Second Anniversary for Roz Wound Up: Behind the Scenes Another Type of Journal

October 9, 2010

Above: A very short film showing my Blog Log. If the embedded video doesn’t work please watch “Blog Log” at YouTube.

Thoughts On Two Years of Blogging 

Today marks the end of two years of Roz Wound Up. This is post 767. Warning: If you’ve read every single one of those posts then if I ever meet you I’m afraid I’m going to have to break my long-standing rule about hugging. Just so you know.

The first year I posted daily (or more); this second year I’ve posted most days, but only committed to posting Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. You know how it is, something comes up that you’re interested in so why not post about it now?  Soon you’re back to posting daily and wondering what happened to MWF? Happily no one seems concerned. And no blog police pop out of the computer. (I have really enjoyed hearing from so many of you who tell me you read my posts while drinking your morning coffee—I’m not a coffee drinker but the idea of you reading my blog while you drink your coffee, it makes me smile—thank you.)

I write a lot about journals and journaling on this blog. Journals come in all shapes and sizes and fulfill a variety of functions. As this second year closed I filled my Blog Log—a journal I started keeping so I could keep my blog posts straight in my mind. The embedded video explains how I used the log. You get a quick flip through it so that you can get a sense of how I organized my thoughts about this blog. (I’ve already started another volume.)

All I can say is thank goodness for search engines, because after about post 150 it’s difficult to remember the exact date that I posted something so that I could refer you all back to it!

I want to thank all the loyal readers, some who started with me on day one, others who found me later and came along for the ride. I’ve enjoyed receiving your comments and hearing which posts have interested you and why. I’ve enjoyed seeing your artwork. I’m touched when you’ve taken the time to tell me that something I wrote spoke to you. I’m grateful also for your caring and kindness. But mostly I’m just glad that there are other folks in the world who are interested in the same things I’m interested in (i.e., that means mostly journals, visual journals specifically) or at least people who are willing to allow me time to convince them to consider some of my other enthusiasms. That’s a tremendous gift that you give me.

So what’s the plan for year three? Good question. If you’ve watched today’s video you’ll see a lot of writing on those verso pages—those are all topics I think about and want to share with you and most pages have about 5 to 10 items on them that I haven’t been able to write about yet. Sometimes I don’t think the time is right, some days it seems I don’t have the time to give a topic attention, other days I miss the appropriate date and know I have to wait a calendar year. Whatever the reason, I have a backlog of topics I want to share with you; and new topics cropping up in my head every day.

I know there will be more Journaling Superstitions, Profile Fridays, and of course rants about gouache and PB60. (Yes Project 640 Tubes is still on-going—write Art Graham, please.)

Also on-going is Project Journal Infiltration. And every year in March, April, and May I’ll be pointing you to the ramp up, celebration of, and aftermath of International Fake Journal Month. Both are part of my plan to celebrate visual journaling and to get people to draw!

Of course there will be some other contests and quizes. And I’m sure I’ll come up with at least one reason in the coming 12 months for buttons! I’ll also keep you posted on what’s happening at the MCBA Visual Journal Collective, the Bell Museum Sketch Night, and the Minnesota State Fair Sketch Out. If you live within easy traveling distance I encourage you to come and join in the fun.

You’ll also hear about my classes. I know I’ll be teaching less in the next couple of years, so if you see a class you like, even if you live far away, I encourage you to visit and take the class. Teaching for me tends to go in spurts of intense activity every few years and I know right now that I’m entering a painting phase. That means less teaching.

Of course I’ve been given a little push by the universe to try on-line teaching so we’ll see how that goes. First I have to work out how to get the new camera to give me great video, i.e., non-pixelated video. (This post’s video is the first go.) And of course there is my “Walk across Australia” to plan. Maybe we could piggy back that endeavor with some antepodean classes? (Just F.Y.I. I was at the doctor’s again and saw ANOTHER elderly woman with exactly the same model and color walker featured in my post—clearly this is a best seller right now! I’ll do my best to keep you abreast of such trends!)

I’ll continue to share pages from my own journals, with comments about the media and tools. And because I’m lippy and there’s no cure for it at my age there will of course be more reviews of books, films, television, and of course products (which I purchase and test because I can’t help myself, so you might as well hear about it and save some money!). In short, I’ll continue to share my enthusiasms with you.

I’ll also be adding some new series. The first new series will be Guest Posts and will start on October 15. Guest posts are another cunning plan on my part—less writing for me, but still more posts. How great is that? What’s really great about it is that I’m excited about sharing the work of other artists with you in the artist’s own voice.

