Sugar, spice and all things nice: the endless possibilities of journaling.

WTJ Spice

Creative possibilities can be found anywhere, if you look hard enough and think outside the art box… try the kitchen!

My favourite thing about journaling is that you may have an idea of what your intentions are when you set out, but by the end of the creative process, inevitably, the outcome has somewhat changed or become an adapted version of the vision you had in mind. I know this can be said for most creative practices, but with journaling, it’s so easy to derail and  go off track. But occasionally, this is a really good thing!

Take for instance, this page in the ‘Wreck This Journal’ by Keri Smith.

“Sample various substances found in your home. Document what they are, create colour themes”

Well, my first instincts were to head straight to my various cupboards around the house that hold the ever-expanding stock pile of art supplies. My first thoughts perhaps were to use the page as a way to document and test the various colours and textures all of my different supplies.

But then I re-read the page descriptor: ‘various substances found in your home’, I stopped what I was doing and thought to myself, art supplies are not really ‘substances’ and not necessarily native to the home. My thoughts started to whirl around the home. The bathroom –  shampoos, soaps, body washes with beautiful scents and pastel colours. The garden – plants leaves, flower petals, pond water, soil. All earthy colours of browns, greens and vibrant tropics. The bedroom – endless amounts of make-up, body creams, fragrances. Soft palettes of linen and pillows. The kitchen – condiments, ketchup, spices, herbs. Warm colours that invite one into the home.

A beautiful spectrum of hot, vibrant, almost desert like colours. Now these are the substances that need to be documented in my journal.

And there I had it. When I started to look at the collection of spices and herbs we seem to have gathered over the past few years, I saw a beautiful spectrum of hot, vibrant, almost desert like colours. Now these are the substances that need to be documented in my journal and this would be perfect for creating colour themes. And here was my perfect derailment – and off on another track to a beautiful entry of my wreck this journal that would not have come about if it were not for the acceptance of an adapted version of my original intentions.


  1. Pencil.
  2. Rubber.
  3. Glue stick.(Or any type of adhesive.)
  4. Black pen – fineliner or biro.
  5. Assortment of herbs and spices. In the image above I have included: Paprika, Chili Powder, Cumin, Nutmeg, Basil and Parsley.
  6. Spoon. (For carefully applying herbs and spices.
  7. Chai Tea (For Drinking)

I decided to go for a hand drawn visual of an apothecary of plants, fruits, seeds etc all relating to the creation of herbs and spices. Once happy, I outlined this using the black pen and rubbed away any traces of pencil.

Once the pen had dried completely, I spooned some of the paprika onto the page to give the paper a red tint. I did the same with the cumin, leaving a yellow/green hue. I carefully blew away the excess, leaving the colours I wanted. Finally, I started to apply the small samples of herbs and spices by placing dots of glue near the drawings, and spooning the specific ingredients onto the glue. Once I had completed this with all the samples, I tipped the book up and tapped gently allowing the excess to reveal the samples. Lastly, I made a small note in black pen as to which herbs and spices were placed where.

This entry for the Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith has allowed me to use my creative ideas in a way that I would not have normally found acceptable, to approach techniques in a way that I would not normally have allowed, to experiment with a thought that ultimately could have been a disaster.

Surely, what this entry is, is a real way to tackle life’s issues; find acceptance, approach new methods, embrace the unknown.






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