Welcome to the Notebook Nest

I want to invite you on a creative journey with me. I’ve been dreaming it up for a while now and I am finally ready to begin sharing it. It’s called The Notebook Nest, and it’s a place where your artistic aspirations and daily life weave together the many aspects of your own path. In this workshop, we'll explore the vibrant intersection of visual art and the written word, the daily to-do lists along with your most personal thoughts and dreams, by unlocking new forms of expression and discovery. Whether you're dabbling in watercolours, pen and ink, graphite, or you prefer stickers, washi tape and colourful brush pens, whether you are weaving words into poetry and prose, or simply keeping track of the moments you don’t want to forget, The Notebook Nest is your sanctuary to create, learn, and grow.

I have been keeping notebooks for decades, and have developed a personal system that brings together everything I love in a beautiful stack of notebooks that I call my notebook nest. It’s a place where I weave together the threads of everything I love: art, stickers, ephemera, bits of nature, journaling, planning, reading logs, commonplacing, creative writing, recipes, and more. For me, a nest evokes feelings of warmth, safety, and nurturing. The process of keeping these personal, artistic notebooks creates a safe place for my thoughts and dreams and fosters personal growth. The concept of weaving a nest is an artful integration of my daily life experiences and responsibilities with my creative impulses to make something beautiful and my notebooks have become a cherished companion along my life journey, a living and evolving canvas where creativity intersects with the quotidian.

In this course you will find a cosy, intimate sanctuary that nurtures your own creative spirit, inviting you to explore the tools to intertwine your life’s daily tapestry with the vibrant threads of your imagination. Whether you are seeking inspiration, reflection, or a fresh spark for your artistic journey, these guided sessions will help you transform your notebooks into your own treasured companions, rich with personal meaning and artistic expression that are tailored to your own interests and needs.

Our six-week journey unfolds like this, at a gentle pace:

Week One: Introduction to Creative Notebooks

— Overview of our time together and our goals

— The concept of The Notebook Nest, and its significance

— Benefits of combining creativity into our daily routines: ritualising the routine

Week Two: Setting Up Your Notebook Nest

— Choosing your notebooks: types, sizes, purposes

— Gathering your favourite supplies basket

— Personalising your space and materials

— Establishing a welcoming ritual for journaling

Week Three: Daily Weaving Techniques

— Integrating writing, sketching, and other forms of expression (plenty of which do not require any drawing!)

— Prompts to inspire daily entries (more prompts shared in each week)

— Balancing structure and spontaneity

Week Four: Artistic Exploration

— Basic art techniques that can be applied to journaling

— Using colour, texture and composition

— Encouraging visual storytelling

Week Five: Routine as Ritual

— Developing consistent journaling habits

— Creating themed sections or tabs for different activities or thoughts

— Mindful reflection and meditation through journaling

Week Six: Sharing and Reflection

— Live Zoom gathering to share our experiences and creations

— Reflecting on the growth and insights gained

— Planning for continued journaling beyond the workshop’s end, including a day in my life VLOG, sharing how I use my notebooks from sun up to sun down.

Bonus Week: Next Steps

—Summarising key take aways and personal discoveries

— Resources for further exploration

— Encouraging a community of ongoing support and inspiration in the Notebook Nesters Monthly Membership

Each Sunday evening for the duration of the course you will receive a new folder to open in our online gathering place. You will find pre-recorded videos, downloadable PDFs, a playlist, and other points of inspiration. I would expect to spend a couple of hours a week for the duration of the course, and, of course, you can fit this in at any time that suits your schedule. There is an online forum to share photographs and ask questions, and have rich conversations, if you desire. I check in every weekday morning to help however I can. At the end of the six weeks we will gather live on Zoom to share our notebooks and discoveries, to ask questions, and to talk about tools to help us stick with our new notebook companions.

At the completion of the course there is an opportunity to join a monthly membership, called The Notebook Nesters, for a nominal fee, where you can be in community for continued inspiration and encouragement. I have created these communities for other courses and they are a highlight for many people. Notebook people are wonderful people!

You do not need to be an “artist” to create beautiful notebooks. As you will see in the course, my own notebooks are beautiful, but I use stickers and washi tapes and pretty markers in creative ways. I very rarely draw or paint on my notebooks! These are not sketchbooks, but a record of our daily lives. Mine contain grocery lists, appointments, and reminders, along with musings, quotes I do not want to forget, reviews of books I have read, and on and on. The daily stuff of a very busy life. My notebooks are my soft place to fall when I am stressed or anxious, when I feel the creative urge but might not have a lot of time, and even where I go when I am tempted to doom scroll or eat cookies (wink wink)… I just open my book and write about it instead. They have truly become a companion for life.

The act of weaving within our notebooks encourages us in a dynamic and ongoing process of reflection and creation. It allows us to see our lives as a work of art—complex, interconnected and rich with meaning. It invites us to approach our daily experiences with a sense of curiosity and creativity, finding beauty and significance in the ordinary and weaving all those threads into our personal narrative with care and intention.

I hope you will join me.

This self-paced class launches on Sunday, June 9, 2024. The lessons will be available by 8PM EDT each Sunday evening through Sunday, July 14, 2024, and then they will be available no matter your start date until October 1, 2024.

Our Live Zoom Gathering will be Sunday, July 14, 2024 at 1PM EDT. It will not last more than 2 hours, and it will be recorded for those who are unable to join.

The Notebook Nest costs $130. There are a few bursaries and scholarships available if you are in need. Please email me at [email protected] and let me know. As always, it is confidential.

The Notebook Nesters monthly membership will begin in mid-July with its own own unique online platform. The cost will be $10 a month. You can cancel at any time. Each time this course is offered new people may join after the course is finished. I expect it to be a rich and lively, safe and nurturing community, as all of my communities have proven to be!

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