Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Studio Journals for 2011

I spent an hour this morning making 2 new studio journals for the coming year. These are made from cardstock or index weight paper, 8.5 x 11. None of the papers are white, to avoid the blank white paper syndrome we creative types sometimes face. I used 30 sheets of paper in each journal so it's half an inch thick and not too heavy to carry around.

I used my RubiCoil to punch holes in the paper as well as along one side of some painted and stenciled paper which is the cover. The 140# watercolor paper isn't sturdy enough so I sewed another sheet to the inside cover and added some gray ribbon along the edges, and I sewed some woven, patterned ribbon across the width to give some character and texture to the piece.

Although you can't see the three index tabs along the edge in this scan, the photo below will give you an idea. The tabs are attached to some heavyweight card and were originally used in a vintage file box that I found in a junk store

... so then I had to make a second journal and used the same woven ribbon plus another narrow orange and yellow ribbon for accent. I'm sure I'll fill both of these this year, and maybe others. It would be most efficient to make several at once while I have the tools out but there's something about binding the journals that encourages me to get to work in them right away so I'm anxious to get to work.

These journals will contain mostly notes, plans, thumbnail sketches, and ideas for future work. I don't use this as an art journal which one would fill the pages with beautiful paintings or collages. I have other journals for that.

I work in several journals and sketchbooks at a time and use several sizes. I carry a little Moleskine sketchbook in my handbag for drawings and notes when I'm out an about. And I usually have half a dozen art journals floating around the studio. I keep 2 in my journal case that's really an outfitted vintage train case. The rest stand on my desk in the studio waiting for me to be inspired to work in them.

I headed to the beach last weekend hoping to get some future planning done but somewhere I caught a case of the lazys and spent most of my time reading or walking... mostly sitting and reading. Now I'm still thinking about plans for the year and feeling guilty that I have't got anything onto paper. In the last day or two I read someones's blog where she talked about how most of us think we must have our plans made by January 1? She looks at it differently; she sets aside most of January to plan the rest of the year. (I'm so sorry I didn't make a note of which blog or I'd have linked to her post.)

Oh my, did that ever hit home with me!  I have NO time in December to make plans and I sure can't use the week between Christmas and New Years to plan, nor can I get it done on New Years Day like my friend Linda does. Whew! What a weight off my back. I have until February 1st before I need to feel guilty about not getting plans on paper, though perhaps this afternoon I can draw a big mind map of 2011 on the first 2 pages of my new journal.


  1. Hi Jo,
    Your journals are wonderful! I like to make my own as well but I have never thought of sewing for the cover to make it thicker that is a great idea. Also I love the thought of using all of January to decide on goals for the year-brilliant. We are digging out of the snow and ice here. I don't mind a little hibernation time though.

  2. Beautiful journals, really like the coil system you used makes it all so neat and tidy.

  3. Looking forward to seeing these in person next week!

  4. Most browsers contain a "chronicle" or history-function so you could review your visited sites for the last few days or weeks. For example firefox uses "ctrl + shift + H" to display the browser history (german keyboard, this may differ in US..)
    Perhaps you can remember the day you´ve read the blogpost?
    But it sounds very reliefing - even without the original link. I also have no time in December to plan my new year and the idea to do this in January is a very good one. thanks for sharing!

  5. Anonymous3:19 AM PST

    Such a wonderful idea! Have a wonderful creative New Year!

  6. love these journals Jo, and the idea of keeping your ideas in one place. I think I will do this, I lose ideas not keeping them in one place.

    My husband has a spiral binder at work, gonna take advantage of it. And who said we needed to have our plans laid out by Jan 1 or even by the end of January?? I do love the idea of taking the whole of January to dream.

  7. You are a smart lady to make two at a time...they fill up so fast....love how you sewed the ribbon to make them stronger...great idea...

    I am still working on my plans for the year too.....glad there's no deadline and we can take as long as we want to...

  8. You are an inspiration because you get so much done! I'm putting off going into my studio until I get my house "under control." Maybe I should split my days.

  9. Anonymous10:21 AM PST

    It looks great and your hard work surely paid off...you're ready to use them and make your motes and plans. Sometimes I think I plan too much anddo too little, so I'm quite careful about formal planning and goal setting for myself. There is such a fine line actually between planning and doing, I still have to find that golden median.

  10. Your new journal for 2011 looks inviting to use. It's a great idea to make several at once for what I call idea books. I decided to let the year unfold, savor the present and see what direction this takes me. Hope your planning and doing come together.

  11. These journals of yours are Absolutely Gorgeous! Wish someday I could learn how to do something like that. Thanks for sharing the beauty of your artistic accomplishments for the rest of us to aspire to, or at least dream about. :-)


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