All Lovely Things: A Drawing Journal - The Leafcutter Blog


All Lovely Things: A Drawing Journal

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Not too long ago, Lea and her friends got together and completed some pages of her newly released visual journal All Lovely Things. They were kind enough to share their pages and stories with me.

all lovely Book

Each person approached the journal differently and each was of varied artistic ability, as you can see in the images that follow. It should be said that even though this is a drawing journal, the point of the book is not to create a work of art. The heart is at the center of these activities, and it is the exercise of reflection that is the goal. Lea likes to describe All Lovely Things as a sort of pin-board for the soul. The pages are a place where everyday objects come together to tell a meaningful story.  After spending a few minutes creating their entries, each friend shared with the rest of the group. I selected a few images from each person and asked them to explain. The following excerpts came directly from each author.



“Those notes are from a song that I wrote when I moved into my first apartment after leaving grad school.”






Catherine and Gabe

These two are married and instead of drawing themselves, they drew the vignettes of eachGabe other. 

Here are Catherine’s words & images for Gabe:

Gift – “That is a drawing of Bandit, our 3-year old cat that Gabe gave to me as a surprise gift. He found her as a kitten in our friend’s flowerpot in Oakland while I was out of town and took her in to surprise me on my return home. She’s the best present I’ve ever received!”

Family – “That is a bagel and some fish. Whenever Gabe and I visit his family in New York City, his dad always gets these impressive and delicious platters of lox, whitefish, cream cheese, etc. plus the best bagels in the world. Sometimes the whole extended family is there to help, and sometimes it’s just us and Gabe’s brother, enjoying the vittles for days.”



Here are Gabe’s words & images for Catherine:

Daily – “Catherine got me hooked on coffee — making it for each other and drinking it together is one of our few rituals.”

Tools – “Catherine and I started a company called Woodcut Maps, which makes laser-cut hand-inlaid maps of anywhere in the world. Here are some of the tools we use to make these objects.”




Joeexample C

Joe filled out his pages as a reflection on his younger self, to show what was important to him as a child.





JoeFor hours and hours – “In elementary school I would hole up in my room, designing cities and caves and other imaginary places on the hex-shaped graph paper.  Plazas, alleyways, long quiet tunnels leading to monsters, geological ruins.”

Inspiration – “I think what I liked so much about Gandalf from Lord of the Rings was actually the same thing I liked about public libraries; A spirit of community and adventure!  We don’t just set off on our own into the wild.  We gather first, we make maps, we open ourselves to strangers, hobbits, dwarves, and elves.”





Childhood – “My first ice cream at age 2 blew my mind. Ever after ice cream has been one of my favorite foods.”

Hobby – “At age 8, I got really into baseball cards for two reasons: to memorize all the stats for every player and because I thought that they were a good financial investment. I’ve forgotten the stats, and the baseball cards recently got thrown out when my parents cleaned out their garage.”




Throughout all of Lea’s books, especially in All Lovely Things, the main theme surrounds the ideas of memory and connection. She asks her readers to take a moment to contemplate the past and the present, and to reflect on what it is to be yourself. When her and her friends shared their drawing journal pages, they were able to bond in this collective reflection on everyday objects and moments.






Order your copy of All Lovely Things:  A Field Journal for the Objects That Define Us here.

Use the simple prompts in this imaginative book to sketch, illustrate, collage, and write about all the marvelous “stuff” that helps make us who we are.



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Grew up in Los Angeles and now living the dream in Oakland. Obsessed with all things miniature, vintage and/or made of paper. The character of Buttercup (The Powerpuff Girls) was based on me.

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