Showing posts with label composition notebooks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label composition notebooks. Show all posts

Monday, October 9, 2017

The Journey Continues...

Sometime, in the middle of August, I found the disc system to get a little obnoxious. I added four vertical bookmarks, hand-punched by me. I trimmed them a second time but still found the pages difficult to turn. Even without the bookmarks, the pages had become difficult to turn more than 2-3 pages at a time. It was kind of frustrating when I wanted to flip back and forth from planner to trackers.

It was time to go back to the old fashioned ring binder. I didn't think I wanted to go smaller. I haven't been a fan of the A5 size of most bullet journals. So, I went to the 8.5 x 11 size. The ring binder definitely made turning pages easy again, but it took up so much space on my desk.

And, I found the thought of journaling/scrapbooking an entire page a little daunting. I avoided journaling anything for the first 3 weeks. I spent the last few weeks trying out different options.

I went back to the composition sized (7.75 inches x 9.75 inches), but in a spiral notebook. I wanted to keep my pages mobile so I clipped the pages where they connect to the spiral binding.

This gave me the ability to move my pages around, and they still held together well, plus I could turn the pages easily. I made my calendar pages and some gratitude pages.

I especially liked the ability to fold my journal in half to write, but the gratitude pages on the bottom side fell out. Well, that turned out not as convenient as I thought. Bummer.

The next option was the A5 size. I don't like the regular bullet journals where they make an index of pages instead of being able to move them around and group like pages together and add pages where needed. That wasn't an option for me at all.

I thought I could try that size if I could find it in a ring binder. There are a lot of possibilities out there, but I didn't want to spend a lot of money on an experiment that may turn out temporary. I found a clear plastic, 6-hole binder in the A5 size for $7.99 on Etsy. I could do that.

At first, I thought the calendar was way too small to write in, but I decided to give it good try so I made all the pages I normally would use. I even made little pocket divider pages from the full size dividers. It turned out kinda cute. Actually, it is stinkin' cute.

Getting used to the calendar size after an 8.5 x 11 page was not as hard as I thought it would be. I write a little smaller, which I like my handwriting better that way. This size fits my desk top with room to spare, but the ring binder is not quite an inch, which meant something had to go.

My spiritual journal, where I chronicle "How has the Lord reached out to me this week," and notes on lessons and conference talks would go in this journal:

I've been using this A5 lined journal for over a year, just for church stuff and then copying the pages into my regular journal. I decided to reduce and simplify. This little journal works well without duplicating my efforts. I don't need to move pages around and rarely ever add pages to it.

Next, I had to find a home for all of my menu/meal planning and shopping lists, cleaning and chores schedule, and my financial pages.

I renamed my 8.5 x 11 planner as the "Family Management Planner." It has my bill-paying trackers, password trackers, contacts list, meal planning and shopping lists, gift lists, wish lists, etc. That frees up my little A5 ring binder to just be my planner, journal, and a few trackers. I am very happy with this new size and that I found it in a ring binder. A5 found a new convert. It really is a nice size to fit in my bag and on my desk and it is big enough I can read it.

Always journaling,

Monday, August 28, 2017

The What, Why, Where, When, and How of Morning Papers

Morning Papers is a writing exercise where you fill three pages of random, free-flow stream of conscious thought. It is preferable to write long hand if possible.

  • It is very cathartic. Writing a stream of conscious thought without editing brings out feelings I didn't know I had. It helps to empty my mind of the unnecessaries.
  • Consistent writing improves my discipline.
  • My handwriting has improved.
  • It helps me clarify my goals, what really needs to happen today.

My favorite place is my
front porch. 
Find a place that is comfortable and peaceful or at least away from distraction.

Find the best time of day that works for you. I prefer to sit on my front porch early in the morning because this practice sets the tone for the rest of my day. Unfortunately, I have to wait until lunchtime because of my work schedule. Oh bother.

  • Keep a notebook handy in a convenient spot with your favorite writing utensil. The notebook doesn't need to be anything fancy. Chances are it will get thrown away. I'm going to save mine because my random thoughts are better than no thoughts.
  • Relax. Let your arms and shoulders droop. Take a big breath in and exhale.
  • Write whatever comes to your mind, no matter how frivolous.
  • DO NOT EDIT! Refrain from that nagging need to review and correct every word.
  • Fill 3 pages OR set your timer for 20 minutes.

You may have already started this habit. Consistency brings rewards so Yay for you if you are consistent.

Keep journaling!


Monday, July 31, 2017

Happy Birthday Harry Potter! FREE Printables for DIY Hogwart's notebooks just in time for Back to School!!

When my grandkids turn 11, they get an admittance to Hogwarts kit. I have great fun building this kit. It includes:

The Acceptance Letter on parchment, sealed with wax and the Hogwart's Stamp, delivered by owl, of course.

A work robe, school books (from Amazon), a wand, a cauldron, Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, a wand pen or quill if I can find one, and a Sorting Hat (paper pop-up).

