31 Days: Creative Habit – Day 1: Journal


The first day, and there’s already a detour, but that’s okay. I had this big idea of what my “creative habit” would look like. I had planned that my daily creating time would be done in solitude, in the quietness of my one remaining nap time (and it most likely will in the future), and with it mostly planned out beforehand. Instead, this is how it went down.


I got out my journal this morning to make a list of things I might make this month, just to get some ideas flowing. Before I even opened the notebook, my short-attention span said, “Hey, aren’t you ever going to make an actual cover for this journal?” Perfect – creative project #1.


I love journaling – I’ve kept a journal for years, all the way from my first little red One Year Diary with the little brass lock and key. I got this on vacation when I was in 1st or 2nd grade.


It’s awesome. Here’s what this page says:

January 5: Dear Diary, I went Back to school. We had 51 abbreviation to spell. I got them all right. I started a new Outreach Class. We do mind Binders and Jainire grate Books. good night. 

(And then I went back a few years later and corrected my spelling. I knew “Junior Great” was wrong, but didn’t catch “Benders”. Who spell checks their diary? Yep, that’s me in a nutshell.)

January 6: Dear Diary, I went to Dance.

Thrilling stuff, and yet, it’s so great to have these little memories from so long ago.


So I’ve kept a journal most of my life. I switched over to sketchbooks when I was in college, making them a little more artsy with collage and paint. Mostly now they are a rough scrapbook of stuff, pen and ink sketches, and lots of writing. I like the blank pages where I don’t have to stay on the lines.

OK, back to today. BB came down with a cold over the weekend and didn’t seem well enough to return to school today, so we stayed home in PJs all morning. I decided a little creating time for everyone would be a perfect use of our morning – kids with paint and me making my journal cover.


I don’t think I’ve done paint with BG before, and, of course, she LOVED it. Both kids enjoyed mixing colors and swirling paint around with different brushes and sponges and things.


They made a glorious mess on the table, and I got to work on the floor. This isn’t fine art, folks, just some simple paper cutting and arranging.


I cut a large sheet to cover the front, and then I cut a smaller square from the leftovers. The paper is double-sided and the patterns are designed to complement each other – again, not rocket science.


I used a tiny scrap to make the number 14 – I started numbering my sketchbooks a while back – I use them to record ideas for projects and like to look back at them for inspiration. (Some of my older ones are basically scrapbooks of images from magazines and postcards – it’s what I did before Pinterest.)


I used double-sided tape and glue to adhere everything to the sketchbook.


Simple – not a huge project, start to finish, but a good way to get started – completing something that’s been bugging me and spending a little time creating something.


Here are a few of my other journals – mostly scrapbook paper, some wallpaper samples, nothing fancy.

DSC_0122I did something similar for this little notebook. A few months back, I went searching for a great to-do list app. I tried several, and never found one I liked, so I ended up with a steno pad. I keep a running list (an ENORMOUS running list) of things I need to do. It’s old-school, but I like to write things out – it’s how I process information best.

What am I going to make tomorrow? Who knows? Let me go get my journal and start my list.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

This post is part of a 31 day series. Find all the posts in this series here.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —


4 thoughts on “31 Days: Creative Habit – Day 1: Journal

  1. Ok…those journals from little Nicole are priceless!! I cannot believe you still have them! I used to journal but now I blog but just looking at that stack of loved notebooks makes me sort of wish I still did. Maybe if I had a fun and charmingly decorated journal I would get back to it :) On another note, I was sorting at the rummage sale today and I kept seeing unique/ugly things and thinking to myself ” I bet Nicole could totally make that into something beautiful” :) Looking forward to hearing more from you! :)

    1. Haha! That made me chuckle! This is why I love the rummage sale – so many possibilities! The journals are pretty hilarious. That’s the oldest one I have. Will have to look through more of them to find some other gems. :)

Leave a Reply to Magazine Mom Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s