Books, Music, Podcasts, Creative Inspiration

Creative Inspiration: My Journals

This continues my series of posts on my sources of creative inspiration

Two Journals, Two Different Purposes

I keep two journals. One journal for art quilting ideas and inspirations; and another journal for tierneycreates business, blogging and life in general ideas and inspirations.

The journal on the left, used for art quilting ideas and inspiration, has a handmade cover that I made during an intuitive design piecing class homework assignment. The lime green “sketchbook” on the right is what I use for tierneycreates, blogging ideas and life inspiration.


I got the idea of keep an art quilt ideas/inspiration journal from Jean Wells Keenan‘s brilliant books Intuitive Color and Design: Adventures in Art Quilting and Journey to Inspired Art Quilting. I was also fortunate enough to take her series of classes, Journey to Art Inspired Quilting, twice and see in person her wonderful inspirational art quilting journal.

In my art quilting journal I keep clippings from magazines and photos from my travels and nature that are future inspirations for art quilts. At first I had planned to use my art quilting journal for blogging ideas and tierneycreates business ideas. I discovered I wanted to keep the art quilting journal for quilt ideas and development. So I started a second journal.

I love both my journals, but I use the second journal (which I will refer to as the “tierneycreates journal”) more frequently.

The “tierneycreates journal” is where I write down ideas I get from listening to home-based business related audiobooks; books from the library on small business development and growth; quotes I find in magazines, books or hear on the media (radio, TED Talks, television, etc.); and any notes from searches on the internet (for example:  What are the standard sizes for table runners that I should use for my tierneycreates Etsy shop table runners?).

I also use the”tierneycreates journal” to map out my future blog posts or blog post ideas. Sometimes I will spontaneously write a blog post, and sometimes I will write a post about a topic I have been thinking about for a couple of weeks and already fleshed out in my journal what I want to write about that topic.

I find it challenging to keep sudden ideas and inspiration stored in my mind. It seems that inspiration and ideas can come to you at any time. My journals provide a way to record them, even if they are only a skeleton of an idea that will need its internal organs and flesh added at a later date!


As mentioned in my series of posts on Nonfiction Audiobooks, I continue to enjoy listening to audiobooks while I work on quilting projects.

I recently finished a wonderful and inspirational audiobook by Anne Lamott – Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moment of Grace (Riverhead Books, 2014). The audiobook was read by the author which is always a treat for me – you get to experience what the author feels should be emphasized in the reading of a book based on their vocal inflections.

This book is basically a collection of personal biographical essays on the author’s experiences. Anne Lamott tells these stories  with raw, relatable, and passionate language from a deeply spiritual yet deeply irreverent perspective! So far one of my favorite nonfiction audiobooks of all time.