Hi there! I'm Amy Kingsford and I'm excited to be here for the week of Thanksgiving sharing creative ways to express, reflect on and celebrate gratitude.
My family has a fun tradition during the month of November that we refer fondly to as "The Gratitude Jar." You can click here to visit my blog and learn more about the gratitude jar and how you can make your own. But the basic idea is that each November we fill a jar full of 30 things we are grateful for and every day in November we honor one of the things from our jar.
This year I decided to record our Gratitude Jar adventure in our family's first Gratitude Journal.
To cut down on the stress of this project I built most my album before-hand using leftover patterned papers and I gathered a basket of coordinating stickers, washi and other less-dimensional embellishments to keep on my desk throughout the month.
And then using a set of hybrid templates that I created in Photoshop, I made a title page that listed all of the gratitudes that went into our jar this year:
And double page spreads that I printed out every day of the month--with a photo of the object of our gratitude and planned activities for celebrating it on the right and a place to journal about our gratitude on the left.
Here's a closer look at a few of the finished pages from our family's journal:
My favorite day this year was November 17th on which we showed our gratitude for "Letters"--one of my eldest son's picks for the year. And as he so wisely reminded all of us "without letters, there would be no words." It seems like such a simple thing to thankful for, but letters literally transformed our lives this year and I'm so glad that my son reminded us all to be thankful for them.
Here are a few other examples of beautiful gratitude journals that you can take inspiration away from:
Leah Farquharson has made two lovely journals this year, one for her family and one for her own personal reflection.
This colorful yet charming gratitude album, made with Jenni Bowlin Studio's November Project Kit offered Leah the perfect place to reflect on the things she and her family are thankful for right now.
Whereas this elegant vintage journal--whose base is made from Jenni Bowlin's Naked Chipboard album and is accented with lots of lovely vintage ephemera from Jenni Bowlin Studio as well--has lots of space for journaling and is perfect for expressing personal gratitude.
Lisa Ottoson has made gratitude journals for the past 3 years and each year she has taken a slightly different approach.
Here is her album from 2012 in which she used a fun hybrid approach.
In her 2011 journal, she used a steno-style notepad and filled it with cute note cards to journal on.
And in her 2010 journal she included photos and thought for each day:
I also love this approach by Betsy Sammarco, who has brought together a bunch of ephemera and vintage inspired products from Jenni Bowlin Studio to make a lovely little hodge podge mini. Betsy's gratitude mini expresses appreciation for one of the most important things in her life--her home.
These are just a few approaches that you could take towards reflecting on you or your family's gratitude. And just because November is the month in which Thanksgiving falls, doesn't mean that this is the only time that we can celebrate the things for which we are grateful.
Here are the templates that I designed to use in my gratitude journal--feel free to use them in your own gratitude journals.
Thanks for stopping by and check back tomorrow for a look at a few of the decorations I made for our Thanksgiving Day feast!