Sunday, 11 January 2009

Why do we Journal?

In creating this new journaling blogsite, it set me thinking as to why we journal, and to reflecting on the journals I have made, and those in progress. Do we create journals because we love writing, or photography, sketching and painting, or scrapbooking? Are we impelled to 'say something' about a moment in time? What is the catalyst that sparks some new journal? For me, my inspiration is usually somewhere we visit: 'a sense of place'.

I have been writing diaries since I was a little girl and the results are stored in our roof-space or littered all over the house. Those devoted solely to the written word will not be covered here - in this blog I want to share my visual journals.

It wasn't until the year 2000 that I began a form of visual journaling (I'll cover the formats I have used in a later blog). I'll begin by sharing the magic of the Scilly Isles - a tiny archipelago set 28 miles off the Cornish coast in England and the nearest land to the USA. Five inhabited islands and dozens of outlying islets and rocks. We first discovered this idyll in 1965 and have visited on and off occasionally ever since. I recently made a scrapbook-style journal of our latest visit; two of the pages are illustrated (see the lower pic of the two shown above). Few words, mostly photos and a background of handmade paper and memorabilia.

The second journal (the front cover is illustrated in the top pic above) was made from silk noile with photos and my own poems about the Scillies transferred onto fine cotton lawn and stitched onto the silk, then folded into a concertina, stab-stitched toegther with embellishments added to the spine: shells, beads, buttons and other bits and pieces. The poems were written over many years - it's one of the ways I like to remind myself of that 'sense of place'. My poems usually just happen, and it's very inconvenient if I don't have paper and pen to hand as I walk along a beach, or anywhere else for that matter. Once, all I had in my pocket was a pen - I still wrote: on a white stone I picked up from the foreshore! I still have the stone. It's part of my accumulated 'stuff'. Double click on either pic so the text is large enough to read.

I will post photos of the pages from these two journals when a) I have taken the pics and b) I have discovered how to post multiple photos in the sort of layout that I am used to creating. I am so new to all this!


  1. I just found your blog and wanted to say hi:) I love your journals, I could look at other people's journals all day! I'm trying to practice in mine everyday, but they don't look anything like what I see online or in books (not yet anyways) that's ok, I'm learning as I go-I look forward to visiting you again!

  2. p.s. I added your link to my blog so I wouldn't forget to come back-I hope you can visit when you get the time:)
    have a good weekend!