Saturday, January 5, 2013

Inspiration Saturday: Journals

I thought I would be a little more blog social and join Alicia over at Woolen Diversions in her Inspiration Saturday posts.  After careful deliberation (and coming up with many other posting ideas), I've decided that my inspiration of the week is journals.

Alicia has been adding spinning and sock books to my Amazon wish list with her posts the past few weeks, but it's the books that start out with nothing in them at all that I'm giving a shout-out.  I've always been drawn to notebooks.  There's something so alluring about all of those blank pages, bound together, waiting to be filled.  It's not unlike the way a beautiful hand-dyed skein of yarn will call out to me.  They both want to be transformed over time into something complete, something filled with not only my time and energy, but my creativity.

Unfortunately, this means that I also have a notebook, as well as a yarn and fiber, stash.  Because along with the rush of inspiration and possibility, there is the terrible fear that whatever I start to write in the journal won't be 'worthy'.  And unlike when you realize a certain yarn and pattern are not suited for each other, you can't frog pages and start again.  Not without ripping them out and kind of destroying the magic of the complete journal.  If only I could guarantee that I would never misspell anything, or need to cross anything out, I'm sure I could work up the courage to write in more of them.

And so I accumulate journals with covers in the same way as fingering weight yarn.  Here are just a few of my favorite non-fiber artists:

Anne Taintor
Taking vintage images and layering sass on top with phrases like 'she could see no reason to act her age' and 'was she in love? or was it just allergies?', Anne Taintor makes some of the funniest covers for journals.  I have the one above, along with at least 60 postcard prints.  I like to imagine that one day I'll be able to write a fun, pulpy novel inside the notebook, so it will be self-covered.

Aside from the loss of a number of bookstores, the bankruptcy of Borders a few years ago was really a tragedy mostly because they were the US supplier of Paperchase stationary products.  Whimsical and pretty, I love pretty much all of their designs.  This notebook is only available on their website, but the good news is that they are now also making their way into Target stores.  So far I've only seen a single end cap's worth of merchandise with a single theme rendered in notebooks, post-its and other items, but it's better than nothing.

Pigsey Art

From the international corporate to the truly local, I discovered this Austin artist in 2011 at the Austin Craft Riot holiday fair.  She takes vintage books and takes them apart, undoing the hardcovers, then rebinding with a spiral and mixing in a few pages of the original book along with fresh new blank ones.  So as you are writing your own words, you also stumble upon a page or two of Louisa May Alcott's for inspiration.  Her Etsy shop currently only has bobby pins in stock at the moment, but I'm sure more notebooks are coming after she recovers from the holiday season.

With a plain old notebook, Mod Podge, and pretty scraps of paper, I love creating personalized notebooks for swaps and things.  What's great is that you can theme them around anything from favorite TV shows to favorite color.  I've even made a set that was full of images and references that someone was using to write their novel for NaNoWriMo.  Making notebooks is kind of like spinning in that it's crafting that adds to your stash.

I mentioned that one of my resolutions was to keep a writing journal, and that's still going strong.  I'm taking note of particular song lyrics, taping in pictures I like, and of course counting syllables carefully in my daily haikus.  Five-seven-five!


  1. Yay, thanks for joining up! I love the vintage-images-paired-with-sass trend. I can't say I have a stash of journals, but I do have one that I write in periodically in the 'Dear Journal' sense, and another in which I copy out poems that I love. There's something about writing someone else's poem out by hand that gives you a real sense of intimacy with it.

    1. I so agree, writing something out by hand forces you to think about it in a different way, and it puts it in a different place in your head. I'm loving the notebook so far, trying to jot down as many things as possible.