OK, so those of you who know me well (or maybe even not-so-well!) know that I am obsessed with paper. I love the feel of it, the smell of it, and especially the look of it. One box of notecards can set my heart racing and my spirit swooning. A single letter-press card can send me deep into a recurring fantasy: gleaming table, crackling fire, steaming drink, thoughts poured out in ink, artful stamp, walk to mailbox under canopy of leaves, recipient excitedly opening letter, recipient aware of my love for him/her, recipient inspired to reciprocate. Repeat.
Now because I want to be completely forthright, I have to acknowledge what many of you already know from personal experience: that this fantasy of mine is almost always just that: A fantasy. I yearn to sit and write profound messages on gorgeous paper, but I usually resort to a seemingly-impersonal email or, worse, a concise text message. (shudder) But what I love about paper is that it keeps me coming back to the idea that communication can be more than this, more than some brief, electronic words. There is something about paper that makes me crave (and appreciate) a life where time unfurls slowly, where words mean something, where thoughts are given a space to play and linger, and where handwriting has the power to evoke memories from years ago. I refuse to give up on this idea, and I am determined to keep putting pen to paper, even if it's something as simple as a list.
Because of this passion for paper, I wanted to recognize it in my blog name somehow, so I chose karatasi, one of Swahili's words for paper. I hope to spotlight some favorite paper products each week and inspire all of us to put pen to paper a little more often.
This week's item is from one of the BEST places to find inspiration: Target! I bought it a few months ago, but last time I checked, it was still available in stores.
Manufacturer: Compendium, Inc.
My favorite elements?
1. Triangles I have been loving triangles for years and am so glad they're finally trendy and easy to find.
2. Multi-color on kraft paper The contrast is delicious.
3. Creative endpapers (the inside covers and immediately adjacent sheets) They make just OPENING the book so much fun, and also build one's confidence (in the case of the second picture)!
4. Artful details that are also useful. The colored edges help me organize my book into easy-to-find sections: crafty ideas, to-do items, scripture/inspiration. The grid helps keep lists neat, provides built-in check boxes, and also makes space-planning a cinch for those of us who enjoy visualizing room arrangements made to-scale. The woven binding helps the book lie flat but doesn't impede writing as a metal coil would.
5. The paper Thin enough to have plenty of pages to fill, but thick enough to absorb ink without bleeding through.
This journal was a bit pricey at approx. $15, but I knew it was one I'd be reaching for again and again, and I also tend to display notebooks in my home, so it was a worthwhile investment for me.
Now stop reading this blog and go write something! :-)