Wednesday, January 13, 2010

[Activity] What Made Me Happy Today

It's awfully dark in the Pacific Northwest, with gray and gloomy days following one after the other. As a result I need to remind myself to stay focused on what makes each day joyful, and combat the looming desire to take a nap. So I keep a tiny journal where I write down those joyful things, and can refer back to them as needed.

Last year I purchased a little book (which is an odd thing for me to do, as I am a trained bookbinder) and gave it to my daughter just for this purpose. We were diligent in remembering and recording... it was a great tool to reflect upon the day.

This year we decided to make our own books, and invited some friends over to join in on the fun. It's a great little project for all ages. If you have Kata Golda's Hand-stitched Felt, then use the instructions for the everyday journal (p. 62), and modify as needed.

For this little project we made the covers from paper, but if you want you can use felt — these journal do-it-yourself kits give you the supplies you need.

What Made Me Happy Today:
An Activity with Friends to Start Off the New Year

Make small pamphlet book in which to write in each night before you go to bed. What do you write? One thing that made you happy that day.


Before we started making the books, I asked everyone to write down 5 things that make them happy. Here are some examples of what people wrote: watching birds, little children, fruit, fur, wind, the Olympic mountains, making pies. Set the list aside.


1) Gather the paper for your cover and the interior together. We made our book covers out of pages from my 2009 Nikki McClure wall calendar — which I could not bear to put in the recycle bin, and was determined to find a new use for.

2) Carefully fold the paper in half. Make sure the decorative paper for your book cover is on the outside.

3) To hold the pages together, staple or stitch your book along the fold.

Stitching the books together.

4) Decorate your book. Some of our friends typed their list of 5 things that made them happy and attached the list to the back cover or the inside back cover, to use as a reference to jump-start their thinking about what to write each day. Others typed a title for their book and glued it to the front cover. Some chose to leave their book wordless.

A book in progress.

Have fun, and enjoy your book!

~ Kata Golda

Kata Golda is available for custom and commissioned pieces large and small, and will gladly teach workshops for children and adults. Call or email for details.

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