February 22, 2014

My Attempts at Being a Journal-ist...

I have to admit that my attempt to decorate this notebook is kind of, um, lame,
but it's just for me so whatevs...
I started keeping a diary in first grade. It was a tiny, pink hardback diary with a lock and key. I remember it had a picture of Strawberry Shortcake perched on top of a strawberry. I think I still have it somewhere along with all my other journals. My second journal suffered a tragic fate. I took it to school in 5th grade and someone got a hold of it and ripped it to pieces. I found a trail of them all down the school halls...I cried. Many others followed, paperback, hardback with a lock, and then a series of personal-sized, spiral-bound notebooks from college which contain some of my best work, if I do say so myself :) A few more spiral bound books followed, including a particularly inspired time right after college when I got a hold of a black-papered journal with pink rings, and I decorated it with illustrations in iridescent rainbow colored ink and discovered that I could clip inspiring magazine pics and articles and paste them in---oh, what a window of fun that opened up!

My journaling pretty much disappeared since I became a mother. Although, I have had three or four blogs since then, so I guess those count. A couple years ago, I tried to do the simple, One-Line/One-Paragraph per day, every day method. That worked for a couple months, and then it became sporadic. I think journaling has to be flexible to what you are willing to do, in order for you to do it. Most recently, I have started journaling whenever I want. I wish I had been patient enough to wait and buy a Moleskine or some other "fancy" knockoff like a Picadilly, but instead I picked up the next suitable thing I could find at my local PX (Post Exchange- like a department store on a military installation that does not charge sales tax) because ordering online or making my way to a bookstore just isn't very convenient these days...My dream journal would be a Moleskine- lined on the left page and blank on the facing page with somewhat heavier paper so that I could paint or draw on it without the ink bleeding through, but I digress...I bought a Cambridge notebook. I would guess that it is A5 sized, and it has grid paper on the left side and lined paper on the right. It has YELLOW paper, which inspired me at first (oooh, it's DIFFERENT) but now it sometimes gets on my nerves, I really would have preferred powdery blue...

I started it on January 31st, and I've been scribbling in it every couple of days at least. I haven't really drawn or painted in it as much as I hoped (I really want to create one of those awe-inspiring art journals that I've seen certain very talented people post pics and videos of online, but I'm nowhere near that level now), but two of my most recent entries include a couple little rough drawings with my trusty Pilot G-2 pen. I even colored them in with a set of pastels that I bought for just $2 at TJ Maxx. They came with a sketchbook, too! I also haven't been inspired to clip any magazine pics/articles lately, so there are none of those inside BUT I did post in something even better- the sweetest Valentine's Day card (with a tres romantic handwritten note inside)  from my husband AND a handmade card from my daughter proclaiming me to be "the sweetest mom in the world!" I can assure you, that's definitely not true, but it's nice that she thinks so :)
Now you know, my innermost thoughts involve coffee and cookies...

February 20, 2014

Ms Dottie Fail, and Moleskine Weekly Notebook Diary Planner Hacked To Perfection!

I can't believe that my big dreams for Ms. Dottie came crashing down so soon! My family has been living temporarily in (a hotel-apartment in)Virginia since the beginning of January on our way to our next Permanent Change of Station (otherwise known as PCS in the military community), and I have felt the need to downsize in many ways, including in my planning format. Ms. Dottie had proven to be much too-too much as far as size, weight and tabs! I was getting tired of paging from section to section to section to get things done, and she loaded down my handbag like a brick...I began carrying a small notebook around to avoid carrying her. And then I realized I hated double-writing! I don't want to write in the notebook, and then copy it over onto my calendar. Plus, I noticed that her lively, slightly off-white cover had inevitably become dingy. Ugh.

When I had the pleasure of visiting a Books-A-Million at the local HUMONGOUS outlet mall, I could not believe my luck at finding an elegant Moleskine Weekly Notebook Diary/Planner for about 75% off!!! When I got home, I immediately took to customizing and decorating it to perfectly suit me...
Here it is, simple but unadorned...
I inked my stamper with metallic sharpie ink and decorated the front...

I glued in a scrap of a beautiful mousepad sheet made by Papaya, and I stamped the front page, too...
I binder-clipped some unused pages at the front, and turned the unusable 2013 calendar pages as a shopping Wishlist and a checklist of Ongoing Tasks I need to complete..

I added important dates to the awesome vertical monthly calendar (I love this format)...
Here is the weekly spread with a facing blank lined page for taking notes,
I use this page as a grocery list and a catch-all page!
Here is my quick reference page for my favorite places and their phone numbers,
and hours of operation. I just took it from my Franklin Covey binder and glued it in...
 

I glued another piece of the lovely Papaya mousepad over the
notebook's built in expandable pocket (see my green mini-highlighter hiding in there?)...
Finally, I stamped and inked in the letters on the back and added a
large binder clip to use as a pen holder for my Pilot G-2 and my
Pilot Frixion 0.7" erasable pen in Black, the only color I like to plan with.

January 1, 2014

Happy New Year and Hello, My Dottie (A Review of my Franklin 365 Polka Dot planner!)

Yay, it's 2014 which means I finally get to use my new planner! And I shall dub thee- Ms. Dottie. Let me tell you, I love this gal. She is so freakin' cute! When initially looking for a 2014 planner, I actually set out to get a more conservative looking planner, believe it or not. But my inner child won out, and instead I purchased this disarmingly charming one instead. I've never been able to resist polka dots, and I would hate if I passed on the opportunity to have this design before it is discontinued. With that in mind, I would have loved to have the minimalist-looking black and white version of Little Green before that went out of production, but I missed out on that- boo.

By the way, have you ever heard that polka dots were lucky for the new year? I read/heard once that the dots represent coins so they help bring you prosperity, and that the bigger the dots the better. This tells me that Ms. Dottie was absolutely the best planner to ring in the new year with :)

 
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