Here is something that won’t happen in year 3: no daily posting, at least not intentionally—and I tend to accomplish what I hold an intention for, so since I’m not going to hold the intention of daily posting—well you get the idea.

It’s that painting mode that is coming over me. And a writing mode. We’ll see where all this goes. But it will take me away from daily blogging. Maybe I’ll actually get the Monday-Wednesday-Friday-thing down?!

I’d like to conclude this wrap up of year two with a health wrap up. I’m through with the pneumonia, but I’m still building back my strength and my schedule. I’m also still coughing, but that’s evidently related to allergies and the coming frost will pretty much take care of that. I’ve been able to get out on the bicycle again and enjoy some of the last beautiful Minnesota fall days. (Some of those rides I over did a bit and I’m trying to find a balance!)

Pneumonia interrupted my recovery from the conk on the head. There were days when I simply couldn’t draw (and that’s pretty unusual for me, see my Cold Journal). I haven’t been able to return to my pre-conk on the head drawing practices. Something is still awry; some wires are still crossed. But before I caught pneumonia I spent portions of 5 separate days at the 2010 Minnesota State Fair and I skated up to the edge of my old productivity. I believe that if I can get back to the productivity then some other work around for the brain-eye-hand connection will happen as well. (I look to Dickens and Turner for attitude adjustments.)

What you need to know is that I’m OK with it. I’m not worried about it. I’m not fixated on it either (thank you Marsha). Don’t worry about me. (Though thank you for all your good wishes.) All of us have things that trip us up, or interrupt our stride. I believe we can learn about ourselves from these things, if we pay attention. That’s what I try to do. Pay attention and not take anything for granted.

That’s why I keep a journal.


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  1. Reply

    Pay attention and not take anything for granted. good words, roz. i know i was one of the noisy ones urging you on, so congrats on the anniversary. i am glad your body is recovering from the weird surprises. and i like that you absorb them and move forward in the way that is appropriate for you. happy day. i thought of you yesterday when i was at the zoo NOT drawing. i took a few pics, though.

    • Judy
    • October 9, 2010

    I haven’t been with you for the full two years but I’ve sure enjoyed your blog since I found it! Hoping to get back to the Twin Cities this coming spring & take a class with the Book Arts Center – lots of good stuff this fall but I can’t swing a trip now 🙁

    Thank you Roz!

    • Ted McLeod-Morris
    • October 9, 2010

    Your blog is consistently honest about how to get it done. Your video shows a messy working document, that isn’t pretty, but it is the result of many hours of work that go into creating a written posting. Because you are brave enough to be honest about how you get to that inspiring posting, or that pretty picture, I can look at my sketchy tentative marks and know that I could get there too.
    Thank you.

  2. Reply

    Velma, thank you for your urgings. I appreciate it! Now get back to the zoo and DRAW!

  3. Reply

    Melanie, I appreciate the compliment from another intense producer!

  4. Reply

    Judy, there is a lot of fun stuff always happening at MCBA. We have both local and visiting artists who put together the most fabulous offerings. I don’t know what they have planned for the spring in 2011. I’m not sure at this point but I think the only thing I’ll have going in the first half of next year is the wrap up of my current on going journaling class. If you do get up here drop me a line maybe I can catch up with you at Wet Paint! Or at MCBA to see whatever show they have going on (as I said, always something fantastic and inspiring is going on over there!)

    Thanks for reading.

  5. Reply

    Ted, you are skating dangerously close to hug territory with this comment! Thank you for “getting” the blog log! I feel this way about my entire regular journal—that is is a messy working document, and I love it for that and enjoy sharing it for that. Keep making marks Ted!

    • Deb Dugan
    • October 9, 2010

    Hi Roz, I can hardly believe it has been two whole years of “rozwoundup”! I often visited your website before you began the blog (I still can’t quite believe it has been two years) and was delighted when you started it. It’s been such an inspiration to me, not to mention all the great advice on materials and the “how-tos” and links to other artists and book reviews. I don’t drink coffee either, but I do enjoy my morning cup of tea reading your almost daily entries. Congratulations on a big milestone. Yay Roz!

    Deb D.

  6. Reply

    Of course we are going to stick around–where else can we get a dose of humor, art, and art supply info all at once and while having morning coffee. It’s the best scenario possible. Thanks for doing this Roz. BTW, AZ is cooling down.

