Tag: journal writing

Today’s Art Journal Page


Earlier today, I wrote an entry about being in pickle. I included a pickle jar haha. I always like to include simple watercolor paintings in my journal entries when I have time. It could go both ways since watercolor is a pretty unforgiving medium. Sometimes I make mistakes on my paintings and leave them as is. After all, mistakes are a part of life. I often go back and leaf through the pages and find a terrible watercolor painting and laugh at myself for it, haha.


Part of what makes it enjoyable, for me, is that I don’t take myself too seriously. 🙂 When art journaling stops being fun, perhaps one should consider taking a step back and taking stock of why it’s not fun anymore. I don’t edit myself when I write in my journal. The grammar doesn’t need to be perfect, either. If there’s one place where we can write honestly and be able to embrace ourselves, successes and failures included, it should be in our personal writings.


I used Kuretake Gansai Tambi 12 for my watercolor paintings. I only recently tried this out, from Scribe Writing Essentials, and I’m really loving it. The colors are so vibrant, and when they dry on paper, they have a nice glossy texture on them. They are so much fun to use on my journal’s tomoe river paper because the resulting painting is always so nicely colored and has retained the same color and texture even after drying out a while.


The container of the date is stamped on by Marryl Crafts‘ clear stamp and oh, look at this beautiful color of stamp pad. It’s called VersaMagic Tea Leaves from CraftyLanePH, and since it’s chalk ink-based, it doesn’t bleed through the paper. The opposite side of this page is completely clean, no bleed throughs or anything like that.

Happy Sunday, everyone! 🙂

A Happy Mess of Stamps and Stamp Pads


Today, the rest of my stamp pad purchases from Crafty Lane arrived through a courier. I added the flower pot set to my collection because I thought the colors were really pretty. Suffice it to say that I made a happy mess on my table today. I’m very happy with my experience with Crafty Lane. Prompt responses, no hassle payment and shipping methods. Her prices are very reasonable too. *high five, sis!* I don’t see these stamp pads in book stores (or maybe I’m just not looking?), so I’m really happy they’re available online. These online craft shops are pretty awesome.


Since it’s my first time to try out stamp pads, I’m surprised that there are so many colors available. Honestly, my only idea about stamp pads are those you use at the office (watery, dark purple ink). These are pretty different. I love the vibrant colors and how they really just pop on the page.

(L-R) Lilac Posies, Spanish Olive, Potter’s Clay, Ocean Depth, Red Brick

The top colors are the first ones that I tried. Lilac Posies is scented, and I love the color but it has a tendency to bleed through paper. I would recommend using this on thicker kinds of paper. I think the Memento stamps in my collection (Lilac Posies and Potter’s Clay) are a bit more watery than the others because they’re made of dye ink. The texture feels different. Potter’s Clay doesn’t bleed as much, though. I would recommend just a few dabs on these before applying the stamp on paper.


The flowerpot collection is pretty awesome. I absolutely love the colors. Aside from Lilac Posies and Brick Red, the rest of my collection uses chalk ink, so it feels a bit thicker. They’re not very prone to bleed through paper, either.


The way these stamp pads are designed makes it easy to get the ink on stamps, even if they are small. Plus, they’re pretty easy to carry around in a pencil case. I’m not really sure what they’re made of, it feels like a dense cake that holds a lot of ink. Just a few light dabs on them is enough to get sufficient ink on the stamps.

Here’s an example of how I used stamp pads on my journal entries. I’m still feeling my way around it, but it’s super fun and that’s really all that matters.


To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the inner music the words make. ~Truman Capote

A Fresh Batch of Empty Pages

So happy to get these in the mail this morning from Pengrafik. Like I always say…there is no such thing as too many journals. 🙂


There is something so hopeful about a diary, a journal, a new notebook, which Joan Didion and Virginia Woolf both wrote about. A blog. Perhaps we all are waiting for someone to discover us. ~ Lily Koppel

Writing and the Contemplative Life


After a long, punishing summer season, the rainy season is finally here. I woke up to the sound of the patter of raindrops on our rooftop and with the cat comfortably curled up at the foot of our bed, sighing contentedly. It was so cold that for a moment, I thought my husband had turned the airconditioning unit on while I was sleeping.  Continue reading “Writing and the Contemplative Life”

Writing About What You’re Reading

Reading without reflecting is like eating without digesting. ~Edmund Burke

I love to read. I found that these past few years, I’ve drastically changed the kind of books that I read, though. It’s a drastic change brought about by drastic turn of events in my life. A few years back, I also started writing about the books that I read. This is aside from the commonplace book of favorite lines that I keep.

