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And onto a different design

As you may have noticed, there are some new notebooks listed in the shop. These are mostly covered in pages and sections taken from a UK roadmap. But now, I think it’s time to make some with a different design.

The roadmap notebooks are so much fun to make, and look amazing when finished. But I want to show more variety in my work. So, I’m starting work on some using wallpaper for the cover, and some using fabric. Both are incredibly tactile, and that is part of the joy of a notebook.

Each notebook is made from reclaimed, or upcycled materials. The only thing that is new is the glue!

Because each notebook is made individually, every single one is unique. If you go ahead and buy one, you can be 100% certain that no-one will have the same book, anywhere in the world. As a result, although the idea may be similar, every notebook made will have a different design.

If you have any ideas, please share them, I’d love to hear from you.

different design

And now to try to work out why my products and posts have mysteriously stopped sharing to my Twitter and Facebook. Everything was sharing automatically until the end of December, and now it isn’t. I haven’t changed any settings, I can’t find that anything has been changed by any updates (which sometimes happens). At the moment, not a clue… As always, if you have any thoughts, any clues, please do let me know!

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Roadmap Notebooks

That’s the first batch of Roadmap Notebooks added to the website store. There are various sizes, with either narrow or standard lined notebook pages.

Roadmap Notebooks

Each book is hand crafted. The pages trimmed from recycled sources that include part used notebooks, out of date diaries. The covers are made from card scavenged from cereal packets, product boxes, trimmed from the covers of the diaries and notebooks. Covered with carefully selected pages from an out of date roadmap, the only part purchased new was the glue!

These roadmap notebooks are recycling at its best. Every part (other than the glue) would have been thrown away, probably gone to landfill. But they have been given a new lease of life as handy notebooks.

From the tiny pocket sized books, to the larger ones there will be a size to suit your needs. With most materials gifted, scavenged, or otherwise sourced, the prices can be kept really low to suit your pocket too.

I’m hoping that I can start some direct sales via this site, as I’d much rather be dealing with you all in person instead of through a third party like ebay. But It’s an experiment, if you feel the same, let me know, or purchase a notebook or card.

So, what are you waiting for? Start your 2020 with a roadmap notebook, record your journey…

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Why do I have a website?

It’s a legitimate question. Why do I have a website? Or, rather, why do I still have a website? I’ve had one for years, and it’s part of my online identity. It’s the basis for my main email address, and for any selling or hobby-business I’ve run in the past.

New notebooks - or, reasons why do I have a website

So, I don’t really want to lose the domain name.

I enjoy tinkering with the site, messing about behind the scenes to make things work. Finding the right plug in combination, solving the technical side. It’s fascinating.

But, as I have definitely said before, I am hopeless at keeping up any kind of regular posting. When I do post, I ramble. There’s a stream of thoughts but it’s all over the place, unplanned and erratic. I write as I think, and that’s not always a good thing.

The trouble is, my paid job involves creating tailored, carefully thought out responses – and by the time I sit down at home, that part of my brain is done. Then, someone will say something. Or, someone will ask, do you have a website? And I’ll say yes, and point them to here, and realise that I’m not happy with the way it looks, or the way it works. A website is an evolving thing, changing, adapting.

I’m meant to be working on photos of new notebooks to add to the shop, but I’m not happy with the lighting, the sharpness of the images. As a result, I’m here rambling. I’ll work on them again over the weekend, and I hope to have the notebooks in the shop soon.

New notebooks - or, reasons why do I have a website

Allegedly, new content is the golden egg that drives traffic… We’ll see.

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Making books

Still absolutely the worst at blogging. But now and then I find there is something I would like to share. I’ve been making books, and it’s fun!

Over the past month or 2 I have been teaching myself book binding. I’ve been using whatever I have available, and it doesn’t take much in the way of specialist tools to have a go. It takes some practice, but with time and patience, I have made some nice books.

Making books

Isn’t it pretty? If I’m going to be critical, the front cover flap is slightly misaligned, and I’d like for it to line up with the front cover perfectly.

This one has multicoloured pages, and secures at the front with blue ribbon and a toggle button that slips through the ribbon if you want. I was quite pleased with it, and as a result, thought I’d test the waters on eBay with it.

Everything used to make this book was already in the house. The only things I had to buy new were a couple of tools (bone folders) and a pot of PVA glue.

This one has a cover made from wallpaper. I particularly like the way the embossed metallic squares catch the light. The leaf print enhances the design with a natural look.

My eBay items for sale.

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Changing the way we live

We’ve been watching the Sir David Attenborough Netflix series, Our Planet. The filming is stunning, as you would expect from an Attenborough series. While we laughed a little at the whole concept. Look at the lovely/pretty/magnificent/abundant life, which humans are destroying… It did make us think. So we’re going to be changing the way we live, a little at least.

In the Garden

I already grow stuff in my garden, but it is still mostly grass. The soil underneath is poor and full of rubbish. It would be a mammoth task to dig it all out, dispose of it, and deal with it that way. We’ve been here over 7 years now, and I know I won’t do that.

changing the way we live

But my chickens love the weeds, give me eggs, and produce plenty of fertiliser – so I’ve been using that and home made compost to create raised beds. That started last year and I had reasonable success in growing things.

We’ll be growing more of our own fruit and veg. I have leeks, onions, and garlic growing. There are strawberries, apples, and pears forming. The first few carrots are coming up. The windowsills in my house are filled with trays of compost and seedlings for peas, beans, courgette, pumpkin, tomato, pepper. We grow what we like to eat.

But, in changing the way we live and do things, I need to look at the balance of the garden. My garden is lacking in flowers, other than the fruit blossoms, and veg flowers. So, I’m planning to clear a patch for a small meadow type area filled with colour and variety. I have a small buddleia to put in the ground somewhere. There’s a sage to add to the herb garden, and another shrub to go in somewhere. I think it’s a japonica of some sort? Spirea, maybe? The label got lost…

Pink foxgloves

That’s the outside.

In the house

We are increasingly frustrated that we have to recycle such a large amount of waste. Don’t misunderstand, I’m all for reusing and recycling. But there is so much that comes from our regular shopping trips that is completely unnecessary.

I compost most of our food waste. Any garden waste goes to the chickens. Card gets used in the garden as weed suppressant.

So, it’s the plastic, glass, and tins. The plastic is my biggest issue. Why do you need to plastic wrap everything? Do you need to wrap carrots, broccoli, apples? Why not have all fruit and veg loose, and have paper bags for us to use?

I will do my bit, and more, because I care. But the greater responsibility lies with big business, with producers and suppliers. Come on, sort this out!

We’re also committing to eat less meat. Not going totally vegetarian, sorry, we like meat too much and don’t like the veggie alternatives. But we’ll be trying to have 3 or 4 meat free days every week. This will be day 3 in a row for me.

That’s where we are right now. Making small changes, and hoping it makes some difference.

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