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Lunchtime Lusting Stationery

Lunchtime Lusting – Spring Stationery

Hey stationery fans! Thinking about spring-cleaning your desk/hoard? Then you’ll need some shiny new products. I’ve been searching the internet for the best new stationery for the new season.

High Street Finds

Over the past few years, high street shops have upped their game in the fun stationery stakes. Unicorns everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Which is fine, because who doesn’t love a unicorn? I’m starting off in Paperchase with the all important storage.

Look at all those compartments ?? For £10 you get a pretty home for sooooo many pens and pencils. If you don’t have desk space for something this size, you’re going to need an epic pencil case. WHSmith has the answer.

Squee! Bit too ott for you? They have plenty of subtler options to suit.

Ok, time for the filling!

£12 for a set of 12 coloured pencils (Paperchase), with a different mood or emotion stamped on the bottom, associated with that particular colour. You even get a little booklet on the psychology of colour.

For perfectly pretty pastel pens, head to John Lewis and check out the kikki.K range.

 

Marvellous, if you simple HAVE TO peruse your stationery in real life; but this brand has a pretty awesome website – trust me, you’ll love it. And with that, let’s head online for the…

Best of the Web (OK, Etsy)

As always, I began my search over on Etsy, and to be honest after much searching elsewhere, I headed back and stayed there. Being a maker and seller myself, I know how much hard work people put into their creations and love to buy handmade. If you weren’t aware, you can now purchase as a guest, so you don’t have to sign up for an account. Huzzah! You’ll have to click the links to see these beauties.

Is that enough to keep you going? I hope so! Don’t forget, you can head over to The Craft Fantastic Etsy shop for hand bound notebook and journals to go with all your new stuff.

 

Categories
Books Craft Notebooks Paper Stationery

Upcycling & reusing materials = Unique & One of a Kind Binds

When it comes to making notebooks and journals, I’m a huge fan of using upcycled materials for a number of reasons, which I’ll share below.

Take this map-cover book, for example. The cover paper is taken from an old map of Brussels. The map made a couple of A5 notebooks and there’s some left over to make smaller books; and every book is different. Sure, I could get specific maps of places of interest/print maps off and get consistent covers, making bigger batches of each book. But I don’t want that. I love that every single one of my map books is different- one of the reasons I love handmade is that you’re getting something unique!

Even if I’ve got more of a certain material, I still like to work in small batches, making a couple of each different book. I get inspired by the materials on hand, and having just a little of a lot of different materials really gets my creative brain going. The spine of the above book is has been upcycled from an old leather jacket; using it for just the spine allows the material to go further and enables me to use all those thinner, smaller sections of materials. Sure, I could buy new leather in bulk and make bigger batches of notebooks that were all the same; but the way I work means you really are getting something pretty unique!

Also, I like to use as many of the little scraps as I can. The above pocket book was made from an off-cut of soft grey leather; it had small slits all down the sides, but because I made small A7 books from it, it works fine for me! See the thin leather strap? That’s an off-cut from the same leather jacket used for the spine of the key print book. If I’ve got scraps left, I try and think how I can use them. Mostly they make my mini books:

I’ve put together a short video on this subject and you can find it over on The Craft Fantastic YouTube channel, or watch below. I’m still getting used to doing videos and this is less than perfect; but perfection’s overrated, right? Listen out for me getting my words the wrong way round towards the end 😀

To see my selection of hand bound notebooks, bullet journals, travel journals and more head over to my etsy store.

Categories
Craft Notebooks Paper Stationery

New notebooks roundup

Recently, I’ve been trying out a few different things. It’s generally quieter over the summer months, so once I’d got all my wedding orders out of the way it was time to play! I think trying new ideas and learning new was of doing things is very important; you’ve got to keep moving and keep doing things to keep your brain working.

These new notebooks have hard covers and a firm but flexible spine – my own take on a hollow back binding. It was definitely a learning process for me but I’ve loved making them. My first attempt was the silver swirls book on the right; it’s less than perfect but is still beautiful:

  

Now I think I’ve got the hang of it. I’ve got more papers which I’ve not used yet, so look out for those! Plus I’m planning a new YouTube video on reusing and recycling, and will also be sharing with you my first attempts at book restoration and rebinding. Stay tuned! x

Categories
Craft Gifts Notebooks Origami Paper Stationery

Wanderlust: make an adventure to remember

Summertime is upon us and the world is calling. Whether you’re taking off for far off places or exploring closer to home, why not chronicle your adventure in a handy handmade travel journal? Blank books are fantastic for planning your holiday, making check lists for what to take and where to go, plus you can take as much space as needed to write about your travels. I love looking back over my old holidays and the check list I write helps me remember what I need to take on the next trip 😀

Over at The Craft Fantastic’s Etsy store you’ll find a wide variety of hand bound blank notebooks for all your journaling needs. Here are some map cover books to help inspire your wanderlust:

Ready for an adventure – A5 – £14
Ready for an adventure – A6 – £9
Off we go – A5 – £14

There’s also a range of miniature books– they’re set on chains to wear as a necklace, so you can easily take it with you on your travels. All the pages are blank, too, so it can be used for jotting down a few things while you’re on the go. Small writing required 😀

*First wedding anniversary = paper! These items make great gift ideas. For more inspiration, take a look at this article from The Wedding Secret.*

Categories
Craft Inspiration Notebooks Stationery

An introduction to bullet journals

Hand bound good ideas notebook

If there’s such thing as a natural bullet journaler, I am one. Long have I been a lover of lists; a maker of orginised notes; an extravagant underliner; a margin doodler.

