Thursday, February 21, 2013


A sketchbook starts out as a blank book and is transformed into a treasure with notes, ideas, drawings, pasted images, letters and cards.  Famous artists like Leonardo DaVinci kept sketchbooks that are almost as priceless as his artwork.
Sketchbooks are places where people figure out ideas, designs and techniques.  But, think about all the sketchbook variations out there... diaries, journals, notebooks and even recipe books can be considered a form of a sketchbook.

One of my favorite things to see when I purchase a used book (or inherit one from a friend) is to read any notes they scribbled in the margins.  I do this with my cookbooks, when I alter a recipe and I want to remember the changes I made.  Since I now keep my recipes on the computer, though, I just save the newest version.  It does sadden me a bit to realize that my handwriting and notes are not part of the recipe anymore -- just the final changes.  But, that is just something that happens with technology.

Instead, when I see a recipe with scribbles and notes, I am brought back to the time I recorded those changes and it becomes a sort of sketchbook.
Isn't if fun to come across these and wonder about the thought process of the person who wrote the notes?

One year for Christmas I sent my cousin a cookbook that I marked up with notes -- "favorite recipe" and "wouldn't this be good with berries instead of apples?" etc.  My cousin, who normally only communicated with me through mail, called to tell me how much she loved getting a cookbook with notes in it. She said she felt like I was talking to her.  It became another way to share, not only the recipes, but our likes and dislikes and even trials and errors.

I keep lots of sketchbooks and sketchbook like things...
For the most part, my sketchbook is just away for me to collect my drawings and keep them together.
My art journal is a way that I keep trying various art techniques. It is a place to play and just do art without worrying about displaying it.
I keep a notebook with me most of the time that I make to-do lists, to buy lists, to research lists.  If I get a "Eureka" moment, I will jot down my brilliance so I remember it at a later date. This notebook is a mess -- but it is just for me, a tool.
Sadly, I tend to misplace this very valuable tool, often.  One time, I kept my messy notebook when we were moving into a condo. I kept all my account numbers, bills, and to-do lists that were necessary at that time. I kept a list of all the linens I needed to purchase, color swatches and measurements for doorways, windows, etc.  I managed to leave this very valuable notebook in a store. I was distraught when I realized it was gone. I searched high and low, retracing my steps. My daughter helped me, but we didn't find it.
A few days later, we were in the store again and I asked the manager if per chance there was a lost and found because I thought I left my notebook there a couple of days ago. The manager asked if it was full of papers?
I was relieved and thrilled.  She told me she found it under a pile of towels and it looked like it might be important to somebody!
She was right!

Do you keep a sketchbook or a non-traditional one?

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