Category Archives: Other Media

My non-leather “fauxdori”

If you haven’t already heard of the Midori Traveler’s Notebook, I suggest you watch this for an idea of how it works, because that is what I am basing my creation off of. I really love the concept and design of these notebooks, particularly the ease in which they allow for customization.

There are many examples of people making their own versions, which is commonly referred to as a “fauxdori” – like this one, which is the one I primarily based my design on, with some modifications. However, as you’ll likely notice if you start googling for how-to’s, they are usually made from leather just like the original. I know that there are many that prefer leather, due to the way that it ages, but that wasn’t what I wanted. Scouring the internet did not lead to much in the way of leather alternatives that would be appropriate for this project, which I found surprising, especially given how popular these “fauxdori” projects seem to be. So I went to my local crafts stores and wandered around to see if I could come up with an idea. And I did! So here is how I made my non-leather “fauxdori”…

First of all, I needed something that could give the cover some structure, preferably 2-3mm thick so that it would be comparable to the thickness of the leather that most people seemed to recommend. I found a sheet of EVA foam which seemed to meet the requirements, except I didn’t want just a foam cover. It needed something else to go over it, for both aesthetic and practical reasons (the foam seemed like there was a chance it could rip easily if not properly reinforced). And then, as I was standing in the checkout line – I saw it. Polyprolylene resuable shopping bags! And they were only 99 cents! After that, I saw more bag options at other stores and grabbed a few of those, too.


a few of the bags that I found…


some of the other supplies needed, along with a ruler/straightedge and a knife or exacto blade

My idea was to join the two items together into one durable cover, then proceed as if using leather. My current solution involves double-sided tape, which so far is holding together fairly well, but I may look for another solution (ha!) because my prototype isn’t totally perfect in that regard. I am still going to present for you how I built the prototype I’m using now, but please feel free to adapt as you see fit – and please do leave a message if you have any suggestions on how to improve it!

The following are some pictures showing my process of measuring, cutting and pasting together the two parts of the cover:





getting my edges nice and straight


this is the foam that I used



here is the double sided tape – it’s not red, that is just the film on the side that hasn’t been removed yet


…and the two pieces become one


I used a dime to create rounded corners, as recommended in the video (see below for link)


Once that was done, I basically followed the rest of the steps that Ray Blake explains in his video. I suggest you watch it, if you are planning to make one of your own. It will explain what is happening in the next set of pictures, although you can see how I deviated slightly by making the elastic thread longer and using the excess from the knot for my bookmarks (which necessitated tying the knot at a different place than shown in the video, but I am sure you can figure that out):


you can see where I punched the holes for the cords (the awl is pointing at what looks like a hole but isn’t – I just want to be clear so I don’t mess anyone up!)


after stringing the cord and creating the bookmarks


another view (to illustrate the way it’s strung)


closed, with the outer strap showing


fully closed, with the strap around it



with my new TSWBI Mini pen and ink bottle

And there you have it! I am currently using a 3″ x 4.5″ Rhodia notebook because that is what I had lying around, but I plan to use 3.5″ x 5.5″ notebooks. My ideal setup will be three notebooks: one blank for sketching, one graph or dot grid for miscellaneous notes, and one lined one for my journal. But, of course, it might end up being something completely different in the end! I may try making a larger one eventually, but right now I am finding that the smaller book size is actually quite good for fitting into my purse. I am really happy with how this came out!


Day 41 – Sweeeeeet!!!

I know I haven’t really been updating, but I have been hard at work on art projects for my new MassArt program. That’s a good excuse, right? Lol. I am thinking that this will be the case until August, when I have some time off. I was thinking that I might try to get back to daily updates for the month of August. For now, though, here is my more recent project for my Typography I class:


We were asked to faithfully reproduce a word, in a particular font (with proper letter spacing – that’s hard), in a material that in some way relates in a unique way to the word. So I decided to do the word “SWEET” in coffee beans. Partly because coffee beans are not sweet, but bitter. And partly because not only do many of us use sweetener in coffee, but – as one of my classmates pointed out – when those of us who are addicted to coffee get our morning fix… it’s definitely a sweet moment, =)

I had some other ideas that I thought were better, but I had a limited amount of time (and money), so this was the fall back plan – but I think it worked out ok. Hopefully I’ll be able to utilize those ideas in the future for other projects, though.

Day 40 – A Book (literally)

In order to get jump-started back into this blog, now that my life is slightly less hectic, I decided that I would cheat a little bit and post something that isn’t technically a drawing. It’s actually a book that I had to create for my Typography class. I figured that I spent so many hours working on it that it deserved a place in here – and besides, working on it left little time (and creative energy) to work on other side drawings.

The assignment was to choose portions of characters (letters, numbers, punctuation, etc.), one from each of five typefaces that she gave to us. Then we created these 6″ x 6″ squares with those portions. Finally, we put them together in an aesthetically pleasing way to form what is called an accordion book. I then wrapped it nicely in tracing paper to keep it clean.

Book – Flat:Book - Flat

Book – Standing:Book - Standing

Book, Wrapped – Front:Book, Wrapped - Front

Book, Wrapped – Back:Book, Wrapped - Back

I wish the pictures were better quality, but it gives you an idea. It was a lot of work but it was pretty fun in some ways, too! I am proud of the finished product and that is always a good feeling.

For those of you that want to know what the characters are that I used, they are (from left to right): The “7” from Clarendon, the question mark from Centaur, the question mark from Futura, the upper case “Q” from Baskerville, and the upper case “N” from Didot. =)