Saturday, March 6, 2010

Journals, or What I Do When I Should Be Doing Something More Important

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Very therapeutic, these little journals. Easy to make, and a great time waster!
The one with the pencil is made of possum skin. (Possums are a noxious pest in New Zealand - they kill native birds by eating the eggs and chicks, damage native plants and spread tuberculosis to cattle and deer. Here, the only good possum is a dead one!) The leather has the look of woodgrain, it's thin and feels like honey or olivewood.
Then I wasted more time by wondering why English pencils are red and American pencils are yellow. It involves Elizabethan monopolies, and a nineteenth century French gold panner in Siberia. If you're interested, read more in 'Colour' by Victoria Finlay - a fascinating book on the history of pigments.
But I digress, and I'm still avoiding That Work.


  1. It seems that you have a keen interest in history, and a mind that asks 'why is it so' about apparently little things. It's that kind of thing that makes family history research interesting for me, it's not about a 'line' of ancestors but about discovering interesting aspects of social (and sometimes political)history.

    I love those little journals as much as I hate possums - and that's a LOT!! ;)

  2. Lovely ones, I have to try to tackle one sometime.

    Btw, I'm keeping my eyes open if I happen to find those mini bells somewhere.


  3. Those are so cool! I bet they look great sitting on a table by the bed or chair!

  4. Norma - I've done family history - got back to all the ones who arrived in NZ (except the original Maori!), and a wee way further on some more, but it was going to cost too much. I found the further back I went the less I knew about the actual person, which was my main interest. Strange thing is, I felt sometimes they were looking over my shoulder. I liked the misfits best! Love that tv programme 'Who do you think you are' (UK).

    Merry Jingle - Thanks! I'm still thinking of trying to make the little bells, but I might cheat and use beads of some sort.

  5. These are so beautiful! Very nice technique!
    I would love a tutorial on how to make them, and especially the inner pages...


  6. These are so cute! I love them. We have possums here too but also skunks. We call one main stretch of highway locally skunk alley because you can always smell the ones who are hit on that stretch of road for weeks!

    I posted pix of the wonderful rugs you sent me on my blog! Thank you again! I love them all!


  7. These journals are awfully cute! No possoms here, I did see a rat over at the rabbit run this afternoon. I wonder if their skin makes good thin leather ;-)

  8. They are absolutely lovely and I would like
    to try them too! And by the way what could
    possibly be more important than making
    little miniature treasures?

    Eva J

  9. Very true, Eva - I'll have to remember my priorities!
    The 'other work' is writing articles/projects for a miniatures magazine - I'm stalled at the moment on one of them, it just won't go right.

  10. Glenda, you can't leave us hanging like that - what magazine???

  11. Dolls House and Miniatures Scene (UK). I have an article published in the newest one, #190, on how to make rush mats (I'm waiting by the letterbox each day for my copy to arrive!). There'll be one on Tudor leather items in a couple of months. I'm working on more, but the muse has departed for a while, I really hope she'll return soon, I don't need any more journals ;-)

  12. Te han quedado muy reales y ademas preciosas, enhorabuena por el trabajo.
    besitos ascension

  13. Wonderful little books. I love the way you have tied the leather strip on the darkest leather book.
    You're really clever and love these!
    Nikki xxx