  7. Reply

    You are just amazing. It’s just wonderful that you’ve been sharing your myriad ideas with the world for – how many years now? First, I think, through the Everyday Matters list, and then with this blog. I really, really hope you will go ahead with your online class idea — I really want to take a class on the Roz Method of book-binding. Sorry you’re still not completely healthy — but your productivity in spite of it is remarkable (running out of adjectives here…).

  8. Reply

    Congrats on your anniversary. And thank you for all your inspiring posts! I am amazed how prolific a poster you are. I am in the midst of teaching myself to draw when I found your blog and you have helped me a great deal. I used to be afraid to draw and even more afraid to be seen drawing and I still have a long way to go but now I am actively practicing in my journals on a regular basis. 🙂

    I am so with you on being aware, don’t take anything for granted and Journaling. I think we need to teach children in schools the importance of visual journaling.

    big hugs to you

    • Suzanne Ourth
    • October 9, 2010

    I simply want to thank you for sharing so much with us: your deep knowledge of everything related to drawing, colour, materials, but most of all … your enthusiasm. I don’t write often, but have been following your blog for a few months (reading a foreign language is much easier than writing it oneself) I am just a quilter who got interested in keeping sketchbooks, drawing and journaling … and a whole new fascinating world opened up to me.
    Thanks for keeping me inspired and making me go one!

  9. Reply

    Roz, I love your blog journal! I need to do something like that, too. I am so glad you continue to have plans for year three of your blog. It is a tremendous resource!
    Muchos Gracias for blogging!

  10. Reply

    Roz! Congratulations on two years of blogging! If I haven’t read every entry I’ll be surprised, because you’re on my list of daily sites I check, with coffee when I don’t work and after supper if I do work. I’m looking forward to another year of your blogs and hope to one day take a class from you….

    Carol C.

  11. Happy birthday! I’m a latecomer, making my way through your blog both haphazardly (sometimes those little “You might also like this” posts at the bottom seduce me into going right over to that post) and systematically starting at the 1st post and working my way through. I’m now in month 3 of your posts. Note that I’m not making record speed getting through them: I am savoring and absorbing and reflecting on all the information you include. Many, many thanks for the passion and thought you put into these posts.

    • Christina Trevino.
    • October 9, 2010

    Roz, you are my constant inspiration. I admire the many things you do. Maybe because I am your opposite, a lazy procrastinator. The only thing I do very often is to write poetry.
    I enjoy your blog enormously.

  12. Reply

    Deb, I’m glad you joined me here. The website was fun for posting selections from my journals (and I know some people would like me to update that—but I think the blog has taken care of it) but I always tried to keep my comments short, shorter than the blog posts, and the blog has let me go on a little bit more, so I’ve enjoyed it more (and it’s easier for people to comment on). Anyway, I’m glad you’re enjoying it.

  13. Reply

    Thanks Donna, and thanks for the update on AZ. I’m probably going to be there in early December, more info when it’s finalized! It better be cool or I’ll grumble!

  14. Reply

    Nancy, before I was on the EDM yahoo list I had two elists of my own just for friends and students that went on for years and then the website was my attempt to put visuals in an easily accessible form for students, simply because I couldn’t keep lugging books around to classes. I finally came to blogging because there were things besides “class” related stuff that I wanted to talk about on my own elists but felt that some people only signed up for class related stuff, so the blog was a perfect response to that because I wasn’t sending stuff to people that they might not want to read, instead I was posting stuff that they could read or walk away from and that was so much more refreshing for me, than stopping to think, now which group can I send this information to. For me the blog became about consolidation!

    And the blog has another aspect that is far superior to elists—lack of repetition. On lists (whether my own, or the lists of others) there is a life cycle and after awhile new folks show up to get involved and bring up the same beginning topics. You want to help them and then you find yourself writing the same emails over and over and that really cuts into your own time.

    Blogging is great for that. Just the other day someone asked me about something that I’d written about extensively on the blog and instead of having to locate that “email” or worse, recreate it, I simply went to the post (which I happened to remember, but could have used the search engine too) and copied the link, and said, here it is for you to read.

    30 seconds vs. 50 minutes! I love it. I get to answer people, but do my own work too. What could be more fun.

    Technology can sure make somethings easier.

    Thanks Nancy!

  15. Reply

    Patti, thanks for reading, and for continuing to work on sketching. Kids respond really, really well to visual journaling classes. Through the mid nineties until around 2005 I did a lot of artist residencies in the schools and there’s no way around it—they respond well to books arts in any form, but when you help them with observational skills and drawing they are really motivated and excited. Good skills that are useful throughout life, in any profession.

