DIY Journal Planner Update

Back in April I wrote about making a planner (here) and then I wrote another post about making the signatures (here). I have since made a second book that is better than my first attempt.

image This is both journals. The left one is the second larger journal. And the one on the right is my smaller first attempt.

The new book is more for writing and less for work. My first one still works well due to the smaller and more portable size. I have hopes of reworking and making a new cover for it. The second journal is 9×17 inches and holds eight 8.5 H by 5 3/4 W signatures.

The signature paper is good quality copy paper in 8.5 by 11 folded in half. I used five sheets and then added a second insert of five sheets. Make sure to do two seperate inserts. Five sheets fold better than using ten sheets. Make sure you have a good even crease before you punch your holes. Put two together face down flattening the crease and put four evenly spaced holes. I kept trying to measure, but I did better eyeballing it. I used the inner core of some paracord my husband had lying around to sew them up. I started with the first hole inserted from the back holding about an inch and a half tail and sewed the holes up. To make sure the stiches held I went back through the stiches and tied it off.
This the inside of the signature.

The outside of the signature.

For the cover I used some green buffalo suede I ordered from Distant Drums Online. A store I found on Ebay, super nice folks and great customer service. My husband with the help of Youtube Darkchild 57’s high capacity travel journal video. Cut the leather and set the cover to hold eight signatures of ten sheets each or 160 pages. If you want to try this, I highly recomend watching both of his journal making videos. He offers a lot of great tips. We did add a pocket to the front cover and we haven’t put the buttons on. Once those and a few other loose ends are tied up it will be finished.

It took all afternoon to set up, cut, sew and put everything together. Cost wise I would say $15 for the leather and there is enough leftover to make a second cover for my work planner, $7 for the 500 pack of paper, $1.47 for the elatic cord and the paracord was scrap from another project. So $13.25 plus time spent with my hubby makes it a one of a kind special.


Cheers, james


Memorial Day

Here in the USA we will celebrate Memorial Day on Monday, May 30th. This was a day set aside to remember the soliders that have served our country. It is a little thought of holiday, except it stands as the official summer season kick off. Most folks don’t realize that May 30th also dates back to the Civil War.

I’m not about to rehash the Civil War, North or South. I do want to emphise that the soliders on both sides deserve our respect and do not deserve to be abused further. They were men stuggling to protect family and home. Grand ideas and notions weren’t the driving force pushing them on. It was the wives, mothers, daughters, sons and brothers left behind. Protecting them and protecting their home.

I think people forget that machines and robots don’t fight wars, it is the people. Machines have just made the killing so much easier, less real. But men and women that have walked through the fires of battle. There are scars and damage, even if they have no scraps or bruises. The emotional toll is tragic and we need to support our veterans and push the government to fight for them off the battlefields.

Cheers on this stary Thursday night, james

Woodburning or Pyrograpghy

Talking with the hubby, he asked if I had ever tried woodburning. I smiled and said sure, used to take sticks and a lighter and make charcoal to draw with. Sycamore is still the best in my opinion, oak is a close second. Oak is harder to light and get a viable drawing point. He shook his head, not what he was talking about I guess. I had seen the woodburning tools and kinda knew about it. So he pulled up a google seach. Wow! The things those people can do with a wood burning tool.

Since I have gotten interested in book binding, and wood is a very cool cover. I thought mixing the two would be groovy. I saw a blog somewhere using notebook ring and thin wood laminate to make a wood notebook. So we made one up and I have been looking for something to put on the cover.


This is the unoiled cover. Rustically cool, right. My hubby forged out some thin bands to add character. It also provides stabilty where we glued three boards together. The book rings came from the office supply section of a local walmart. I used a 9 ×12 sketch pad for the paper, I foldes the sheets in half. I’ll add the finished notebook later.

Due to the bands it would have to be small whatever I burn onto the spaces. So I have picked up another fun hobby. If you have never looked it. Google or Bing search wood burning and wooden book covers. I hope you are amazed as I am. Cheers, james

Project Notebook

New page posted (here)

I have had an idea bouncing around my head for awhile. I love writing, reading, and an budding interest in book binding. I am learning to make signatures which you sew multiples together to create a book. However I have learned by sewing down the middle of one set of signatures, I can make a small booklet of about 24 pages. I also have figured out that using a heavier sheet of cardstock or poster paper makes a decent cover. I used the booklet method to make my planner. So I would be able to have multiple inserts for different things. Still working the kinks out of said planner. I’ll post more about it later.

A blank page can be intimidating for someone getting into writing, I thought smaller sheets would be less threatening than a full 8.5 ×11page. Time will tell if this idea bears fruit. NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNo are great ideas and I love the idea of sparking someone’s inner writer. Writing has been a rock in the whirling Maelstrom of Life. A place I sought refuge in, a place I grew in. Reading also is a big part of that, I miss not reading five or so books at once. Reading and writing give you keys to another realm, another world and it can be hard to open yourself up to it. But Katie bar the door once you open yourself, to let it consume you, because you’ll never be the same.

I can’t imagine giving someone a greater gift, especially with the small price tag of a lil time, paper, and string. Hence Project Notebook was conceived and born among the swirling thoughts and ideas of inspiring someone to write. To give a person that chance to discover the power of words, of ink flowing from your pen and the desire to tap that inner wellspring.

That and more is my hope, my wish, my passion for Project Notebook. Cheers, james

#ProjectNotebook #powerofwords


Eyes sparkle, mischief dances
Little head tosses, let’s run
Soft nose softly blows
My face, let’s race

Tiny hooves flash and dance
Maine and tale flow
Legs working, Run

Old man stumbles,
Soft nose tiredly blows
My face, the race is run.
Tiny horse, I can’t run.

18 years we’ve run and play
Side by side, best of friends
Now has come time to say
Good Bye, Run wild, run free

One day we shall once
Again, Run.
Be at peace till that time,
Find the others that went
Before and Run.

In memory of my sweet little horse, Chestnutt.

Dollar Tree Treasures

The local Dollar Tree had a slew of cookbooks tonight. Like good cookbooks, Indian, Australian, French country, Greek, barbaque, cake decorating, hor d’overs and lots more. I have written on the delights of purchasing my office supplies at Dollar Tree before. However there are all sorts of fun treasures to be had.

Some of my favorites are of course the pen selection, I have also discovered they sell good quality sketch pads in 9 × 12. So for a small investment I have the pages for a handmade notebook. And since there are 40 sheets and I am folding in half or quarter sheet I can get one big book or several smaller ones. The paper is smooth and fountain pens and regular pens too glide over it. There are the yellow legal pads I favor too, since the ink rarely bleeds through. I have mentioned them previously.

The coffee cups are fun to browse through, I have a fondness for a squared body mug that fits my hand and they keep a good supply in stock. They have different shapes, sizes, colors and patterns. A new mug can lift one’s spirits and they always have a great selection of candy and snacks to tempt even the most diet conscience.

Fuzzy socks, greeting cards, books, and sometimes they have music. A one stop shop for a brick-a-brack-holic. So the next time you pass by a dollar store take a gander through and see what fun treasures you can find. (No I did not get paid for singing Dollar Tree’s praises)

Cheers on this stormy Thursday evening, james