Saturday, December 27, 2008

Almost New Year

Looking ahead a bit to color! it's that time of year when I think Spring ought to be almost here,now that the solstice is behind us.

And I start thinking about journals, too. Not the sort where you sit down each evening and write Dear Diary, etc. But more fun ones.

some I've done: journals with little drawings and paintings of flowers and things I've seen on my walks, or just rapid sketches of animals playing on the patio. These are not like true illustration, just nice reminders. Once you draw something you remember it better than anything. I have a series of loose small drawings I did at Cape May, down in the meadows, lovely to look at now.

And there are journals of just drawings, a series of Handsome Partner and cat, one done daily for a while, just for the fun of it.

And there was the one where I cut out my horoscope from the local paper every day, mounted it on the page then the next day wrote whether there was any correlation at all with what happened. That was great fun, and for about a month I liked it a lot.

And there are the garden journals. I keep notes and pictures and bills and plastic name things so that from year to year I can see what's happening. Now that climate change is on us, this is very useful, since I can't count on gardening the way I used to -- flowers bloom at different times, some don't bloom until I've given up on them, some go mad and take over, but differently from in the past. It's an interesting thing, particularly if I remember to date the entries so I can see what happened when.

Like the coleus I started from seed indoors, and absolutely nothing happened. I gave up on it and just shoved in a few cherry pits thinking I might get a nice little houseplant out of it. whereupon ALL the coleus seeds shot up, six weeks after they were officially dead. I guess they were offended that I hadn't waited. they ended up being great additions out of doors, and a bunch of them is now doing well in the house.

and the morning glory which didn't even start to bloom till after first frost, completely backward from expectations.

and there's the Good Things Journal, where I write down three good things from the day and Three Things I wish hadn't happened, and surprisingly often the Bad Things are only the other side of the Good Things. I probably wouldn't have noticed this if I hadn't written it down and reread it.

Most of these journals are either books I've made for myself or handmade books that were given to me or found cheap at the library booksale, more fun than the kind that's created to be a journal, with dates and little blocks for each day, dull stuff. I've made and given away a number of small artist's books that are meant to be written and drawn in, and I'm always open for requests, if anyone fancies one for the New year.

And there's a terrific idea if you want to make your own small notebook: you know those art cards, repros of famous painting that you get at art museum shops, and never ever use? you cut paper to fit, then staple it into the card and now you have a very nice cover for a small notebook which will fit in your purse, and if you can get through life without writing down the stuff you will otherwise forget, you're doing better than I! it's nice if you have a punch that rounds corners, to round the corners, also great fun to do. I've also given a number of these notebooks to friends as more than a birthday card, but not quite a gift, and people like this.

I have one of those punches, and it had my favorite instructions of all time (except for my digi camera which started: take camera out of box!) anyway the punch said: l. insert paper in punch 2. punch. My kind of people!

When I first got the corner punch I went mad rounding corners on everything that didn't move. the cats were careful to keep moving throughout this period.


  1. Happy second day of Christmas. Like your approach to journals = I think I may have to cut down on the size of my journal - practically need a U-Haul to cart it around.

  2. 1. insert paper in punch
    2. punch
    3. repeat

    Hah! Where would I find a corner punch?

  3. I got mine at Staples, the punch, that is. Or you could try AC Moore or Michael's if you want to pay more!


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