After a thorough search through all of the nooks and crannies of our storage closet for a suitable tablet of graph paper, and finding NONE (I would have sworn there were at least two or three in there!), I was forced to head to the store to purchase a spiral bound notebook. Since I figured the notebook would be permanently out on my cutting table, I chose a blue cover to match my sewing room.
As soon as I got home from the store I rushed right up to my sewing room, opened my new book, grabbed a pencil and waited for inspiration to strike. Nothing! Not even a split second flash of colors entered my brain. Where had all of my beautiful ideas gone? Had I lost them all? Or, worse yet, had I suddenly lost all vestiges of creativity? I closed my book and stared. What was the problem that had blocked my Picasso moment? As the blue cover of the notebook filled my vision a light bulb slowly took shape above my head. That was it...my notebook was BORING! How could I expect to create within the pages of such a bland book? Creativity inspired creativity!
Thinking back to the pre-"book sox" days when my school books were covered in brown paper bags, I did a few quick measurements and decided on the amount of material I would need to make a jacket for my notebook. I needed it to be sturdy, of a dark enough color so as not to get "grungy" from frequent use, but "fun" all the same. A quick scrounge through my fabric stash brought forth a "happy" and colorful material that reminded me of Scandinavian design. A remnant of a long ago Ikea pattern? Since I get most of my materials from fellow Freecyclers, I was unsure of the source (or fabric content)...but I was absolutely certain that I wanted this material for my notebook. Now I just needed a dark material that would hold up well to constant use and abuse. A brown "suiting"? type fabric fit the bill and would pick up the brown stems of the flowers nicely. A light bluish/aqua linen look material matched perfectly and would be ideal for the lining and a small pencil holder on the front.
Now for the trim. Although the patterned material sported both red and a "watermelon" pink color, I decided to accentuate the pink with a thin grosgrain ribbon and thread. The pink thread would look nice against the brown cover. I had always been a sucker for brown and pink.
The book jacket itself was surprisingly simple to construct and within an hour I had my notebook covered and ready to use. Even better, it was now a self contained designing tool that I could take on vacation with me...ready to call upon the ocean view off of my balcony for inspiration.
But, how was I going to carry a large selection of colored pencils with me? I could store them in a zippered pouch, but then I would be juggling numerous pencils on my lap as I searched for the specific one I needed. Not good when you are sitting on a balcony 11 stories up!
My dilemma was solved by a freebie I received yesterday. I had placed an order for ink from Office Depot. Because of my timing (I never order unless there is a "promotion" I am interested in) and the order amount, I was able to receive a set of 10 colored highlighters...FREE. These highlighters came in a plastic pouch...all self contained and all visible at a glance. While the highlighters didn't provide a very wide selection of colors, I could probably use them to illustrate a general coloration in my blocks. AND, if I had a specific quilting pattern in mind, the dotted quilting lines in my design would be visible through the highlight color. Eureka!