Exciting project ~ 1: The Outback Range

Some of you may remember that we were talking about the exciting projects we have lined up for Earthworks Journals over the next few months.  We’ve been very busy in the workshop and have the first up and running already.

You can see them (or buy them!) on our website here:

EARTHWORKS JOURNALS OUTBACK RANGE

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We’d like to introduce you to our new Outback range of leather journals and binders.

A5 OUTBACK SPINES 2016

We’re making these from an amazingly rugged leather. It’s a natural vegetable tanned leather which has been finished with oils and waxes on the outside to make it supple and very, very durable. This is the sort of leather to take on your adventures, any scratches you put on it can be removed by rubbing with your finger (the warmth reactivates the waxes to reseal it). Of course, if you’re the sort who doesn’t mind the odd battle scar then you can leave the scratches in!

A5 OUTBACK BURNT TAN OUTSIDE 2016 A5 OUTBACK DARK KHAKI OUTSIDE 2016

This leather comes in a range of earthy tones, at the moment we have them listed on our website in two colours, Burnt Tan and Dark Khaki (as you can see above). We have them available in an A5 journal, an A5 2 ring binder and an A5 6 ring Filofax compatible binder. Having said that, if you would like a different size then just get in touch and we’ll be happy to make you one.

A5 OUTBACK DARK KHAKI OPEN 2016

A5 OUTBACK DARK KHAKI OPEN RINGBINDER 2016 A5 OUTBACK BURNT TAN OPEN ORGANISER 2016

We’re using a generous amount of bootlace cord as a closure on these ones. It’s finished with two movable leather beads, so you can find your own way of tying yours up. There’s even an integral pen holder in the binders made by the cord!

A5 OUTBACK BURNT TAN OUTSIDE ORGANISER 2016 A5 OUTBACK DARK KHAKI OUTSIDE RINGBINDER 2016

So, if you’ve got any adventures planned for this year and you’re looking for a companion the an Outback Journal or Binder could be just the thing. Tough, rugged and reliable. And it will remember all of your stories so you don’t have to!

Personalising your journal ~ Part 2: Wraparound Journals.

If you remember, in Part 1 of the post on personalising your journal we spoke about having text on the cover of your carved or plain classic  journal or binder. What? You didn’t read it, you say? Well, you can catch up by reading it here:

Personalising your journal or binder ~ Part 1: Text

But what about our range of wraparound journals? We use a different type of leather on these which is beautifully soft and supple; the style needs this so that the covers can wrap around themselves. However, this suppleness means that we cannot tool text or designs onto the leather covers.

But, all is not lost. We can still personalise them by printing text onto the first page inside. And the best thing is, it’s free of charge for any amount of text (as long as we can fit it onto a single page).

Please note, all photographs of inscriptions on this page are examples only, you can rest assured that your own heartfelt messages will not be displayed here.

So, what font will it be in?

We have three fonts that we commonly use, they are clear and easy to read. We have an Informal Font, which we often use for more personal messages. We have a Classic Font, which is our good all-rounder and looks like the title page of a novel (and it has a beautiful italicised version). Finally we have our Capitalised Font, which is great for single names, initials and for a more formal look.

We have no hard and fast rules about which one we use for an inscription, unless you specifically ask we will use our own judgment. We usually print the text in a colour to complement the cover.

THE INFORMAL FONTTHE CLASSIC FONT

 

 

 

 

 

THE CAPITALISED FONT

Ok, how does the Informal Font look in a journal?

I’m glad you asked! Here it is:

RUGGED BROWN INFORMAL

Informal font

Informal font italicised

Informal font italicised

DISTRESSED SADDLE INFORMAL & ITALICS

Informal font (quotation with italicised author)

How about the Classic Font?

This is our most versatile font and has the benefit of having a stunning italicised version.

