Note Taking for the Note Challenged

I’ve always made lists. Then I lose the list, hoping I’ve actually bought or done everything that was on that list. Sometimes, yes, sometimes, no. I  am a creative person but not an organized person. I tend to flutter like a butterfly, stopping here and there to soak up nectar and quickly moving on to the next flower. Humorous I know to those who know me. I am not butterfly like in any other way but fluttering.

Last year I stepped into The Christmas Tree Shops and More for the first time. Whew. Not for the faint of heart, the aisles are small, there are thousands, okay a hundred, people in there and they all have huge carts you can’t move around. So you wait while someone looks at pot holders or candy or something.

I made it through the store, all the way to the front just to the right of the checkout counters. I found journals. Not any journals, but Markings by C.R. Gibson. I bought two of them for $2.99 each. I was thrilled.

One day I got the brilliant idea to look for the CR Gibson website. It was duly found and they were having a 40% off promotion! I went nuts and got 5 6 journals for $32 or something like that. Three were the huge journals with the graph, plain and lined paper. Two were just lined paper and one was lined decorated paper, but less of it. This is the first on I’ve started to fill.mjn-16104

I do love dots. And this has lots of Dots!

I found with my first two journals that I used them constantly. One I purposed for my dyeing notes. Any of you who dye fabric and/or yarn know that you have to write down what you did. That is, if you want to repeat it or something close to it.  I jot down the colors of dye I chose that day, how much I used and the technique I used to apply the dyes. This way I can see how things turn out and how to repeat at least the technique, if not the exact result. It is not possible to repeat the EXACT result.

My second journal keeps all my knitting notes that I put in when I am on a particularly difficult pattern (for me, that is) and when I need to increase, decrease, etc. When it says “repeat the last two rows 70 times decreasing every 12th time, i write it out. I number my rows, check them off when I’m done and do the increases or decreases at the proper time – otherwise I’d be lost. My knitting journal is almost empty of blank pages. I knit a lot.

I started my Polka Dot journal this year and plotted out my dyeing session, including even the choice of color scheme from this book:


I love this book for its color ideas and the layouts of various themes. I chose the themes Primary, Serene, Spiritual (of course), Sensual (why not), Playful and Warm and Spicy. I used my dye colors and chose those that suited the themes best. I wrote those colors down in my journal.

I now have a record of the dye session on Christmas Day. I can look at the fabric knowing what colors I used to accomplish the theme. And I can repeat them, even if only in the use of the same colors. This is important because I may want to use the fabrics in a larger piece and need more of a certain theme. If I don’t know how I got it, I won’t know how to make more of it.

I’ve embarked upon another course of study. One that I have intended to do for eons but never took the time to actually do. I started following Marc Taro Holmes at Citizen Sketcher after I saw one of his books on Amazon. His watercolors are amazing. I purchased watercolors several years ago and played around with them, but never found the technique to come as second nature. I struggled. I primarily struggle with drawing and so I downloaded a book by Marc from Amazon entitled The Urban Sketcher: Techniques for Seeing and Drawing on Location and started to work.

I have multiple sketchbooks but I also have those 16o pages of blank paper in my journal …….. I can fill them.

I’m probably never going to turn into someone who “journals” on a daily basis. But I will have a place to put down ideas, explore them and build on them. My journals become a learning tool ……… and I love to learn.