Wreck This Journal: A New Chapter


Back in August of 2011, I began a series of posts where I shared my pages from Keri Smith’s Wreck This Journal, (see Wreck This Journal: Letting Go). I did everything from utterly destroying parts of the journal to adding artistic flare to otherwise blank and boring pages. It was fun to share my journey of creative self-discovery, but there’s a lot more to the story that I haven’t shared.

I didn’t buy just one Wreck This Journal, I bought two. One for me and one for my Grandma. I mentioned this briefly in early 2012, (see Wreck This Journal: Memories), but I never wrote of it, again. At the time, I was just beginning to grapple with the notion that I was losing her. For obvious reasons, I chose to keep much of that struggle private.

Wreck This Journal was something we did together at a time when we first realized small pieces of her were starting to slip away. In the midst of so much difficulty and sadness, the pages of Wreck This Journal allowed us to laugh and have fun together. For that reason, the experience of completing the journal with her is among my most cherished memories.


Grandma’s journal is on the left, mine is on the right.

In the year since my Grandma passed away, I am amazed at how much joy there is in the memories I have of her and the time we spent together.  I am even more grateful for a tangible reminder of her thoughts and personality in the pages of her Wreck This Journal. Rather than keep those memories on a shelf, I want to give them a place to thrive.

With that in mind, it was easy an easy decision to revive the Wreck This Journal series. Only this time around, I’ll be sharing pages that both my grandma and I completed. The last time I compared the two journals was when we were working on them in her craft room. In doing this, I’m hoping to find new connections and uncover forgotten memories.  And, of course, smile and laugh along the way. She wouldn’t want it any other way.

It seems only fitting to start with a page reserved for making handprints or fingerprints. The directions seemed simple enough, but they leave door wide open for individual perspective.

Grandma thought outside the box a little bit and made an outline imprint of her hand. What I love about her mark is that she painted her nails and drew her rings.  Grandma always had beautiful nails, even right up to the end. French manicures were her favorite, but she loved a good pink, too. Aside from perfect nails, Grandma loved her rings. She liked the way the sun make her diamond sparkle and she cherished the memories of her Irish claddagh ring.


Nice rings!

I was a little more literal. To make my mark, I pulled out a box of markers and inked my thumb in various colors. I ended up creating a picture of thumbprint flowers with a full background. Things were quite messy on my side of the table! Initially, I thought I made it because I can’t draw, but now I realize it truly does represent a piece of me. Every spring, my garden comes to life with seedlings and flowers. Plants and gardening bring me a lot of joy and I guess my thumb muse knew that!


My thumbprint garden

Despite such different interpretations of the directions, Grandma and I realized it all comes down to one thing: leaving your mark.

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c.b.w. 2014