T he start of 2015 and the evolution of my 5 Minute Journal System for Busy People (yes, it’s an official name and deserves capitalization) meant that I had brand new index cards for this year. It also meant that the cards I filled out for 2013 and 2014 were displaced and needed a home.

As I wrote about in yesterday’s post, I ultimately determined that my cards will live in Moleskin notebooks. The beauty of these notebooks is that they came to me as blank slates. I had dreams of customizing the covers the second they arrived in the mail.

This was a heavy task, though. The intent for these notebooks is that they will be home to 9 years worth of journaling. These won’t be tucked away and forgotten anytime soon. I had a bee in my bonnet that I wanted beautiful calligraphy across all 6 notebooks. How perfect would that be? I’m learning calligraphy and this notebook project just fell in my lap! BAM, meant to be.

But then I got nervous. My tastes change over time, as does my craft. I am a baby calligrapher and my hope is that I’ll continue to get better – I had this feeling that, if I attempted calligraphy on the front of these books, I may look on them in a few years in the same way I look at my scrapbooks from middle school…lovingly, but with a tiny wince.

Did that stop me? NO. I charged straight ahead with the first notebook…

I picked out a quote I loved that talked about living life and remembering moments, got out my colored calligraphy ink, and just went for it. 

The ink really wasn’t cooperating. This is obviously why professional calligraphers are fastidious about picking out the correct paper before they start a project.

“I’ll like the finished product, though…” I tried to convince myself. “It will look better once it’s a grand masterpiece.”

I just wasn’t into it once I finished. The inconsistency of the ink really bugged me and the font looked like I was trying to hard – but ironically, also looked too similar to my regular cursive.

Actually, the part I liked the best were the two words that had been easiest: January and February. Simple, clean, uppercase letters in white ink that had taken barely any thought at all.

Bobby saw it later that evening and said I was being too hard on myself. And I’m not trying to put out the message that things have to be perfect to be lovely and treasured. That’s definitely not the case; there has been many a time I’ve worked on a project that wasn’t quite perfect, thrown up my hands, and said, “Meh, it’s fine.” If you don’t believe me, please just refer to this trio of folk art animals – I would slap those on some stationary any day:

In my mind, though, my day-to-day crafting has more wiggle room while these journals are akin to an oil painting for the wall – I want them to be my top notch work.

I had purchased 9 notebooks because I initially didn’t realize that I could jam some cards on the front and back pages of each book. This meant that I had 3 extra Moleskins, which gave me the leeway to be picky.

All this to say…I’m starting over. Yes, this will be a huge pain because I already stuck 60 index cards into this notebook. I’m going to carefully peel those out and then use this notebook as practice paper when I’m sketching out folk-art animals. It goes without saying that Moleskins are too good to waste.

I’m feeling good about my next plan with the notebooks, though. Think classy, simple, uniform but still with some unique-ness to each journal.  I’ll show you my progress later this week! Full steam ahead.