Tag: paper

breadcrumbs 2: the paper part of it all


in the timeless classic Gift From the Sea, Anne Morrow Lindbergh writes:
“What a wonderful day, I think, turning it around jun my hand to its starting point again. What has made it so perfect? Is there not some clue here in the pattern of this day? To begin with, it is a pattern of freedom. Its setting has not been cramped in space or time. An island curiously enough, gives a limitless feeling of both. Nor has the day been limited in its kinds of activities. It has a natural balance of physical, intellectual, and social life. It has an easy unforced rhythm.”

yesterday i told you about Evidence, the visual and tactile log i’m keeping of this year. what i didn’t tell you (because i couldn’t find a way to insert it seamlessly) is that the inspiration for the design of the cloth came from this moment of sky spotted while walking one day when i was trying to sort all this out:



i’m after the same kind of day anne writes about. and because i’m on the finite side of infinity, i recently devoted a great deal of time to determining what i want to do with whatever time i have left. being a systems girl of the first order, and preferring color coded systems for visual delight as well as facility, i’ve been using color as a sorting system since dirt was a child.

my first color coded system went like this:
red = family (blood)
green = finances (the color of money)
blue = reference, factual, retrievable information (i just like blue)
yellow = opportunities, fun (sunshine)
i used these colors throughout my life – in my day planner, on file folders, on the calendar.

last year i matched what i wanted to have to show for my life to the colors of the chakra system, using the color biographies provided by my friend bridget. it looked like this:
red: movement
orange: creative pursuits, time spent in the throes of creativity
yellow: moments of spontaneity, the unexpected
green: shipping and producing
aqua: blog posts, storytelling, journal writing
pink: relating to others
violet: memorizations, reading poetry and other good books, living and creating by moon cycles


i started keeping a book of amazements last year in which i documented each color’s contribution to that particular day. it was fun to keep, and it did keep me more focused, but there was still tweaking to be done*, so this year, i tightened the focus and streamlined the colors, allowing space for that “easy unforced rhythm” and that natural balance while still enjoying a daily sense of accomplishment:
red: movement
orange: making
aqua: marking
purple: laughing
these colors always appear in this particular order on the Evidence cloth to distinguish the days.

RED: moving
as in moving my body through space. last september, i quit wearing the fitbit (a gift from my son for Christmas 2012) as jewelry and started taking it seriously. i now walk a minimum of 12.5k steps (or 5-7 miles) every day. every. single. day. i also do the occasional yoga, and whenever possible, i take dance breaks. my goal? i want you to see less and less of me.

ORANGE: making
as in stitching or creating assemblages and collages. i log in the hours spent stitching every day and note the particular project worked on. i like to do a collage every sunday to close out the week (it’s something i can start and finish in a couple of hours), and am slowly gathering bits and oddities that i’ll use in assemblages. my goal here: building a legaSEE. we’ll talk more about this later.

AQUA: marking
as in writing, be it in a journal, a blog post, a book, or a notecard. doesn’t matter, i just know that if i miss a day of writing, i start all over when i pick the pen up again – even if there’s only a day’s gap. that’s just the way it works.

PURPLE: laughing
as in surprise, wonder, chortle – anything that ignites a sound from me that ranges from “hmmmmmm” to “oh!” to a full-body guffaw. anything that makes me giddy. for this, i make more detailed notes in purple ink in my books of amazements.

* like not having to carry 14 pens around with me (2 of each color in case one runs out of ink along the way), for example


two important notes:

1) i change, so this year i’ll keep quarterly books of amazements to give myself room to move around.

2) of course i also want an accounting of accomplishments – written testament to the annual accumulation of accomplishments – so i’ll be keeping a log of things like books read in their entirety (and reviewing them over at goodreads), projects completely finished, and miles put on my new shoes.

and, i have specific notions about what i want to turn out/produce/accomplish this year. but we’ll save that for another day.

