I filled up the last page of my sketchbook/journal the other day and am looking forward to cracking open another fresh, new Moleskine notebook.  I have been using these same journals for over five years now and get such a sense of accomplishment from seeing them all lined up on our bookshelf, knowing that between the simple, black, nondescript covers lie words, drawings, and mementos that detail some of my most precious memories and ideas.  I became attached to my first Moleskine when I was living in Paris – I never left my apartment without my sketchbook in hand.  I spent hours sitting in cafes, jotting down verbal and graphic impressions of all the new places I was seeing.  I reread some of my entries and can almost put myself back on that sidewalk terrace, with pencil in hand and that tiny cup of espresso in front of me.  That journal was my constant traveling companion.  When I returned to the States in 2004, my sketchbook became a place for me to compose and chronicle my thoughts and ideas on my thesis project.  Upon graduation from college and soon-after engagement to Shane in 2005, my journal took on the form of a wedding planner, filled with to-do lists and doodles of invitation ideas.  In 2006-2007, I journaled and sketched much less frequently as I settled into the routine of my job and my marriage.  There is a random entry here and there about a book I read or a gallery opening I attended, but for the most part, entries are sparse.  In 2008, as noted here, I began my weekly sketch initiative.  This has been an excellent incentive for me to regularly, creatively put pen to paper.  My weekly sketches thus far have the taken the form of a lot of abstract graphic doodling, which is fine, but my hope for next year is that I do more real-life drawing of actual objects and places.  So, cheers to a fresh, new palette and to lots of journal-worthy, sketch-inspiring experiences in 2009!