Books to the rescue

A writer friend is going to be teaching a workshop soon and wants to give her students a place to capture their ideas and inspirations. For her birthday I had given her some small refillable notebooks I’d made, and she decided that was just the thing. Today she and I and another writer friend gathered on a warm, shady screen porch to do a little bookmaking so she’ll have a whole basket full of notebooks from which they can choose.

There was lots of iced tea. There was a beautiful impromptu lunch of chicken and salad and fruit and small chocolates. There was a surprise visit from a wonderful young woman of our acquaintance, recently home from college.

There were many beautiful papers of various kinds, from commercially printed card stock to soft handmade lokta papers, to plain, ordinary printer paper. And there was lots of fiddling, finagling, playing, managing, wrestling with, cursing at, and laughing over our attempts to do justice this paper.

We gathered our materials:

Started experimenting with sizes, colors, patterns, and different weights of paper:

And turned out quite a gallery full of little notebooks (some of which are still to be fitted with pages on which to write):

We had so much fun, and the writing students ought to take plenty of inspiration from (and for) their new little books.

If you want to make some of your own, you can find the directions we used right here (yes, the directions call it a card case, but adding a little signature of plain paper turns it into a notebook quite nicely). Though the illustrations show how to fold an 8.5 by 11 sheet of paper for these, the dimensions and proportions are not as important as cutting precise squares and rectangles of paper and making nice, crisp folds.

I warn you,though–making these is pretty addictive. Betcha can’t make just one . . .

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