Greetings from Germany! I am so grateful to share this Love for Analogue interview piece with Judi as she has been with us for many years of BK history and has shared her love for analogue as well as gentle love for everyone at BK! She is wise, vibrant, warm, and incredibly creative! I hope you enjoy reading our conversation with Judi! -wakako
Baum-kuchen: If you were to walk into a planner meet-up for the first time, how would you introduce yourself to a person you are meeting for the first time? What would you like them to know about you?
(Well, you started out with a challenging question, as I am an introvert and always struggle when meeting new people. Because my career required me to speak to, lecture to large groups, and speak to a lot of people individually, I learned to “fake it”, but it’s still hard for me.
But, here goes:
I used to take my babysitting money down to the local “dime store” and spend it on pens and pencils, stationery, notebooks, and office supplies! Now, I collect the same things, plus washi tape, stickers, vintage ephemera, and old books. I’m an artist and a bookbinder so I make art journals. I’ve always used a planner book of some kind. But, I really love Traveler’s Notebooks. I first started using Traveler’s Notebook around 2015. I got a brown Midori just before they changed the name to Traveler’s Notebook. I really treasure it.
Baum-kuchen: Will you walk us through your daily analogue routine?
My favorite calendar was given to me at Christmas by my youngest daughter. It’s a fat little cube page-a-day calendar. Each day has a different photo from her own collection and it’s been a walk down memory lane every morning. The images are so precious that I am pasting them into that day in my Hobonichi A6. It’s getting so fat that it will eventually end up as an art piece, I suspect. This is my second act of the morning.
At the end of the day (or, let’s be honest - the next day) I record the day's events in a regular TN, using a kraft insert. The warm tone complements my usual color palette, so I prefer it over using white paper.
My signature move is to record the date on each page in a different and unique way. For this reason, I have containers holding various printed versions of months, numbers, and days of the week. I also tear up old calendars and save every page of my Japanese Sora moon phase calendar and the German mini calendar from Brunnen. So much fun to play with different formats. I often put washi tape under them and incorporate some of my many alpha/numeric stamp sets.
I have the 2019 Midori 1 Day 1 Page Notebook where I write longer, more intimate musings, sometimes over several pages. I’ve begun putting a strip of the mt brand William Morris washi tape across the top of each page and adding a date like in the TN. I LOVE these tapes! I’ve done this for a while and just realized that I’d better switch to putting the tape on the side and bottom occasionally, as the book is getting pretty lopsided!
The first few pages of this notebook are dedicated to the moon phases in images and descriptions. I am moon crazy!! All my journals include tracking the moon with images and ritual. You can imagine how overboard I went with the 50th anniversary of the moon landing! Have you seen the commemorative postage stamps? I admit to using them as stickers on a page or two.
I use the Passport TN as a gratitude journal and finally, I have a Hobonichi Weeks, which I honestly use just for fun, adding stickers and comments about what happened that day. I love the size and format of the weeks.
"If all this makes me sound obsessed and a bit crazy, that’s because I AM."
Baum-kuchen: You keep a detailed record of the events in your life through your journal. What do you enjoy the most about the process and why?Judi: It’s a very creative process and less daunting than my other art because it’s meant for me and not for others. I just write freely and don’t worry about judgment. Also, there is just such pleasure, for me, in handling analogue materials, especially since I incorporate vintage items and personal memorabilia. Sorting through my collections and tearing out images and words from magazines centers me and prepares me for journaling. Just playing with the materials gives me so much joy. I guess I haven’t changed much from that babysitter at the five and dime.
"It’s un-rushed and contemplative; a chance to slow down on a busy day. Almost meditative. "
Journaling can be a solitary exercise. But it’s equally enjoyable when shared with others in planner meet-ups, journaling groups, online, and with the BK team of course. It’s a real community.
Baum-kuchen: If you were to talk to your younger self, what advice would you give in regards to analogue lifestyle?
Judi: Do NOT, under any circumstances, destroy your old journals!!!!
Baum-kuchen: You have archive upon the archive of your past journals (TN inserts). How do you store them? Are there certain inserts you keep and let go of?
Judi: I will NEVER let go, LOL (see question above). I store the used inserts in the Traveler's Notebook binder. The monthly and weekly inserts are together and the journaling inserts are kept separately.
As with my art journals, they are very personal and perhaps too revealing. Some people are afraid of others reading their journals and either destroy them or leave instructions that they be destroyed when they die. But, I’ve decided to keep them. Admittedly, my inconsistent journals from the past 40 years are a little embarrassing (what was I thinking?!). Well, we’re all human. But, they are all honest and true and reflect who I was and who I am. And, let’s face it, I won’t be around to be embarrassed when someone reads them if they do. Every life is such a treasure; my journals record mine. I read through them occasionally.
"There’s a lifetime of learning in there, of joys and pain and love and ridiculousness. It’s a journey and it’s important to track the path and the experiences along the way."
Baum-kuchen: I know you enjoy snail mail tremendously. Please share a little bit about it, and why it's important to you.
Judi: About two years ago, I found a big box full of old correspondence from family and friends. I had organized it by the sender, but had completely forgotten about it. These were from 1969 through 1995! It was such a joy to read through the letters and cards and be reminded of what was happening in our lives. I returned them to the original sender and they were stunned and excited. We’re talking everything from old boyfriends, fashion (my little sister used to draw her various outfits from middle school), to weddings, babies, travel, and tragedies. Our hearts were full.
"It reminded me how very special it is to receive an actual piece of mail; to hold it in your hands and anticipate what is inside."
I especially love it when the envelope is decorated in a fun way. I collect every new postage stamp that speaks to me and choose the image for the person to whom I am sending mail. I also try to enclose little paper gifts, including stickers I’ve made with my mini photo printer. I joined Postcrossings and exchange postcards with people from around the world.
(By the way, every BK postcard I’ve received is displayed in my studio and Coco and Satchi’s drawings are on the wall, on the door, on the cupboard, LOL.)
Baum-kuchen: What does it mean for you to live a life well lived and loved?
Judi: Well, we would all like to have that, wouldn’t we? It seems rather complicated. But, perhaps it’s simple. The author Krishna Udayasankar says, “All that matters is whether we did what we could with the life that was given to us.”
To me, it’s being fully engaged and intentional; being curious about everything, living creatively and being grateful. Each of us is on her own journey and must be true to it. Yet, it’s important to see yourself as a part of the whole and recognize we are all connected. I love the phrase, “We are all just walking each other home”. Namaste’.
Where to find Judi: Instagram: @delgadojx
BK products mentioned or shown in Judi's story:
Traveler's Notebook - Regular Brown
Traveler's Notebook - Passport Camel
Traveler's Notebook Insert 014 / Kraft Note
Traveler's Company 011 / Archive Binder
MD Diary - 1 Day 1 Page
[TSL x BK] Pen Holder Clip
BK TrulyYours Customizations: Please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org