There is something that is deeply gratifying about writing, sketching, taking notes and
doodling in handmade notebooks and journals. Joy is, for some of us, the feel of a
favorite pen or pencil in hand, making marks on the surfaces of lovely, high quality paper.
Handmade journals feel intimate and informal, inviting the jotting down of new ideas, inspirations, insights and quotes that spark passion, inquiry and excitement. They easily capture notations, drawings and intentions; even fragments of poetry and more, for the first, immediate, unformed beginnings of what could be.
I decided to make my own small, simply bound booklets that would be quick and easy to put together and fit nicely into pockets, backpacks and bags. I wanted sort of a cross between books that are beautifully crafted art pieces [ deserving better than being scribbled in] and utilitarian pads of paper [too impersonal and visually boring]. Prints of my drawings and paintings on the covers were a must, with unlined paper[not confining] and colored pages, which somehow make notating even more fun.
Some other uses:
“A notebook takes on a friendly character, the patina of its daily use, its doodles and coffee stains. It becomes an indispensable artifact .......” Paul Theroux
Here's one that I gave to my husband, to put to the test of durability. Over a year later, it has survived surprisingly well, with the addition of packing tape. It endured being in trucks, pockets, backpacks and dirty hands. This booklet has hosted many shopping and to- do lists and almost went on a river trip, down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. It didn't go, but kept the list of food and supplies.
Am I tempted into learning more about bookmaking and binding? Maybe. In the
meantime, I'm content with tearing paper, stitching and gluing, to make small journals.