Letter Writing and Journaling Layouts

Letter writing and creating journaling layouts have been my creative outlets of choice lately, and both are easy-enough hobbies to start.

It’s been awhile since I’ve felt the urge to sit down and blog. I haven’t posted a recipe since before my birthday, and the very last Friday Frenzy post was right after Christmas.

Part of it was/still is my actual-paying job. Fall rush ended, but there is still plenty of work to get caught back up. Add to that losing people to other departments, so we’re also short-staffed at the moment.

The holiday depression hit me rather hard this time around too. In 2017, I was still dealing with the shock of having lost my dad. This year, there was just a heavy emptiness that hung over me. And I got sick right before Christmas, so that didn’t help.

On top of all that, for the past month and a half, it’s really seeming like we’re living The Long Winter. We actually didn’t really get much for snow piling up until mid-January (though there was plenty of snow that fell and then melted throughout November and December), but since then, it’s been relentless.

A couple times a week we get a few inches, or once a week, we’ll get dumped on. The bambino has now missed enough school that he’s likely to have extra days tacked on at the end of the year. Thankfully I have the capability to work from home when necessary, otherwise my bank of paid time off (PTO) would be in the negative. 

I have been keeping occupied, though. February brought about the return of Incowrimo. I’m not actively participating per se, like I have before.

One of the things that’s been neglected has been my letter writing, so I opted to use this month for whittling down my reply pile. That hasn’t gone as well as I’d hoped, but I have somewhat made a dent in it. I will make it a point to answer any incoming letters I receive as part of Incowrimo…And right now, that’s a whopping one. Which is fine.

Pen pal letters

Those are the next three letters I need to answer, and I have two others in my purse that need to be mailed.

I did make sure before February started that I stocked up on a few items – Namely more stationery. One of my favorite Etsy shops, La Papierre, is run by a couple who started off in Vermont, then moved to Georgia, and are now in the process of moving to Canada. So they’re clearing out their stock so they don’t have to take it all with them.

Stationery and pens

But what has taken up most of my free time has been my journal. 

Journal Layout 1

I have been trying (and failing miserably) to use all the washi tapes and ephemera I already have on hand…But another of my favorite Etsy shops, Boston Bag Lady, has been getting LOADS of awesome stuff lately, and I have ZERO willpower – Especially when it comes to things like tickets, or railroad papers, and anything postage/air mail related.

Journal Layout 2

I also am a sucker for anything black and white, be it stickers, washi tape, etc. I thought briefly about keeping my journal layouts just black and white, as I have a LOT of black and white washi tapes…But I also have a lot of colorful stuff, and while I adore black and white checks and houndstooth patterns, it got a little dull after awhile.

Journal Layout 3

I also have quite a few brightly-colored fountain pen inks, though, too. Lately, that’s really all I’ve felt like doing – Though I’ve been more into creating my layouts, than actually writing. 

Journal Layout 4

I have been doing plenty of writing though, too. I mentioned the holidays hitting me hard this year – I posted a photo on Instagram of our table on Thanksgiving, and mentioned it was the first holiday meal that we had at the table (which had been my dad’s) since I had my dad’s furniture delivered last May. I have been trying to make it a point to use things, rather than just accumulate them for the sake of having them. 

I remember when my dad bought the dining room set that’s now mine. We used the table maybe three or four times that I can recall. We had Thanksgiving dinner there one year that my grandma came up from Florida. We used it again another time she was visiting, maybe for her birthday? I know there were a couple other times, but otherwise, my dad used it to just put papers and books on, and we always ate in the kitchen.

So perhaps that’s why I’m focusing so much on my journaling, and letter-writing. I have scads of paper and blank books and fountain pens and inks, and I should be using them instead of just letting them sit. The blank books will get used at some point – I’ve kept a journal since I was eight, and I have no intentions of quitting that habit any time soon. 

I assume that eventually, the desire to bake and cook will return. I have several recipes that I have bookmarked, but just haven’t had the chance to make yet. Perhaps once spring arrives and everything is new and refreshed, I’ll busy myself in the kitchen, instead of scribbling away at my desk.