Scottish Craft Focus: The Geometric Notebook (& Giveaway)

Although I have touched upon my love of crafts on my blog, I’ve never mentioned that in my pre-keratoconus days, I designed, made and sold a range of dessert themed soaps/bath bombs. Over the years, I’ve met so many people showcasing their crafting talents and in this new series, I want to share my love of Scottish craft. As well as providing my own craft tutorials, I’ll be interviewing Scottish crafters, reviewing craft fairs/classes, showing off my craft purchases (nothing like a good haul!) and there might be a giveaway or two along the way. If you love Scotland and/or love crafts (making /buying) as much as I do,  I really hope you’ll enjoy this new series. After my transplant recovery, I’ll definitely get back to creating my delicious bath treats too!

As I was planning this series, an email dropped into my inbox from Ian, a fellow crafter based in Montrose. Ian runs The Geometric Notebook shop on Etsy and asked if I would be interested in reviewing one of his vintage comic notebooks. As a child, I loved reading comics and well…who doesn’t love stationery? So of course, I jumped at the chance to review a one-of-a-kind notebook.

I’m really impressed with the quality of my notebook. The pages are well bound together (I have no experience/knowledge of book binding but it doesn’t look easy) and even though it’s light, it’s sturdy if that makes sense? My notebook is definitely not going to fall apart and as a fellow crafter, I can appreciate how much care and attention has gone into putting this book together. I’m really fussy about the paper I write on to and I was pleased to find the graphed paper is of a high quality.

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And of course, I love the comic book covers! I love Brassneck (who made his comic book debut in 1964 in The Dandy) because isn’t it every child’s dream to have a robot buddy who loves getting into mischief? Reading the covers, I couldn’t help but smile and chuckle to myself as yet again, Brassneck causes mayhem. It brought back memories of reading comic books as a child which was a lovely feeling.

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As it is made up of squared paper, I’ve been using my notebook to write to do lists because there is nothing more satisfying than ticking a completed task box. But really, these notebooks could be used for literally anything: school work, university notes, blogging check lists, travel journal – whatever you like. Unlike other notebooks, I’ll definitely be keeping this one on my bookshelf because as well as being limited edition and one-of-a-kind, I just love the cover (and it will be nice to look back on all the blogging tasks I’ve completed for a real sense of achievement!). I’d also like to see these notebooks offered with lined paper which I personally prefer writing on and plain paper would really appeal to those who love drawing/doodling.

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I love comic books and stationery but I would never have thought of combining the two in such a creative way so I was keen to find out more about Ian and The Geometric Notebook:

How did you come up with the idea to create vintage comic notebooks?
As someone who writes in notebooks a lot I would often browse independent stores and online sellers trying to find a notebook that would meet my needs; unique look, interesting binding, feels good in the hand and has graph (rather than blank/lined) paper for writing. I couldn’t find something that met those criteria and so decided to use my book binding skills to fill that gap.
The North East of Scotland has such a rich comic and design and heritage (DC Thomson – home of the Beano, Whizzer and Chips, Dandy and Topper is based there) and an exciting future with the opportunities and support from the likes of Dundee Design Festival, Creative Dundee and the new V&A Dundee Museum of Design which will open in 2018.
I collect illustrated annuals and books from the 60s – 80s as they often have full page 2 & 4 colour process works of art which I think represent a classic era of design and illustration history. They deserve a wider audience and since moving up to Montrose I decided to combine my book binding skills, re-use these pages and make an exclusive collection of 50 vintage comic notebooks per season.
What makes The Geometric Notebook so unique?
Book binding is a rare craft and skill that involves many dexterous and hand made processes. For each of the vintage comic notebooks I carefully dissect the annuals removing individual pages from the spine, picking the original 70s glue off, measuring the paper stack, drilling holes for the Japanese stab binding, sew it all up, measure again and hand guillotine them for a crisp edge.
Every book goes through these detailed processes and because of the choice of front and back covers, they are unique and tell part of the story of that particular comic strip.
 Do you have any favourite comics?
Some of my favourite comic/graphic novels include: two classics include Maus by Art Spiegelman and the Fable series published by Vertigo. The independent comic scene is flourishing and particularly like Damon Herd aka Ticking Boy who’s from Dundee & just recently there was a really interesting conference at the University of Dundee which brought together artists and experts from the fields of medicine and comics to look at the relationship between the two areas.
Thank you so much to Ian for not only sending me a notebook, but also for agreeing to be interviewed for my new Scottish Craft Focus series. You can find The Geometric Notebook on both Etsy and Twitter.  Notebooks start from £7.00 and orders can be shipped worldwide. I’ve already got my eye on the Minnie the Minx notebook!
Ian has very kindly offered to send one of my lovely readers a vintage notebook of their very own! This competition is open to UK residents only (sorry!) and you can enter via the Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*PR sample. Thoughts and opinions are solely my own. 




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