No matter the time of year, we can benefit from counting our blessings, but November in particular is a month devoted to memory and gratitude. Emblems of change surround us, as the leaves turn, the days become shorter, and the temperature shifts. We reflect on the past, look to the future, and cherish even more that which matters most to us. A gratitude journal can be the perfect way to say our thank-yous.
At the end of each day this month, I will record three things for which I am grateful. They may be small things (the softness of my dog's belly as I rub her tummy) or significant things (the sixteen years that I have been blessed to have so far with my daughter). Jotting down three items a day takes only a few minutes -- and there is no pressure to add pictures (those can come later, if at all).
Although I will add more items to the album as the month progresses, I created a basic foundation, starting with a JBS Hodge Podge book. I also incorporated papers and accents from the October and November JBS Mercantile kits, as well as some of my favorite JBS products.
I love this transparency that comes with the JBS Hodge Podge book. I embellished it by adding gold foil leaves from this month's antiquarian kit and die-cut leaves from last month's papercrafting kit.
Here you can see my first entry in the album. Listing three things for which I am grateful came easily on a Friday afternoon, following a long and busy week!
I added some extra color to some of the pages by dripping mist over them.
My most recent entry is above. My daughter just turned sixteen, and I am in that weepy, how-time-flies state of mind. Still, I kept it together, sticking to just three gratitudes (even though I could list hundreds when it comes to her).
Here, I included a journaling card from a JBS Halloween accessory sheet as well as some of vintage labels from the October antiquarian kit and the November antiquarian kit. The labels are blank on the back, so I will add my journaling there.
I will admit, I have a difficult time parting with some of the antiquarian kit contents, but I found the strength to fight my hoarding impulses when it came to this album. Often, the kits include cancelled checks, which look amazing on the front and on the back, making them difficult for me to adhere to a layout, since I love both sides. Problem solved! I folded a check to create a pocket, and I can still see the reverse when I turn the page. I tucked in a tag from this month's papercrafting kit.
Among the items that I love to include in mini-albums are pockets and envelopes. The seed packet comes with the Hodge Podge book, and the kraft pocket is from JBS.
One of the finds about which I am most excited is this card from this month's antiquarian kit. As I read its contents, my eyes grew wide -- it's from 1959, from the days of family fallout shelters, a reminder that we should all be grateful for safety and for those who work for peace. I almost want to leave this untouched -- but luckily, more than one comes in the kit.
This vintage photo of an elementary school class is a favorite of mine. It reminds me of how thankful I am to be a teacher, to be able to positively impact the lives of children.
The last page of the album is a calendar Bingo card from JBS. It is sturdy enough to serve as a back cover, and it peeks out from behind the compilation of pages at all times.
Even though November has already begun, it is not too late to create a gratitude journal. Any time is a good time to count your blessings.