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8

Filled
Midori-style Notebook

I love that word, "traveler."  It's right up there with "adventure" and "wild" for me, favorite exciting words that make me want to jump up and do something.  And of course I love notebooks.  I'm pretty sure that's come up before.  So last week when I got a glimpse into the world of the Midori Traveler Notebook, I was hooked.  Sort of.  I didn't like the sizes.  I don't want to have to send away for inserts all the time, and I don't want to have to make my own all the time.

I decided I would just make my own Midori Traveler (also called "fauxdori" which is so cute!) in a size that works for me.  I spent hours on Pinterest, Etsy, and YouTube (favorite links below) looking at examples and watching how other people made theirs.  I came up with a plan, picking my favorite parts from everything I looked at, and I got started.

Raw Materials
Raw Materials

I decided on red vinyl for the cover because I didn't feel like waiting until I could get to the leather store.  I was going to line the vinyl with fabric, but I found this fabulous stuff called Kraft-tex Kraft Paper Fabric.  It acts like fabric and paper--its wonderful.  I picked some up to paint and collage for my liner.  I got turquoise embroidery floss to finish the edges to make sure there's no peeling of the layers, and I got rainbow elastic because I needed elastic, so why not rainbow?

I painted and collaged the liner then glued it to the vinyl.  Then I used a five-pronged leather punch to make holes for the embroidery floss all around the edges of the notebook.

Ready to Stitch
Stitching Tools
Inside and Out
Inside and Out. Covers glued and stitched.

I added the rainbow elastic, mostly the magenta and flame orange section (because it's one five-yard piece of elastic, so I picked a section).  I decided to put the holes side-by-side rather than one above the other (which is how it's set up in the real Midoris) to give me two same-sized bands on the inside.

Rainbow Elastic
Rainbow Elastic

Then I added the elastic "belt".  In the real Midoris the hole for this is in the middle of the back cover.  I saw a few people putting theirs on the spine, so I did that with mine, too.  So far so good, although I just finished the notebook about an hour ago so it may be too soon to tell.

 

Elastic Belt
Elastic Belt
Closed 2
Closed

I gathered or created my filler books.  The first one is a Moleskine Cahier that I worked a few pages in several years ago then let languish.  I decided I should go ahead and use it, so I changed the title on the cover and put it into my fauxdori.  It's going to be for project plans and notes.  The next one is a greeting card that I added some decorations to and then filled with scrapbook paper to make a sort of Smash Book for visual journaling and glue-booking. The third is dot-grid printed paper bound into pretty scrapbook paper.  This one will be for writing practice, notes, etc.  And the last one is a blank book that came inside an art journaling book I got several years ago (and can't find in my house to tell you the name of).  I cut it down a bit so it will fit into my notebook.  The journals that I bound are half-sheet size (US 8.5 x 11 inches) while the Moleskine is slightly smaller, but I don't mind the disparity in size.  They are all close enough that they work fine together, and I like the idea of making my book a size that lets me pick up refills when I want instead of always having to make them.

Fillers
Fillers

Here's the filled book:

Top Edge
Top Edge

 

Bottom Edge
Bottom Edge

I used the elastic to insert the middle books and then large rubber bands to attach each of the outside books.

 

Rubber Bands
7" Rubber Bands

Last but not least, I added Post-it pockets inside the front and back covers to hold all the little notes and scraps of paper that accumulate.

Envelopes
Post-it Pockets

And now it's ready to use for creative planning, note taking, writing practice, vision collages, and whatever else I think up, all in one place!

Do you have a Midori Notebook story?  I'd love to hear how you use yours.  And if you have pictures, please link in the comments so we can all enjoy them.  Thanks!

Links:

There's a ton of stuff out there.  I still have loads of videos saved to watch later, and every time I open Pinterest there are new posts.  So go browse around, see all the cool stuff, and maybe make a Traveler of your own.  Have fun!

 

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14

Finally it's time!  The Mad Tea Party 2010 has arrived!  I'm so excited to tell you all about it.

Of course, I've been preparing for ages. Ages!  I packed the basket to carry the tea party into the woods--I've heard that's where all the best tea parties take place.

Hmm...what's that?  It seems someone has added a bottle of something to my basket.

No matter.  I'm sure it will look quite nice on the table.  I do wonder who it's talking to, though.

