Sunday, February 6, 2011

Gratitude Journal

Last winter, when I took Cathy Zielske's "Design Your Life" class, one of our assignments was to do a page for a gratitude journal.  Cathy provided a template for us to use, but of course we could use the template in a way that reflected our individual style.  Above is the page that I made for the DYL class.  I absolutely loved it once it was finished, but more importantly, I loved the whole idea of a gratitude journal.  A permanent place to record my thoughts about the things in my life that I am thankful for.  What a fantastic idea!  When I finished the class, I had in mind to keep the journal going.  In fact, I asked Cathy if she could possibly "alter" the template for me so that it didn't have journaling lines on it.  Amazingly, she did that and sent me my very own customized template!  (And that kind of attention to her students is only one of the reasons that I am going to recommend to you that if you haven't ever taken a class from Cathy, there is no one better.  She is fantastic.) 

Fast forward to 2011.  Yeah, that gratitude journal never really got off the ground.  Life got in the way and all of that.  But I still love the idea, and I had safely saved that awesome template that Cathy made for me, so I decided that it was better late than never to get my SECOND entry finished for my gratitude journal.  I did the page below yesterday afternoon.

You may spy some VERY OLD patterned papers in this layout -- they are papers from KI Memories from years and years ago.  One of my goals whenever I do a smaller album like this is to use scraps where ever I can.  So I dug into my patterned paper scraps for both of the gratitude journal layouts, and that will be my plan for future layouts, as well.  I also used really old letter stickers for the titles, simply because I had them on hand.  Love using up old stuff from my stash!!!

So, one thing you might notice about both of my gratitude journal pages is that I've not written about the "obvious" things that I am thankful for, such as my husband and kids.  Don't worry, I'll get around to doing pages for them, but I wanted to start out with some subjects that maybe weren't so obvious.  The purple page above is about the sister-owned hair salon that I go to, where I get a friendly smile and fantastic customer service every time I walk through the door.  A key way that I plan to approach my gratitude journal is to let pictures spark my page ideas.  As I scroll through photos on my computer, I may see a photo and think to myself that it would be perfect to illustrate a page about something or someone that I'm grateful for.  The reason I want to approach the project this way is that I don't want to feel like I have to take "special" photographs just for my gratitude journal pages.  I've found that when I take that kind of approach, the photos don't get taken or don't get printed and the project stalls.  I'm determined to move forward with my gratitude journal in 2011, so while I may take some photos with a gratitude journal layout in mind, I'm going to try to use existing photos where I can.

Oh, I should add that even without the benefit of Cathy's template, it would be a simple matter to design a page layout that you could just repeat over and over for a project like this.  You could use or adapt a sketch, or come up with a simple design of your own.  And, although I've left my own pages quite plain, you could embellish yours as much as you want. 

I am typically a 12 x 12 scrapper and, as you can see, my gratitude journal layouts are 8-1/2 x 11.  So, I'm going to try to get myself down to Michael's in the next few days and see if I can find an actual album to house my new journal.  (The "Scouts" page has been sitting in my "Design Your Life" album for all this time.)  Then, my gratitude journal will be a reality, instead of just a great idea.

What do you think?  Do you have a gratitude journal?  Would you like to do one?


  1. I think this is a perfect way to use up those scraps. Love your journal!

  2. Your pages are beautiful.
    I too love this idea
    When I kept a writting journal I would write everyday, 5 things that I was thankful for. That is how I came up with my Thursday Thankfuls on my blog. Somedays it was hard to come up with 5, lol

  3. Love your gratitude layouts! I think it's so important to keep track of the things we're thankful for. I too keep a gratitude journal, but it's a small leather bound book in my purse that I write in daily, whenever the gratitude mood strikes :)