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As a passionate listmaker, it goes without saying that I love all kinds of notebooks and paper products, and it is even better when I get the chance to make them unique with my own drawings. Lately I have been on a kick of drawing on MUJI plain notebooks in a coloring book style, and adding color with markers while I am in the train commuting to and from work. I am so used to drawing in the slight motion and shaking of the train that whenever I sit on a solid seat to draw it feels odd! Most of what I make ends up as a gift to someone, but I also make them for myself, of course. The ones I know I will keep are usually where I experiment with new ideas, knowing that even if the result is not great I will still love and use it.

Another way to experiment is on my old-time little notebooks made of scrap paper. At work I end up with a lot of printouts that have only a brief time of use. I always feel bad throwing out paper, and the pages usually end up in a messy pile next to my desk. Every now and then I get the urge to create something, and then I cut and fold them to various sizes according to need and simply use a staple to bind a few pages for instant gratification.

I have been making and using and giving away these notebooks since I was in primary school, and over the years they have been given away on Earth Day at the Library reference desk, made into light and portable expense notebooks to keep close track of expenses, sticker books for the boys, or simply a place where I keep a specific type of information gathered in one place.

The covers change according to whim, from laminated collages to being covered with stickers, to a simple drawing with or without color. I made the one on the last photo above just now, when I simply had to make a 10-page booklet from some almost blank pages I printed out.

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I went to Home Depot the other day, just wandering around for inspiration. I came home with plenty of both, materials and inspiration. My first project was some canvas storage bags for all the soft, bulky items we all have around the house. Soft toys, yarn, socks… they all found a home, in style.

The process was very simple: I lined a table or the floor with some paper to protect from spillage, spread canvas (I used the cheap one used to protect floors when painting the walls) and then L and I painted / splashed / dabbed with color. I was in a blue and white mood, so we kept the colors simple. The large piece of canvas we made was enough for 3 bags, so I divided it in equal pieces and just sewed around the edges. Then, to create a wide base, I folded the corners and sewed along the crease there as well. Done!

I also picked up some paint chips during my inspiration trip, with no specific project in mind. The first thing I made with them were small open boxes, which I then held together with some pretty duct tape (another Home Depot score I couldn’t resist!) I plan to use them for organizing the tiny scraps of fabric that come out of other projects: I have plans for all those little triangles and rectangles from trimming corners and seams!

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