Thursday, March 24, 2011

FREE tutorial for a favorite notebook and CU Freebie

If you're anything like me, you probably have a zillion projects going, all at the same time. The problem for me is that I forget what I did last, or where I paused or stopped in a process. When you get to be my age (ha!) you find that you can't remember everything you want to remember. (I have a theory about that. It isn't a function of the brain slowing down, but rather the amount of information it now has to process. So, like your computer, it gets slower and slower. Unfortunately, at least at this juncture in life, you can't just download it to a hard drive to archive your earlier thoughts and start afresh!) So what I do instead is create a little notebook for each project.

I used to use spiral-bound notebooks, and even used the ones that had multiple tabs so I could put notes on a good many subjects into one. But I didn't usually fill one up, and—here I'm going to tell you one of my secrets— I want a fresh start with each new project. So a good many of my notebooks were only partially filled. Then I came up with an idea that meets my needs and lets me be creative about it, too. Here's what I do:

Say you want to make a notebook for keeping card layouts. But only for a certain kind of card. Go to your plain photocopy paper and pull a few sheets out. I usually use fewer than 10 sheets. Fold the paper in half.

Now comes the fun part. Go to your scrapbooking or whatever stash and
pull out a strip of patterned or textured (or maybe patterned and textured) paper or cardstock that is at least the height of your folded paper by about 4" wide.  Use your paper cutter or a straightedge (like a ruler) and a craft knife to make it square. The measurement is less important than how straight the paper is. [More about that later.] Fold that in half lengthwise and place around the folded side of your paper.

Don't trim it yet. Go get your Crop-a-dile and punch holes through the patterned paper and the stack of copy paper at somewhat regular intervals. Then, while you've still got your Crop-a-dile handy, set some pretty eyelets through the holes, and then go back and trim your patterned paper.

Don't stop now! Use some more of those scraps and pretty up your cover (I often use cardstock instead of paper for the cover).

Now you need a special place to keep these mini-notebooks. I altered a gift bag and cut away one side to keep mine in. My camera is on the blink right now, so I'm going to show you what mine looks like using my computer's built-in camera. Prepare for a bad photo; it will at least give you the idea. But first, I want to address the issue of eyelets. I've used a variety of different ways to bind these little notebooks: eyelets, brads, rings, ribbon, string, staples. I like each of my notebooks to have its own personality. You can see the different ways I've bound them in the photo below.

Now can someone please tell me why the computer's camera always makes a mirror image?

 Okay, I know you like getting freebies while you're here, and I certainly don't want to let you down, so here's a little something for reading all the way down to here! (As always, click on the image to download from Media Fire; no waiting!)

French fry box, ©2011 Susannah Wollman. Use is unrestricted.


  1. Thank you so much for this post. I want to let you know that I posted a link to your blog in CBH Digital Scrapbooking Freebies, under the Page 2 post on Mar. 25, 2011. Thanks again.

  2. You've just been awarded..Stylish Blogger award, hop on over to my blog!