Saturday, February 02, 2008

Collecting words

I have been collecting words and sentences for a long time. Here is the back of one of my sketchbooks from art college about 14 years ago, I used to glue them very lightly so I could un-stick them when I needed to.

Now I scan in the book pages, cut out the bits I like and make a note of the page number next to the text.

Sentences about weather make me melt. I'm particularly drawn to:

"the February snow"

(from the sketchbook). Words and sentences take on such a different glow when out of context, just sitting there on their own. I also like:

"There's quite a wind today," she said.

Postscript: Cally has a lovely post about collecting words here.


  1. These lines made me think of a scene from the film Stepford Wives (the original version). Out of context,indeed ;-)

    By the way, we're having February snow...

  2. i love them, especially the farmhouse tea - i wonder what that consists of...

  3. i don't know p, but it reminds me of granny's tea trolley, as does any mention of tea! anyway, i am using it in a new book.

  4. Hi Francesca,
    I love your book of words and sentences. I do this too but mine are in little hand made packets each with with a themes like nature, interiors, animals, thoughts. I't's obsessive stuff isn't it. If I can't cut them up I write them down, but there's something about having the actual page that feels extra special. I have some great one's from a cheesy crime thriller where they described the scenes of the crimes brilliantly describing chandeliers, echoing rooms with faded curtains... so beautiful out of context.

    I agree, weather related snippets can be really lovely. I especially like ones set in countries where the winds have beautiful names like Levanter, Mistral and Simoon (Levanter was on my list of loved words in '06). It's all I can do to keep the scissors away from Mr P's Patrick O'Brien books, they have lots of weather references many of which are nautical which adds to the appeal, and all said in lovely early 19th century language.

  5. cally, i would love to see some of your words. i have 3 copies of 'the middle age of mrs eliot', one from college which i used to cut up but can't any more out of sentimentality, one that i use now for work and one untouched on my bookshelf. that's the way i get around not wanting to chop up books!

  6. aha, a clever woman! i always seem to find obscure books that i never see again (though admittedly i'm not looking). the only time i have duplicates is with magazines and catalogues. I have to be really careful about making sure i mark the one that shouldn't be chopped (i'm very precious about old elle deco's and some habitat catalogues when they used the matte paper).

    thanks for the link.

    i was chuckling when i vacuumed yesterday to think i am perhaps not the only person who panics (briefly) when they see a tiny piece of paper getting sucked through the nozzle. but it's nice to think that the nest of dust inside is layered with lovely sentiments and words.

  7. cally...i too collect old elle decos! i have a large stash in the garage.

  8. what a beautiful little collection! i also love and collect words and sentences, but I usually write them out in my notebook, which certainly lacks the gorgeous collage-y art feeling that yours has!

  9. you do have "a way with words" cheesy to say but it made me chuckle and chuckle when i thought of it...some how i do not think it goes with your lovely blog, but i thought i'd say it any way...may i also say as i am on a roll, that i very much am liking the milk bottles...even after all these years i miss milk bottles on my doorstep...

  10. How lovely isnt`t this! I really understand your fascination with words, they`re like little poems.


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