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Resolution Journals

My journals from 2013 & 2014

January’s just begun and so has the resolution making for 2014! Do you usually make resolutions for the year? I think most people really dislike making resolutions. The arguments usually go as follows: You can’t keep them. No one remembers them past January 2. You can probably fill in the blank with a lot more reasons not to make resolutions than to make and keep them. However. . .

I have come to enjoy making resolutions. 2012 was the first year I made a list of resolutions and really took it seriously, and I feel like I accomplished a lot! I like to think of my resolution list as more of a long-term to-do list. A few goals, written down, to work on is never a bad thing. I didn’t wind up completing all twelve items on my 2012 to-do’s or even my 2013 list, but I did complete many of them and was encouraged to do so simply because I remembered what they were! How did I remember? I made a resolutions journal, which I wrote about some time ago.

Here are my tips for creating your own:

1. Get a small journal or notebook you can carry with you. This past year I used a Jotter from Wit & Whistle. A small 3×5 notebook with a cute design works perfectly for me. I can carry it around and mark things off as I accomplish them.

2. Pick a number. Any number. Start small. For 2013 I did 12, and I am scaling back to 10 for 2014. Might I suggest starting with FIVE? Five goals to accomplish this year. You can totally fit that into your schedule over the next 12 months.

3. Decide on what you’d like to accomplish in the coming year. Reading, volunteering, cleaning, hobbies, whatever.  Designate one page of your book to each goal.

4. As you write out the goals, make them attainable and specific. Say you want to read more in 2014. A goal of “Read more” will have you making excuses all the way to December about the meaning of “more” (i.e. “Does one word more count?”). Saying you’ll read every best seller from last century will have you feeling overwhelmed. Think of what you normally do, and set your goal slightly ahead. If you read three books last year, you might formulate your to-do item as “Read six books by December 2014.” Follow it up with a list of possible books, and check them off as you finish them. To-do? DONE!

5. Leave space on each page to make notes about your progress or to fill in the date you completed the goal. Looking back to see what you’ve done will be more inspirational if you have a little of the story behind it.

Finally, remember that these goals aren’t set in stone – You made them, and you can change them! I make a note at the end of my list not to feel bad if I don’t get every single thing on the list accomplished. Focus on what you DO get done instead and reevaluate the incomplete items at the end of the year as you think about your next year’s list.

What do you want to accomplish this coming year?


Blogging was definitely not on my resolutions list for 2012, as you can probably tell. But I may be back, thanks to a little prompt from a really awesome sister.

For my first post of the year (in JUNE), I guess I’ll start off talking about my ACTUAL resolutions are for this year, and the process I’ve gone through to document those resolutions.

First, I usually don’t keep resolutions because I forget what they are by the middle of February. A mini sketchbook from Ugmonk has been just the ticket for me to combat forgetfulness—I can carry the resolutions with me to keep them fresh in my mind all the time.

Second, inspired by my friend Jeanne’s 25 by age 25 list, I decided that a numbered list of resolutions was the way to go—12 in 2012. I sketched a set of pages in the sketchbook for each one of the twelve resolutions.

Here are just a few of the resolutions I’ve made for this year:

1. Read the ENTIRE Bible by Dec. 31, 2012.
2. Read 12 books—aka one book a month—during this calendar year—10 books down, 2 to go
3. Participate in Greenville’s Mini Book Collective art exhibition at Art &  Light Gallery. —FINISHED!! I’ll have to post about this later
5. Donate 10″ to Locks of Love by end of the year (this is seeming to take FOREVER)

9. Knit/crochet 10 scarves for a local women’s shelter
10. Finally get rid of my ANCIENT laptop. RECYCLE is the plan!

And last but not least, number 12—celebrate 12-12-12 in style!

I decided it’s not important that I finish all these resolutions; the important thing to me is having a goal to work towards. Hopefully I can accomplish a few of these, but if nothing else, the year will have been time well spent.




Wedding Card Album Craft

DIY photo source: Something Turquoise Blog via Christin on Pinterest

When I saw this project by Something Turquoise, I knew I had to make it happen. All our wedding cards had just been lying around, tied up with yarn into three stacks in a box where no one could enjoy them. This project was so quick—I picked up the supplies from Michael’s after work on a Tuesday, and the whole album was finished that night! You can find the directionson the Something Turquoise blog. They were really detailed and so easy to follow (lots of pictures too)! If you’ve already organized your cards somehow, this would make an awesome one-of-a-kind shower gift.

I picked out cardstock for the covers in our wedding colors—gray and purple—and I was lucky to have some ribbon leftover from some wedding crafts still in my stash.

Wedding Card Album Craft

Craft Tips:

1. I found big chipboard self-adhesive glitter letters at Michael’s. SO THANKFUL for self-adhesive-craft anything! I think the chipboard letters add a lot of dimension over stickers. Go with chipboard, you’ll thank yourself.

2. The metal rings were in the sewing section with the embroidery thread. Buy a larger one than you think. Cards add thickness FAST.