  16. Reply

    Suzanne, thanks for finding your way here, even if I’m writing in a foreign language to you. I appreciate your note! And I hope that you keep using sketching and journaling to feed your quilting and all your creative pursuits!

  17. Reply

    Briana, thanks. Yep, give the blog log a try for your own blogging. I think it is really helpful to do something along this order, especially if you like to work in series (which I do), or see what type of “arc” you have forming for a week, or just to look a back and see what themes emerged (at a glance). Hard copy is not dead!!!!

  18. Reply

    Carol C, thank you for that kind dedication! I appreciate it.

  19. Reply

    Jeanette, I think you’ve got the right approach, taking it slowly on the backlog—but otherwise I’m sure your head will explode. I’m glad you’re enjoying them and finding them worth savoring. I love to hear that!

  20. Reply

    thanks a lot for your enthusiasm in journaling, wonderful drawings and sharing it all so regularly in this blog!

  21. Reply

    Christina, as one of the constant and early readers here I refuse to hear you categorize yourself as a lazy procrastinator! Your poetry is lovely and you’re not procrastinating about that. And to “only” write such lovely poems—hmmm, well I think that’s worth it. I think poets live by a different “speed” level because they are condensing and concentrating. You bring a different approach to things. I’m glad you enjoy the blog and I appreciate your notes and kind words.

  22. Reply

    Nina, thank you for your note which I appreciate. It’s good to hear people enjoy the blog. Thank you for reading!

  23. Reply

    I LOVE your blog, Roz! I love the things you write about, your sketches, the photos of your journals, the enthusiasm you have for the things that interest you. I can always count on coming here to find something that will inspire me and make me think. It’s truly one of the things I look forward to every day. Even if there’s not a new post, I know I’ll be able to look to previous posts for information and inspiration. Thank you SO much for being so generous with your knowledge and your time. I appreciate it more than I can say.

  24. Reply

    Thanks Melinda. I appreciate your kind comments and am glad you enjoy the blog. I hope you continue to read.

    • annie
    • October 10, 2010

    Congrats, Roz. It’s been a busy two years for you. And here’s to many more.

  25. Reply

    Congrats on two years and thank you so much for the inspiration-I now keep a journal because of you! And it has just been with me on my first visit to the USA. Thank you again for setting me off on the journey.

  26. Reply

    Judith, great news. I love knowing I got you to journal! I hope your visit to the US was filled with sketching opportunities! Keep going.

  27. Reply

    Annie, Thank you. I hope there are many more years of RWU.

  28. Reply

    Congrats on two years, Roz. I love visiting and seeing what’s on your mind about all things journaling. Thanks for the visual journal course list. I have gathered many of your suggestions and they are in the “going to Bali” pile. Looking forward to the course.

  29. Reply

    Two Years? I must have stumbled over here near the beginning. You have helped me select pens, pencils and paper. I have gotten into making a collage on the “verso” pages and writing or drawing on the right. There are so many ways you have encouraged me to be more of an artist in my everyday life. I think about actually making a book and wish I lived closer and could take your classes.

    I look forward to checking in every day to see what you have for me to read. A Master’s Class.

  30. Reply

    Jennifer, as always I hope your trip to Bali goes great. I look forward to the art you create there. I hope you enjoy the the online workshop.

  31. Reply

    joanne, I love how you have found a way to work on your pages! When I work in a landscape book I tend to draw and paint on the recto pages and then write on the verso pages. I think it is great the way our brains can find a way to organize for us if we let them!

    I’m glad the blog is helpful. I hope you push forward and make a book. Check out the list of books about binding in the Pages section. (Essential bookshelf for bookbinders)

    • Linda
    • October 13, 2010

    Roz well written. Since Ihave found your blog its been great to come here and read what you have for the day.You really have helped me look at life diffrenly. Even though I have started my art journey late in life it has brought me so much to my life.
    Thank you so and so glad your feeling better,klunk and all:),

  32. Reply

    Thanks Linda, I’m glad that you enjoy the blog and that you are enjoying journaling. I think it does help us look at life differently, in all the best ways.

  33. Reply

    I’m a recent Roz Wound Up reader, but I’m an enthusiastic fan. I’d love to see “in process” pictures of your upcoming paintings, if you’re willing to share. Thanks for all you do.

  34. Reply

    Thanks Julie, I’m glad you’re enjoying it. As for “in process” on the paintings, you know I will. Sadly painting is being put off for a little bit because I’m still doing post pneumonia clean up and it’s not going as quickly as I’d hoped, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

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