Friday, February 25, 2011

It's over...

Well, dear readers, I had to call it quits.  I just cannot write in a Clairfontaine notebook.  I miss my moleskine.  I think my mistake here was trying a notebook that was not in the least bit similar to the moleskine.   I need to take baby steps and wean myself off slowly (if at all).  So my friends, it's back to the large, red, ruled moleskine for me. 
I found that I need the narrow lines, the back pocket for all of my secret treasures, the elastic closure to keep everything in and the beautiful manila paper with the rounded corners.
I found that my writing became artificial because I was trying to think of things to just fill up the page so that I could be done with the notebook faster.  I wrote about ten pages and then decided that I was being totally ridiculous and decided not to punish myself further.  This could all be related to my OCD, however, I think that many writers need the proper tools in order to write well.  One of my necessary tools is a moleskine journal.
Are any of you like this when it comes to notebooks or journals?  Do you have a preference of "tools"?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Journal

(Andrea Joseph, via we heart it)

If you have been reading this blog for any amount of time, you'll have realized by now that I love, love, love the large, ruled moleskine journals.  I have been using them for the past five or more years exclusively, however, I've recently become aware of a few things that have made me think twice about being so exclusive.  Firstly, I read an article in this month's Chatelaine magazine that says that people who are attached to certain brands tend to get really anxious if they can't find the product they always use.  Heaven forbid they quit selling that product entirely!  Also, Moleskines are now mass produced in China and although I have not seen a problem with quality, some other bloggers (sorry, can't remember the link) have had issues with the bindings and covers.  Moleskine will still replace any defective product but if they are being mass produced, there is a larger margin for error and why hasn't the inevitable savings in production flowed down to the consumer?
So, because of this revelation of mine, I decided it was time to try out a different journal.  I ordered three different types from a company called Stylus Pens in Edmonton, AB because it was in Canadian dollars and I had my journals in my hot little hands within 3 business days (I'm very impatient!).  I ordered a Clairefontaine Age Bag journal, a Quo Vadis Habana and a Semikolon Features Notebook.  When I received them, the first thing I noticed was that the Quo Vadis Habana was too small.  It was more like a pocket sized moleskine, also the pocket in the back of the book was pretty shoddily attached and the elastic closure looked as though it could rip through the cover; a tiny tear had already started.  I realize I could order another size up but the quality isn't as good as I had expected so I am wary to order another one.  The Semikolon is a nice book, again a little smaller than what I'm used too but the thing that will deter me from using it is the widely spaced lines.  I like college or feint ruled.  The narrower, the better.  So that brings me to the Clairefontaine Age Bag Journal.  It is slightly larger than my large moleskine, there is no elastic closure and the paper is bright white.  All things that I can deal with.  The paper is nice and smooth and the lines are narrow.  Also, they are made in France, not mass produced, hopefully.  So my choice has been made.  I will update you on how it wears and how I feel about it after using it for awhile.  I realize that my opinions on the other two journals are made with rather limited experience and high expectations, so next time, I might wait until I'm in an actual stationary shop and only buy the journals that I can see myself using and then see how they pan out.  It's often hard for me to get to a good quality stationery store because I live in the boonies!  I'm sure I would have given the both of the other journals a try if I had ordered a size larger and actually inquired as to the line width.  I think I was thinking in inches and they were in centimeteres.  Oh well.  So please don't take my word solely on my sparse dealings with them.
I also picked the Clairefontaine because I can customize it a bit - paint the cover, add a pocket etc. and make it mine. I will show pictures when I am done.
What kind of journals do you write in?  Are you exclusive to one brand or type?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My baby is sick

Ruby has been scratching her nose for two days now.  She just had her yearly checkup on Saturday and all was good but I had to take her back because of her obsessive licking and rubbing her face on things.  She kept me awake all last night licking her nose!  Turns out she has a skin infection common to pugs called Pyoderma.  Apparently it doesn't take long for these infections to crop up, which explains why she was fine on Saturday and by today she has a full blown infection.  Thankfully, Dr. North fixed us up with some antibiotics and anti inflammitories and sent us home to rest up.  Ruby is a little drowsy from the pain meds but otherwise she's doing well and looking for some cuddles.  Poor baby!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Meet Rosey

My mom got a new puppy a little while ago.  Her name is Rosey and we love her.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

On keeping a journal

I guess in some way or another, I have been keeping a journal since I first learned how to write.  In elementary school, we kept journals in which we were sometimes allowed to free write and draw a picture to accompany the text and sometimes we were given a topic to write about.  I've kept personal journals off and on, my first one being a little red book with gold edged paper and a lock with key.  I loved that book.  I've had various journals since then, but in the past five years, I have been using moleskines pretty much exclusively. 
I write about anything and everything.  Whatever is bothering me that day or things that make me happy or something funny someone said.  I've also taken to glueing in the detrius of my life:  movie ticket stubs, receipts, stickers, packaging; anything that takes my eye.  Sometimes I paint the pages to brighten them up or I colour around things with felt tipped markers.  I tape in pictures with washi tape and glue down stuff I have printed out that meant something to me.  If you were to look into one of my journals now, I think you would have a pretty good sense of who I am, not just by the writing but by the stuff that I have saved or chosen to collect.
I love keeping a journal.  It's become such a habit, that if I don't write for a day, I miss it.  I pack my journal around with me everywhere.  I write whenever inspiration strikes.  I often write down lists of things to buy or pick up or books that I've heard about and might like to read or movies that I want to see.  I'll even clip reviews from magazines for books or movies and paste them into my journals as a reference.  Sometimes I write down a quote that has stuck with me or words to a song that I like.  Over the years, my journals have become my constant companions.  They know all of my secrets and when I finish a journal, I feel almost sad to let it go.  I don't ever really feel alone when I have a journal with me.
Lately, I have been obsessed with journal writing and looking for new inspiration.  I have found many cool blogs such as Journaling Saves, Journaling Journeys and Journal Addict to name a few.  Check out the side bar for other blogs on notebooks and such.
Do any of you keep a journal?  What do you do with yours?

Friday, February 18, 2011

I'm Back!!!

(via we heart it)

I've decided I'm going to contribute more to blog writing now in order to connect with others.  For awhile I was feeling a little overwhelmed and blogging was just another thing on my to do list. But I've missed it and I've decided to make an effort to post more and connect with other like minded people.  So without further ado, here is what I am looking forward to this weekend:
  • seeing this movie
  • sleeping in
  • Ruby's one year vet appointment (I can't believe she's already a year old!)
  • writing in my journal
  • hot mugs of tea
  • cuddling with Ruby and mom's new puppy Rosey (pics to come soon, promise)
  • reading more Sherlock Holmes (i'm addicted)
  • writing letters
What are you looking forward to?