Monday, January 9, 2012

Leaving a Trace of my Life ~ part one.

      I have always liked the idea of journaling and over the years made a few attempts that quickly fizzled until about 1993 when I started garden journaling and have kept a fairly steady habit with only a few lapses over the years. I started out with a small, plain, pretty garden journal and was simply writing a few lines on each page. As time went on the books got a bit larger and I started including stickers, a few pictures, drawings, etc.  In 2010 I changed my method to more of a scrapbook style. I have loved this!!

I also started, in addition to my garden journal, another book which I call My Joyful Journey of Faith. It quickly took a direction of writing about how I see/experience God in my every day life.  It is amazing how much more aware I became of His daily presence because of writing!  Knowing myself well, I knew better than to commit to daily writing, and not even weekly but I also know not to let too much time go by or it will come to a stop all together.  One thing that helps is to keep the book very visible - out of sight = out of mind!

This was my getting-started page in this book. More of a statement from me. The left side is a card I had already made. With the hopes that one or more of you would like to attempt this, I want to show a few pages and explain my method. It can be done with any theme of journaling. I hope you are looking at this on a large monitor and can see enough to  enjoy it and hopefully get some ideas.

My subjects are on two-page openings which are coordinated. This paragraph tells the inspiration for everything on this opening.  The card it's on is actually a recipe card. I liked the clay pot to go with the theme. I just cut off what made it a recipe card.

This is the developed opening.  I use a good bit of lined note paper and I do a lot of glueing.  The daily guide to happiness is a bookmark. You see a page from a hymn book - a song that goes with my experience at the potters.

This writing tells what caused me to put all the other things on this opening. The subject is basically, seize the day.

I use envelopes like the one above or make pockets on the page and insert cards, pages etc.  This allows for a lot more writing in a smaller area. See the black ribbon tab sticking out of the envelope which is stapled to a card that is decorative and has writing inside.

This opening is all about Nadia, the little girl that was lost in a swampy woods for several days near my home.  Do you remember hearing about Nadia in the news?  I know the man that found her.  Her parents were members of the same church as me although I do not know them personally.  I made the little booklet above which tells briefly the story of Nadia.

Her story inspired a lot of people! Our church received emails from all over the world. But, back to methods - you see I have a "pocket" on each of these pages. I also have used ribboned tags. You can use about anything that you would with scrapbooking.


 The subject here is the blessing of sound.

Hopefully you can read what inspired me to think about my blessing of hearing.
I used pictures from an old calendar to illustrate the subject. I am so thankful that I saved calendars for years and have put them to good use in both this book and my garden journals.

You can see an envelope on the far right here. Sticking out is a long, folded, narrow card with all the different sounds I could think of that bless my life.

The unfolded card.
Hopefully, this gives you some idea of how this kind of journaling can be done. One of the big needs is to have a lot of things already on hand to choose from to make this style successful. I already had a lot and have made an effort to collect more. The dollar section at Michaels has been a great source for me. By the way, it is now a dollar fifty!
 Of course, there are many ways to put your "trace of life" in words. There is no "one way fits all" method. You just need to make it your own. I have found journaling to be valuable and extremely enjoyable.  In part two I plan to show some pages from my last garden journal and include a short article on journaling I wrote for my rose society newsletter.


  1. What a precious thing to do! I love to do scrapbooking and journaling is such a big part of it...telling the story. If you don't, who will? Family, especially children, will learn many things that they never knew about you and that is priceless!! And, for people who don't take photos, this is a wonderful option. A legacy of who you are will be a sweet, sweet treasure for your family. I look forward to seeing part two. Thank you for sharing!!

  2. This is unbelievable, your journals are gorgeous! I can see where the written word makes things so much more powerful. I would be lucky to get a few written words, but scrap booking them is way beyond cool, it is more like an heirloom!


  3. What a pretty journal! Looks like loads of fun!

  4. Betty, I couldn't find your email address on your blog, so I'm having to contact you this way. You had made a comment and asked questions on my blog about the buttons and blog lists that I spoke about on a recent post. I am wanting to send you a little "how-to". If you will send me your email address, I can forward it to you.

  5. Do you ever just start writing or typing, not knowing what you are going to say, but then suddenly the words just come out, flowing like a river. When I have times like that I like to think those words were from God and, someone, somewhere, needed to read it, not just me.

    1. Yes, to your question but, I think I get in my own way too often. Or, maybe it should be get in His way. I absolutely think God works in us that way.


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