A few weeks ago I received an email asking me if I would like to review Lea Redmond's new book "All Lovely Things - A Field Journal for the Objects That Define Us" that is being released today (March 3rd, 2015)! I obviously jumped on the offer (hence this post and review) and am beyond impressed with how well suited this book is for me. I am always interested in books and journals that help me stretch my creative muscles and this one is the perfect resource to prompt all sorts of meaningful and reflective drawings. It's a wonderful illustrated guide that helps you better understand yourself through the items and objects that fill in the background of the story of your life. Before I go much further, I'd like to say that this is by no means a paid promotion - I just really, really ended up loving this publication. Let's take a look:
The first thirteen pages or so of the book outline how to use this journal to document meaningful objects in your life. Lea takes you through a series of experiments to get your creative juices flowing and to help you connect with special items and important people in your life. To help you understand the concept of the proposed project even further, she has filled out a few pages of her own to demonstrate ways to use this book to its full potential. I was particularly drawn to two of the people she chose as I have a certain admiration for them as well. The first being that all too amazing mid-century modern icon Charles (and Ray) Eames:
and the second being the king of natural selection himself - Charles Darwin:
I'm pretty sure I am not quite as knowledgable on the life and inspiration of either Eames or Darwin but enjoyed peeking into the inspiration they have given Lea to grow into the person she is today. There is even a section later on in the book that lets you reflect on specific objects you've drawn so you can describe how they have contributed to your life.
This book is like a guided tour of your inner thoughts and memories and really helps you identify key items in your life and celebrate them without necessarily having loads of physical "stuff" that clogs up our homes. It is like a lovely spring cleaning for your soul (and house in many cases) as it lets you connect by sketching, collaging, or describing memorable objects from your life and may help you let go of some items that you don't necessarily want around but still want to preserve the memory of in a special way! The majority of the book is a blank canvas where you can draw portraits of yourself, or people you know, admire, or imagine and connect specific objects to those important people in your life. I love that there are different words as well as blank spots on the journal pages to help you stretch your creativity and perhaps think about someone or something in a slightly different way. Here's a sample blank page:
Now when I went on to start drawing in my own pages I quickly realized just how personal and emotional you can make the journal and enjoyed a look back on some fond memories of my Grandma:
I then decided to take a step back from the serious and dedicate the next drawing to Humphrey (the stuffed unicorn car pillow Fraser and I make stories up about). I was shocked at how quickly I had filled up the two pages:
Oh my that unicorn is a character. I really love how I can draw a little doodle of something that may seem super random but actually tells a whole story about a memory (or in Humphrey's case an imaginary memory) based on the person it is drawn next to. I had an amazing time doing up quick sketches in this journal and will certainly continue to fill it out over time. I'm thinking the next entry I will do is drawings of myself at different ages and all the things I loved during those years. OoO! What fun!
I'm quite obviously a big supporter of this book and highly recommend picking it up for anyone who enjoys journaling, doodling, or wants to reflect creatively on their life. Just think how cool it would be to show to your kids one day and tell them all the stories about how Humphrey secretly makes campfires to keep warm in the wintertime (despite his weak ankles)! Hooray!