Sketchbooks aren’t Always for Sketching: Record Inspiration as it Happens

sketchbook pageNevermind that I couldn’t draw a lifelike picture to save my life–I bought the whole family little sketchbooks for Christmas, including myself (don’t you love presents that you buy for yourself? Of course, you could also make a book, if you’ve a mind to). A sturdy black cover, an elastic band to hold it shut, and pages and pages wonderfully blank.

At first I wasn’t terribly certain what I would do with my sketchbook. But working beside my little girls, as they sat down to draw pictures in their books, I had to do something with my hands, so I started to make a list.

It’s the best thing that ever happened to my craft work.

A little sketchbook that you can carry around, and a little roll of colored pens: this is all you need to record inspiration as it happens.

Here’s what you can write in one:

page from my sketchbookPossible crafty home improvement projects, to start as soon as you get the time (I’m going to make photo frames out of recycled cardboard and hang them all over the livingroom walls).

Another method you’ve just thought of to change up a quilt or brooch or embroidery or scrapbooking project, whatever it is you like to do (Could I sew on the paper I use for my pinback buttons? I believe I could…).

Projects you’d like to try from whatever book or magazine you happen to be looking at in the bookstore or library (Last Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts, you are my bestest friend).

Lists of books to peruse at greater leisure later (Pretty Little Potholders looks like quite the happy read).

Each person you give gifts to at any holiday, and what gifts they might like you to make for them (Papa=potholders?).

Must-do projects, like mending or a Halloween scrapbook page, in case you have some time to craft but aren’t feeling particularly inspired (I think I’ve figured out a cute and easy way to lengthen my daughters’ pants).

 What would be on your list?

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Written by Julie Finn

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now.

Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life, and my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties.


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  1. such a great idea for getting all those scraps of paper, where i jot down various lists and ideas, all bound in one book! i have a tendency to treat bound, blank journals as too precious to use. i’ve been pushing myself to just use all the ones i have around, and maybe for christmas, i’ll treat myself, and the whole family to those awesome moleskine ones.

  2. Ooh, and how super-cool would it be to bind all your scraps of paper with all the lists and stuff into a book? Maybe with some extra blank pages for more list-y goodness.

    The best thing I’ve found about carrying around a little blank book is the ability to keep working on works in progress–if an idea for a new way to make a pinback hits me while we’re at the park, I can write it down, or if I have some free time at the library I can open it up and work on my book proposal for a few minutes.

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