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It’s been a while. I haven’t been entirely lazy, but I did sort of disconnect from the Internet for a while after my last trip to Yakima in early February.

While there, I did nothing terribly exciting, but I was prolific.  Trying to use up some of the oil-tanned leather I’ve had since last August (when I first got started), I decided to make up a bunch of smaller notebook covers.  I’d bought the notebooks for the purpose at Office Depot in December, in case I needed last minute projects for unforeseen Christmas gifts.  Turned out not to be the case, but since I had them…

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The inside flaps are veg-tanned leather, so I guess this is more of a mixed medium piece.  It’s about as simple as it looks.  I bought a few spools of elastic material in different widths; this 1/4″ elastic is just glued and then sewn in between the inner and outer cover.  Not quite as elegant as Ian Atkinson’s covers, but then again, neither are the notebooks.

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Waxed brown thread, saddle-stitched by hand.  No pigskin lining on these (I forgot to bring it), but really, I think it looks just as nice without it.  For a simple “working” piece, it’s unnecessary complexity.

I skived the center (spine area) of the cover to make sure it would fold over nicely, and also beveled the bottom inside edge of the inside flap to make it easier to insert the notebook.  I also smoothed the underside of that part with some gum tragacanth.

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All complete, it’s over-sized enough to put the pen on the inside of the cover, and the elastic band holds it shut nicely. This one is sized perfectly to fit in a uniform shoulder pocket.  Because it’s soft and flexible, it fits comfortably in a rear or front jeans pocket as well.

I made four or five of these, with different dyes for the inside flaps: black, dark cocoa, java brown, and scarlet; this one is the dark cocoa.  With practice, each one takes, excluding dry time, a smidge over an hour.  I thought about tooling some kind of design on the inside, but I couldn’t think of anything interesting, and being stuck in an 8’x7′ room, the noise was deafening anyway.  Maybe next time.

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