Best time to…Buy a New Sketchbook

Art supplies hoarder or unmotivated artist?  The best time to buy a new sketchbook is when you know it will be a joy to fill.

I found such a book at the local Friends of the Library fundraiser.   Hidden beneath stacks of donated journals and somber funeral homes’ guest books (gratefully unused) were sketchbooks.  Discretely edited.  Filled with plenty of crisp acid free pages.  Nice books.  Nice low price of only $2.00.

But the “sketchbook” that I fell in love with and claimed for my own, wasn’t a sketchbook at all.  This little green book, its blank pages aged and yellowed, remained unsold despite being marked down to $0.50.  Bless its heart!  With title and copyright pages missing, the words “The Scribble-in Book” stamped on the cover, hinted at its identity.

I imagined someone carrying the little green book around to jot down reminders, phone numbers, addresses  maybe a doodle here or there.  A time when things were more direct.  More tactile.  Long before this age of technology.  Long before modern homesteading.  When self-sufficiency was the lifestyle for most who wanted to have food to eat, a roof over their heads and clothes on their back.

1 Scribble in book-2018 Small
The Scribble-in Book (4 1/2″ x 7″)

As a nod to those bygone days, purchased the book to create an illustrated homesteading journal.   I’ll post entries in the “Best Time To” category.   So far I’ve cautiously experimented sketching in watercolor and ink.  The old dry paper has a tendency to resist ink while drinking up the watercolor.  It is difficult to apply or blend oil pastels on the fragile pages.

However, I have found gently using soft pastel pencils works the best.  One of my first “scribbles”  is of the heirloom Burgundy Okra plant that I’m looking forward to growing this year.

cropped purple okra book
Burgundy Okra Plant and Gardening Notes

I have 6 “active” sketchbooks.   “The Scribble-in Book” may be the first sketchbook I actually complete.  Then, after decades of neglect the little book’s pages will be filled.







  1. Claudia says:

    I have a 6×9 journal my husband gave me…it was actually given to him at a seminar but he’s not one to write down his thoughts. So I think I’ll get into it and do what you do!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Go for it Claudia! I’m loving my small blank book. Enjoy your’s too!

    Liked by 1 person

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