Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Midori style notebooks

The other leather came yesterday and today I made the notebook cover for the 9cm x 14cm notebooks (Field Notes; Clairefontaine).
Here they are together (new one at the top; A6 at the bottom):

And here they are open:

And with the other notebook showing (each has one lined and one squared book inside; the A6 notebooks are the ones from Papelote, bought at The Journal Shop):

Aren't they lovely?? I'm really pleased with them!

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Making my Midori-style cover

Well, the leather came, the mini-punch came and the elastic came! So on Thursday, I made myself a Midori-style notebook cover.

I wasn’t feeling confident enough to cut a larger piece of leather to size, so I bought some pieces from eBay that were already the correct size for what I wanted. I didn’t want a notebook cover the size/dimensions of the real Midori, but one for A6, so I bought some leather that was 25cm x 15cm. Folded in half around A6 notebooks this would be about the right size (A6 being 10.5cm x 14.8cm; the 25cm would cover the width of the notebooks plus their thicknesses). The leather I bought was 1.8mm thick (the Midori notebooks are 2mm thick leather apparently) and is burgundy, with suede on the inside (it’s gorgeous!).

Let me walk you through making it.

Tools needed:
Small hammer
Needle and thread

The way this style of notebook cover works is to have elastic thread in the middle of the leather cover into which the notebooks are slotted. I wanted to have two notebooks in the cover so I made two small holes (using the punch) at the top and the bottom of the ‘spine’ of the cover, a centimetre apart and 6mm from the edge. I also punched a single hole in the dead centre of the leather:

I then put a single thread of elastic through the holes at the top and bottom so that on the inside it looks like this:

...and on the outside looks like this:

The hole in the very middle is for the elastic band to hold the booklet closed. I knotted a piece of elastic at the right length then looped a small piece of cotton thread through the elastic loop, threaded the cotton onto a needle and used the cotton thread to pull the elastic through the central hole.

I was amazed at how easy all of this was (and have to thank Ray Blake for the inspiration! See his post here. In fact, read all of his blog because he’s great!).

So this is what it (sort of) looks like:

Open, with Clairefontaine A6 notebook showing

Open: Clairefontaine on L, Field Notes on R
Why ‘sort of’?

Well, because the notebooks I have put into it are the wrong size for the size of cover! I bought a couple of Clairefontaine “A6” notebooks from Bureau Direct (which aren’t A6, but are the exact same size as Field Notes books (9cm x 14cm). Both of them are shown in the cover. I have also bought (from The Journal Shop) some Papelote mini notebooks. I’m going to make another (smaller) leather cover for the Clairefontaine and Field Notes books and when the Papelote books come from The Journal Shop, I will put them in this cover.

The notebooks will be used as a general ‘clearing my mind’ notebooks – you know… where you have a zillion things running around your head and you need to just get them out before you can make sense of them and focus. Once they are out, I can sort them into proper to-do lists and so on, without having cluttered up my Mulberry. [Actually, I am having a little bit of a wobble with the Mulberry, but that’s for another time!]

What do people think?

eBay sources I used:
Leather came from: Leather4Craft
Mini punch came from: Silvercoasts
1mm elastic cord came from: k2-accessories

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Catching the Midori bug

Do I need another notebook?
Um. No.
Do I have umpteen unused notebooks in a drawer of my desk?
Um. Yes.
Have I been hankering after a Midori for ages and ages?
Um. No.

So why have I just ordered a piece of leather and some elastic cord, to make my own Midori-style notebook?

I blame Ray Blake. I do. It’s all his fault. What, with his easy to make inserts. And then an easy to make Midori-style notebook. He just shouldn’t be so talented! Or have such a brilliant blog! (Go check it out once you’ve read this!)

Anyway, I am not making a full-size Midori notebook (the aspect ratio doesn’t appeal and anyway, I wanted something small). I am going to try and make something closer to the passport size one (suitable for taking both passport-size Midori inserts and also Field Notes) – about 10-12cm x 15cm (about 4.5” x 6”).

Keep you posted.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

To Plan or Not to Plan

To plan, or not to plan: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?

[with apologies to Shakespeare!]

For the first time in a long while, I didn’t plan this week. I normally sit down at the weekend and plan the week ahead, and also sit down each morning and confirm my day. This week I did neither. It wasn’t a conscious decision not to, I just didn’t do it. And did I suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune as a consequence?



I know there are two camps: one camp says to plan things or you’ll drift aimlessly and get sod-all done; the other camp says don’t plan, be free and enjoy yourself. To be honest, I find getting the right balance between those positions really difficult. Sometimes I plan myself almost to death and stop enjoying life as it feels it’s just a series of tick-boxes to get through, at which point I stop planning and end up doing sod-all. Or doing stuff that’s not important. Then I get annoyed that I’ve done sod-all and plan things to death again!

So how did this (unplanned) week pan out?

On my DPP pages, I have boxes to remind me to do yoga each day and to clear the ‘hot-spots’ of clutter. I also have check-boxes for fruit and vegetables, and water Intake.
In my weekly to-do list I had these items:
  • Blog post for Chimwemwe
  • Philofaxy article
  • Edit February Focus
  • Write next 2 scenes of book #4
  • 3 runs
  • Read a book
  • 2 blog posts on PPI
  • Read the screenplay books
  • Birthday (x)
  • Birthday (y)

This week:
  • I have done no yoga
  • the house looks like bombs have gone off in several places
  • I didn’t edit the February Focus newsletter (though mostly because I hadn’t been sent it!)
  • I haven’t been running
  • I haven’t read any books never mind a fiction and two screenplay books
  • I did no blog-posts for Paper, Pens and Ink
  • I missed two people’s birthdays
  • I have no idea if I’ve hit my fruit, vegetable and fluid intake targets.

I did manage to:
  • do a couple of quick blog posts for Chimwemwe
  • do the article for Philofaxy (which you can read here)
  • write the next four scenes of my novel

But, I knew I had to do all those other things – they were already on my weekly list after all – so what happened?

I had a busy Sunday last week and never managed to get around to planning the week ahead (where I normally allocate things from my weekly list to the daily sheets).
On Monday and Tuesday, I went down the rabbit-hole, writing, and didn’t even emerge for a run! And those of you who know me, know that that’s a serious down-the-rabbit-hole moment! It was bright and sunny all week and PERFECT running weather!
Wednesday to Friday I was back at work and ended up working late each day, then the evenings seemed to fill up with things that had appeared since I drew up the weekly list and which were much more important to do.

At the moment, I feel annoyed with myself that I didn’t do most of the things I was supposed to be doing, but I also know I can’t quite blame it on the fact I didn’t plan, as even if I had transferred the weekly list onto the days, I would still have had to do all the ‘extra’ things that popped up in the week.

I think I need to split my task-list into ‘must do’ and ‘want to do’ so that I don’t feel bad if the ‘want to do’ list has unticked things at the end of the week.

How do others deal with tasks that pop up out of nowhere? What do you do to keep your week on track? How do you
‘take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?’?