Lesson One | A Seasonal Manifesto

There is something about the beginning of summer that offers SO MUCH possibility. Maybe it’s because I live in a place where winter is a long season, maybe it’s because summer offers swimming and lots of outdoor play, maybe it’s the garden and the farmer’s markets, maybe it’s the popsicles, or maybe it’s just the simple freedom of walking outdoors without a jacket on.

Whatever the reason, the beginning of summer offers so much possibility for something new. Something different. And this year, we want to truly focus on that with an act of self-love. Because once the season starts, it’s easy to get lost in the mix of travel, the change in routine, or the heat. Without meaning to, we get busy, we lose track of our thoughts, and then it’s over.

And each year we promise ourselves that we’ll do better next time. We’ll take more time for ourselves next year. We’ll do more of what we love next summer.

Well, we’re here today to say – congratulations, “next year” has arrived. And this time, we’re going to take more time for ourselves. And we’re going to take occasional moments to remember that we’re right here. Right now. And we’re going to do offer this tremendous act of self-love to ourselves. For this summer. For this moment. Just to see how it fits. 

Today, Tracey Holdyk is here to kick off #LittleSummerJOY with some talk about creating a manifesto of the season. And, take it from her, this project is an opportunity for you to get into yourself. Read her words, listen to her story, and get inspired to create your own manifesto.


Hello, it’s Tracey here giving you a very warm welcome and a big hello to #LittleSummerJOY. I am here to share the first prompt in finding your summer joy, capturing that joy, and documenting it.

Just about everywhere I look on the internet at the moment it’s all about Summer. All those pretty images of ice cream, beaches, bike rides and getting outside. It can also mean busy. It’s so easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of life that we forget to stop, breathe and simply enjoy being and finding a little JOY in our everyday.

I live in Perth, Western Australia and right now, it’s winter. Although winter is my favorite season, sometimes I can get caught up in the doom and gloom of winter and just hibernate. I have been reading and seeing lots about summer, and the “lets get out there” message and which made me think: why does winter make me hide if it’s my favourite season? I should just “get out there” and enjoy the season whatever it brings.

There are many of us that might be missing out on enjoying and experiencing JOY because something is holding us back. For me it’s my health and fitness, too much bad food and not enough exercise.

Right now I only fit into five things in my wardrobe and it’s getting me down. I really need to start eating healthy and exercising but it’s winter and the thought of going outside when it’s cold and wet isn’t very tempting. Its also school holidays for the next two weeks so it’s a great time to show my kids that winter is a season, not a reason to hibernate but a time to experience JOY if you have the right attitude. I need to change my thinking, find my JOY by finding other alternatives if the weather is not so nice outside.

To change my thinking and find my JOY, I needed something to keep me on track – something that would give me some challenges while making it fun at the same time. So, I decided to make a winter manisfesto. Give myself some direction, and the permission to find some JOY and to live in the moment.

The Prompt

To get this project started your first prompt is to make a seasonal manifesto. It might be as simple as taking an afternoon to relax under a shady tree, eating a frozen treat on a hot summer’s day, daydreaming, or, in my case, going outside with my kids to jump in some puddles and investing more time in my health (and burning calories!).

Remember that this is about you and finding your joy. If you need help making this list, here are some ideas from our team: make popsicles, explore, take a nap, take a long car ride, try something new, spend time with your favorite friends, eat strawberries, write more. You can also check out Julie’s manifesto here.

Whatever the manifesto includes, remember that it’s yours. And making time for yourself to follow your manifesto is the entire essence of this project. It’s about you. Investing in yourself. And making room for the things that bring you joy.

And have fun with it!

You never know where life will take you if you open your heart to the possibilities.

My Project

I have chosen to do my Summer/Winter Joy using a digital photobook, as you’ll see below.

winter manifestoProducts Used: 4×4 seasons & events (freebie) by Persnickety Prints, Word Stamps No. 3 card set by Big City Quiet


The Technique

While I’m doing my project digitally, I wanted to share one of my favorite techniques: stamping. One of the things I love to do is stamping, and I particularly love stamping backgrounds for my layouts.

layout stamp background

My number one tip is to have a piece of scrap paper next to you where you are working. I cannot stress this enough. Each stamp is slightly different and therefore stamps differently. Even an alphabet stamp set is different as each letter is different therefore it will stamp differently.

Before I stamp with any stamp, I stamp in onto my scrap paper first. I have several reasons for doing this:

  • to give me a feel for the stamp and how I need to hold it, how much pressure I need to use etc.
  • to make sure that I am inking the stamp correctly
  • to relax
  • to make sure it’s the right way up… I have learnt this from experience.

stamp background 1 post
I generally start somewhere in the middle of the page or to one side depending on my design. I stamp the first image, I don’t use a ruled line or anything, I just eyeball it. One thing you need to remember when stamping is to relax. Getting a perfect image is almost impossible so I don’t aim for it. The more relaxed you are the better your stamping will be which is also another reason why I stamp onto scrap paper first.

Once my first image is stamped I then move onto the next stamped image and so on. If you find that one image is not stamped straight, just correct it with the next stamped image. Remember stamping is not a perfect craft. Just enjoy the process.stamp background 2 postWhen creating a background I usually cut a piece of scrap paper the same size as the photo that I am going to use. It gives me a guide of where I want my stamped images to be.

Once your background is finished you can then go ahead and finish your layout with any embellishments etc that you wish to add. I use black ink a lot but you are not limited to black. Try different colours until you find a process that works for you.


I can’t wait to see and read your manifestos so please use the hashtag #littlesummerjoy so I can follow your journey. For my friends that are documenting winter we have created #littlewinterjoy. (I do ask though that you use both hashtags so that we can see your participation in the group.) I also hope you try this stamp technique throughout your project.

If you have any questions at all, or want to share your manifesto, please do not hesitate to leave a comment in the Lesson One community.

xo, Tracey.