DISTRESSED DIRTY BLUE CLASSIC FONT

Classic Font

DISTRESSED OXBLOOD GARDENING CLASSIC FONT & ITALICS

Name in Classic Font with italicised title

RUGGED WOODLAND GREEN ANNIVERSARY CLASSIC ALL ITALICS

Classic Font all italicised

RUGGED SCARLET WEDDING GUESTBOOK CLASSIC ALL ITALICS

Classic Font all italicised

RUGGED CHESTNUT WRITING BOOK CLASSIC & ITALIC

Classic Font with italicised personal message

 

DISTRESSED BROWN CLASSIC & ITALICS QUOTE

Classic Font with italicised quotation

…and the Formal Font?

RUGGED PETROL FORMAL INITIALS

Formal Font initials only

RUGGED BROWN FORMAL

Formal Font with numbers

RUGGED BROWN FORMAL FULL TEXT

Formal Font name & title

Your standard fonts are great, but what if I want something a bit different?

That’s no problem at all. Just send us the text you would like and the font style you would like it to be in (even better, send us the name of the font you would like) and we’ll do our best to match it.

Here are a few examples:

APOCALYPSE SURVIVAL GUIDE

Distressed for that post-apocalyptic look

WHITBY WEDDING

Victorian Gothic for a Whitby Wedding

KEROUAC QUOTE

Typewriter font for the literary quotation

GEORGIAN STYLE

Georgian style for the roguish

FANCY WEDDING

Modern take on traditional wedding script

And that’s about it. It’s all quite simple, if you buy an A6 or an A5 wraparound journal then send us the text you would like and we will add it to the first page for you. And best of all, it’s completely free.

How’s that for a personalised gift?

Our wraparound journals are getting larger!

We love the business we’ve slowly built up over the years. We really love it! Even though it means we’re exceptionally busy ALL of the time.

Of course, it’s good to be busy but it does sometimes mean that we don’t always have the time to develop new designs and ideas. Sometimes we need to be gently poked into action by a customer.

We had one such lovely customer just recently who liked the new distressed leather wraparound journals we blogged about HERE but they wanted one in A4 size. This was something we had been thinking about doing for a while but never got around to.

So, we made them one…and here it is:

A4 DISTRESSED SADDLE OUTSIDE 1 2015

A4 A5 A6 DISTRESSED SADDLE OUTSIDE STACK 2015

It turned out so well, it was so big and chunky and great to hold that we were a little bit sorry to see it go in the post yesterday. But, the good news is that we will soon be introducing all of our wraparound journals in the larger A4 size.

If you can’t wait for them to be listed on our website then feel free to send us a message and we can make you one pre-launch in any of our wraparound leathers.

So, a big thankyou to that particular lovely customer (you know who you are)…and if any of you other lovely customers want something that we do not currently do then don’t be afraid to ask.

UPDATE:

You can now find our A4 wraparound journals on our website here:

https://earthworksjournals.co.uk/collections/a4-wraparound-journals

 

How the Earthworks Distressed Wraparound Journal came into being…

We’re all about leather that really looks like leather here at Earthworks. There’s nothing better than that aged look that a really hardwearing leather gets after years of use. The scuffs, the scratches, the stains, that patina that builds up from the constant polishing your hands give it, they all contribute to the feel of a journal. The more you write inside your journal, the more use it gets. The more use it gets, the more the leather cover reflects that use. The more the leather cover reflects its use, the more you’re inspired to write in it. It’s a strange and cyclical, symbiotic relationship between a journal and the words it contains.

Of course, some of us like that rugged and aged look straight away so we thought we’d have a little play around with our leathers to see what we could come up with. And here are the results!

A5 DISTRESSED SADDLE SET OF THREE 2015

We took one of the stunningly good quality hides of full grain, vegetable tanned leather which we get from our local leather supplier. This leather really is a thing of beauty. It’s been tumbled to soften the grain structure so that it has the perfect amount of body and suppleness for a wraparound journal. As is always the case with our leather supplier, this hide came to us in pristine condition…….then we had our wicked way with it!

After several dying and staining processes we achieved a look that we were very, very happy with. A look as though someone had climbed a mountain with their journal and then thrown it off the top……and then went back down the mountain, got in their Landrover and ran over their journal several times……before burying it in a peat bog for a few years.

