Keeping a Notebook Pt. 2

Let me introduce you to my papercraft creations:

The Book of Crows: My first!  The spine is a mess, but it’s still got a cool look to it.  I went a little crazy in the papercraft section of Michaels, hence the knob on the front cover.  HOWEVER, the knob makes it impossible to lay the book flat, which is a mistake I won’t make again.  I use this notebook for writing weird fantasy stories, and thus it is filled with skeleton stickers and cut-out panels from The Goon.  This one also has a built-in bookmark, which is its own lovely little piece of artwork.

The Book of Crows
The Book of Crows
The Book of Crows — Interior

Gail:  Named for the machine-gun toting hooker-queen in Sin City, this is my crime-writing notebook.  I think the “Fuck Poems” sticker came from AWP.  This was my first successful coptic stitch, although the cover is a bit loose.   I salvaged an old sketchbook for the signatures, so several pages are water-stained, which lends it a certain authenticity for a crime-writing journal.  Currently I’ve got the starts of two novels in this book, so we’ll see which one takes top priority.


Dutch: Dutch is my all-purpose go-to notebook.  I can do anything in this notebook.  The cover is made from a box of “King Dons” – Canadian Ding-Dongs – that my sweet friend Juanita sent me, which explains why this notebook is named for Dutch Wagenbach.  Also it’s a workhorse and it takes a lot of abuse, plus there’s a tag that Ian made me that says “Stay Away From Me, and Stay Away From My Desk” that I hang over a chair whenever I need some privacy.


I went with an assortment of signatures on this one; papers of various textures, thickness and color, as well as ephemera like postcards and envelopes throughout.  The original spine was ribbons, but they were cutting into the paper, so I switched to metal rings instead.  Not my favorite way to bind, truthfully.

Dutch--assorted papers
Dutch–assorted papers


The back inside cover has a collage I made of Lagarto Hombre attacking Toyko.  If I could remake this notebook, I might have used that as my cover because it makes me laugh every time I look at it.

Dutch -- Back Cover feat. Lagarto Hombre
Dutch — Back Cover feat. Lagarto Hombre

Catch: I didn’t make Catch, but it’s a cool-looking notebook just because of all the stuff.  Early drafts of The Big Rewind were written in this notebook, as well as stories like “The Redemption of Oren Barry“.  This is where I got back into the practice not only of keeping a notebook, but of collaging the pages with ephemera.


I’m testing out a concertina spine on an art-book I call “Drinking Coffee Elsewhere,” made of hotel stationary and vintage postcards, and I’m working on plans for a new go-to notebook when I finish with Dutch (which should be fairly soon; I think I’ve got about 20 pages left).


3 responses to “Keeping a Notebook Pt. 2”

  1. Why are you not selling these at craft fairs and making hefty sums of money?

  2. […] I mentioned in my last post, my crime writing notebook, Gail, is nearly full.  She had an interesting life; early character sketches became Stella and Miles in […]

  3. […] The Super Cola on the back is from a bag of candies Ian bought at the Chinese Supermarket in Albany.   I thought it had such a fun design that I wanted to incorporate it into this piece.  Packaging has served me well. […]

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