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Thursday, 1 January 2015

Notebook Number One

Happy New Year!

Well, #NotJustAnotherNotebook (otherwise known as my attempt throughout 2015 to flog custom made notebooks and give the profits to charity) is officially off the starting blocks. Woohoo!

My friend Jane was the first to put an order in. She wanted a birthday gift for her sister in law, in time for the weekend, so I got on and made it for her today. I asked her what she had in mind for the cover, she emailed me a sketch with the words and style of fabric and colours she wanted.

Jane's initial ideas sketch
Knowing the jumbo ric rac would be a hit, and that Jane's sister in law likes Cath Kidston, I had a play about with combinations that I thought looked good together. The tea cup patch is part of a remnant of absolutely lush Harlequin fabric gifted to me by a friend. There are loads of different colour combinations and shapes of tea cups all over the design, so I will be able to incorporate these into all sorts of notebook designs if people ask me to.

This was my first commission. It took exactly the time I hoped it would - one hour - but I was intentionally more focused than usual so I could stick to this. I have several aims with #NotJustAnotherNotebook - the primary one to be to raise as much cash as possible for my chosen charities. I also want to enjoy the creative processes, and, for this project to sit comfortably into my normal family life. So, I will aim to strike a careful balance on time - of producing my best work on each commission whilst not letting procrastination take over, with the rest of practical jobs that are my remit going to pot for the sake of notebooks. The first make has also reminded me to deliberately set about enjoying every make. Fellow sewing peeps all know that a big reason why we make stuff is just because it's fun, right? For me, that means not having a negative interior monologue as I sew, of mild worry about whether the person will like my end notebook.I guess it is all about keeping a healthy sense of perspective. Expect good things.

Anyhow. There it is. The first one. And yes, she likes it. And, I promise not to waffle on like this about every notebook I produce.

So, who will be next, I wonder...

After my last post, I had a lovely message of encouragement from a friend. She has generously stumped up hard cash for the making costs (£5 per notebook) of the first 20 that I make. This means the full amount of the price you pay for your notebook can be donated straight to the charity giving site in one easy step. You'll still need to do a small add on payment via Paypal to cover postage (£2.50).

My friend also commented she thought £10 was too little for a customised notebook, and pointed me in the direction of these lovely ones as a comparison. I can see how you get to the price - I know the time, thought and materials involved, not even thinking of the amount NotOnTheHighStreet probably slice off. I guess it boils down to not having the guts to ask that much. The suggested price is £10, and I will stick to this for January. But, I think being honest, £15 is a price that sits better with me as a reflection of my time, and as a better deal for the charity in terms of getting the most money I can for each notebook, so if interest translates into actual orders for notebooks, I will probably look towards achieving that in time. This thinking out loud is not very business like, is it?! A decent businesswoman would have more balls, and, do her market research first.

(Source Mollie Makes)
This popped up on my Twitter feed last night. I like it. And, ideas for potential notebooks immediately come to mind...


1. Donate here and then email me with your design ideas.
2. Pay postage (£2.50) using Paypal `Add to Cart' button. 



  1. A lovely start to the new year! And yes, I think we would like to see all the notebooks you make. Every single one!

    1. Thanks for that. I'll take that as a green light to do just that. :)

  2. This is a lovely gift from my sis in law. I love it. Nice to know it's the 1st one made. Such a lovely idea x

    1. Hello! I'm delighted to hear that, Lou. 😊