Behind the Scenes with arleigh | Sept 2017 edition

Hello Daisy friends,

This month I want to tell you about the background text in the September designs. We wanted to create a “text-as-background” look in the September planner designs. So I went off in search of good quotes that fit the theme of correspondence, communication, and writing.

This seems like a long post but it’s not—it’s just that I’ve included lots of screenshots and quotes.

First the planner:

On the back of the tab page, where the calendar is, you might see a very light text background—that’s a repeating excerpt from a 1782 letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams.

Here is the same text in black ink.


(“Spread your wings” on the front of the tab page is explained at the end of this post.)

Month on two pages section

Okay, this first one might seem a little geeky. It’s from the Foreword for Letters of a Nation: A Collection of Extraordinary American Letters
The foreword was written by Marian Wright Edelman. Image is from

Around the Month grid, I included a listing of US government office phone numbers. And you might see Simon in there too. He loves bureaucracy.

And at the bottom of the Yearly forward planning page, the birds are pecking at John Keats’ 1819 love letter to Fanny Brawne.

My dearest Girl,

This moment I have set myself to copy some verses out fair. I cannot proceed with any degree of content. I must write you a line or two and see if that will assist in dismissing you from my Mind for ever so short a time. Upon my Soul I can think of nothing else – The time is passed when I had power to advise and warn you again[s]t the unpromising morning of my Life – My love has made me selfish. I cannot exist without you – I am forgetful of every thing but seeing you again – my Life seems to stop there – I see no further. You have absorb’d me. I have a sensation at the present moment as though I was dissolving – I should be exquisitely miserable without the hope of soon seeing you. I should be afraid to separate myself far from you. My sweet Fanny, will your heart never change? My love, will it? I have no limit now to my love – You note came in just here – I cannot be happier away from you – ‘T is richer than an Argosy of Pearles. Do not threat me even in jest. I have been astonished that Men could die Martyrs for religion – I have shudder’d at it – I shudder no more – I could be martyr’d for my Religion – Love is my religion – I could die for that – I could die for you. My Creed is Love and you are its only tenet – You have ravish’d me away by a Power I cannot resist: and yet I could resist till I saw you; and even since I have seen you I have endeavoured often “to reason against the reasons of my Love.” I can do that no more – the pain would be too great – My Love is selfish – I cannot breathe without you.

Yours for ever
John Keats

Weekly section

The excerpt behind Tuesday is from the same 1782 love letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams that I put on the back of the tab page.

There are few occurences in this Northern climate at this Season of the year to divert or entertain you—and in the domestick way should I draw you the picture of my Heart, it would be what I hope you still would Love; tho it containd nothing New; the early possession you obtained there; and the absolute power you have ever mantaind over it; leaves not the smallest space unoccupied. I look back to the early days of our acquaintance; and Friendship, as to the days of Love and Innocence; and with an undiscribable pleasure I have seen near a score of years roll over our Heads, with an affection heightned and improved by time—nor have the dreary years of absence in the smallest degree effaced from my mind the Image of the dear untittled man to whom I gave my Heart.

The next one is on the page with TRULY and a little bird on a typewriter. This is from a 1964 love letter written by Richard Burton to Elizabeth Taylor.

My blind eyes are desperately waiting for the sight of you. You don’t realise of course, E.B., how fascinatingly beautiful you have always been, and how strangely you have acquired an added and special and dangerous loveliness.

Above the week-on-two-pages, I grabbed some random text from a website about Google’s libphonenumber library (it’s basically gobbledygook).

And on the back of the weekly pages, where it says, “ALWAYS,” I included an excerpt from a love letter from Johnny Cash to his wife June Carter.

This letter has been declared The Most Romantic of All Time, and I guess I don’t disagree.

Happy Birthday Princess,

We get old and get used to each other. We think alike. We read each others minds. We know what the other wants without asking. Sometimes we irritate each other a little bit. Maybe sometimes take each other for granted.

But once in awhile, like today, I meditate on it and realize how lucky I am to share my life with the greatest woman I ever met. You still fascinate and inspire me. You influence me for the better. You’re the object of my desire, the #1 Earthly reason for my existence. I love you very much.


Okay now let’s look at the dashboards.

I quoted a Loverboy song for the blue dashboard, and after it went to print, Mary Kay discovered that I had misquoted the lyrics. It should say “new,” not “little” — sorry, Loverboy!


The pink card with the overlapping text is from the same Johnny Cash “Most Romantic” letter that I used on one of the weekly pages.

The little handwritten bit under the Teddy Roosevelt quote says, “veritas vos liberabit” which is latin for something like “the truth will set you free.”

The phone number on the phones is my home phone number from when I was 10.

Next up, the dori.

The overlapped text behind the calendar on the first page (standard and personal) is from Fly Like an Eagle by The Steve Miller Band. Yes, I know “Till” should be “’Til” but I left it the way I found it online. Here is the text right side up:The next one is also from a song, Elephant Talk, by King Crimson. You really need to listen to the song. Or at least just read the lyrics. He only wrote synonyms A through E (you’ll understand what I mean when you read/hear it.)

And by the way, this is where I got the words that are along the top of the center spread.

This next one might make you laugh. I am proudly ignorant of popular music (case in point: my Loverboy misquote) but I am very amused by an SNL video with Donald Trump dancing to Drake’s Hotline Bling. So I added a bit of that song to this page with the phones. And now you have proof of my goofy sense of humor.

Here’s a link to the video:

And here is a link to the original video:

On this page, I used that wonderful Johnny Cash love letter again.

The last page of the dori in all three sizes, and “Spread your Wings” on the planner tab page is from a sweet love letter by Jimi Hendrix. I accidentally typed an uppercase R in the middle of the word “yourself” and decided to leave it that way. I also added an emoticon heart <3 by the copyright slug.


This copy of the Hendrix love letter is from the Hard Rock Cafe & Museum:

I hope you enjoyed this little side trip into the design studio!

See you next time,



  1. Kelley Coates-Carter

    How beautiful! THANK YOU ARLEIGH! I love the visual and intellectual/historical/contemporary aspects of the kit! Thank you for sharing a behind the scenes peek at the magic.

  2. Laura Daniels

    Loved your behind scenes! Thanks for sharing! Arleigh!

  3. Marie Sheil

    Very Interesting

  4. Debbie Clark

    Thank you for sharing this! What Beautiful words and precious history! Awesome!

  5. Lisa Flaherty

    arleigh, you prove to be one of the coolest people on the planet. <3

  6. Pim Mayo

    Wow this is amazing!


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