I just realized, after reading this whole thread to here again tonight, that two years ago I stumbled upon this thread and read it start to finish and then started my first 'non-art' journal. Today I have about ten or so, and I journal in some form every day. This thread really changed my life! The book I write in most often is a 5x8 hardback sketchbook that I made a cover for, that I put all my art/craft ideas and sketches into, and that I write in/sketch in every day. I've also just started an actual sketchbook in a second 5x8 hardback sketchbook. (These were $5 each from Michael's, "Artist Loft" brand, and I love them. Just plain hard black covers and nice, heavy sketching paper inside, and they open up nice and flat!) I also have a Moleskine watercolor journal, just for experimenting with watercolor painting.
I have also created four art journals, as well as a junk mail journal (lost...sad), a gluebook, and a few days ago, I got a Creative Chaos binder (an alternative to the Smash Book) from Michael's and am putting only art inspiration into it, such as techniques to try, supplies I want, supplies I buy, notes from art books I read, pieces of art that inspire me, art stores and sites I shop at, and anything else art-life related. Half price with a coupon, this was only $6.50 and it's full of beautiful, really heavy double-sided decorative cardstock pages. I highly recommend it, because writing on that heavy, pretty paper is inspiring, and it's a great way to save all the little stuff on a pretty background. Plus I LOVE mini-binders and can add to and rearrange it any time I want. I'm going to get another one and use it to journal on all the "About Me" prompts I've collected here and elsewhere. I think it would be very therapeutic and help with self-love issues. I may get a third one and make a Favorite Things book, which will help with life-love issues (since I deal with severe depression).
It is so sobering to me to realize that I had to call myself not a 'real artist' in order to allow myself to do any art at all, and that it happened to be exactly two years ago this month that I took this step, due to this very thread. I now have an art blog, have done several paintings, and have created a studio space as a testament to how crucial art is to my very survival, emotionally.
I know this thread isn't about art, but it was this thread and the 'non-art' journal that it inspired in my life, that gave art back to me. And not only do I journal now, pretty much every day, I've even learned to make my own books, which is probably my favorite thing to do right now.
And I STILL love love love the alphabet idea and have re-written it into my art/craft idea book tonight to use again and again. I also found the thread on altered books at that same time as this one, and I fell in love with that and have been doing them ever since. Two of the four art journals I have made are altered books. This is the before of my newest one, a children's book:
With a title like that, it was MADE to be a journal, don't you think? This is what I did to the cover:
I hope this thread lives forever and that lots of other people find it and begin expressing themselves in a new way because of it. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to it over these FIVE years.