Monday, 2 November 2009

Notebook obsession

My name is Sarah and I have a problem with buying lovely notebooks and sketchbooks... Above is just a couple of my favourites. Next to my computer is a pile of exactly twenty notebooks of various sizes (not including those pictured or my other stashes around the house). Now, there's nothing wrong with buying so many as long as they actually get used. But, here's my confession - the ones pictured above, and the pile by my computer are all blank and completely unused.

I keep telling myself that one day I'll get around to using them, but the pile keeping getting bigger and I still can't bring myself to put pen to paper.

Sometimes I feel guilty about my habit and I suspect that my scrupulous recycling of waste paper might be undone by my collection of pristine, empty pages.

So, when Folksy announced their Upcycle Christmas competition, I sat eyeing up my pile of notebooks on the desk and decided that I should try and make a notebook with upcycled paper.

Here's the random selection of books that I got in our local Sue Ryder shop (although the Printing Processes book didn't make it as far as the cutting mat...)

Another find in Sue Ryder was this rather grim black bag, which I took great pleasure in cutting to pieces...

Underneath the lining fabric was this horrible foamy stuff, which disintegrated and got everywhere!Once I'd unpicked the stitches, the bag material gave me quite a big bit to work with.

Then I cut the music sheets, the Dover book and some of the road atlas to make pages. The Dover book of stencils was made up of lovely, thick creamy paper, and each page was blank on one side, so I used these for the bulk of the new pages, intermixed with the odd page of music and road atlas.

I covered the back of the bag material with some of the sheet music to make the covering, and then sewed the whole thing together.

I incorporated the zipped outside pocket of the bag into the cover of the notebook, making a pocket perfect for pens, or other little bits and bobs.

About half of the pages are completely blank, and the stencil patterns in the Dover book mean that other pages have bits of floral designs on them with plenty of room to write around them.

At 24cm by 19cm, and 3cm wide, it's a nice chunky book, with 160 pages.

You can see the book on Folksy here, as well as all the other competition entries too.


Gigibird said...

I share your notebook obsession.
I am always buying and squirreling them away.
Amazing what you can do with an old bag;-)

Magic Cochin said...

I used to have a notebook/sketchbook obsession, along with a paper buying addiction. This year I've decided to have an economy drive - when I embark on a new project I think "I must already have the materials" and , do you kno what, I usually have!

Just keep squirrelling them away, one day you'll find the perfect use for them ;-)

Love what you've done to that old bag - inspiring!


Anonymous said...

I've just spent the weekend making notebooks but nothinbg as ambitious as that! Very impressive!

Sarah and Jon said...

Thanks all! I'm glad it's not just me who hordes notebooks and paper :)

starkeyart said...

Put me down as another compulsive buyer of notebooks, sketchbooks and journals that, for some reason, always remain empty. There is just something nice about having them around in case you should ever feel the urge to write or draw.

Great idea! I really like the pages that show pieces of the stencils.

tanja said...

I agree - buy plenty of things that attract your eye when you can, and in time the use for them will emerge. I've been a sketchbook hoarder for years, and I'm finally using them one by one. I figure a good way to start is to say to yourself that even if you only write one page or make one drawing in a particular book, you've honoured your thought or vision and that's enough. Great to see your making process btw.

Laura said...

I have a notebook obsession too...I can't quite beat your 20 by the computer but I have a pile that's not far off that
I love the notebook you made...Good luck with the competition!
Laura x

I am inspired said...

I've just come across the amazing notebook you made. You've made me feel really inspired and as i've just ran out of sketchbooks i'm going to make my very own.
Thanks, Kirsten

janey said...

I feel your pain. I'm on an art supply diet. I haven't bought any paper to draw on for over 3 months. And only pens when one runs out. It's been very hared.

And that's pretty neat what you've done with that bag.