On paper

Hi, sweets.
I hope you had a lovely weekend.
I took a break Saturday morning,
snuggled up on the sofa with my coffee and sketchbook,
and set some ideas and thoughts free…
…everything from sketching out my kitchen & office designs
to new ideas for my Etsy shop and Wild Rose & Co.
One of my immediate goals is to start painting again
and creating one-of-a-kind pieces that incorporate the textiles that I adore so much
(as well French images, typography, etc.).
If they are loved as I hope they will be, I’d love to have the originals made into prints.
I’m so excited to bring these thoughts to life.
It’s important to take the time to get your thoughts on paper,
whether it’s sketching a creative idea or just writing it down before it ends up in the black hole.
(You know. The same black hole that has you searching for the car keys that are already in your hand.)
I write everything down.
Ideas. Goals. Lists.
For me, paper preserves my thoughts and keeps me organized.
I am so accustomed to multi-tasking every moment of the day
and my mind {and self} bounce from one thing to another.
While doing one thing, I’m thinking about the next five.
I have to write things down.


Here are my favorite tools of the trade…
A 9×12 Canson Mix Media Notebook (found at Micheals)
Prismacolor Colored Pencils
 These pencils are rather expensive but worth it.
The colors are so vibrant and smooth.
Never pay full price at Michaels for them though. Use a 50% off coupon.
You can also find them at around 50% off retail on Amazon.
Of course, a regular notebook and standard Crayola colored pencils will always do
if you shudder at the thought of paying $20 for 24 pencils.
I divide my sketch book into two sections.
The front portion is for sketches and thoughts.
The back is for lists of all flavors.
Every morning, I sit down and write out a list for the day.
Priority tasks are written with a red colored pencil.
I cross tasks off as they’re completed.
I don’t know about you, but crossing something off is motivation.
At the end of the day, I sometimes feel like I didn’t get anything done
but glancing at my list and seeing tasks crossed off reminds me that I did.
 {sigh of relief}
Here’s an example of the iCal system that I used to use.
When I worked outside of the home, blocking out time for certain tasks on my Palm Pilot
kept me running like a well-oiled machine.
But now that I work from home, it just doesn’t cut it on days without a sitter
(my mom comes for a few hours, one or two days a week).
My children are unpredictable, the doorbell rings, etc.
I have to be more flexible at home and this system had me feeling frustrated throughout the day because I wasn’t always doing what I had ‘blocked’ out time to do.
A simple written list of tasks works best for me now.
As long as things are crossed off at the end of the day and I continue to meet deadlines, I’m satisfied.
If my babes need some extra cuddles in the morning, they get them.
Plain and simple.
It’s why I choose to work at home.
I’d share a photo of my book with you
but my camera is being cleaned and should be ready for pick up tomorrow.
You may have noticed some pesky specks and spots in my French farmhouse photos.
Well, I didn’t intend for this post to be about organization but my thoughts led me down this path tonight.
I frequently get asked how I do it so I guess now, you know one way.
Do you prefer technology or good, old-fashioned pen and paper?


  1. Jaime says:

    Jami I’m just like you, so nice to know I’m not the only one who prefers real paper and pencil for everything. As technically savvy as I wish I could be there’s something about the written word, tangible, in your face, then the cross off feels so good! I too stay home with 3 kids all day so I work when I can around my kids, loved reading your process.

  2. I like making lists too, but don’t always do it. When I am completely overwhelmed, list making and crossing off is such a reliever. Thx for sharing what pencils you use for sketching, and I look forward to your artwork!

  3. Erin says:

    I’m definitely and pen & paper, list-making kind of girl, too. I wrote out my list of to-do’s for today last night and that guides me as I’m a wee bit scatter-brained have the worst memory anymore! Plus, like you said, it’s very satisfying to mark off a completed item from the list. :)

    Your multimedia art sounds so intriguing–can’t wait to see it come to fruition!

  4. Definitely real paper…I tried to do things online ONCE and that was enough for me… I love the idea of writing things down, scratching them off (to do lists) and just the feel of it. Same thing with cooking. I love chopping things by hand instead of in s chopper.

  5. Mona Kay says:

    I prefer paper, but since I still have a day job & am on the road, I need my e-calendar. I do love my new iPad, though!

  6. Judy says:

    I cannot work without pen and paper.
    I am a writer and trying to compose and edit as I write is impossible for me to do without a pen and a yellow legal pad. Many writers cringe at the very thought of writing fiction or poetry with pen and paper. For me, they are the very items that keep my thoughts flowing.

  7. Karen says:

    Jami, I am The List Queen. My family jokes about Mum’s lists and they roll their eyes when I take the pencils and paper out:) I can’t resist a collection of pretty notebooks and stationery either. Must be the artist in me. Anyway, you can’t doodle pretty flowers and hearts on a computer screen while you think!Many of my best thumbnails were sketched on the back of a to-do list. You go ahead and stick to your notebooks.

  8. Catherine says:

    Mmmmm, Prismacolour – love them!!! And yep, iI am a paper and pencil girl ;-) Lists with a nice tick next to them make me happy and keep me motivated…a calendar blocked out makes me feel inefficient because it doesn’t allow flexibility. At the end of the day, as long as goals are achieved, I am happy.


  9. Mrs. Means @ Vintage Means says:

    I love technology for most things, but when it comes to my calendar, schedule, to-do list, shopping list, etc. nothing beats old-fashioned pencil and paper. It takes way to long to try and quickly “jot” something down in a software program. Plus, when I look at my calendar I like to see the whole picture at once.

  10. We are more kindred than I thought, look out for my “pen and paper” post scheduled this week! Lists are a lifesaver for me!!

thank you for taking a minute to write...


CommentLuv badge