can see them. As I’m not doing much at the moment, I can adapt the calendar to my needs with this system.  I create the spread according to whatever is going on at the time and I buy the planner that fits in with this. I place a few drops of essential oils onto a kitchen towel and lie it between the sheets of paper so that I have a lovely scent when I open my journal.

I have thoroughly enjoyed looking at others bullet journals too. Although the original design is beautiful in its simplicity, there are some amazingly creative versions out there and I feel inspired when I look at the work. My favourites are:

Little Coffee Fox

Boho Berry

Page Flutter

Christina 77 Star

Alexandra Plans

Tiny Ray of Sunshine

and they can all be found on Instagram, Pinterest and Youtube.

I will be following this post up with one dedicated to bullet journaling for those planner-addicts who would like some more information.

Walking

I’ve always found an immense amount of pleasure in walking in nature. My goal during recovery was to make a trip to the local bluebell woods and I was thrilled to have made it in time to see the little blue flowers pop their head above ground. I am very lucky to live between two small wooded areas so I can choose which bluebell wood to go to. They both give me immense pleasure to walk through and enjoy the magic that is springtime.

The great thing about walking is that it really clears my head. Being outside in the fresh air surrounded by the wonders of nature is such an antidote to life. I used to go out very early in the morning with my dog Coco and walk for miles.  I would take the opportunity to catch up on my podcast episodes (Sprogcast ,The Cord and Dearest Doula ) interspersed with a little classical music.

Nowadays I take short walks with Coco and my family or I take a wander around town but these walks are just as good in a different way. I know that it will take time but that’s fine, I’ll go with it.

Onwards and Upwards

So that’s my story so far. I’ve found my inner strength during these weeks and I’ve reminded myself of the simple tools that are companions in my life no matter what happens.