Last year I bought a diary, to help me plan my newly self-employed activities for the year. I had great hopes for it. I planned to write down all the weird and wonderful national days, like National Kazoo Day and Inane Answering Message Day (28th and 30th January respectively, if you’re interested) or World Three-Legged Zombie Day (ok, that one’s yet to be confirmed).
I intended to plan and schedule blog posts, dyeing days, shop updates, accounts days, and lots of other things besides. It was a great plan.
Here’s a fairly typical diary page from this year:
It’s not that I have nothing to do.
It’s that I have So. Much. To. Do that I haven’t got time to write anything in the diary. I did fairly hit the ground running in January, and it’s been pretty much non-stop ever since, but it’s mostly reactive activity rather than planned activity. Fire-fighting is exhausting, and I see now that I do really need to set aside some time to plan things better. I’ve been so busy this year that I haven’t found the time (and if I’ve had the time then I haven’t had the energy) to make the art that I thought would be possible.
Next year I really must make time to use the diary for effective planning and scheduling, because all work and no play is no good for anyone. There are Skillshare classes I want to take. I want to become more proficient with Procreate. There are all kinds of messy mixed media avenues I want to explore. I want to make sketchbooks and draw more. I will schedule and ring-fence play times. All play and no work is no good either, of course. I will also schedule strategic planning meetings with myself and maybe even a weekly team meeting (can you be a team of one?) It’s a good plan. Let’s see if any of that works.
So I’ve bought another diary and next year I will try again. I will only use it for planning, not for writing my life story as it unfolds. It will be a purely administrative tool, holding and measuring time, and will let me see how I can use my time better.
All of the above has been a very lengthy – and probably very dull – prologue to the real content of this post. As you may know, I like to make covers for books. Just because. Making a slip cover for a book is quite quick and easy – you just need something long enough to wrap around the book and under the front/back covers and something an inch or so wider on each long side.
I placed a few scraps on a foundation cloth. The ragged vintage lace down the spine was exactly the length I needed. I always think if something fits exactly without needing to be cut or shaped, then it was probably meant to be there. The lines are fairly straight, but the photo is a bit crooked.
A little hand stitch here and there and it was soon done.
I stencilled 2024 onto a piece of painted card and attached it by over-laying a scrap of sheer tulle that has little dots on it and just stitched around the edge:
Once the stitching on the front, back, and spine is complete, you can turn the long edges down so that the height of the cover is about 1/4″ longer than the height of the book. I just tack the hem down with tiny stitches on the surface because you won’t really see the wrong side.
For the wrap-around edges, I usually just try the book cover on the book, wrong side outwards, folding the long sides around book and then closing the book to make sure it’s not too tight. I can then mark the outer edge with a pin and oversew along the top and bottom edges to create the slip case for the front and back covers. There are lots of other ways to do this. I’m sure there will be many tutorials online for making book covers like this one.
Turn everything right side out again and the book just slips nicely into the cover.
I like it.
And there we are, fit for the future. I can see next year coming and I’ll be ready for it.