3. I’ve never used the crop-a-dile hole punch that was mentioned in the original post, but it looks amazing!! I had a regular old hole punch and felt like my hand was going to fall off by the end. If you use a regular hole punch, take things one layer at a time—don’t try to punch through a triple folded card all at once. I added the Crop-A-Dile punch to my wish list—if only my birthday wasn’t 5 months away!

4. Not all my cards fit in this one album. I put in the cards of people who wrote notes, are family, were in the wedding party, or are special friends. Buy a larger metal ring than you think you’ll need, or make two!


Does anyone have any big travel plans this year? It seems like several people I know are catching the pre-summer travel bug and already making plans for their upcoming adventures. Whether you are planning a few weeks abroad or a weekend getaway, you may want to consider packing a journal with you.

One purpose of writing a journal is to relive the new, exciting and unusual events that happen to us. What better moments to relive that times where you took a road trip, a cruise, a honeymoon or a weekend in search of the perfect Ikea chair? You can write them all down in your regular journal, or buy a special journal for each trip. Wikipedia calls it “a record made by a voyager”—that’s you! So fill your journal with sketches, clip in photos, write in notes, throw in brochures—anything that you want to remember most when you get back from your trip. You can even pair posts with photos you take and leave space to include those images later.

I just started a small travel journal and have decided to dedicate a few pages per trip to sketches of my memories. Already it’s a great way to remember the small weekend trips my husband and I have taken, and I can’t wait to include our family vacation this summer.

Need some ideas for your own travel journals? Check out Flickr for a ton of great ideas.

Travel Journal pages by Marie’s Shots

I just discovered that my friend Mary will also have a sketchbook touring the nation with The Sketchbook Project. I can’t wait to see it in person – Mary and I sat next to each other in a college illustration class. I was definitely always envious of her serious talent and whimsical style. Check out a preview of her book on her blog, Mary Lekoshere Illustrated.

Photos from Mary Lekoshere Illustrated

Last year I posted about entering the Brooklyn Art Library’s Sketchbook Project. After months of having my sketchbook sitting around building up thoughts, I finally took it up and started sketching. Now my book is off to Brooklyn, NY to be catalogued with thousands of other sketchbooks being submitted for The Sketchbook Project. It was definitely a fun project to work on, and I am very happy with how it turned out. Thanks to Jeanne for letting me know about the project!

A sneak peak of my sketchbook pages

I can’t wait to see the other sketchbooks when the tour comes our way. Will any of you be catching it in a city near you? Check out the tour dates here.


A few weeks ago I posted some illustrations from book arts project 2. I’ll be sharing some pics from the book this week and next.

For more pics and a not-so-short summary of how I began to create this book, keep reading after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »


Starting off . . . the head of the monster.


I got my project back a while ago, but only have just gotten the opportunity to photograph the book. My sister has been begging me to post it, so here it is!

The Story: I immediately saw a sea dragon as soon as I folded my book and set it up on the work table. Most of the pages were the ups and downs of the dragon coming in and out of the water, but what to do with the spreads that turn the dragon’s direction? THINGS HE’S EATEN. It was like a light bulb lit up over my head, and I started drawing.


Book shown from above. I aimed for a very sculptural form with panels that decreased in size.



"The Lost Ship." The first book spread.


To see more pics of the book, including the rest of what this monster ate, continue reading after the jump!  Read the rest of this entry »

Today I will again embark on an academic adventure and start my class for the semester. I am so excited to have been granted a seat in Book Arts class—I’m hoping to really learn a lot and to be able to push myself to do something new. I thought I’d share a little book inspiration with you from an artist I’ve admired for many years, Dan Essig. His work is simply incredible. I am always in awe of how he combines book elements to create something very sculptural. Yay for a new semester!

Niche by Dan Essig

There are days where I love my graphic-designer-by-day-job. And then there are days were I really, really, really love it. This week has been filled with the later kind of days. This week I got to work on fleshing out my design for a university book store display window. It’s really fun to see how the design develops from the concept stage to the final product. I spent time scavenging for rubber bands to make about 30 rubber band balls (thanks to Emily for helping me wrap all those rubber bands!), running all over town to find rubber bands in coordinating colors to the design (Office Depot is the spot to find beautifully colored rubber bands) and about 250 classic yellow pencils, covering about a MILLION books in patterned paper, styling newly purchased mannequins in newly printed t-shirts, and pulling products from the store to display in the window. I also took time to name the mannequins “Martha” and “Stewart.” It just seemed fitting. And after the Production team made a giant tree out of industrial foam, and printed, wrapped, and hung all the graphics in the window (thanks guys!) I went to work styling the props in the two foot wide (and very stuffy and hot) window space. I just love making things grouped and pretty and stylish and wonderful.

Below are some pics of the window—sorry for the blurriness, I forgot to check my focus—I was just so excited! (Click pics for larger images)

Panoramic shot of full window

Martha and bouqets of freshly sharpened pencils

Stewart's side of things

The beautiful tree by the Production Team