I’ve been massively inspired by journals lately, and especially art journals. I’ve always loved the idea of recording your life, and probably my only regret in life so far is burning my teen diaries and deleting my typed uni diaries, which I did for reasons I won’t go into here.
There’s something magical about keeping snippets of your life between pages, to be kept and remembered and looked back on in days, weeks, months and years to come, and it also leaves a record for future generations.
I once came across a box full of tiny notebooks in an antique shop, and, intrigued, asked the owner what they were. She said she had another two boxes in storage and they were the handwritten diaries of a young lady who had started, in the twenties, aged 9, to keep a diary each day, and had written faithfully every single day until she died in her 90s. At the time I was still a student, and this collection was on sale for £250 – well out of my price range (although the lovely owner did say I could pay a bit at a time and she’d keep them aside for me, it was still more than I could justify spending on non-necessities at the time. But I sat in that shop for a good couple of hours, reading the living history of this lady who had lived through a war and through unimaginable changes in her world, and had recorded it all, huge world events and things that were important to her (first kiss, meeting a friend for lunch, all sorts) for us to look at.
On my 25th birthday, inspired by that find, I started a five year diary. I’d like to think I’ll keep it up till I’m 30, although I’ve already missed the odd day – I love that it’s laid out so that each year you can see what you wrote the year before, and it’s a small enough book to carry around. My own little piece of magical history.
Recently I’ve also started to see lots of art journals – Ashley at The Creative Place did a fabulous post recently about her completed travel journal, which made me think I could (and should!) do something similar for the rally. I have been meaning to create a scrapbook/journal of my life since just before my 18th birthday – bought the albums but never quite got round to putting things in them. (Actually, with hindsight that’s a good thing, if I’d completed it age 18 it would have been mostly full of my first love… while he is obviously an enormous part of my past, he is entirely unconnected with my recent past, my present and my future, and I feel a journal I make now will reflect that).
I also love the idea of keeping a journal of my creative inspirations – at the moment my laptop and Pinterest serve for those ‘squee’ moments where I can keep snippets, and this blog records my wafflings and thoughts and other things, but I’d love to have more physical things to look at when I need inspiring. And of course, a diary-journal (as opposed to a scrapbook or a journal for a specific event or trip) would show you how your crafting has grown and shaped and developed over the time you take to complete it.
So this weekend I shall be buying (or repurposing) some box files – they shall live in my studio and into them shall go anything relevant – photos, notes, fabric scraps, labels, broken but significant jewellery… anything that might help shape my journals, and perhaps in 2012 I’ll be able to put them together and make something wonderful to look at.