What is a bullet journal? Well, it’s pretty much whatever you want to make it. Start with a notebook, something to write with, and get creative. A completely blank notebook is my personal favourite, as it’s the most versatile; however some people prefer gridded or lined paper.

Leather spine key bullet journal

Though it may have started that way, it’s actually not just lists of bullet points. There’s a trend for people using notebooks to create a personal space for them to write and draw and catalogue. Layouts and doodles. Headers, banners and frames. The best thing to do is to try a few things out – just get going and you’ll soon get a feel for how you want to go and what you’ll use your journal for. A few bullet-pointed lists and a few doodles to go with them. Take inspiration, but have a go at making your own systems so that they work for you. What to put in it? Lists, logs, plans, charts, dreams, goals… I actually started with a list of the lists I wanted to make.

Bullet Journal list of lists

Leaving enough space for bigger projects is essential, so think about what you need in advance. A new one for me this year is a garden plan; I’ve laid it out so that I’ve got space for each month, and within that month space for a list of jobs that need doing and things that need planting. I’ve a small garden, so I didn’t need a huge amount of space:

Bullet Journal garden plan

 What else is there? Pens? There are so many! Sharpies are good for bold, solid lives. Stabilo fineliners are my favourites for a wide choice of colours and a slim line. And the Uniball Eye in black is the best I’ve found for your everyday black pen.

Stabilo set

As for blank notebooks, head on over to my etsy store to browse handmade notebooks, sketchbooks or journals in a selection of covers and sizes – there’s bound to be something to fit your bullet journal needs, and if not, email me for a custom order!

Blue floral coptic main

Categories
Craft Craft fairs Notebooks Origami Paper Stationery

Updates! Recent makes, stall bookings, latest Etsy stock

Lilac guest book spine

 

I’ve been busy making Coptic-bound notebooks lately – and they’re all up for sale in my Etsy store. All hand stitched, I’ve done an A6 one and a couple of A5 books; use them for what you will – notebooks, sketchbooks, guestbooks, journals – they’re all very versatile! Here’s a peek at the newbies:

As well as stock, I’ve been playing with my new origami paper – making these gorgeous gingham elephants!

Origami elephants

I’m thinking they’ll make lovely greetings cards – what do you reckon? What other things do you think I could use them for?

Last but not least – I’ve booked a summer fete for later in the year. It’s a local affair for a good cause; my stall fee went straight to the hosts Just Giving page for SWAN – syndromes without a name, supporting undiagnosed children. It’s on July 24th at The Elgar Centre in Northampton, more details on their Facebook page.

Categories
Craft Notebooks Origami Paper Stationery

New on Folksy!

Finally! After taking a gazillion photos and agonising over my product descriptions, I have managed to get my first lot of stock up on Folky.

Check it out here.

Bright coptic

Etsy to follow very soon… unfortunately my camera battery has run out and I’ve lost the charger!!

Categories
Craft Notebooks Paper Stationery

New Year, new notebooks

I’m currently working to stock my online shops with my handmade notebooks, plus I’ve got some products into a shop in town – so it’s all go! Here are some samples of what I’ve been doing:

Light leather

Leather 1

Leather 2

 

Bright coptic

Coptic spines

Categories
Books Craft Notebooks Paper Stationery

New Notebook – hand stitched spine with key closure

Finished this beauty recently! Handmade from sketchbook paper with an up-cycled leather-look cover (used to be a handbag), fancy hand stitching on the spine and a key closer attached with a suede cord that goes into a place holder inside.

Work in progress 1

Work in progress 2

Hand stitched spine

Key closure

Categories
Craft Notebooks Paper Stationery

Top 10 Stationery Essentials

If you’re reading this then it’s likely to assume you love stationery – and you may already be aware that this week it has been National Stationery Week. It really has. I ran out of stock of my handmade Coptic-bound sketch books on Notebook day, of all days!!

Depending on your needs, there are a massive range of stationery products on the market, but here I’ve outlined what I think are the essentials.

  •  Pen. A good pen, for writing or for drawing. I love a fountain pen for handwritten letters, biros for crosswords; but my favourite all-rounder has to be the Mitsubishi uni-ball eye. Smooth writing, waterproof, fade-proof, comes in various colours.

Mitsubishi-Uni-Ball-Eye

 

  • Pencil. A decent pencil is indispensable! And with it you need the following:
  • Eraser – often the one you get on top of the pencil is absolutely PANTS. So invest in something soft and non-smudgy, that doesn’t tear the paper!
  • Sharpener. To keep your pencil happy. I quite like this one: double hole, a home for the shavings and a lid so they don’t spill out.
  • Notebook. Sketch book/journal/jotter – whatever you call it, you need somewhere to write and draw your ideas, plans and thoughts. Handmade books are my specialty, so here are some examples of my work:

Mini coptic 1Grey mini booksMini map openKey hardback      A4 books      Notebook stack

  • Ruler – this needs to be sturdy and long lasting. Metal ones are great for craft work.
  • Paperclips. Handy for when you don’t want to staple things! The more fun shaped, the better. Paperchase and (perhaps surprisingly) Ikea do some great ones.

Ikea paper clips

  • Stapler. For when you want to permanently paper-clip something together.
  • Hole-punch. For those of us who like to print things and put them in files 🙂
  • Post-its. Other makes of sticky note labels are available! Sometimes you just need to stick a note on something. Perfect for reminders.