Saturday Creative Stroll

It’s the weekend, so time for a stroll around the internet to give you a creative boost.

Galen Berry is a paper marbler. His work is amazing. He does traditional styles and some wonderful new innovations, like Dragon in the sky, below. See more marbled paper examples on his website.

Galen Berry's paper marbling.

Galen Berry’s paper marbling.

Quo Vadis is a blog with tools for creative minds. If I haven’t been there for a few months, I can get lost jumping around from ink recommendations to slice of life stories. He tells us about Alexander Wang (the creative director of Balenciaga) and his interest in altering a Habana journal. This is not your run-of-the-mill altering. The journal now has brass edges.

Anna Hawthorne is a bookbinder who does a wonderful job updating books with interesting and inventive bindings.

If you like wine and you like maps, combine you love with these interesting maps of various wine regions. I think they’d make great labels, book covers, or folders for loose-leaf journal pages.

If you are in the Phoenix area, I’ll be teaching One-Sentence Art Journaling at the White Tank Library at 2:30 p.m on Saturday. No charge. Just come and have fun! Address:  20304 W White Tanks Mtn Rd. Waddell, AZ  Call 602-352-3000 for question

–Quinn McDonald is a writer and art journaler. She has inky fingers.

Filling Those Empty Journal Pages

Open an art journal, and you are likely to see beautiful art–collage, mixed media, watercolor sketches. But few words. It always makes me a little sad when people are so fast to turn to images in their journals, but often leave out words.

Masu box with magic words made by Suzanne Ourth.

Most people fear writing down what they are thinking. The same people who are cheerfully transparent on Facebook, become shy in a journal. I get that. It’s a throwback to the times when we believed what we saw on a page–and the responsibility is huge. At least in your mind.

In a few weeks, I’m going to be at the Great American Scrapbooking Convention in both Arlington, TX and Chantilly VA. And the scrapbookers who want to experiment creatively with intuitive writing, well, I hope they show up.  We are going to open a creative door that will let in words and ideas and sunlight and joy. The door will open, and a path of merry footprints will run across your journal pages.

You won’t ever have to wonder “What should I write in my journal?” You’ll have a small masu box at hand (we’re making it at the convention), and it’s packed with your own ideas. Ready to use. Any time.

No long essays are necessary. After class, and with your box, you will have access to ideas that will braid their way through your book.

I’m teaching the new One-Sentence Journaling. We will make a masu-box of magic words. You will learn several different ways to use them. Your intuitive talent will be set free. Some of the exercises are funny, some are thoughtful.

And then, just because you can, you are going to make a folder out of braille paper, to hold your new pages.

If you want to explore your scrapbook pages, your art journal pages and explore the words that hold memories, inspire you, comfort you, please join us in Arlington, Texas on May 31 through June 2, or in Chantilly, VA June 22 and 23. I designed this class just for scrapbookers who want to step into a new area of creativity–into Raw Art Journaling, or into intuitive writing. You’ll discover that making meaning in your scrapbooks and journals will feel new and exciting. There are fewer rules, and while you might still want to be perfect, you can put it down at the door if you want.

I’m looking forward to seeing new faces!

-Quinn McDonald is a certified creativity coach and a raw art journaler who believes that meaning-making is fundamental to art making.

Two Classes for Journalers

IN-PERSON CLASSES–Tell Your Story!

Saturday, January 21. 
9 a.m. to 1 p.m
One-Sentence Journaling
Location: STUDIO CRESCENDOh
207 N. Broadway St., Studio L
Santa Ana, CA 92701(Left, Confetti Lines by Hanna Andersson).

What will you do in class?
We each have a story to tell. The story is clear to us, but it can be slipper to write down, to get it right, to make it fit. This class will help fall in love with words all over again. Or, if you’ve always been a bit afraid of writing in a journal, will let you fall in love with words and the power they hold.

