Elisabeth Grover
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Tag: 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

Creating your own Journal

My last post looked at bullet journaling as a new life tool. I have talked about the joy of writing things down on paper in previous posts and the enjoyment I get from creative journaling. Bullet journaling can be a hybrid allowing me to combine both of my passions in one notebook.

My last post looked at bullet journaling as a new life tool. I have talked about the joy of writing things down on paper in previous posts and the enjoyment I get from creative journaling. Bullet journaling can be a hybrid allowing me to combine both of my passions in one notebook.

Having said that, it is suitable for people who feel that art isn’t their forte too. A simple design or a printout courtesy of Pinterest can really help you in the early days until you work out what design you would like to use. A good place to start is with Boho Berry  as she has some great videos to watch. The original website is also good from the founder Ryder Carroll but personally, I find the system of symbols a little confusing. The joy of this kind of journaling is that you can make it fit your needs so if you are creative, you can paint some watercolours around your diary entries, but if you aren’t, then a list version will work equally as well.

Social Media

I enjoy looking at others journals and Facebook is a super place to start. My favourite group is Bullet Journal Junkies. Despite being US based and so the Etsy links don’t work for me (postage prices) and we don’t have a Michael’s (which sounds like my idea of stationary heaven!), the designs are great to look at and it’s nice to be part of a community of journal lovers.

I also belong to Bullet Journal Junkies UK and UK Bullet Journal Junkies which are also great for inspiration. If you put in Bullet Journal into the Facebook search box, you’ll find lots of choices to suit you – groups for beginners, professional people, artists and those groups where you share your spread for the week or month (your design).

Instagram is also a great place to search for inspiration. My favourite people to follow are:

Tiny Ray of Sunshine

BohoBerry

Show me your Planner

Pretty Prints and Paper

Bumble Bees and Ladybirds

Alexandra Plans

Roz makes Plans

Stina Journals

Show me your Bullet Journal

Little Coffee Fox

Page Flutter

and there are many more to look through. I like these accounts as I find them inspirational and I enjoy looking at other’s artwork. I am constantly amazed at the level of detail that some people put into their journal and it inspires me to try different ideas.

Tools

Notebook

You actually don’t need many tools in order to start but it’s fun to look around and buy some supplies that give you pleasure.  I have researched the various notebooks and the pro’s and con’s of each and I have bought myself a Scribbles That Matter dotted journal. You may wonder why dotted journals are the favourites of bullet journalists and the answer is that they offer some guidance without being too obtrusive.

Blank notebooks are clean and ready for your jottings but they can be difficult to keep neat and tidy. Some journal writers use squared paper but I find the squares too obvious. A happy medium for me is using a notebook with dotted paper. I love to put a few drops of essential oils on a small piece of kitchen towel and lie it in between the paper. This gives you a lovely surprise when you open up your journal and the smell is divine. I use Rosemary and Petitgrain oils as their scent really resonates with me but you can check out my other favourite oils in previous blog posts.

I love the Scribbles That Matter journal because the paper is so thick (100gms) and I can paint using my watercolours without any ink showing through on the other side, known as ghosting. The other journals of note are Moleskine Dotted Journals and Leuchtturm 1917  both of which come in lots of different colours and the reviews for these notebooks are great. The paper is thinner than the Scribbles That Matter so you may get a little ghosting but that will depend on the pens that you use.

 

Pens

I love trying different pens to see what I enjoy writing with. I have a selection of black writing pens:

Uniball Gel Impact – a broad pen which is nice to writing large amounts of journal entries.

Uniball Air – also broad nibbed and a good pen to write with.

Uniball Vision Elite – a medium roller ball.

PilotV Pen – a great disposable fountain pen but the erasable ink means that your writing with fade over time. Such a shame as I love writing with these pens and they come in lots of different colours.

And drawing pens for creating the diary boxes or drawing doodles. Both pens are filled with archival ink and waterproof so you can draw over your watercolours.

Pitt artist pens 

Sakura Pigma Micron 

Watercolours

Not everyone will use watercolours in their journal. Some may worry that it will make the pages buckle or the paint will show through the paper. I find that the Scribbles That Matter journal is perfect for this as the pages hold up to a generous amount of water and I like the slightly ‘lived-in’ look.

The paints I use are Kuretake Gansai Tambi  which are lovely paints and a great selection of colours (super price on Amazon too). I use the gold a lot in my journals as it has a lovely sheen to it.

There’s also the Winsor and Newton Cotman paints which are a great price too. You can mix and match these paints as the box allows you to buy half pans with colours you like, unlike the Kuretake set where the colours are set.

Give it a go

I appreciate that life is busy enough without creating your own journal, but this method of planning can really help you to slow down and take notice of the things around you that matter. Taking time out to create a page is a great way of making time for yourself, and the flexibility of the bullet journal allows you to make a planner that actually works for you.

In my next post, I will be looking at ideas for pages (or spreads) that you can try for yourself. Remember that making art is a process and you don’t have to show anyone your work. It’s taking time out for yourself that matters, not what the finished product looks like, so try it yourself and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

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A Little Space

IMG_2542 As a holistic practitioner, I felt that my first blog post ought to be about living my values. You’ll hear me talking about values in my posts as I find that the words that represent values, and what those words mean, really inspire me and make me who I am.

This morning, I wrote about making time for yourself for a feature in my forthcoming newsletter and it prompted me to start here.  It’s hard to give to others when you are tired and feeling over burdened with no space to think. So I thought I would start my blog by taking a picture of me having time to myself in The Garden Sanctuary before my children get up. You can see ‘Bumble’ my therapy space in the background.

A little about my morning ritual. Although my four children are older now, I have been prioritising this space for a long time, even when they were little. The only thing that changes is the venue. Inside V Out. I’m not keen enough to sit outside in the winter even though I would like to! I am a morning person so this is the ideal time for me to mentally create my day. Evening’s may work better for you, or during the day, and that’s great too. As long as you are building that time in and prioritising it daily as you would any other diary event, it doesn’t really matter when it is.

I get up out of bed as soon as I wake and I make myself a large cup of herbal tea. On a lovely day like this, I’ll take it out into the garden to sit and reflect on the day ahead.  I have a lovely little water feature which gently flows in the background so it helps to clear my head before the day begins. I use a journal idea which I have adapted from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way  called The Morning Pages. She advises hand writing three pages of A4 a day which I haven’t been able to achieve ( I am human after all!) so I adapted the idea and cut it down to one page of extra large moleskine journal. That way it’s achievable and I do it daily. I’ll be writing more about this in subsequent blog posts as I think it’s been a real help in getting all my ‘stuff’ out before I start my day.

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I have a separate Moleskine book for a list of 20 affirmations that I’m currently working on. When I’m writing, I think about how great I will feel when I am achieving them. One of my affirmations is to be a certain weight again. As I’m writing the affirmation down on paper, I think about what it’s like to wear size 10 jeans and I embrace that wonderful feeling. I do the same with the other 19  affirmations so this does take some time. I don’t do it daily, maybe three times a week but in between those times, I am thinking about the feelings I will get when the affirmations come true.

In the following blog posts, I will talk about journal writing, affirmations and making time for yourself in a busy life as well as posts about alternative health, aromatherapy, mindfulness, creating calm in your day, meditation and visualisation.

Before I go, I will leave you with an image of my mindfulness trainer, Coco the Dog. As soon as I sat down to create this post, she decided to dig up the garden in search of buried treasure (those lovely ants). Yes, it was a good lesson for me as I felt the stress levels rise whilst chasing her unsuccessfully around the garden.

Note to self: In order to do one thing really well, I  can only do one thing at a time.

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