We made space for our BIG DREAMS in our own handmade journals

This post is to follow up from a Big Dreams, Bookbinding and Journal making workshop Yvette Hawkins and I have just delivered at Yoga Therapies in Gosforth.



Our workshop was part … Big Dreams/ Goal Setting and part bookmaking/ bookbinding.

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin

It included;

  • Understanding why we need to be conscious of the language we use when we set goals
  • Why we need a ‘why’ to set a big dream for ourselves before we write them eg; “I want to do xx because it will make me feel xxx
  • Understanding why small action steps help us to work towards goals and we’re more likely to achieve them.

I talked through how I set goals with my clients using this worksheet;

Handmade journal Big Dreams download

In this download you can print and tick off 7 actions and achieve your goal within a week (one per day) or take a longer time.

I work in chapters in my own work and with my clients, there are 4 in a 12 month period and they usually relate to the seasons too.

“Be grateful for what you already have while you pursue your goals. 
― Roy T. Bennett

So what BIG dreams do people really have? 

In our workshop, people were so generous in sharing their goals around health and wellbeing, home/ security, career, stress, family.

It was wonderful to facilitate conversations around this.

Lots of us have goals we are scared of saying out-loud but I have come to believe that unless we write them down and consciously start working towards them they are only ever a ‘what if’.

I shared a story on our FB group of writing down my goals over 10years ago when I was travelling.

I’ve achieved them all.  This isn’t a brag, although of course I’m proud – this is a representation of why I believe in setting goals and thinking big about your dreams.

Hand-stitching and mindful crafting

We hand-stitched a worksheet into the front of our books alongside the inspirational quotes (also included).  The intent here was  so we could journal our way through how the goal made us feel on the blank pages noting what the actions brought up for us.

We made 4 books, (one for each season of the year).  Lots of the participants are off on an adventure to Bali next week so are taking all four of their journals to write in.   How lovely!

pegs on pages

What to write and why? 

I’ve been journalling since I was young but consciously since I read about it in Julia Cameron’s ‘The Artist Way’ around 15years ago.  Her morning pages idea was a game changer for me.

I’ve kept travel journals every-time I’ve been away and I now have lots of creative journals too – ideas, things that inspire me, observations.  It feels a really natural process.

In answer to the question, I would say my personal response is because it feels good…

It feels like an extension of creativity.

Read this post from Chris, the director of Yoga Therapies on his thoughts on how to keep a journal.

Making a journal your way, just for you.

Setting an intent about what your book/ journal is for before you make it is important.

It sets the tone for how many pages, whether you stick/ stitch in envelopes, whether you need lined or grid pages.

Each book you stitch is called a ‘signature’ and you can make multiple signatures and then apply more robust binding techniques.  (Like those on our Pinterest inspiration page here. )

making books on yoga mats lovely stripey pants

Bookbinding and journal making our way

Book Making Tools

I bought my tool kit which contains everything you need (bar the paper) on Amazon for around £8 but this is the most traditional place to buy supplies;  Bookbinding Store. 

I tend to use a mixture of paper/ card that we have lying around which makes for interesting results!!  I’m happy with the lack of perfectionism as I’m learning the craft.

I’ve now made 5 books!!  I’ve also started keeping my little ones drawings to stitch into a book which I plan to do with him in the Easter Hols.

If you try out some book-making let me know, I adore the practise of it and I’d love to chat.

I’m over on instagram mostly as @creatively.conscious 

Claire x

(photos all (c) Y. Hawkins)