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Archive for December, 2009

The 5th Carnival of Pen, Pencil and Paper is in progress at http://www.goldspotpens.com with more great reviews of pens, notebooks, ink and other notebook related information. Be sure to check it out by clicking on this link: Carnival of Pen, Pencil and Paper.

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If you want to stretch your holiday cash a little farther this year, create a custom gift for your friends and family using a Moleskine Cahier?       

You can create customized notebooks using a Moleskine Cahier and a few simple art supplies.

Customized notebooks created using a Moleskine Cahier and a few simple art supplies are unique and inexpensive gifts for friends and coworkers.

One of the best things about Moleskine Cahiers is that the covers are made of cardboard making them perfect for crafts or customizing. They are also affordable, priced at about $8.00 for a pack of three small Cahiers. The covers accept a variety of mediums without a fuss and are an excellent surface for markers, stamps, ink, metallic pens and more.      

I started by cutting half of a tree shape out of a clear plastic sheet. I used this sheet on both front and back covers to give the tree a balanced appearance. I can save and used the plastic cutout for future projects. Using the tree cutout, I traced the outline onto the Cahier using a pencil.

I created the design on this cover using a pencil, black marker, ink and a metallic pen. I started by cutting out half of a Christmas tree outline on a piece of plastic. I did this so the illustration of the tree would be the same on both sides of the Cahier, giving it a balanced appearance when it was opened. I traced the outline of the tree on both the front and back covers using light pressure with a pencil. Next, I used a circle template to create round ornaments on the tip of each branch. Using the black marker, I went over the pencil lines for the tree and the circle ornaments.      

I used a circle template to keep the circle ornaments consistant in size and shape.

I used a circle template to keep the circle ornaments consistent in size and shape.

The pencil outline was traced with a black, fine tipped marker to create clean edges. Notice that the lines near the top of the tree aren't perfect. I will go over the extra line on the outside of the tree with black ink and no one will notice the mistake when I am finished.

Using the marker lines as a guide, I painted in the background with black ink, leaving the tree and ornament shapes brown. The marker outline helps keep the brush inside the lines, giving a crisp appearance to the edges. I also used the marker to outline the circle ornaments.      

I painted in the background using ink. The thick marker lines made it easy to stay insdie the edges.

I painted in the background using ink. The thick marker lines made it easy to stay inside the edges.

Using a circle template and a gold, metallic pen, I drew in the ornaments.

Using a circle template and a gold, metallic pen, I drew in the ornaments. The metallic gold adds some pop to contrast with the dull, brown, kraft cover.

To finish the design, I drew in circle ornaments using a gold metallic pen and the circle template. I chose a circles larger than those drawn earlier so I could overlap the black edges, so the edges would be crisp. Since the metallic ink in the pen is opaque, you don’t see the overlap. Be sure to raise your circle template off of the paper using pennies or other thin spacers to keep the metallic ink from spreading between the template and the paper.       

The tree design is visible when viewed from the spine.

The tree design is visible when viewed from the spine.

The finished design looks great with the kraft paper and metallic gold. But for more sparkle and variety in the design, paint the tree silver with a metallic pen.     

Adding silver metallic pen to the tree image really makes the notebook sparkle. In hindsight, I could have used a Moleskine Cahier with a Black cover along with the silver and gold metallic ink, but the black cardboard cover would not have as much contrast as the black ink.

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