Tag: journaling

Year 5


Last month was my mom’s 5th death anniversary. I still think of her all the time. She’s a remarkable woman, and many times I ask myself if I am living in a way that she would want me to live. She’s like a compass that always points me to my true north. This is a great loss that still aches so much whenever I think about her.

My mom had a rough childhood. Actually, “rough” would be an understatement. But her childhood was like a refining fire that made her better, not worse. She and papa were determined to be good, God-fearing parents. I take after part of my mom’s temperament. I was melancholic, always kept to myself, and had trouble making friends because I was painfully shy and was perfectly happy by myself. She made an effort to make good friends, though. I remember when I was young, she made it a point to ask me how I was doing at school and if I made any friends. She told me that being an only child, we didn’t have aunts and uncles from her side of the family. She asked God to give her good friends who will also love her children. Good relationships are from Him too, she said.


She and papa started out with very little. This was the house where we grew up. It’s a cluster of old homes in E. Pascua St., a jumble of old, patched up wood and rusty roofing materials. We were poor, but my parents did gave their best effort for us. We would eventually move out of this neighborhood to a better one, but I would always carry in my heart our humble beginnings and how my parents taught us to live with integrity and a healthy sense of self-worth.

My mother also showed me by example that women can be strong and successful. During my teenage years, I remember her telling me that if I decide to get married, I should choose a man who isn’t intellectually insecure. I always kept that in mind. I saw how my father was always so supportive of her and gentle in his ways, and I married a man who is the same towards me. 🙂

I also saw how my mother treated everybody the same. She treated their office janitor with the same dignity that she gave the company CEO. Ayaw ni mama sa matapobre.

She was a voracious reader, and she encouraged this habit in us too. She’s the original Serial Doodler. 🙂 She was always writing, writing, writing. When she passed away, I gathered all of her journals and kept them in a drawer so I can read them later and hear her voice again inside my mind. I am thankful that she kept journals because her thoughts are precious to me.

It’s the fifth year without her. Though the grief has faded into a dull throb, I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever get to that point when it won’t hurt anymore. Maybe someday I’ll find out.

Coffee Infographic in My Journal –because, why not?


I was up late last Friday for work, and I could not wind down to sleep, so I thought I’d pick up my pens and draw something that I would enjoy making. The details are really small, I used a small watercolor brush for them. I didn’t have a fine pen inked (I don’t think I have a pen with a fine nib, actually) so I had to use the closest to it, which was a Pilot Custom Heritage 92 with a medium nib. A wet, Japanese medium.


Here’s a better look at the whole thing. By the time I finished it, I was ready to sleep. 🙂 As always, writing, drawing, and making little watercolor paintings on Tomoe River paper is such a pleasure. The finished work always feels great to the touch. I liked the play of Iroshizuku Shin Ryoku’s green with the different shades of brown.The TWSBI Micarta is inked with Diamine Ochre, which I think is the perfect ink to pair with a coffee-colored theme. It’s dark brown with notes of red and crazy beautiful shading.


The think I really love best about using fountain pens whether in drawings or regular writing is that the letters look as if they’re part of the painting. Paired with great paper, it makes the letters look like they were painted on because of the shading and line variations. You can’t get that much drama in lines with ballpoint pens or rollerballs. There’s a lot of character in lines that are made by fountain pens. The overall effect is just so beautiful.

Below are a few close ups of the descriptions of each kind of espresso-based coffee. Overall, a very relaxing journal entry to write. 🙂




IMG_4300 - Copy

Tomoe River is da bomb. If you need inserts for your traveler’s notebooks, check out Everything Calligraphy.

Today’s Art Journal Entry


I’ve been super busy these past few days with work, I hardly have time to really sit down and write. Today I was feeling under the weather, so I stayed home and rested. I wrote about this plan for a surf ‘n turf cookout with some friends. My friends and I try to go out and catch up regularly, and it’s something we really plan and look forward to. Sometimes we have themes, like Japanese, Pinoy, etc. It’s just something to look forward to. 🙂


Year 6


Yesterday’s journal entry was in memory of the victims of the Ampatuan Massacre. Year 6, 99 arrests made out of almost 200 suspects, 3 witnesses killed, zero convictions. 🙁


I’ve been drawing things with the oblique holder I got from The Curious Artisan and I must say, it’s really enjoyable to use for line art. I’m still trying to get a hang of it, but I love how varied the line widths can be and I like using Sumi ink. It’s a vibrant kind of black. Not waterproof, though.


Gratitude Journal

PB228746My brother bought me this cute Moleskine journal during his HK trip last week. Moleskines aren’t known for holding up well to wet writers, but I found that they take fine nibs, chalk-based stamp pads and (surprisingly) brush pens just fine. It’s also super-cute. I absolutely love The Little Prince! I find the color theme of this notebook (cover, bands, etc) as such a happy and vibrant color theme. Very fitting. 🙂

I decided that I would use it as my Gratitude Journal.


Whether you are religious or not, being conscious of the things you are grateful for can add so much sweetness to your life. It neutralizes the negative thinking and helps you focus on the things that are going right. It helps you have a hopeful and positive attitude. As a Christian, having a grateful attitude is important for me because God has done so much in my life. Sometimes it’s so easy to take that for granted. The Bible tells us that we should always have a thankful attitude. It’s amazing how uplifting writing down your thanksgiving items in a journal is. Even if it’s for something as silly as…


Of course you can include doodles, washi tapes, stamps, watercolor paintings (if your notebook can handle that), calligraphy, photographs and other things to make your gratitude journal as fun and possible.

Here is a nice article about how a grateful attitude and keeping a gratitude journal can help your overall well-being.

Write Through It

I came across an article through one of the pen people at FPN-P’s Facebook group. I found it quite interesting, although most of us in the FP collecting community already know this to be true. The article: How to Deal with Anxiety, Tragedy or Heartache.


Writing has always been very therapeutic for me, and this article gives some insight on why it could be effective for many people.

A lot of people who are going through some stressful and emotionally difficult situations may find comfort in expressing their thoughts to people who are “good listeners”, like sympathetic family, friends or practitioners like therapists and counselors. However, there are people who find talking with other people a bit difficult. People can judge you, treat you differently when they hear about your struggles. You can’t predict how they will react, and what they will say. I’m not saying that talking to people isn’t important, I believe that it is. I just think that there are times when you also need to confront your emotions by yourself, and expressive writing can help you with that.


Expressive writing can help you slow down, untangle your convoluted thoughts and emotions, and examine them closely. It can help unburden your mind and as you exert more effort in putting your thoughts into words, your emotions become less abstract and more tangible.

When my mother died, I avoided writing. I have always kept a journal since I was a little girl, and so not being able to write is something new to me. I could not confront my emotions about my mother’s death, and I had so much difficulty talking about it with people in exactly the way I need to talk about it. I could not verbalize my anger and my grief. When I finally picked up my pen and started writing, I calmed down, I was able to process my grief, I adjusted better.

I took expressive writing to a deeper level and started writing my thoughts about my daily devotions. Not just note-taking (though I did that too), but journal entries that expounded on what I learned and how I felt about what I read. Soon I was publishing some of those thoughts on my blog when I had the time.

Writing has been so comforting for me. Sometimes, when it’s turning into one of those days and one of those days is turning into one of those weeks, I just write. Even without any idea on why I’m feeling so withdrawn and sad, writing comforts me. Often I would come to an understanding of my sadness, and I would always feel a lot lighter. A lot less burdened. Even just writing my favorite Psalms can open up my mind and my heart to better expression. What’s even more helpful is when I personalize these verses and make them my own.  Continue reading “Write Through It”