Aug 192012

From a young age I have had a soft spot for divine stationery, little diaries, calendars and notebooks. I could spend hours making lists and writing down notes in my most beautiful handwriting (and be very upset when I made the smallest mistake). In today’s Sunday Coffee I am sitting down with Cath, creator of all kinds of stunning paper goodies for Leaf. Paper for Life.

What does your ideal Sunday look like?
Sunday is my allocated sleep in morning, so on my ideal Sunday I’d start my day with coffee in bed, tucked up with a magazine, or playing “tickle monsters” with the Munchkin.
Then off for a relaxed brunch with friends at a local café, maybe a walk in the forest and then getting stuck into the garden in the afternoon – we have a big, steep block so there are always garden projects on the go! The evening would be pretty lazy, with an early dinner, storytime with the Munchkin and then after he is tucked into bed, curling up on the couch with a good book and a glass of red.
Of course, this is the ideal… most of my Sundays consist of catching up on all the washing, housework, shopping and gardening that didn’t get done on Saturday!

Why did you start Leaf. Paper for Life?
I came up with the original concept for Leaf four days before receiving a redundancy from my corporate marketing job. It was like having my dreams handed to me on a silver platter! Leaf has evolved quite a bit since then, for example, I had originally intended to create journals for adults, but we’re mostly doing kids’ products at the moment, which I find really exciting and challenging.

Essentially, Leaf is about story telling and recording your own personal stories to share now and also to carry into the future. Our stories are what will stick around long after we are gone. They are important agents for building community, understanding diversity and creating change in the world. Previous generations lost their stories if they could not read or write. Unfortunately, with the move to digital recording of all our personal information, we are again at risk of losing our stories. Which is why it is so important to entrust them to paper.

I also want to encourage kids to develop good journal keeping and story telling practises while they are young, for a whole number of reasons – to explore, create, dream, remember and build personal resilience. It’s also a great way to develop literacy skills and get them away from technology for a little while.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I originally trained as a graphic designer, and although I don’t do much of my own product design, it taught me how to collect information and transform all those ideas to create something new.

So I gather from everywhere! I read a lot – fiction and non-fiction, blogs, magazines and online resources. I am also a very visual person, so I love pottering around on Facebook and Pinterest.

At the moment, I am exploring children’s play and creativity, especially in relation to nature, so most of my “research” has been around that.

What is your favourite Leaf Journals product?
I am completely in love with our new dirtgirlworld scrapbook, launched in June. Even I didn’t expect it to be so beautiful. It’s also a lot closer to my original concept of an expandable journal with add-on products, so that it can morph to match your personal interests. So far, I’ve only done one expansion pack, which is a garden journal, but I’m hoping to do more. I’m also in love with the craft papers that come with the scrapbook. I HAVE to do more of those!

What can we expect from Leaf in the near future?
I’m currently writing a series of posts for the Kid Stuff section of our website ( I really want this to grow to be a great resource for kids, parents and teachers, with loads of fun project ideas to help kids develop their journals or scrapbooks.

And of course, there are more dirtgirlworld goodies on the way too!

To find out more about Leaf Journals, to browse the range and to order online visit