[ ::: ]

Jeanne Hewell-Chambers is a planning, productivity junkie. She just is.

paperholics anonymous


hello. my name is jeanne, and i’m a paperholic.

i have this notion that the trees in heaven have leaves of various papers, and when the leaves fall, they are immediately replaced with more and different paper leaves. the skies rain pens, and colorful flowers magically become ink when picked. blank journals grow like weeds, and the clouds (always within reach) are actually handmade papers.

in my real world, 3 thank you notes = 1 apple, so to keep the doldrums at bay, i start my day off by penning 3 thank you notes. i seem to collect notecards like there’ll never be another, and i’m pretty sure that when answering this question next year, i’ll mention these jewels danielle laporte and these from papaya. this, my friends, is one of my favorite notecard find for 2009: embroidered paper. sweet.


envelopes? oh, don’t get me started.


then there are pens. these days i mostly use the handblown glass stylus my son, kipp, surprised me with on a trip to hawaii years ago. (yes, that’s it in the lead photo.) there is nothing – nothing, i tell you – like the sound and feel of that nib scratching across the paper leaving a trail of gratitude and appreciation.

then there’s this fountain pen beauty i bought myself to mark the occasion of going to graduate school.


there’s the fountain pen i bought because it was a replica of the fountain pen i used in elementary school (fountain pen + briefcase in 3rd grade? well, let’s just say that i’m a stronger woman because of it) and the fountain pen given to me by one of my son’s former girlfriends. while doing some online shopping, i happened upon this pen on a chain. fortunately it goes with everything. (think it might be time to dust around here?)


journals are another weakness addiction downfall interest. though i still occasionally go back to the black-and-white hardback inexpensive composition books because, as i told julie jordan scot, they don’t expect too much from me. about a month ago, somebody tweeted about purchasing a keel’s simple diary. unfortunately, i was still in the completely-gobsmacked stage of trying to find my way around twitter (now, i’m happy to report, i’m in the just-plain-gobsmacked stage), so i can’t give credit for the find. but there it was: the word “diary” – a sparkly if ever there was one. naturally, i had to go investigate and wound up giving 5 of them as gifts this year (yes, i am one of the 5).

in spite of my trusty ever-present companions, the iphone and macbook pro, september finds me hanging out in the calendar sections of local and online stores, fondling all the latest organizers – when it comes to pen and paper, old habits are hard to break – and i was fine with that system, totally fine, until i rebecca had to go and mention the day runner life tracker system. i spent far too many hours minutes yesterday envisioning my life with one of those flexible life tracker systems in my hand. (it brought back memories of the southpark trapper keeper episode – one of my favorites, though i have no idea why it’s so funny. i mean, i covet that trapper keeper. covet it, i tell you.)

coming across gwen bell’s article, then lisa sonora beam’s post last night has me gathering supplies to do a collaged plan for next year – something i haven’t done in more than 15 years. such planning was once an annual event for me – something i looked forward to. i would turn myself loose with the scissors, creating a collage inside a decorative (or decorated) file folder. i’d revisit the collage every month or two, always amazed at how my year was unfolding as though guided by the collage. but then i got busy, times got rough financially, cynicism built up and the belief in my self plummeted, so i just quit doing it. but now, i’m innergized and committed to using scissors, glue, paper, and intuition to create a map for 2010. to take control of my life; to live more consciously while reflecting regularly; to become more proactive than reactive.

and so, though it’s not on embroidered notecards, not written with vegetable-based amber-colored inks using a handblown glass stylus from hawaii, i offer yet another big, huge thank you to gwen bell for putting this challenge together, creating a path that has led me to my tribe, led me to my self and led me (back) to my self.

the stories are mine, but credit for the kindling goes to gwen bell and her best of 2009 blog challenge. this post answers the question “when you touch the paper, your heart melts. the ink flows form the pen. what was your stationery find ot the year?”

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#best09, #bestof2009

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Hey, Sugar! I'm Jeanne Hewell-Chambers: writer ~ stitcher ~ storyteller ~ one-woman performer ~ creator & founder of The 70273 Project, and I'm mighty glad you're here. Make yourself at home, and if you have any questions, just holler.

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