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As a passionate listmaker, it goes without saying that I love all kinds of notebooks and paper products, and it is even better when I get the chance to make them unique with my own drawings. Lately I have been on a kick of drawing on MUJI plain notebooks in a coloring book style, and adding color with markers while I am in the train commuting to and from work. I am so used to drawing in the slight motion and shaking of the train that whenever I sit on a solid seat to draw it feels odd! Most of what I make ends up as a gift to someone, but I also make them for myself, of course. The ones I know I will keep are usually where I experiment with new ideas, knowing that even if the result is not great I will still love and use it.

Another way to experiment is on my old-time little notebooks made of scrap paper. At work I end up with a lot of printouts that have only a brief time of use. I always feel bad throwing out paper, and the pages usually end up in a messy pile next to my desk. Every now and then I get the urge to create something, and then I cut and fold them to various sizes according to need and simply use a staple to bind a few pages for instant gratification.

I have been making and using and giving away these notebooks since I was in primary school, and over the years they have been given away on Earth Day at the Library reference desk, made into light and portable expense notebooks to keep close track of expenses, sticker books for the boys, or simply a place where I keep a specific type of information gathered in one place.

The covers change according to whim, from laminated collages to being covered with stickers, to a simple drawing with or without color. I made the one on the last photo above just now, when I simply had to make a 10-page booklet from some almost blank pages I printed out.

You know the feeling, when you plant a seed accidentally and one day you see a flower, or a tree, or a strawberry bush has grown out of it? This is how I felt last night, when the boys dragged me by the hand across the house, to show me the bufoto (beautiful) colors in the sky, and asked me to take a picture of it at various stages of the sunset, meanwhile standing there and talking about nature, clouds and wind, listening attentively to the birds…

Here is to the beauty of nature, to our ability to stop and acknowledge and appreciate it, to passing on the skill to the next generation, and to sharing it all. It is moments like this that are the best reminder of the power of example in raising our children, of speaking out our thoughts instead of admiring in silence.

(By the way, this is exactly the reason I keep doing yoga in their presence, even though it is entirely not relaxing to hold any pose with two little people jumping, wrestling, or hanging off me. Soon, I keep thinking, they ‘ll just join in and then we will have that too to share. Soon…)

 

As the weather is getting warmer, our activities shift outdoors as much as possible with everyone’s taxing schedules. Yesterday we managed to fly a kite for quite a long time – it was so exhilarating to communicate with the wind! Of course, the photos of pink blossoms are all over the internet nowdays, but I couldn’t resist taking a few for myself.

The boys and I have been building houses with sticks and stones at the tree hollows of our park, and they fill my hands with little flowers and stones and other treasures they gather from nature (thankfully no worms yet!)

And of course, we painted some eggs, and broke a few in the process but who is there to mind?!

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