Making Journals



Barbara Parker's Journals are multi-media projects.

Barbara Parker’s Journals are multi-media projects.

I started journaling in 2008 when I enrolled in a graduate program in arts and learning. Our four children were becoming young adults, our old white lab had reached the end of her life, and I was experiencing a physical and emotional tenderness of having to let go. I was feeling empty, and I needed to rediscover passion. Six years ago I felt a yearning to be more creative in my everyday life, and today my journals are the treasuries of that creativity.

Writing allows me to wander and wonder. Images and drawings allow me to hold onto something and to let go of it at the same time. I have always been rewarded by giving away creative gifts, decorated letters, accordion books with photographs and drawings, poems, and quotes . . . they are the most authentic statements of my love . . . gifts from my heart. My journals are my gifts to myself.


She considers them gifts…to herself.

I’d like to think that my journals might inspire someone else to explore. We are all artists of our own lives, but our inner critics would never allow us to embrace that. I dream about an entire community participating in a journal project. Everyone has something to contribute, whether it’s a recipe, a photograph, a poem, a simple clipping of an image from a magazine, or maybe just a written response to someone else’s entry.


Contribute your own haiku, recipe, or doodle to one of Barbara Parker’s hand-crafted journals at Islanders Write, a day of panel discussions and other activities about the art, craft and business of writing. Monday, August 11, at the Grange Hall in West Tisbury. Doors open at 7:45. Islanders Write is sponsored by MV Arts & Ideas and the MV Times, along with WCAI, the Bunch of Grapes, and Edgartown Books. For additional details, go to

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