If you’ve started a dozen journals, but have never finished any of them, if you have always loved the idea of keeping a journal, but haven’t ever kept one, or if you have kept a journal but don’t find it satisfying, this class will make your heart glow.

You’ll start with one word and grow it into a pile of words and a box to keep them in. You’ll chose a word and use it to start your journal with just one sentence. Two, if you are ambitious.

This class is about the power of words you use every day, and the words you want to use on your journey through life. You will laugh hard and write deeply, one sentence at a time. Raw art is part of the mix, and your pages will have color and design on them to help you stay connected with your writing.

At the end of the class, you will have completed at least five journal pages
and have enough ideas and techniques to last you for years to come.

Price: $88. Register at the bottom of this page on Jenny Doh’s website.

(Left)  Imagined Botany by      Quinn McDonald

Sunday, January 22, Journaling for Perfectionists.
Location: Zinnia
1024 S. Mission St. South Pasadena, CA 91030  Phone: 626.441.2181

What Will You Do in Class?
Started a bunch of journals but never finished one? Don’t want to start a journal because you will “ruin” it? Join me–a journal-keeper and recovering perfectionist– to play in your journal. You’ll learn ways to start your journal, ways to save a “ruined” page, and intriguing ways to write in your journal regularly and be satisfied with your work. If you are new to art journaling, even better, because we will be adding color to the pages as well.
Be prepared to laugh a lot, too. At yourself, and at the odd and bouncy walls we build around our lives with perfectionism.

How long:
2.5 hours–11:30 to 2:00 on Sunday, January 22.
Price: $55

To register: Call Tamara at Zinnia– 626.441.2181 or email her at Tamara@Zinnia.biz  You can see more information on Zinnia’s calendar.

What to bring: A journal to experiment in. Scissors, glue stick, several pens (glitter if you like, or gel, fountain, or ball point), watercolor pencils if you have them, and small bottles of cheap acrylic paint (don’t buy it if you don’t have it; I’ll bring some), one-inch brush (Home Depot style, but not foam).

Come join me in a class–I’d love to meet you and help you find your story!

Classes in California–Mark Your Calendar

Give yourself a gift of meaning-making for the holidays. Or give your best friend, sister, or someone you value a gift of a raw art class. I’ll be in California in January–on the 21st and 22nd. (Saturday and Sunday). If you are going to CHA (Craft and Hobby Association), you may want to break away and do something for yourself.

iHanna's confetti lines

Saturday, January 21.  9 a.m. to 1 p.m.:  One-Sentence Journaling
Location: STUDIO CRESCENDOh
207 N. Broadway St., Studio L
Santa Ana, CA 92701


What will you do in class?

My classes are a little different from other classes–you won’t walk out with a pretty gift for your sister. Instead, you’ll walk out with ideas that will fill your life with explorations of your world and meaning making in your journey.

If you’ve started a dozen journals, but have never finished any of them, if you have always loved the idea of keeping a journal, but haven’t ever kept one, or if you have kept a journal but don’t find it satisfying, this class will make your heart glow.

You’ll start with one word and grow it into a pile of words and a box to keep them in. You’ll chose a word and use it to start your journal with just one sentence. Two, if you are ambitious.

This class is about the power of words you use every day, and the words you want to use on your journey through life. You will laugh hard and write deeply, one sentence at a time. Raw art is part of the mix, and your pages will have color and design on them to help you stay connected with your writing.

At the end of the class, you will have completed at least five journal pages
and have enough ideas and techniques to last you for years to come.

Price: $88. Register at the bottom of this page on Jenny Doh’s website.

