Small Size Daily Journaling

Journaling doesn’t come easy to me, so I decided to try it small-scale and focused, with a plan to document “how I felt” for one month. I’ve only been at it for one week, and am so happy with how things are turning out. The small size makes it less stressful – I’m not obligated to fill a whole page or worry about too much detail.

Using a simple image, I started out by hand-carving a rubber stamp – my first try at it. How I did it:

  • I drew a simple figure & scanned it into my computer where I manipulated it for symmetry, then scaled for size. (Download a copy of the image for yourself, below.)
  • Transferred the image to the rubber by shading the back of it with charcoal pencil. Once I placed this charcoal-side-down on the pink stamp surface, I traced the design and a charcoal image was transferred onto the rubber – super easy.
  • Using a #2 carving tool (came with this very simple Speedball Kit), I carved around and inside the image. This was my first try & less than perfect… but I’m working with it. I’d rather embrace the imperfections and have leftover surface to carve more stamps out than try for “perfection”.
  • That’s it! I’m using ATC cards here – 2.5″ x 3.5″ to stamp on, with Adirondack Dye Ink in Slate. I didn’t mount the stamp – just inked and carefully pressed it to the paper.

atc journaling cards with rubber stamp by tamdoll

Each evening since I started, I’ve devoted some time to daily journaling. Some nights I spend more time than others, but mostly I’m just jotting down some notes about the day, or whatever strong feelings remain by then. I’ve started looking forward to it each night, this little recap of my day.

For now, I’m leaving the backs blank – I’m not sure whether I’ll display these on a flat surface when I’m done, or put them into a book or folder. Some nights I’m already thinking of future cards – doing some collage, or adding more color. … who knows how this will evolve.

This project was definitely inspired by my membership in The Artstronauts Club; the journal pages I see there each week are something I’d love to devote time to, but haven’t been able to, yet.

Here’s the image I started with… a .pdf is attached – you can click the figure to get your own copy with different sizes on one 8.5 x 11″ page.

stylized female by tamdoll for small journaling

Click for .pdf of Stylized Female in various sizes.

Products used:

Creative Commons License Stylized Female Image-Sizes by Tammy Gross (Tamdoll) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. I’d love to see what you create with this image! Please share.


*Disclaimer: The Amazon links provided are affiliate links, I may be compensated if you make any purchase on after clicking through. Thanks for your support!

Encouraging Creativity

I’m online A LOT. Obviously, not here at my blog lately… though still working on being creative in my daily life, even if I’m not actually “creating” enough to show here.

Creativity can be a way of seeing things just a little differently than reality presents itself. Sometimes I show that on Instagram:

A changing .gif should appear below.

Tamdoll sees inanimate faces

What I really see when I’m driving behind you.

Sometimes encouraging creativity comes about by changing perspective:

These last few are things that I’ve previously posted on Facebook. Please follow me there if you like shared content – I won’t often re-post these to my blog.

How do you find & share creative inspiration?

Unfinished Business in the Garden

Since it doesn’t look like I’ll be doing any outdoor gardening for a while, it’s about time I finally talked about the results I got with the composter I was testing over the summer.

Gardening hiatus brought to you by New England weather:

New England Autumn 2014 by tamdoll

I was not prepared for the snow or the power-outages it caused, but it sure does look pretty.

Before things got bitter cold, I got outside, opened the door of the Toter composter, and this is what I saw:

Empty Composter in Tamdoll's yard

Where’s the compost?

I followed the 8-step directions that came with the composter – layering brown (dry leaves) with half as much green (vegetable scraps), along with some water and let it sit in my driveway for about 4-6 weeks, then gave it a turn. After another few weeks, nothing had come of it, but I added another 2 layers, moistened, let it sit again, then turned.

As you can see in the photo, I didn’t get much (any) compost to use in my garden this year. I’ve recently visited the Toter Composter site and am going to review the videos, notes and suggestions about the product there. I just wish I had visited their website and used that resource much sooner.

What’s next?

This composter is really nice – solid, sturdy, secure, with latches that prevent animals from getting in. A heavy, mobile bin like this is necessary when you have to worry about animals, winds, and weather. I’m not giving up.

Until the snow is gone, this review is “to be continued”.

Have you ever used a stand-alone composter like this? I’d love to hear about your results or composting methods.