Visual Journals

I am not one for fan sites but this is a fansite of a different sort.Moleskinerie: Legends and other stories is a site by Armand B. Frasco who declares “not all notebooks are created equal.” Moleskine is a type of notebook which I have to confess to using.

As notebooks I had decided that they appeared to be too expensive for me to use until I tried using one last year. Usually my visual journal is kept in the small 6 x 8 inch black bound artists sketch books as these contain cartridge paper that can take a bit of pushing around. Watercolours, inks, collage pieces all find their way into the pages. I also use the same notebook as a personal journal and all sorts of materials and mementos find their way into these notebooks. Emails, notes on sites I visit, shopping receipts, cinema and theatre tickets, newspaper articles, printouts of images I work on, digital photographs, this blog, found objects such as feathers, bottle tops, scraps of fabric and thread of projects I am working on. I am sure you get the idea. My visual journal is a general hold all for all the areas of my life.

I have kept such a journal nearly everyday for over 13 years and it is part of my daily ritual. The problem however is always that I chew through a notebook in about 8 weeks. They are $15.00 a pop. Moleskine notebooks in Australia are in the $30.00 price range. So you can see I had looked at the price and thought no until I was given one as a birthday present. The notebook because it has finer paper – to my delight lasted 17 weeks. It was great to have a record of that block of time all in one notebook. It was also lighter to carry in my bag. The one big problem was that the paper could not take too much punishment but this was partially solved with a coat of gesso on pages I wanted to use wet media on. So I have to admit to being a bit of a fan of these notebooks too and since so much of who you are gets tangled up between the pages of these little books I can see why someone would devote a site to them.

Moleskinerie: Legends and other stories: Runs profiles on people who use these notebooks and recently ran a writing competition based on a photograph of found objects (including a moleskin) on the side of a road. Links are provided to people who keep visual journals and have images of them online. Generally the topics covered are art, writing and travel related. I know this site is bound to become a favourite. Check out some of the entries on the site.

One of the delights of keeping a weblog is that via email and comments left you learn about other blogs. The other day June pointed to Everyday Matters This blog is covering topics such as keeping a visual journal and drawing. He ranges from posting images of his own journals, colour theory, drawing skills, why keeping a visual journal is do benificial, and creative development. If you are considering starting a visual journal or looking to how others use their visual journals the site is worth reading regularly. There is always something to think about and as a web desitination it has fast become a morning visit for me.

Quilts and Typography

Currently there is an exhibition of quilts at the American Folk Museum. If I didn’t live on the other side of the world I would be busting to get there.

I have a fascination for typography and a love of quilts. Combine the two and I am done for. Talking Quilts and exhibit of 20 quilts that will run until September 2004 combines both. Looking at the impact of text on the fabric surface I delighted in the playful use of letters while at the same time celebrating the individuality of each woman’s story. Individuality and personality just jumps at you. I delight when typographic rules are broken and it simply works.

My complaint however (apart from grumbling about living down under) is that the images are not large enough to really saviour them. Couldn’t an institution such as this be a little more generous with the display of their collection? There is only 8 of the 20 quilts in the exhibition online too so I am feeling deprived … grumble grumble grumble…

Possums are magic

Look who came to visit this morning. I arrived at work early to discover this small friend outside my window. Normally brushtail possums are nocturnal so it is unusual to have one wandering around outside your office looking for all the world as if it would like to have a word with you about the standard of accommodation on offer.

As animals I find them cute and furry even though I know they are a pain if they take up residence in your roof. Not everyone likes these marsupials and they have become a problem in New Zealand

Now that you have admired the wildlife outside my office window perhaps I should get down to writing something about textiles. Most women I know who sew have one or two needlebooks.

Sometimes more as they are often given as gifts as they are small, quick to make and act as nice mementos.

Connie McGinnis has been collecting needlebooks for a few years, and she shares them with us in her Needle Book Museum Well that is what I have been looking at this evening!