The Everlasting Anniversary Notebook

As one of my lovely if rather random paper anniversary gifts, the lovely if rather random Corey gave me a single random sheet of patterned 12″ x 12″ scrapbook paper.  He has no idea what scrapbook paper is, but he saw it and thought I would like it.  Which I do.  It actually feels like total decadence to have a piece of  ‘expensive’ paper to work with, rather than recycled copier paper, or just using up the mis-prints.   It didn’t take me long to realise that this was not actually a piece of paper, but a notebook cover in disguise.

anniversary-notebookanniversary-stepsTherefore (and quite cunningly), it is also the variation-on-a-theme to the Cardholder Wallet, that I promised in my previous post.  It uses exactly the same folding process for the cover, but because the starting paper is square rather than rectangular has a half rather than full fold for the inner pocket. (Just click on the long tall thumbnail to the right, for full-scale image, if it does not appear large enough to read the text.)

You’ll see I bound the inner pages into a plain cover rather than directly into the cover you can see above left.  I could quite easily have bound it straight into the decorative paper, but as it was an anniversary gift, I wanted to make an ‘everlasting’ notebook (e.g. once the current note paper is used up, I can just insert a second notepad).  I continued the decadent theme & treated myself by printing the notepaper on my most luxurious recycled paper, a creamy colour embedded with golden flecks of straw (I usually save it for gifts etc – for once it’s a gift to myself!).

I’m really glad I made this notebook; I know I will smile every time I use it.

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Re-purposed ‘ideas’ notebook (& more)

One of the things I un-buried in my freak tidying spree was a couple of comment cards from a nice cafe in town, where Corey and I sat and recovered from the hugest cooked breakfast EVER, on a lazy Saturday a few weeks ago.   I picked up the comment cards with no idea of what I wanted to do with them (comment-making being the last thing on my mind); they were just so irrefutably useable.  Look at all those cute little boxes to tick, and questions to answer…  I knew they would be perfect for…well, something.

So I re-discovered the comment cards, and it all became clear.  These were, in fact, notebook covers –  how could I not have seen it earlier?  Look:

caffe-nero-from-this-to-this

Inside, I decided to put into effect a concept that’s been bubbling around in my head for ages.  Inside are, of course, recycled paper pages.  BUT these are not just any pages, oh no: these are the pages for an ‘ideas’ notebook.  You see, I have ideas, quite literally, ALL THE TIME.  And yes, almost any notebook will do; but my ideas tend to be a combination of picture/diagram alongside scribbled notes.  So I came up with a whole series of page layouts that allowed various combinations of picture + annotations.  If your brain doesn’t work in the same way as mine (God help you, if it does!), you could use the blank spaces for thread samples, or fabric swatches, or a photo of a project, or – you get the idea.

Anyway, alongside the funky re-purposed cover – that you can, of course, fill in at your discretion in a bored moment – are these cool little ideas pages:

caffe-nero-etsy-inner

The pages are fixed into the cover with a hand-stitched binding.  The only neutral-coloured thread I could find in my newly-tidy study (other than a string too thick for this notebook) was an undyed medium silk, so this is a very decadent as well as very simple binding.  I was saving the silk to dye, but what the hell!

Are you intrigued?  Buy one of these prototype ideas notebooks in my Etsy store!

This notebook includes 2 different styles of ideas pages, but Telaic Fantasy 2 is a dual-purpose notebook & zine, and comes with 6 different layouts of ideas pages for you to sample!  More finished notebooks will be added to the Etsy Store soon, in a range of sizes from mini (A7-ish), to medium (A6-ish), to large (A5-ish).  I’m planning a knitter’s notebook and a stitcher’s notebook with additional custom-printed pages (including craft-specific graph paper), and – while I’m letting cats out of bags – a notebook with a weave-able cover!  I’ll let you know when they’re ready, so check back… 🙂

Tidying (shudder) but finding various stuff & ideas

I am not a tidy person.  I like to have what I need spread out and accessible around me – and still there the next time I sit down to continue.  But I have been so busy lately, and putting together kits and zines in the tiniest corner of my really quite large study made me realise that the ‘essentials’  were spreading out of control.  So I got out some bin liners and set to work…

You see, the problem is that what to most people would be genuine rubbish (misprinted papers, discarded packaging) I can genuinely see uses for.  The cardboard packaging from a random stationery item can generally be turned into some form of loom.  The half-printed papers I can use when I’m experimenting with my own packaging formats, or notebook pages.  I was strict with myself, though, and made boxes for full and partial sheets of paper that I could realistically re-use, and sent the rest for recycling.  I threw away the chocolate wrappers (look, I need energy while I work, okay?).  I was ruthless with the random packaging leftovers.  Admittedly I kept most of the card, but the plastic-y bits, and shrink-wrap etc are gone.  Hurrah!

By anybody else’s standards this room would not look tidy (except perhaps by Corey’s standards – and he at least will never nag me about the state of my study, because his is infinitely worse).  It probably looks like everything has just been pushed out to the edges.  Okay, to an extent, this is what I did…  But I have also slightly organised all the stuff I was ‘saving’ so that it is  actually useable and accessible (findable!), I have thrown away the stuff that really was rubbish (oh my god, 2 bin liners-full!) and I HAVE FLOOR SPACE!   Oh, oh, I also have table space!  It’s really quite exciting (for me, anyway).  So nice to look across from my chair and see carpet, and think I won’t have to nudge everything out of the way to make space when I’m putting the next zine together (watch this space – if I don’t post about TF2 later today, it will definitely be in the next day or so!).

And I brought up a pot of hyacinths from downstairs, so every now and then I get a lovely waft of their rich scent.  Mmm…

I fully accept that I should not have allowed my ‘creative disorder’ (okay, mess) to get quite so out of hand; there’s just always so much more important stuff to do than tidying…  It has always been and will always be my nature, and I’ve accepted that.  It is also possible that it took me slightly longer than perhaps necessary to tidy up this time, as I kept re-discovering things I had accidentally buried.  Yes, it was necessary to spend 10 minutes staring at & contemplating a small packet of needles.  It was!  When I bought it, it was just an ordinary packet of needles, and I honestly thought nothing more about it – but look!  I made this:

needle-packet-notebook

Yes, I know the picture labelled ‘front’ is actually a different packet of needles to the finished notebook, but I’d finished making it before I realised I should probably have taken a ‘before’ picture.  You get the idea, anyway.  I just cut some pretty (recently unearthed) handmade paper embedded with petals to size, and attached to the centre panel of the opened-out needle packet (see below).  I used a dab of glue to fix the bottom piece of paper to the packet, and stitched the little stack of papers into place.  (I could just have easily have used a staple, but I’m kind of into stitched bindings, at the moment.)  Just a slightly different spin on the matchbook notepad concept, really – and slightly more appropriate to needleworkers.

needle-packet-notebook-inner

(I should really remember to add in a darker-coloured backing when I scan in white/pale blue things; sorry…)