And, so they don't get lost--A Marauder's Map. Thanks to Britta who provides this free download to HP fans, but don't copy it for profit. It's for non-commercial use only. Here's the link:

Make your own Mini Marauder's Map

of the admission letter and supply list. Subscribe to my email list and you'll have full access to my Library of Printables! The name is blank, of course, for you to personalize. Print your letter on rolls of parchment from Warner Brother's website. It has the Hogwart's seal printed at the top. It comes in a roll so you need to reverse roll it before you print so it will lay flat. You can also buy the OWL postage from Warner Brother's website. They are real stamps you can use in the mail.
After the print dries, fold both pages together into quarters. I use quarter-fold size parchment envelopes (also on Amazon). I print the child's name and address on clear label, full sheet size, in green ink and cut it out to add to the envelope. Stuff the envelope, then seal with wax. I found a Hogwart's and a Griffindor's wax stamps, along with sealing wax all on Amazon. 

The Sorting hat is a Pop-Up Card.

I started by making the hat on a fold. I used toast colored textured paper. For a more authentic look you could use a crumpled paper sack or Kraft paper.

I looked at pictures and drawings on the internet and shaded the creases with brown colored pencil. I didn't want it to be exactly the same, but I did want it to be recognizable.

I did this twice, once for the outside and again for the inside. I shaded the inside differently to include the face. 

I folded the inside in half and cut a slit perpendicular to the fold where I wanted the mouth to go. Then I folded the top and bottom of the mouth outward. I had to watch a tutorial on Pop-Up books to figure this out. I also cut eyes, but you could shade them instead.

I placed the two pieces of the hat together, the face inside of the outside piece and glued the two pieces together being careful not to glue the mouth. I shaded inside the mouth and added "Better be. . . Gryffindor."

I folded the tip of the hat inward and downward.

This year for Back to School or maybe Halloween, my grandkids will get some composition notebooks, from Hogwarts!!

Supply list:
Start with regular composition notebooks (on sale right now).

2 8.5 x 11 pieces of white cardstock
2 full sheet white label pages
publisher's glue (I found mine on Amazon, where else?)
xacto knife

Print off the labels onto full sheet white label pages and inside covers on white cardstock. You'll find these in my Library of Printables.

Glue the class schedule page to the inside front cover with publisher's glue and the weights and measures page to the inside back cover. 

Press down and smooth across the page. Turn the notebook over and trim from the outside edge.

Trim the labels, remove the paper backing and center over the existing label.

And there you have it...
Notice the labels cover the old labels, not necessarily where I'd like them.
If you can't find covers that you like you can 

Go to this website to print off some cool front and back covers. Then come back here for the inside covers.

Keep on journaling


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

7 Ways Parents can Inspire Young Writers

A busy mom of seven once asked me what she could do to encourage her son's interest in writing. Wow! What a great mom! She recognized her child's interest and is asking questions. She knows that a child's imagination knows no bounds. They are not limited to earthly experiences. They are open to any possibility. So Brooke, here's my list of 7 Ways Parents can Inspire Young Writers:

1.  Go to the Library at least once a month.
During the summer consider going every two weeks.
This encourages more reading while decreasing boredom.
It also increases vocabulary--a very necessary tool.

2. Check out some graphic novels and see if
your kids can make up one of their own.

3.  Buy a bunch of those cheap composition notebooks.
Remind them to write something everyday.
 Turn it into a game or treasure hunt, not a chore.
Look at our "Journaling" page or under our "Journaling" label for prompt ideas.

4.  Show your kids interesting pictures.
a. Ask them to describe what they see.
b. Ask them to describe what no one else can see.
c. Who lives there?
d.  What are they like?
e. What has happened in that world?

5.  Encourage your kids to draw pictures to go with their stories.
Ask them to tell you about their pictures.
FYI--This is a snowflake making machine.
6.  Make time to read and encourage their efforts.
Never brush off the opportunity to read their thoughts--it gives you a rare glance into their world.
Some kids have difficulty verbalizing their concerns. Their pictures and stories can help parents identify needs and provide opportunities for reassurance.
Encourage them to enter contests like Reflections whenever possible.
7.  Never read your child's journal without their permission.
You might not agree with this one and that's okay. There are a lot of kids with special needs and you are the parent who has to make that call. BUT, do what you can to protect their privacy.
Personally, if someone read my journal, I'd feel violated.
It's a matter of trust. Journals should be the one safe place where children are
free to express themselves without criticism.
If you do #6, most children will be eager to share their creations with you.
Trust is something that is earned and each child learns trust in their own time.

Just a side note: There are a lot of benefits to writing. Writing and drawing pictures are so therapeutic for everyone. It helps children and adults sort through some of life's trickier problems.

One of my grandchildren was making up some of the most outlandish works of fiction, I'm talking about real whoppers. With a tear in her eye, she'd relay these stories as truths, convincing many adults and friends. We finally talked her into writing these stories instead of telling them. That way she could get her ideas out of her head and onto paper. In my opinion, writing helped her grow out of that phase.