"Commonplacing is the practice of entering literary excepts and personal comments into a private journal, that is, into a commonplace book, or to use a 17th century synonym, a silva rerum ("a forest of things"). Typically the exceprts were regarded as exceptionally insightful or beautiful or as applicable to a variety of situations, and so as such they are often quoatable. The practice of commonplacing can be traced back in the European to the 5th century."
I have kept a commonplace book for many years now, jotting down proverbs and quotations that resonate with me, short poems and insights. I had never heard of commonplacing until I read an article in a magazine once about Jilly Cooper's fondness for filling hers with inspiring words, and I wanted to find out more about this historic practice.
Here is my commonplace book...
I return to mine time and time again when I need inspiration, or a lift on a bad day. It's like an advice manual tailored exactly to me.
The really fun side of commonplacing is the number of craft projects it inspires! Sometimes I love a particular quotation so much, I feel the need to bring it out of my book and use it to make something uplifting, thought-provoking and beautiful to live on a wall in my home, or to make a gift.
|I love the concept of ideas growing from books, like this book sculpture by Su Blackwell.|
The digital way to commonplace, of course, is Pinterest, where I see wonderful quotations every day, and many of them are added to my book. Here are a few I would love to turn into a sampler soon...
I'm getting excited just thinking about making all of these words into beautiful crafty makes!
Do you have a commonplace book, or like to note down inspiring words? And do you ever make them into samplers or other objects?