Maybe to the Hatter.  I see he's arrived while I wasn't looking.

Might need to give him a table of his own...

The Cheshire Cat must be here, too!  Who else could have snuck in and rearranged the tea pots so?

And indeed it was the Cheshire Cat.  Here he is now.

And I've just heard that the Caterpillar will be here as well.  This should do quite nicely for him--I hear he's very fond of mushrooms.

I believe that's everyone now except Alice and the White Rabbit--they're never on time, you know.  I think we'll put on some music and dance while we wait.

Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing in the whimsy and nonsense!  I hope you'll stay for the dancing and join us again next time.  Until then...

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2

Some of us more so than others...

Edit: For Tea Party visitors, the actual tea party post is here.  Enjoy!

I have a confession to make.  I love Alice in Wonderland.  Really love it.  Unabashedly, unreservedly adore anything and everything Alice.  I was nearly beside myself when the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp movie was announced.  I'm currently working on an Alice themed art project for a swap. Which is why, when I saw this project, I sensibly decided not to get involved.

The problem is, I didn't really have anything planned for this week's experiment.  And I kept running across references to that Alice project that I was not going to do, no way, no how, I don't have time, I'm not doing it.

But it's Alice!  And there's magic there.  And whimsy.  And I think maybe I've been a bit short on whimsy lately.  And it's Alice!  So I'm doing it.

If I had just given in to this a few weeks ago, I could do something really fantastic and fun. Now, with only a few days to go (oh, and a newsletter to wrap up), I'll have to keep a tight rein on myself and disregard most of the wonderful, whimsical ideas floating through my head.  But there will be a tea party, oh yes there will!

See you for tea on Saturday!

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4

Note: this is an older post I wrote, but it's still relevant so I'm putting it back on the site. And writers? Don't skip it because it looks like it's meant for other types of artists. It applies to you, too! I'll add a little note at the end of the post specifically for writers, but all of this is for all of us.

Original post: 

This week, I'm feeling sluggish and stressed and not very creative at all.  I am definitely in the doldrums.

I know we're not always at the top of our game, energetic and inspired and ready to be geniuses, but this is still a hard place to be.  I think somewhere in my mind is a voice telling me that this isn't supposed to happen to me.  I'm the teacher, the coach, the one who helps others out of these tight spots. I'm not supposed to get into them myself, right? Ha!

Of course, we can optimize things so that we have more regular bouts of uber creativity (I'm working on how to make that happen) with fewer slumps, but sometimes you're tired.   You're a little under the weather, you're frazzled and harried and don't quite have what you need to take on a full blown creative project.  But you still want to keep your hand in the game and do *something* creative, make something, do something.  If you're like me, that process of just taking a bit of time to make something small or simple really helps me feel better.  Sometimes I really need to make something to get back in the flow, but at the same time I just don't have the energy and oomph I need to figure out what project to start on.

So what can we do when we don't have the energy for a major project but we still want to do something creative?  Prep work.  Wait!  Don't turn off the screen just yet.  Prep work isn't a bad thing at all.  We need to do it.  The Prep Work Fairy is *not* coming over to do it for us (she called and told me she isn't).  And prep work doesn't require us to be at the top of our game, so it's perfect for the doldrum days.  Plus, if the prep work is done when you *are* fired up and ready to go, you don't have to use your precious, high octane creative energy on the tasks that don't need it.

What are some of the things you can do for prep work?  Of course that depends on your art form or forms, but here are some ideas:

  • Paint and/or stamp backgrounds for art journal pages or collages
  • Wind and sort threads for a needlework project
  • Cut out fabric squares for a quilting project
  • Sketch design ideas
  • Cut or tear pictures and words from magazines for collages

This week, I am going to do a bunch of art journal page backgrounds.  (I won't say I'll do one a day--I know I have a busy weekend coming up, so I know I won't do it.)  I've been wanting to get to my journal more regularly, so maybe having some prepared backgrounds will help with that.

What can you do this week to pave the way for your creative work?

Note for writers: you might do things like setting up files (pages for characters, settings, etc.), finding images that look like your characters and places, things like that. Or you might read some writing articles or blogs. Or you might try some of the above-mentioned non-writing ideas, because sometimes doing something outside your usual creative field is just the thing you need.

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