My Material Life

Dreams, Schemes, Plans


I used to feel compelled to write down the things I did, people I saw, etc., in a calendar.  I think I started this because I was going through a particularly good time and I didn’t want to forget any of it.  I’d jot down the kind of things you see in the photo above minus the sketches.  This eventually became a burden, something I perpetually needed to “get caught up on”.  I recently decided I could let go of this task and simply move on without this particular form of record-keeping.  I always like to think that if you throw yourself into something and you do it long enough, you’ll be ready to let it go when you realize it no longer fits you.  So I didn’t buy my usual Japanese calendar that I would use for record-keeping this year (well, just a mini-version to keep in my purse and a different kind to hang on the fridge).  I think I’ll get along without it quite nicely.  What I cannot get along without, however, is a blank planner like this …


This is the kind of thing I need to record the lists I’m always making:  holiday planning, blog post ideas, celebration planning, shopping lists, household projects, etc.  I started this particular book early last year, but I just got around to labeling the front using this Staedtler lettering guide set I recently picked up at the office suppy store.  I colored in the letters with colored pencils.


I have a thing for brown kraft paper type books, preferably spiral bound.  The one above is a 5″ x 7″ Cachet Earthbound Sketchbook by Daler-Rowney.  I think I bought it at my local Barnes & Noble which sadly just closed due to a rent increase (that’s what they told me anyway).  I did find it available at one online shop, here.  It’s a very useful little book.  The pages are also brown and unlined.


Here’s another smaller brown paper spiral unlined notebook by MIDORI.  I used a Martha Stewart lettering stamp set to label this one.


This last one is by Moleskine.  You can find these all over, even at Target.  This one is bound with stitching; the pages are ivory and they are lined.  I just fell for its good looks.  I labeled this one with a combination of pen, lettering guide, and rubber stamp.  If you choose to label a planner like this, be prepared for other people to read it.  But others will probably be interested in your dreams and schemes too, so it may be best to leave your planners unlabeled if you don’t want snoopers.

The planner in the top photo is called One Sketch A Day.  I was so excited to find this little book late in 2011, that I requested it as a Christmas gift in 2012.  The only problem was I couldn’t keep it going.  I got two good spreads of sketches before I “fell behind”.  Lovely idea though.



  1. In 2013, I decided to start some journals. First one is my gardening journal. I will then have a crafty journal, holiday journal, house journal, to do journal etc. All will be blank pages like you have and I will either draw, write, stamp etc in it. My journal books will be all handmade. My idea is to make 8 page signatures and then eventually join them into a book. So I will have a gardening book etc. It maybe that I will divide the gardening one into seasons so that its not a thick book. Hopefully I will post some of my creations! Thanks for sharing your ideas.

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