Tag Archives: notebooks

Another notebook project

This one is an ongoing experiment. I came across a video tutorial for making these little perfect-bound notebooks a long time ago, bookmarked it, and put it on the back burner. Today the need for a new notebook arose, as it so often does around here. This is one of those projects that are just as easy to make in multiples, so I made two. It’s a great way to make use of old photos, too.

The tutorial is a good, clear, easy one from PhotoJojo, and making these two notebooks took about half an hour. I’m curious about how well they’ll hold up–perfect binding can be somewhat less than perfect–so I’m giving the candy necklaces one to Second Child and will throw the other in my own bag and we’ll see how they look in a couple of weeks. Place your bets.


Another noteworthy gift

There’s always a present that I find myself working on at the last minute. This year it was a gift–actually, several gifts–for my niece, my nephew, and my nephew’s girlfriend, a delightful young woman who appreciates a handmade gift (I hope).

Simple stuff, but I’m pleased with how they came out. Each got a set of Japanese stab-bound journals, one each in folio and quarto size:

I finished these just in time to wrap them up and get them into the mail, and I used up the last of some wonderful kraft paper cardstock making them. But as soon as the smoke clears and I can find another source for the heavy brown cardstock, the Japanese screw punch and waxed linen thread are coming right back out again so I can make some more.

Notebooks, notebooks, as far as the eye can see!

A good friend teaches a wonderful writing class. This most recent class had a few more than 20 students, and she wanted to give each of them a notebook they could keep with them at all times.  Three of us got together and made notebooks until our fingers were sore, learning, somewhere around notbook 18, exactly how the notebook assembly line should run.

Here’s a prototype, made with one of my hand carved stamps and some scraps of brown handmade paper. And a wooden sandwich pick:

And here are sons (and daughters) of the prototype notebook (by now some have sandwich picks and some have twigs):

My writer buddy said people just about fell out of their chairs when told they could each pick one. Easy stuff, big payoff.

I’ve been under medical house arrest for nearly 3 weeks waiting for the stitches (see previous posting) to come out.  Last weekend I played hooky and carefully walked through a nearby pick-your-own orchard gathering these with second child and a friend of hers:

At the moment the whole house smells like peach chutney, thanks to the stalwart efforts of my Better Half, who is using his grandmother’s recipe.  Mmmmm . . . peaches, sugar, vinegar . . . okay, I won’t give away his family recipe. Wonder whether I could convince his non-bloggingness to do a guest post about making chutney, though. Stay tuned.

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 . . .


Yup, more notebooks.

A person simply can’t have too many notebooks, that’s my motto.

When you run out of “official,” commercially available notebooks, what’s a body to do except make one. Or two. Or . . .

You may recognize these, since a lot of people around the craftosphere are making them.

I think the people at the paint store wonder what’s up with the woman who simply can’t make up her mind what color paint chips to take home to hang up on the walls.

And still more notebooks

Another day, a little more sleep.

Art notebooks.

After the wonderful art retreat I attended back in May, I was inspired to start a little notebook I could carry with my little watercolor field box. I don’t use it quite as much as I’d hoped I would (and insert here disclaimer about lack of traditional talent), but I’m having fun sketching in it when I can and adding color later when I get a chance.

Here, the little altar next to my desk This one was from a few months back, when we had scotch broom brightening up the front garden bed. I like this little altar; its base is a lovely cylindrical piece of driftwood that washed up on a nearby beach after a storm a few years ago. It’s only big enough for a tiny bottle for flowers, a little sauce dish doing duty as an incense holder, and a tea light candle. And poor old Kwan Yin looks rather addled. My dad, who was a real artist, couldn’t paint people, either.

But I had so much fun with that, I went on to start this (near) daily sketch book. This stapler is a fixture here on my desk–it’s the last thing that remains from a graduation box of office supplies some family friends gave me when I was leaving for college. Back, oh, coughcoughthirtythreeyearsagocoughcough.

They really don’t make ’em like they used to.

In the credit-where-credit-is-due department, my inspiration for having a daily sketch book comes from one of my favorite art blogs: Woolgathering.  Wow! I swear I did not plan this! Seriously–I just went over to Woolgathering’s site to copy the link for you, and look what’s on her page today!  Really, go and see–you can’t make this stuff up!

Cue the music:

I saw this tour when they came to New Haven. Yup, I’m wayyy older than that stapler.

More notebooks

When we left our heroine, she was tied to the railroad tracks with the 6:15 express train to Sweetwater bearing down on her  . . . no, wait . . . she was tied to her desk chair scrambling to meet a couple of deadlines for work. Did it, though I had to pull an all-nighter to do so.  Three or four times a year I end up doing this to finish writing an article or some such thing, and every time I am more deeply convinced that I’m getting way too old for this stuff. It’s not nearly as much fun as it was back in college, when we laughed in the face of deadlines and clocks and we once caught our friend Jim in his dorm’s common room eating freeze dried coffee crystals out of a jar with a spoon in an attempt to stay awake to finish an overdue term paper.

There is a part of me, though, that relishes those quiet hours for work. The phone doesn’t ring, everyone’s in bed; even the dogs are snoozing in their crates. No one cares if I take an ice cream break at 4 in the morning, and from my office window I can see the dawn breaking over the pond. But, honestly, once or twice a year would be plenty.

Anyway–art notebooks. I was saying a few posts ago that more pictures were creeping into my writing journals and my daily calendar, so it was becoming clear that this stuff needed its own books.  A couple of years ago I picked up a cute, sturdy, unfussy little perfect-bound blank book in a sale bin at, of all places, Old Navy.  For 79 cents. This one has become my art/craft/project/ideas/inspiration book. I record things I’ve made, make sketches for things I’d like to make, draw quick versions of clever things I’ve seen so I can either try to make similar ones or take inspiration from them, as on this page at the beginning of my bag-making kick.

It’s also a great place to record the stamps I carve sometimes (like the little rabbit from yesterday):

Most of these are my designs, though the little mug of tea on the far right was carved by First Child, who wandered through the kitchen while I was playing with the Master Carve and sharp implments, and the apple core and green bullseyes on the right-hand page and the carrot and blocky faces on the left were contributed by Second Child. It’s in their genes, you know?

The designs that look like Japanese crests are just that (also the little crane on the right hand page). I think I’ve mentioned before my love for this book:

I checked it out of the library so many times that the universe finally threw a copy my way–I found my own at a used bookstore for all of $5. Over 4000 illustrations of Japanese heraldic crests from years (and in some cases centuries) past.  Wonderful for freezer paper stencils on shirts and bags–here’s a larger fabric paint stenciled version (from a market bag I made my sister) of the little crane stamp I used on the page above:

Also–no, that’s enough for now. I think I need to go and take a nap. Like I said, getting too old for this.