It’s not too often that I find friends who like to read the same books that I do, and those who do read the books that I read don’t always have the time to talk about it. Writing about my thoughts helps me process which parts made an impact on me and why–a lot like a conversation with myself. I write about personal experiences that are related to what I read too. I found that writing about what I’m reading as I read it helps me to slow down and really digest what the author is trying to say. It makes the book more meaningful, and the very act of pausing to think and write enriches the act of reading. It’s like I don’t just consume the book, I chew on it slowly and thoughtfully. I enjoy that.

I also noticed that some books don’t read the same way a few years after. Somehow as I grow older and gain more insight about life, old books that I liked are infused with new life and meaning. A childhood favorite, Hope for the Flowers, is a story that opened up and bloomed pretty much like a lovely flower as I read it again and again at different times in my life. It’s great fun to read journal entries about a book that I read and realize that I’ve missed a few things, in retrospect. Or that my views have changed because of one reason or another.

Writing, in this way, creates a series of snapshots to help you remember how you thought in the past years and appreciate the changes that you went through and, quite possibly, are still going through until now. I find that fascinating.

In this photo:
Black Parker 51 Vacumatic, Medium inked with De Atramentis Olive Green
Navy Gray Parker 51 Special, Fine inked with Diamine Onyx Black
Maroon Elias Notebooks single pen slip in leather suede

Tips on Keeping a Dream Journal

My mom introduced me to dream journals many, many years back when I still struggled with recurring nightmares. My recurring nightmares stopped 22 years ago (yes, I remember it clearly) and I’ve all but forgotten my dream journals. I’ve recently restarted them. This time, though, I don’t have a separate journal for it anymore.

Dream journals help you remember what you dreamed about and explore your thoughts and feelings about those dreams. In some cases where emotional or psychological trauma is involved, keeping a dream journal can be very helpful in processing what you’re going through. It certainly was for me as a child. Some therapists encourage people to keep a dream journal precisely for this purpose.

Here are a few things that were helpful for me, and hopefully they can be helpful for others who want to start their own dream journals too.

Write your dream down as soon as you wake up
I usually keep a notepad on a table beside the bed so that I can write down certain details about my dream if I wake up in the middle of the night or in the morning. As much as you try to remember things later in the day, you’ll forget most of it if you don’t write it down as soon as you wake up. I jot down short notes that will help me remember my dream later–places, people, conversations–and then take the time to write a longer journal entry afterwards.

Be mindful of recurring themes
For the longest time, the recurring theme of my childhood dreams was trying to run away and my legs would refuse to move. The story would be different but this would always be the common thread–failed escape.

Note down how you felt while dreaming
I always note down what I felt inside the dream. Was I happy? Was I sad? Did I feel pursued? Did I feel safe? You might not be able to remember the tiny details that make up  your dream, but you can at least remember this and jot it down as soon as you can.

Note down how you felt as you woke up
“I woke up feeling…” has always been a part of my dream journals. There are even dreams that affect how we feel for the rest of the day. I write all of that down because it could be helpful in processing how your dream affected your emotions afterwards.

Don’t just focus on bad dreams
There are happy dreams too. Write them down as much as you write the bad ones. You’ll find this part of keeping a dream journal to  be very interesting. Write down interesting ideas, colorful symbolism, striking words in conversations. Sometimes you get the best, most creative ideas while you’re asleep.

Of course there are journals in the market being sold as “dream journals”, but I personally believe that you don’t need that too much. All you need is to remember as much as of your dream as you can and just explore it afterwards by writing. Sometimes, memories come to the surface as I explore my thoughts on the dreams that I write about.

Give it a try! You might find it helpful. 🙂