Bubbles, by Quinn McDonald

Sunday, January 22, Journaling for Perfectionists.
Location: Zinnia
1024 S. Mission St. South Pasadena, CA 91030  Phone: 626.441.2181

What Will You Do in Class?
Started a bunch of journals but never finished one? Don’t want to start a journal because you will “ruin” it? Join me–a journal-keeper and recovering perfectionist– to play in your journal. You’ll learn ways to start your journal, ways to save a “ruined” page, and intriguing ways to write in your journal regularly and be satisfied with your work. If you are new to art journaling, even better, because we will be adding color to the pages as well.
Be prepared to laugh a lot, too. At yourself, and at the odd and bouncy walls we build around our lives with perfectionism.

How long:
2.5 hours–11:30 to 2:00 on Sunday, January 22.
Price: $55  To register: Call Tamara at Zinnia– 626.441.2181 or email her at Tamara@Zinnia.biz

Come join me in a class–I’d love to meet you and help you find your story!

–Quinn McDonald teaches what she lives. She is the author of Raw Art Journaling: Making Meaning, Making Art.

One-Sentence Journaling

Keeping a journal is a way to provide a map of your journey. It can be as private as you want it to be–from a public blog to a journal kept in a locked box.

Handmade journals, (c) Quinn McDonald

Handmade journals, (c) Quinn McDonald

Journal writing is not complicated. While I know journalers who prefer to keep detailed accounts of book plots, movie summaries, menus and restaurant reviews, I also know journalers who keep a bare-bones journal. A few details of the day, and they are done.

Some years ago, I introduced a new journaling experience– a course called “Once Sentence Journaling.” It was meant for busy people, those who collapsed into bed each night, with no hope of creating a deep interior dialogue with themselves.

Interestingly enough, other people came to the workshops, too. Poets who wanted to encapsulate worlds of emotions into a few words, parents who wanted to slow down the race of childhood, people who thought they couldn’t write. The classes filled up with people who had no time, people who never kept a journal, but thought this sounded easy enough, people who had a dozen journals, but never filled any of them.

The classes grew and the content changed constantly. I now teach the class in person, online, and in phone-in workshops. Every time I teach it, the mix of students changes, and we discover new exercises, new words, and new sentences.

Because one-sentence journaling is a door to experiencing your life in small pieces and making meaning of it.

Follow Quinn on Twitter.

-Quinn McDonald teaches a variety of journaling courses, including one-sentence journaling, journaling for perfectionists, and wabi sabi journaling. For more information, contact Quinn at

One Sentence Journaling Online Course

Wish you could keep up with a journal but never have the energy or time? You can keep a journal in one sentence a day. Two, if you are ambitious.

Registration for the online One-Sentence journaling class is now closed. Thanks to all who signed up. I’ll announce the next class in my newsletter.

Meanwhile, read the  latest blog on One-Sentence journaling if you like.

Journal Keeping: More than One

When I teach journal-writing courses, I often hear, “I’ve started a lot of journals, but I keep abandoning them.” There are many reasons we abandon our journals–because we are perfectionists, because we are guilty that we don’t write every day, because we don’t know what to write.handmade journals

A solution I offer to my classes is simple: keep more than one journal. Write in whichever one you choose. “Oh, no!” I hear you yelling, “That will never work!”
“Ummmm, why not?” I ask.
Keeping more than one journal is fine. Just date each entry. I have one journal that is almost square, and has heavy paper, so I like it for watercolors. I have another one that is small and lies flat because of clever binding. I like to take it with me in airplanes because I can write in a cramped area. Another one is larger, and I like to use it for playing around with ideas.

Journals don’t have to be neat, tidy, all the same size, or from the same store. They can be messy, have pages torn out, have ideas that never happened in them.

You can sort them by topic–dreams in one, ideas in another, family stories in a third. You can sort them by paper type or where you will use them.

No matter which way you choose, keep a journal. Your life is worth examining, even occasionally. And when you read them, you will be amazed at what you remember.

See my three different set of journal-prompt cards: perfectionists, one-sentence, and wabi sabi.

–Quinn McDonald teaches journal-keeping and runs seminars on personal and business communication. See her work at QuinnCreative.com (c) 2007 All rights reserved.