Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Happy Yuletide

`Tis the Season! 
I bought a fabulous leather trench from a second hand shop, the leather was just so soft and buttery. I cut it to pieces and made a bag (for myself) and a cover for notebooks (for my son´s minder).
The TN is made by assembling two layers of leather, gluing and hammering them together. The optional size visually for me is 12 cm´s width to a5´s height. So I measured and made the leather covers to fit 12 cm notebooks. I glued and hammered and stitched additional, third layer of leather to the spine, to give it strength and to avoid the dreaded puckering that always is so very gringe-worthy...
Picture above is closest to truth, talking about colour, since it´s been taken with flash. We had absolutely no natural sunshine today and the sun was up for only 5 hours today altogether. But... as it is in Nature, days will get longer every day, starting tomorrow.
However taking pictures with flash gives a unnatural glare and my source of picturification is a phone camera so adjusting flash doesn´t exactly isn´t an option. So... pictures below are all taken without flash and show a much darker shade of leather than the lovely really is.


After having finished making the covers, I oiled and conditioned the leather. It was very dry to begin with. 

Inside the covers it has two flaps. This is to ensure that possible a4´s don´t escape, and also, the topmost flap assists in keeping the notebook pages open. The crocodile textured leather actually is genuine alligator. I bought a vintage bag from Amsterdam back in the days and used the bag so fastidiously that the very intricate lock system finally gave up. I snipped the seams open and gave the leather new life. Alligator is perfect material for such flaps because it is very hard, almost scale- like. My son explained that it feels like the skin of a dragon would feel like. Harness- like.
The first notebook is 60 gsm. paper from Staples. I suppose it is the closest experience to Tomoe River paper we get to come in our neck of woods. This is my absolute favourite paper in the world thus far. So thin, so good quality, takes any media and doesn´t even wrinkle when using watercolours. Shades through, naturally since it is very thin paper indeed, but so far even the wettest ink has not bled through. It feels silky smooth to touch and after writing on it, it only gets better.
I covered the notebook with a piece of wallpaper.
I am giving this shebang to my son´s minder (I could say nanny but the lady does not live with us, claiming her to be a "babysitter" gives me all kinds of wrongful vibes since my boy certainly is not a baby anymore), she always seems very keen on my notebooks and organisational systems. She deserves to experience this goodness herself.

On the inside of the cover I slapped a few sticky notes just for fun.


Second notebook is printed from MorganLeFaesTrinkets - blog. I have used her printable notebooks with quotes on them for... I can´t even remember how long. They all have 5mm grid on them and I love grid. I can colour code my page markers to the same places every time I take on another notebook to use. 

Third notebook is a monthly calendar that I printed from Ray Blake´s blog My Life All In One Place. It is a "full" or "regular" size notebook and I just trimmed and extra cm. to the sides. It contains monthly spreads to year 2016 and 2017.

Fourth and fifth notebook are weekly spreads to take one through the entire year.

At the back there are additional two pockets and a pen loop- pen loop made from the alligator leather.
You can´t quite see well but the sneaky sneakster in me had this wonderful notion to hide the knot from the elastic closer to the outer edge.Perhaps one can see it better from very close but this gives somewhat cleaner outlook to the back cover. 

The overall feel of the notebook is very soft, very pliable yet very sturdy. All the layers of leather give it sturdiness a notebook such as this greatly needs. 
All notebooks were printed to 80 gsm. paper in "ivory", from Staples, save the first one that is white and 60 gsm. 
I hope she will like her gift, my son said she will certainly be thrilled, and those two have known quite many years already, as have I... so I do believe that she will be quite pleased.

Happy Yuletide from us to you and yours!