These spring and summer days have brought us back and forth to the cottage a bit, but we’ve also been spending time in the city, taking in the warm afternoons and long evenings with slow projects and tasks.
After a sometimes muggy afternoon in the shop or chasing after Caleb in the back, it’s nice to have a cool evening to set up displays with some music playing and the cat lurking around, but I’ve also been spending more time slowing down and reading and writing – catching up with correspondence, and journaling.
We recently got in the new Olive Traveler’s Notebook – it had been highly anticipated for a long time, and it’s always wonderful to see a new release off into the world, and then start seeing them show up on Instagram and social media, customized to each person’s uses and preferences. Over time, it will be even better to see how the leather covers have worn in, and what stories people have filled them with.
I wanted pick up one of the new Olive Traveler’s Notebooks, but lately I’ve been trying to be a bit more organized and intentional about what tools and supplies I’m bringing into my life.
Part of the adventure of running a stationery shop is testing out the new products, and knowing what we have here, but as much as possible, I want to use these things in a meaningful way, not just have them for the sake of having them – or worse, have them sitting on a dusty shelf. Often the consumables (pencils, ink, paper pads, stationery) are not as much of a problem, as I can convince myself that I’ll use them up “in no time,” but I try to be thoughtful as I watch my stationery supplies continue to burgeon.
In any case, I did pick one up, and it turns out that this has been one of my favourite new items I’ve gotten in a long while. I’ve recently added a few new analogue tools (including this Olive Traveler’s Notebook), but also gotten rid of a few others, and my new organizational system is really serving me well during this season of life. More on that to come, although it seems like it’s always a process.
In particular, I’ve been very intentional about using this for journaling in a more creative way, with no obligations yet with intent. It’s true that sometimes a new notebook is inspiration – fresh new pages and a new story to be written.
In my regular journal, which is a standard notebook where I write and write and write, I don’t often incorporate photos or make any effort to make it look good, or even legible. In that journal I write to figure things out, the mundane ups and downs of my day, ideas and things to remember, and a lot of nonsense. As possibly you might imagine from my blog, I have a tendency to ramble.
In this Traveler’s Notebook though, I wanted to make an effort to remember and celebrate the tiny details that have made their way up through the waters: bedtime with Caleb, a quiet moment looking out over the lake, a conversation with a customer. I wanted a place where I could add in a little colour, and let the pages reflect the mood and beauty of the day.
I normally share these kind of pages, along with what tools I’m using or what books I’m reading, on my personal Instagram, as opposed to our Wonder Pens Instagram which is mostly for news and shop updates, but I thought I would share a few photos with you here because of how much I’ve enjoyed the time I’ve spent here.
There are some weeks where I might find a few nights to do this, to summon the effort to gather supplies and clear off table space, and other weeks where I’ll just scribble a few in my regular journal before digging into the boxes of stock waiting to be counting or tumbling into the piles of laundry.
It’s been surprisingly rewarding to see these thick and crinkly pages fill up. Some pages are definitely “better” than others, but the process of creating has released a bit of the OCD in me. Actually, beyond some pages being better: some of them are only half filled, a few of them are mostly Caleb decorated, and many just have a glimpse of a moment, but I love that I can look back through the pages with Caleb and remind him of stories and share with him the pictures that were taken. It’s sort of a more elaborate gratitude journal, in its own way.
Caleb loves getting involved in everything, and it’s both a thrill and a bit of a panic to not have noticed him watching for a few minutes and then all of a sudden watch him do exactly as you do, except slightly more dangerously, like pull out an arm’s length of washi tape or start squeezing out the glue. Early on I had a few moments of worrying about him ruining everything – I had had some vague, dreamlike notion that I would have something that was “just mine,” and then I remembered I have a child.
Caleb has a few dedicated pages where he can go nuts, but he’s already cottoned onto the fact that he would rather spend time assisting in the “real” pages. I suppose I don’t mind too much – it adds a bit of character, and these carefree days when he’s around are numbered.
In any case, this is my Olive Traveler’s Notebook for now, and for the next little while at least.
On another note, I’ve been using the Medium Classiky First Aid Box to bring some supplies back and forth to the cottage, both for journaling and also for correspondence. I’m normally a person that needs everything with me all the time and I start to lose it if I think I’ve forgotten a pen somewhere, but this has turned out to be more relaxing than I would’ve thought: the idea that I’ll use what I have and I have everything I need – and even if I don’t, something else will do. It’s been a good way for me to rotate through supplies as well, to remember what I have and to actually use it, rather than being too precious about it.