Dear Jane

Far Flung Bee 2012

TwoCheese journals

Hobonichi Techo 2016



At the end of 2015 I finished my one-line-a-day* five year journal. I remember really enjoying being able to look back on what I was doing on that day one, two, or five years ago, and I often think how valuable it is to be able to have five years of memories all in the one journal. At the same time, though, I knew I wanted to try something new for 2016.

I was tossing up between the Midori Traveler’s Notebook* and a Hobonichi Techo* (both links will take you to more information on each journalilng system.) I loved the idea of being able to really customise the inside of a MTN and swap out inserts whenever I needed to, but I worried that I would spend too long getting it set up how I liked and fiddling with it, and not a lot of time using it! It needed to be something already set up and ready to go.

Enter the Hobonichi Techo! There are four different versions, but the one I got was the Techo Cousin Avec. I bought mine online from the Hobonichi store*, which meant that if I wanted the A5 size option I needed to get the Japanese version. It’s not a big drawback – it just means that I can’t read the inspirational quotes down the bottom of each page, and there are a few pages in the back that I can’t comprehend (but they’re great for testing new pens out!)


There’s a couple of things I love about my Hobonichi Techo:

  • It opens flat, which makes journalling a LOT easier!
  • There are so many cute covers if you want to customise (I also got the plastic cover-on-cover as well so that I could change out little bits of ephemera as I felt like it)
  • The pages are made out of a thin but sturdy paper called Tomoe River, which takes ink really well and also stands up admirably to watercolour
  • It’s A5 size so I can stick a lot of things in there AND have room to write
  • You can get them as either one year-long planner, or two 6-month planners – that way your journal doesn’t get too bulging as the months go on (an important factor for someone like me who loves collecting tickets, and feathers ,and business cards, and receipts!)


Jan-June and July-Dec hobonichi journals sitting on a cane chair with reading glasses and a blanket

(January – June vs July – December. So satisfyingly chubby!)

After using my Hobonichi all year, I can safely say I really only have one complaint: because it’s essentially a dated planner, I feel pressured to journal each day. Which I love! But being so time poor, I’ve gotten quite behind (you can see all the sticky notes to remind me to go back and fill in those pages.) When I finally DID get some free time, sometimes I felt that I should be spending it catching up on my Hobonichi whether I was in the mood to or not. Which, you know, kind of defeats one of its primary purposes: to be a relaxing creative outlet.

So will I go Hobonichi again next year? I’m not sure, but probably not. I loved SO much about this year, and I definitely won’t regret having a year full of sketches, journalling, and all those bits of paper memories I like to collect. I’m definitely loving spending time sketching and painting to go with my memory recording, but next year I think I will find an un-dated journal so that I can record when I want. Before I do start looking for a new system, I’ll be back to explain how I use my Hobonichi, and share some more pages.

In the meantime, here are some of my favourite art-journalists!


I hope you get time to create this weekend! (


(* these are not affiliate links, nor have I been sponsored for reviews.)


30 Days of Lists {2012}





Last year I signed up for the 30 Days of Lists journaling prompt group and bombed out pretty quickly. I’m not really a stick-it-outer kind of person, I think. I’m more of an exciteable-best-intentions crafter. I get very excited, and then I get very distracted, and it’s definitely something I want to work on in the future. With that goal in mind, I signed up for this year’s 30 Days of Lists and so far so good!

I want to share my lists (the ones I managed to complete, anyway) from last year because this was a massive leap for me – seriously! I am NOT an improvisational person at all, so for me to just sit down and write and stick and glue without planning each page in advance with individual mock-ups and versions was HUGE. HUUUUGE. It felt kind of good to let go, even if I do get a little anxious looking back over my lists and seeing all the things I could have changed if I’d planned it out beforehand. It’s good to just breathe and let it go.

And – most importantly – I get an excuse to go and look at all the pretty shiny sparkly stickers and scrapbooking supplies at the store! (Priorities, people! Priorities!)


Project Life

I really enjoyed taking part in the 30Lists in September project last year, but  but I don’t seem to be very good at sticking to a daily (or even weekly) challenge like that. I know some people enjoy the challenge and discipline, but with my hectic life it always seems to turn into another stress for me. So I’m really excited at starting a just-for-me, in-my-own-time Project Life journal.

I want to remember birthdays and parties and events and whirlwind interstate weekends. I want to record the journey in mking some of my favourite projects. I want to do more with my IG photos than just clog up my phone memory. And I just genuinely enjoy cutting things out and sticking them into books!

I think the best thing about the Project Life idea is that you can do it completely your way. Chronical each day, each week, each month, or as often as you like. I’ve chosen not to use the official kit because I’ve always wanted to start a Moleskin. And I love the way books get all fat and crinkly and jammed full of stuff as you stick notes and photos inside. I guess my journal is a little bit of Project Life and a little bit of a Smash Book (watch the video here), and I completely love it! I cant wait to journal more things – I’ll share them up here when I do.




My name is Holly and I live in Australia. This is where I blog about the stuff I make (mostly quilts, stamps & plushies). Sometimes I also write about things that inspire me. Thanks for stopping by!


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I hope your visit here has been inspiring, but please respect my designs and idea as my own. You are welcome to use my patterns & tutorials for personal use (for you, for gifts, etc.), but not commercial use. Please feel free to link to my tutorials, but please do not reproduce them in full on your site. Thank you! © HOLLY McGUIRE 2008-2014

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