Aside from a series of sketchbook pages done this summer whilst convalescing from foot surgery, I've been away from regular art journaling for some time now...maybe at least two years. I don't see many people out there mention this but for me, journaling is what my son would call a "time suck." Once I fall down the journaling rabbit hole, there usually remains little time & energy in the day for any other type of art. Because I have so much left to accomplish on my life list of art projects, I set journaling aside and pursued other interests. However, I've really missed the ritual of journaling; it makes such a good beginning point for each day. It is also illuminating to have a record of my days over a period of time. Thus, I decided to try to develop a project that would allow me to indulge my journaling passion while keeping the reins tight on the time it consumes.
The result of my brainstorming is my new daily journal for 2015 called "Snippets." I removed all the white drawing paper from a large Dylusions journal (leaving the sturdy manila tag pages behind.) I also ripped the journal right out of that unwieldy cardboard cover. Once the deconstruction was complete, I collaged both front and back in pretty bits of this and that.
Next I prepared 52 spreads with pastel color blocking: one strip across the top of each page for the date and seven boxes of varying size, color, and layout to represent the days of the week. I typically stayed with the same eight colors for a month at a time with special color schemes for "holiday weeks" like Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. There were some pages left over after all 52 weeks had been accounted for so I left room for resolution and check-in spreads periodically throughout the year.
Every two weeks, on Sundays, I do a few things to prepare for the following two weeks of journaling. I mask off each individual box in turn and stencil, stamp, collage or paint so that each day's section is now embellished with a bit of background pattern. I write the dates across the top. Finally, I stuff an envelope full of images and paper bits that spark my interest in the moment. For the entire two weeks, I pull almost completely from that envelope so that I don't have to waste time searching for material to use. When those two weeks are complete, I empty the remains of the envelope back into my stash and gather fresh inspiration.
Here is the resulting spread for the first two weeks of the new year. I take it just one day at a time. Some days, I work for a couple of minutes and on other days, it can take almost an hour to figure out what I want to do in that day's given space. I've stamped or handwritten favorite quotes, created mini collages, attached newspaper clippings, hand-painted doodles, added cropped photos and pieces of old artwork. I am completing a visual puzzle each week, piecing together seven snapshots of my brain over and over again. By the end of 2015, if everything proceeds as planned, I'll have a pretty patchwork record of what occupied my thoughts or tickled my fancy every day of the year.