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.
This is the first blog post I have read. I want to go and read many more now. I love your writing and all that you accomplish. I was intrigued by he name Failed Attempts. I appreciate so much the aspects of this as art. When I think of failures I do not think of them in art often. I think of them in business, family life, etc… I look to make failure everyday. I want to learn from failure to make a better process, product, or connection. I think this looks great – I see your point that you want it to be a work of art in a more polished way than it is now. Thanks for sharing – this has given me thoughts I didn’t think about until today.
Scott! What a treat to hear from you! Thank you so much for stopping by to read, I hope you’ll be back. I so appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. It’s particularly cool since you’ve spent so many hours, days, months, thinking about creativity! I love that you look positively on failure – it’s inevitable so having that perspective towards it is inspiring! Sending love to you xo
We all have our setbacks from time to time,
learning when is the best time to jump full-steam ahead,
and learning when we’ve gotten carried away to a place unlike that we imagined.
I’ve had this happen time and again with projects, especially in the initial stages when I really want to get into it, even if I don’t really know how. But the great thing is, it’s not really a failure at all when you learn. It’s just another step along the way. And for what it’s worth, I think it’s so, so, so beautiful to have our earliest attempts immortalized. To remember who we were when we first began something, it’s so crucial to realizing how far we’ve come.
I don’t really have any of my drawings or paintings or writings from pre-Katrina. When we were gutting our house, I crawled up onto the top of the pile of stuff outside our house, waiting to be collected for a landfill who-knows-where, and turning each sodden page of my old sketchbooks. Trying to remember them as much as I could, because I knew I’d never see them again.
It’s something I’d probably be a little embarrassed for someone else to see, but, to me, they were part of my story and I really did, and do cherish them. So that’s one thing to remember too, all the awkward missteps you might feel you’ve taken along the way, they’re as much a part of the masterpiece oil painting as the thing itself. :)
May you have many more beautiful missteps!
I think you have to write a book someday, Celeste. You have such a beautiful way with words and capturing memories. I can only imagine what things were like after Katrina, having all of your treasures and memories waterlogged or swept away. I’m so glad you were able to flip through some of those memories one last time.
Great reminder that the missteps are part of the masterpiece! I think it was the bloggers over at A Beautiful Mess that said if you don’t cringe while looking through your archives then you’re doing something wrong because that means you’re not really growing and progressing. Cheers to the failed attempts!