I am a sucker for little notebooks and use them regularly either to jot down blogpost ideas, stick in the odd memento, collate my shopping receipts to see if I can afford another latte, set out my ‘To do’ list, or use as journals-travel or otherwise. When I lived in Japan I discovered the Traveler’s Notebook by Midori. Interestingly it has a wee cult following as they have been, until recently, very difficult to get outside of Japan. The reason they are so great is that they have lovely sturdy leather covers (made in Thailand) and there are mutiple inserts you can buy which are easily interchangable so you can basically design your own book for your own purposes. I believe you can now buy components in Hong kong, the US, the UK and probably a few other countries. Unsurprisingly, you can not buy them in New Zealand. We’re the small guys down in the Pacific in case you hadn’t heard of us. Anyway, the thing about being the small guys down in the Pacific is that we have quite a DIY culture. If you want something, just do it…er, maybe that phrase belongs to someone else. What I’m trying to say is that we can be resourceful when we need to be. So, here is how I made a utilitarian* blank insert to go inside my Traveler’s Notebook from a cheap sized 1A8 student exercise book.
1) I bought the 1A8 from my local shop for not-very-much-money and used my existing insert as a template for sizing.
2) I slowly and methodically sliced my way through the 1A8 a few pages at a time to get the notebook down to the correct size whilst still retaining the existing spine. This would work better with tools. I had no tools.
3) I saved the offcuts to clip into the back of my TN as nice list paper that I can write on and then take out individually to stuff into my pocket when I go to the supermarket. Waste not, want not.
4) Then, because I had hacked through the paper with scisssors, which left me with rough edges, I decided to sandpaper it until smooth. I had no sandpaper and so I used the rough surface of the front step. I’m sure my neighbours were intrigued. The large flat surface turned out to be perfect for the job.
5) I photocopied a photo of a traditional Indian kitchen to cover the notebook with because a) I’m fancy like that and b) Someday I will have an Indian kitchen to surround my spices.
And, ta da, here it is in action.
Have you made anything useful recently?
*Not acid free paper and so not for keepsake journalling