Wednesday 23 August 2017

The joy of journalling + a handmade leather journal by Central Crafts

I really enjoy writing in my journal, but I find it almost impossible to keep a daily diary now - the days fly by far too quickly and there is no pleasure in writing just because you feel you should. I used to write a diary daily when I was a little girl, until the very worst thing happened ... my big brother discovered it and threatened to tell my mummy that I'd written a rude word in it! Well of course I was mortified, and what I had written was something like ... "In the playground today Dennis Gilbert said I was bloody rubbish at throwing!" Now the truth is my mummy probably would have just laughed to herself had she read it but my serious 8 year-old-self was taking no chances so I destroyed it - and all diaries from that day forward had padlocks! I continued to keep a diary into my late teens, which also makes for a very funny / tortured read ... "no one understands me and I'm DEFINITELY running away tomorrow" and the next day it read "didn't run away, went to cinema with Tara instead, went McDonald's after, was nice" :-) Those were the days when I wore motorbike books and dressed like Madonna in 'Desperately Seeking Susan' ... and no I'm not showing you any pictures!

But after that I got out of the habit, and I didn't rediscover the joy of keeping a diary again until my adult life. I find it too difficult to write on a daily basis now,  so I have found a really nice way of keeping a journal is to document throughout special experiences and on holidays - not just to document our time away, but I find it's also a great way to wind down and take stock of where we are in life at that moment in time - and because we are away relaxing it's not only a pleasure to write, but I'm able to look back over the previous months with clarity - and as a result, perhaps even make changes in my life for the better.  I also kept a diary in the 6 months lead up to my wedding day, and another diary covered the wedding day and the honeymoon, which I love re-reading on our anniversary.

In the past I'd use notebooks as diaries so it was a real treat to receive this beautifully made, personalised journal from a company called Central Crafts - a family business based in Hertfordshire, run by a husband and wife team who are passionate about finding and making quality, ethically sourced handmade products.  I love the vibrant red leather and the paper is thick and luxurious too. The journal is called the Firenze Classico Handmade Leather Wrap Large Journal and it is handmade by a family run business at a small workshop in the centre of Florence. The family have been working in the leather industry for generations, employing not only classic tanning techniques but also new ethical methods such as vegetable and organic tanning.

While this is one of the larger more expensive journals, Central Crafts have a huge collections of beautiful made journals (and wedding albums!) in all shapes and sizes to suit any budget. It comes it's is own protective case and the initials make for a lovely personalised touch too.

About Central Crafts;

"Situated in the sprawling Hertfordshire countryside, we are in an idyllic setting, which allows us to harness the creativity, intimacy and beauty that sets our products apart. We found our passion for handmade pieces whilst travelling across South East Asia back in the 1990’s, and once settled back in the UK we started out sourcing and designing bespoke pieces with small independent producers in Thailand. Central Crafts was established in 1999. Over the years we have evolved to working with various small independent producers elsewhere in Asia and Europe, and we now ship all over the world. Our leather is responsibly sourced and we are especially proud of our recycled leather range which is created using an ingenious tanning method which is far kinder to our environment and ensures that our impact on the planet is kept to a minimum."

Firenze Classico Handmade Leather Wrap Large Journal
Central Crafts

JM x

This piece is in collaboration with Central Crafts & all thought and opinions are my own.

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  1. I've written a diary since the age of 12 and I'm so glad I kept the habit up to this day - so many memories would have disappeared if it weren't for the fact that I wrote them down. One of the only downsides of writing a blog, I've found, is that I'm not writing in my diary anywhere near as often; it's fallen to an entry about every 4 months now. I think it's because writing a blog has taken the place of the diary. It's funny though, there's no way I'd publish my hand written diaries online!

    1. Ah there's nothing like a handwritten diary is there? but I totally understand. Writing a blog can use up the energy we'd usually keep for our personal diaries. I find I use a different voice in my diary too, which is only meant for me. I think that's why I enjoy writing my diary when I'm away, as I don't have access to my computer then.

    2. so true about the 'different voice' used in a personal diary. I refuse to take my ancient laptop on holidays - my family don't share my views