Friday, December 26, 2008


I have been realizing lately that my life is quite extensively documented. Besides this blog and the thousands of pictures I have stored on my computer and in photo albums, I have a growing stack of journals. My first serious journal entry dates back to March 19, 1995, and contains the appropriate amount of teenage angst. While I do continue to keep a straight-up journal full of handwriting, about five years ago I started becoming both more visual and more compartmentalized.

I currently have 4 journals going: a regular writing book, a list of all of the books I read, an "inspiration book" consisting mostly of magazine and catalog pages, and another book that could probably be summarized as a travel journal. Here's a shot of my inspiration journal, which is pages from a magazine showing some particularly colorful courtyards.

My most visual journal is my travel journal, which consists of cut-up brochures, ticket stubs, and anything flat I can grab. It seems like I'm always sneaking things off of tables in restaurants. I also use this book for anything I feel the need to write down, like lists (including one of every ingredient in my toothpaste - there's some scary stuff in there), business cards, schedules, and quotes.

And of course, I need some pens to do all this writing. I particularly like fountain pens, and have been acquiring them over several birthdays and Christmases.

From top to bottom: the Preppy, Tornado by Retro 1951, Waterman (not sure what model), a Manuscript calligraphy pen, and a Pilot Varsity (a disposable fountain pen). It's hard to say which one is my favorite, because they all have separate qualities. I like writing with the Preppy the most, but it seems to not have very good quality ink (what can you expect for $6?) The Tornado has the smoothest line, but the line is quite bold. The Waterman also writes well, but it has a tendency to dry out quickly. Oh pens, how I love you so. I AM SUCH A NERD.

Do you keep a journal? And what is your favorite pen to use?


knittinandnoodlin said...

I'm right there with you with the pen fetish thing...and your Tornado looks beautiful!

I usually journal with Sharpies or gel pens (and a big bottle of rubber cement), but I recently got a Lamy Safari and some green Noodler's Ink and pretty much use that exclusively. The Noodler's Ink rocks, and it comes in tons of colors I'd like to try.

Your journals look so colorful! I have two that I work on -- an inspiration journal and a "normal" journal. I also keep a little tiny one in my purse for lists and random stuff that pops into my head.

OfficeSupplyGeek said...

The Pilot Varsity is the first fountain pen I is what convinced me to buy my Lamy Studio. I figured if a $4 fountain pen wrote so nicely, why not try a nicer one.

muchadored said...

Sarah, I love these ideas! I have a "happiness journal" that I write in every night before bed. I started it about two years ago, and I never miss a night. Basically, I write 5 things that happened that day that are positive and happy, regardless of their magnitude. I noticed a few years ago that I have a tendency to focus on the negative, and this has really helped.

petunialu said...

I love the pens. I simply love pens in general... My favorite pen? Calligraphy nibs and an ink well.

I've gotten out of the habit of journaling, aside from my blogs, which are very public, and my photographs. I would love to get back into the habit of reflection.

Veronica said...

I wish I had the time and stick-to-it-iveness to journal! Yours look lovely and I'm sure they're a treat to make and read through.

I do love pens - I have a Lamy that I love, although I now wish I'd gotten a finer nib on it. Perhaps my next pen... (there's always a next pen!)

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