New Year, New Journals

A new year, a new journal, are you with me? Or, how about a new year, THREE new journals? Now you’re with me!

Every year I pick a word. Every year I forget my word. Frankly, I think I would forget my word because I chose words that said, my word is soooo intellectual, and I am just too cool for school. I picked words like frugal, endeavor, and whatever last year’s word was. I should have just picked cheap, try harder, and you know, whatever last year’s word was. So, this year, I’m going simple, yet meaningful, with FOCUS. I want to listen, and really hear what people are saying to me – I never want to walk a way from an introduction again where I’m thinking, what was that girl’s name? I never want to have to rewind a podcast because I’ve been mulittasking, and haven’t a heard a word of the story, and I want to stop rereading sentences, paragraphs, pages because my mind has drifted somewhere else. And, I want to finish projects, concentrate on the task at hand, really pay attention.

Which lead me to three journals? Seems a bit counterintuitive, but hear me out. You can call bullshit at the end if it moves you to do so.

First, Joe got me this for Hanukkah –

It may look like just a desk to you but to Olive and I, it’s much more!

Actually, the desk means nothing to Olive, it’s just a gratuitous dog photo.

Anyway, the desk is the first space in the house that I’ve had in front of a window, with natural light streaming in. As you can see from the photo, my craft room has slanted ceilings, because it’s a converted attic. I do have a big table (my parent’s old kitchen table) in my craft room, but it sits under an eave, and gets no light. My sewing table is also a big ikea table, and also sits flush against a short wall with an eave. So, I am loving this space, and this space – just a this little work area, has unleashed a creative storm. I want to write there, I feel myself writing there.

So, I watched a bookbinding class on Skillshare, Create Your Own Journal, Repurpose a Vintage Book and learned a new long stitch binding technique.

Basically, you cut the book block out of the cover, reinforce the spine, punch holes in the spine, and stitch the signatures, two at a time, through the cover. I used regular sketchbook paper, and I tried another Hanukkah present to punch the holes, the We R Memory Keepers Bookbinding Punch Guide –

This tool is not for serious bookbinders, but for me, to my surprise and delight, it worked really well. There are two sides to the guide – one for punching signature holes, which is indented like the fold of your signatures. The green guide locks in place, and it is also indented, so everything fits together nicely, ensuring that your holes go right through the fold, not next to the fold. The other side of the guide is flat, and is used for punching covers. I didn’t use that side, it’s really for punchint the sides of covers, like for Japanese stab bindings, and Coptic bindings.  Anyway, this was a good little tool, and takes the place of a phone book and a template very nicely, although I did still have to make a punching template for the spine of the cover.

And, voila – new journal!

Since I had already purchased a journal for my morning pages/diary (more on that a different day), and I didn’t want this sweet little book to go to waste, it needed a purpose – a focus! And, it became my gratitude journal.

I always thought the idea of keeping a gratitude journal was a little hokey, but I thought I’d give it a try.  And, I really like it – for ten minutes a night, maybe more, I really focus on the things that made me happy that day.  I’ve been writing in it after dinner, so not quite right before I go to bed, but it sure goes a long way towards ending the evening on a positive note.

I watched a youtube video from Shayda Campbell, in which she set her up bullet journal (that would be Journal #2 – next blog post, hopefully next week), and I used a lot of her ideas in setting up my book.  The title page of this book is similar to her nameplate page, and this page is just a complete copy –

These are supposed to be cotton blossoms, but I don’t know how cottony mine look. And, now that I’m reading The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, I don’t feel inspired to draw cotton blossoms anymore anyway, and I’ve abandoned them.

I cut out the edge of the blossoms just like Shayda, and the next page are things I’m grateful for every single day, like Joe, the dogs, our families, stuff like that. And then, I just try to write a few things down every night.

So, I do a little doodling, some hand lettering, some stamping, because why not? And, I list as many things as I can that moved me that day.

So, that journal is focused on gratitude.

And the other journals – a Not a Bullet Journal, a Morning Pages Journal, and a Book Journal – oops, that’s four. I forgot about the book journal. And what’s a Not a Bullet Journal? That’s for the next post!

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