Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Commonplace Book

Hey everyone! Get a load of my peg for this post: Crafts! This is my first photo tutorial for my blog.
I got inspired by the ideas on Pinterest, especially the one about writing letters for loved ones
who live far away from you. Each letter has a theme and a specific instruction, like:"Open me when you miss being home." or even "Enclosed letter to be read when you need to be reminded of how strong you are."

I loved the concept! It's a way to make yourself felt to those separated from you by miles
of either land or sea. A way to let your words give comfort, even when your physical presence
cannot. Even the themes warmed my heart: themed letters from parents to their children away at college, themed letters from friend to friend; envelopes either exchanged whenever they get the chance to meet, or even sent through mail. 

I started such a collection of letters for my Bestie who works in Singapore. Ever since she left, I 
began writing her letters. I didn't label them with specific themes or instructions for certain 
circumstances. I wrote to her whenever I wanted to. It was the catharsis for the times when I pick up my mobile phone to text her a message, then I remember that she uses an international number now, and I didn't get to ask her what it was before she left. Writing letters, or even little notes to her helped lessen the pang of having her in a different part of Asia. We talked online every chance we got,but still I wrote and saved those letters and notes in a small folder I made.

When she came back home for a vacation, I surprised her with all the missives I accumulated and wrote while she was away. I was so happy to find out she loved it, and when she flew back to Singapore, I promised to write her a new batch of letters after I gave her the ones I had. 

On her next homecoming, I was ready with another set of letters, this time in a decorated envelope. Still no themes as to which one to open during a certain type of situation. Now, I've given those themes some thought and decided, why not make an entire compilation for her? I could still write her letters and little notes, but this time, I could put them all in one place. 

Mr. Lemony Snicket, famous author of the book series "A Series of Unfortunate Events" calls this type of compilation a commonplace book. You place in all your notes, sketches, and bits and bobs that you wish to keep for reference in a single notebook, making it the common keeping place for your work. I also found it more suited me, since I love writing, drawing, AND collecting pictures. (My attempts at scrapbooks always end up in the extremes: too much pictures and decals on one page.) The commonplace book allows me to do all the three elements I love. 

You can imagine the lightbulb shining bright above my head as I got to work on this idea one rainy Thursday. I thought I'd share with you how I made the commonplace book I crafted to use for the letters I write for my Bestie. 

Now you've seen how it's done, go make one for yourself to use! Be it for your very own,for a family member, or a friend; it's a great way to spill your thoughts and keep them all in one place. It's a journal of sorts, but the theme is UP TO YOU. 

Have fun compiling! :-D

Photos By: Me
Photo edits thanks to : PicsArt App for iPhone

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