A couple of months ago I won a Maker’s Notebook by following @make on Twitter. Now Maker’s Notebooks sure are cool things, when they first went on sale I bought one for my partner for him to design his woodturning projects in, but I’m not so much a maker as a crafter. While I like the size and the hardcover of the Maker’s Notebook and the numbered squared pages it didn’t meet all of my requirements as a crafter.
1) It wasn’t ‘pretty’. Functional, good quality, handsome even,but not pretty.
Easily remedied. I decided to make it a fabric cover and paint and print on the inside covers. The fabric cover was a plain black cotton affair with faux chenille panels on the front and back. Here’s an ‘in progress’ photo.
On the left it shows the 4 different fabrics that I layered to build up the faux chenille. These layers are then stitched down in diagonal stripes as shown on the right. Then some, or all but the black, layers are cut through parallel to the stitching with a pair of sharp scissors. The fabrics will fray to create a fluffy 3D look.
Finished it looks like this…
On the left is my partner’s Maker’s Notebook, on the right my Crafter’s Notebook. The faux cheniile is now very frayed allowing the different fabric colours and textures to come through. While I originally selected fabrics from my stash for their colour I found I also had a range of fabric types that all reacted quite differently to fraying. The blue lining material went thin and fluffy, the gold fabric went quite spiky, the pink silk went thick and fluffy, and the purple voile got very haphazard.
The second step towards prettying it up was the inside covers. The Maker’s Notebook has a grid of little blue icons all over. Classic and simple, but not really matching my colour scheme. I was going for a purple and pink theme.
Here it is, with a Maker’s Notebook for comparison again. I washed the pages with purple Brusho, then printed magenta acrylic paint onto them with bubble wrap. I carved up some lino to create a stamp of the simple spiral shape and printed it randomly in black. (The design of the spiral was the first thing I designed in my notebook). I outlined the spirals in gold marker to make them pop out in appearence.
2) All these electronics references are no use to me.
Electronics is not my thing which means that everything after page 158 in the Maker’s Notebook’s handy reference pages is irrelevant to me. How to put these pages to good use? I decided to keep them as reference pages, but references for things relevant to me. When I’m designing or drawing I always spend ages colouring on scraps of paper to see what colours my pencils/pastels/paints comeout as so I thought I’d create reference sheets for those.
I’ve also got a colour wheel on one of the surplus pages and the rest are gessoed ready for use. I think I’ll use them to collect image and inspirations on a specific theme per page, e.g. ‘bright’, ‘abstract’, ‘vintage’.
I’m quite happy with how it turned out. I’ve already used it to design a couple of projects. Implementation of said projects is not yet underway but watch this space.