The Documented Life Project

One of my goals this year is to write something in my diary every day and to be more creative with my journalling. 2014 is a big year for me so i wanted to create a permanent record of it. I’d thought about art journalling to do this but felt quite anxious to try as I haven’t picked up a paint brush in years. In December someone in a Facebook group commented about the Documented Life project and I thought I’d check it out.

The Documented Life Project was thought up by five talented artists based in the US as a way to plan, journal and create all in one place. They use a Moleskine week plus notes format to create a gorgeous book with weekly prompts to inspire your art and writing. More info can be found on their website: art to the 5th.

Immediately I was drawn to it but wanted to do it in my own way. I already have a great planning system in my Midori Traveler’s Notebook and didn’t want to mess with that so decided to just combine the last two elements. I settled on using a series of A5 notebooks and filling them with something every day. At the end of the year I’ll bind them somehow so I have a big thick volume for 2014.

I’m using a leather, lizard print Filofax Flex to hold the current journal notebook plus a random selection of paper/card/postcards that can be painted/coloured/doodled on and ‘tipped in’ (stuck in with masking or washi tape from either the spine or page edge). The jotpad that came with the flex is being used to brainstorm ideas when each weekly prompt is released.

I love this set up as I can pick it up and take it anywhere, along with my trusty pencil case . Mostly I write on my desk or in bed just before going to sleep but it’s already been with me on holiday to Switzerland for new year. 
The notebook is a Clairefontaine Age Bag A5 notebook (bought from Bureau Direct). I use fountain pens with all sorts of coloured inks for most of my writing so love Clairefontaine paper for its smooth texture and lack of bleed through. I love the marbled effect on the cover so don’t want to change it too much but I’ve made it a bit more personalised by adding a few bits:
I’m currently working on TDLP challenge 5 and I’ll do a separate post for challenges 1-4 and then one for each challenge as I complete them but for now here’s a few photos of what’s in my diary.
Inside front cover (calendar plus my quote to start the year):
Diary page from ski holiday. I stuck the piste map in to show what we’d done that day:
I have a page a day desk calendar of Disney scenes so incorporate that every day if I can, either by sticking in the whole page or cutting it up. I also will stick in things from my day and doodles/tangles.

I’m also cutting up a 2013 desk calendar from the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists and will use that as some extra pages. This association is amazing and the artists produce gorgeous work: I purchase a set of their cards twice a year (general and Christmas). The calendar always comes free with the set of Christmas cards and it seems a waste to recycle the cards once a month has finished, so in they’ve gone!

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