A5 A6 DISTRESSED SADDLE GROUP 2015

We even used the natural edge of the hide on the wraparound flap, just to give it even more of a rustic look. Each one of these will be unique, some will have quite a straight edge, some will have a bit of a slant and some will be wildly curvaceous. As it is the natural edge of the leather you might even find the odd little surprise on yours; scars, cuts or even holes. But, of course, as with all of our journals, it will be practical and hardwearing; we’ll make sure it’s pleasing to the eye as well as the hand.

And so there we have it, the Earthworks Distressed Wraparound Journal! A beautiful quality pristine leather journal that looks as though it has been hitting some hard travelling but, of course, its adventures are just beginning!

If you would like to have a look or place an order for one of these then you can find them on our shop here:

Earthworks Journals Distressed Wraparound Travel Journal

A5 DISTRESSED SADDLE GROUP MAP 2015

“How did this happen?”

Sometimes, on a day like today, when I’m at my workbench with the sun streaming through the open window and the birds are singing in the garden; when I’m tooling a customer’s own beautiful design onto the cover of a journal; when Samantha’s working next to me and Tanner the Dog is running in his sleep by my feet; I smile and think to myself, “How did this happen? Work isn’t meant to be like this!”

I mean, don’t get me wrong. It’s not all roses. There are other times when we’re still working at midnight after a 14 hour day because we’ve got a deadline to meet; or when there are barely enough orders coming in to pay the bills; when I’ve just tooled a customer’s own design onto a journal and discovered there’s an ugly scar on the back and the whole thing has to be scrapped (the perils of working with natural materials); when I scowl and think to myself, “How did this happen? Work isn’t meant to be like this!”

I suppose it’s a bit of an odd life we’ve chosen together, both of us working from home making leather journals for a living, but I can pinpoint the exact moment it happened. When I first met Sam I was a temporarily unemployed lad from Northampton who was at a bit of a loss as to what to do with his life; Sam was an art student living in a village just outside Northampton. Not long after we met Sam took me for a walk along the canal towpath near her home; it was a glorious day in mid-summer and she was telling me about how much she loved Canal Folk Art. We discussed the techniques of this and who the artists were and, due to us both being skint at the time, we toyed with the idea of spending the summer painting up some tin buckets, watering cans, plates, mugs etc. etc., setting them down on a blanket on the towpath and selling them to boatmen and tourists alike.

We didn’t actually do this, it was just one of those idle summer conversations, but that conversation never really left either of our heads. It appealed to the vague dreams I had as a child of being able to do something I loved for a living rather than that terrible and terrifying prospect of growing up and getting a ‘proper job’.

So, we devised a plan. While Sam was studying Fine Art at University I would work any jobs I could get. At the same time we would be practicing all manner of traditional crafts in our spare time. Studying art, Sam was already incredibly visually creative, so that gave us a bit of a head-start. We played with all sorts of crafts, woodcarving, pyrography, lace-making, crochet, walking stick making, an ill-fated excursion into the world of making didgeridoos, and, of course, bookbinding! During this time we had stalls at all manner of craft fairs and country shows, starting off small with little church-hall type fairs until we earned enough from these to attend the huge and fancy stately-home based design shows.

The plan was that within five years one of us would be working on the craft business full time while the other was sensibly employed elsewhere to help support it in the early days; that person would then go down to part-time hours in that job until, within ten years we would both be gainfully employed in our very own fully formed craft business. How’s that for a business plan? It’s almost like we’re proper people or something.

And we did it!

~ Us, The Early Years ~

~ Us, The Early Years ~

That ten year deadline has long since passed (it’s now almost twenty five years since that day of sunshine by the canal) and we’re still here, somehow that ragtag pair of misfits managed to grow up and become a proper craft business.

And I still often think to myself, “How did this happen? Work isn’t meant to be like this!”

…and I’ll leave you to apply your own meaning to that phrase.