I’ve mentioned on several occasions my weird journaling habit, and even started this blog with a post about my love of contemplating in notebooks. This blog is very much an online journal for me, allowing me to record the various projects and whims that keep me going every day in a more robust way.

I actually still write in a notebook every day as well. As a veteran journal-keeper, I have filled hundreds of notebooks over the years. Today, I thought I’d show you some different versions because I love to sneak a peek at people’s tools and supplies and thought you might too.

This is my current notebook. I’ve tried everything from Moleskine to high quality sketchbooks to super cheap drugstore Mead ones (the tabbed variety that makes me think of elementary school), and I think I’ve finally found the holy grail of notebooks. The paper quality is excellent; thick without being annoyingly so and it comes with college-ruled pages, just right for my tiny writing. The pages are also edged with gold, which is at once classy and fun. And it’s spiral-bound, which is critical for me.

I like to draw and sketch out ideas in my journals, especially with Sakura Micron pens. They’re the best! I also like the Pentel hybrids. I can seriously geek out about pens, so I’m restraining myself tremendously by only writing these few sentences.

I never made a proper baby book for K, but when she was a few months old, I started to keep an illustrated journal using watercolors (often penned late at night, when she would get up every half an hour – I may have been hallucinating half the time due to sleep deprivation). I still love to look through this now beaten up book, marveling at how quickly she developed those early months. Were it not for this book, I would have forgotten all her cute mispronunciations like “konopulars” for “binoculars”.

These are some of my favorite pages from the journal; looking through it again, it seems that I tracked her bowel movements extensively — ah the good old days. I stopped the journal when she was about 2, though I can’t remember why. I wish I hadn’t stopped.

These days, I’m trying to give technology a go. I got the Paper app, and a couple of stylus pens (I prefer the pink Pogo one – it’s much more sensitive than the white Bamboo one). I haven’t decided if I like it yet. Writing on a screen doesn’t come naturally to me, and I haven’t figured out the app enough to get the “undo” function working properly. I keep getting stray, unintended marks on my page. The watercolor effect is pretty nifty, however, and I’m slowly trying out drawing techniques.

Then I find that my tech-savvy daughter has been testing it out herself, and I can’t help but smile:

It was nearing late afternoon when I took this photo yesterday, and I liked how the light through the window created that dappled effect. Journals, in any form, record traces of quickly forgotten memories, and I’m thinking that it’s time to start another kind of illustrated journal – perhaps as something that recurs regularly here…thoughts to ponder.


12 thoughts on “Journaling

  1. Thank you, Robin and Gail – I love that the little message from K was a complete surprise when I was flipping through the app.

    1. Hi Xenia, I do hope the book lasts to be a keepsake…it’s been through quite a lot and is looking worse for wear…

  2. Thank you Cherie! I’ve gotten several requests to illustrate a book by authors, but usually publishers determine illustrators and I haven’t looked into book publishing. Though that would be a dream come true! Most of my illustrations have been for websites.

  3. That baby book just about brings tears to my eyes – but I’m hugely sentimental:) What a lovely, lovely keepsake for both your and K – a treasure indeed!

    1. I’m right with you on the sentimentality, Lucinda! I can barely hold it together when I look through baby pictures of K…I’ve also saved almost every letter (remember those?) and card I’ve ever received.

  4. Oh my Sanae! What a gorgeous journal. Have you ever thought of designing fabric? To see an outfit with your own fabric would be amazing!!!

    Thanks for sharing the app… I got it and I’m waiting for my stylus to come in. 🙂

    1. Textile design is up there in my top three things I want to do before I die 🙂 the other two are owning a villa in France and having lunch with David Sedaris (one of my favorite authors), so designing fabric might be a tad more achievable.

      Hope you like the app, Venus!

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