Tuesday 3rd November 2015

by chel

“It is a happy talent to know how to play.”

Here are my planner pages from October.

I use a Happy Planner from Me & My Big Ideas as a scrapbook/photo album/collage journal. I don’t use it for planning- instead I take all photos, ephemera, cool magazine rip-outs, bits of mail, receipts, etc. and collage them in at the end of every week along with paper crafting supplies.

Here are the pages from October:


October Mood Board

I decided to use the “month on two pages” page at the start of every month in the planner as sort of a mood board/art journal page. I just go through my box of magazine tear-outs and ephemera and stuff and pull images and quotes and pieces that resonate with me, and put them together.



September 28 – October 4

A photo of the sunrise and a photo of the sunset, which is basically my way of remembering the beautiful weather we had that week. I also enclosed a snippet of a receipt for some stamps I ordered from Altenew (they make the most amazing stamps) and a journaling card.


Other side of September 28 – October 4

On the other side of the journaling card is some notes about the week, and on the other full-size page are some memes that were going around Facebook that I loved and printed, a photo of a color swatch I made, a snapshot of Milo, and a few things from an ephemera pack. I just wanted to really make it feel like fall (have I mentioned fall is my favorite season? 😉 )



October 5 – October 11

In October, my main struggle was with time- I had none. So that quote from the cover of Real Simple really hit home.

We started going back to the movies again (finally had the energy!) so I put in printed movie posters of what we saw, and a snapshot of Chester lounging in the morning sun.

Surprisingly, we had a foggy morning that week, and it’s my FAVORITE weather thing (well, besides cool, clear days) so I had to document that. We normally don’t have them until January. And a pretty fall sunset. I’m definitely loving the weather and want to be mindful of it and document it.



October 12 – October 18

This was a BIG month for Grace- she turned ten years old (!!!!!!!) on October 20th, and a bunch of her school friends also had birthdays this month, so they had a big celebration at school for them in the middle of the month. I wanted to include more than one photo of that because I wanted to remember her life in 4th grade.

In the center of the page I added in a page from my daily flower calendar, with a quote from Maya Angelou (““Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us. We need hours of aimless wandering or spates of time sitting on park benches, observing the mysterious world of ants and the canopy of treetops.” ), and a photo of some seeds I started that week.


Other side of October 12 – October 18

The flip side of the calendar page is an invoice from my fall seed order so I can remember what I planted this fall, plus two very zoomed photos of Chester kitty on the lanai (it’s screened in), furtively eating my plants. The text says “I love you even though you eat my plants.”

On the other side of the full size page is a photo of Grace and one of her friends on a playdate, a little journaling, and two movie posters from that week. I used a little patterned paper behind it and a bunch of fall themed stickers/ephemera I’ve been collecting and purchasing. It’s so much fun to have a use for stickers again! I sometimes feel like a little kid using stickers.



October 19 – October 25th

Grace’s actual birthday week. She’s having a party in the sometime distant future, so we surprised her with her gifts and a little cake when she got home from school that day.

It was Ginger’s first week out after her surgery so I took a bunch of photos of her exploring the house for the first time in 18 months. It’s so wonderful to have her back in the mix again.

There’s also a photo Tom snapped of Milo curled up under a blanket.


Other side of October 19 – October 25

The insert in the middle is actually an envelope that I used to put Gracie’s birthday wishlist inside- she printed it out a few weeks ago and gave it to me and there were some amusing things on there that I though she’d like to see when she gets older. Everything from a pair of suspenders (!) to a security cam for her room to an Apple Watch (hah!) to a bunch of Harry Potter stuff. I journaled on the back of the envelope.



October 26 – November 1

Halloween Week! Playdate photo, Grace at the beach with some of her friends, a photo from Trick or Treating with friends, and a cool vintage photo (I think it was taken in the 1920s?) I found in a magazine. Plus some lantern stickers I had in my stash, a wood veneer, some flower die cuts, a pumpkin sticker, and an acrylic “today” word.



End of the Month “Currently” List and the title page for November

Just my “Currently” list which is at the back of every month in the planner (which is kind of one of the big reasons I bought it) and the title page for November. Some of the title pages that the planner comes with are beautiful and have quotes, but this month’s was pretty plain so I added an image from a magazine (either Better Homes & Gardens or Real Simple?) and put on some letter stickers.

bonus page:


September Mood Board

I never did anything with the month-on-two-pages from September so I went back and made a general autumn/fall mood board. The quote is from  Siri Hustvedt: “It has taken me a very long time, a very long time to give myself permission to fly and breathe fire.” I’m trying to do that this fall- give myself permission to just do and be me. It’s tricky work.

One thing I will say about my first month documenting things in this planner – it has made me very very mindful of everything. That’s a great thing. The planner takes a long time to work on- much longer than I anticipated or even have time for!- but it’s become sort of like a weekly meditation and it forces me to pay attention to all the little things, which I kind of need in my anemia-induced haziness. I figure I’ll get better at both the page compositions and time spent doing them as I keep working on it.


If you’ve made it this far, thank you for looking and reading all of this. I hope your week is a happy one 🙂

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  1. Deb says:

    I love your visual journal, the photos are wonderful

  2. Sandra L. says:

    Your pages are so beautiful! As fall is also my favorite time of year, I really appreciate this batch!
    the lantern stickers are the bomb!

  3. Lee says:

    Chel, I very much love this repurposing of that planner, and you have done such a beautiful job with it. Thank you for sharing this!

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I’m Chel (pronounced “shell”, short for “Michele”).

I’m a visual artist, writer, gardener, art historian, long-distance swimmer, crochet-er, movie watcher, animal lover, and avid reader.

I’m also a (newly) practicing Buddhist, studying online at Sravasti Abbey.

Random facts:
– I have an eleven year old daughter named Grace and a husband named Tom.
– I grew up on Long Island, NY, went to college/grad school in Atlanta (Emory University) in the 1990’s, and now I live in Southwest Florida.
– I’m incredibly shy but I adore my friends and family.
– I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 30 years and I love animals of all kinds- we have four rescue cats, three parrots, and an elderly gecko and we raise butterflies.
– I swim five miles every day- rain, shine, storm, or travel.
– I was born with Spina Bifida, and swimming keeps me healthy and sane.
– When I’m not in the pool, I’m in my art studio, with a hot cup of tea.
– I am REALLY BAD at answering email, and I hate the telephone, so I apologize in advance for being hard to reach. (Told you I was shy…)

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