Tuesday, 22 September 2009

C r a f t i v i s m

There is a very interesting topic for me called Craftivism. Maybe you know it. I discovered it last year and it has become for me an important topic in relation with something else, that is the Open Source philosophy, the topic I've slowly started researching on my own. All this is in relation with Ecology, Recycling and so on - topics that I've always seen in relation with my notebooks and my activities as a crafter. These are some of the things that inspire me in my work with my tools and materials and with my laptop and the new media on the Internet like Firefox, Linux, etc.
One good way to explain what is Craftivism for me is to post some extracts from the definition from Wikipedia:
"Craftivism is a form of activism, typically incorporating elements of anti-capitalism, environmentalism or third-wave feminism, that is centered around practices of craft - most notably knitting. Practitioners are known as craftivists".
But for me, is more interesting the part related to Environmentalism:
"Craftivism is also centered around ideas of environmentalism and sustainability. When buying new materials, many craftivists choose organic fabrics and fairly-traded products such as home-spun yarns. Yet, even more popular within the movement is the utilization of vintage, thrifted and repurposed goods in order to minimize waste and promote reuse. This display of resourcefulness acknowledges the finite resources on Earth, and the valorization of quality over quantity. Craftivist, Betsy Greer, is quoted saying, “While I think that crafting has become something fairly elite and cliquish in some areas, at its heart, it is very much made for individuals who value both their time and their money”
And the other part of my interest, related to the Open Source and the DIY movement:
"A popular way to resist the commoditization of craft is through the Do-It-Yourself or DIY movement. Popularized through "zines" of the 1990’s, DIY inspires people to be self-sufficient and to rely less on the market for basic necessities that can easily be created on one’s own. DIY is a resistance to the both the capitalist nature of the fashion industry and pressures to conform and buy a style. An example of this is the Counterfeit Crochet Project, which seeks to "debase and defile designer items one step at a time". Crafters have also subverted the market through the use of open source patterns and information sharing on the internet. Sites like Burdastyle allow crafters to upload and download sewing projects at no charge. Similarly, Cat Mazza's online software KnitPro allows users to download images into detailed knitting patterns at no charge"
My research with these topics is starting and I will post more notes about it when I have something else to share. I'm doing this in a very informal way without any academic method and with my English that is not very good.
If someone feels like making  a comment, I will be very thankful.
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Tuesday, 8 September 2009

A raven flying to Taiwan.

I’m going to update this map that has been abandoned for quite a long time.

This is not a new pin on the map, but a new notebook in the pin for Taiwan. This is for Must Ronk (Black Raven), the black notebook I made inspired by the crows from Estonia. This notebook has been flying with me back and forth between Sweden and Estonia during its making this summer, and ended up flying alone to Taiwan.

When I thought about a completely black notebook, my question was that you cannot write or draw on it with a regular pencil and it should be white to be visible - that can be visually interesting - but in the end it didn´t matter. For the first time I’ve made a notebook just thinking about its aesthetics and not to much in its function.

Finally Must Ronk found its rightful owner in Taiwan the same day I put the pictures online in Flickr. She is an artist who has bought also another one of my notebooks, Nervation. It is very nice for me to think that some of my notebooks are so far away from me, appreciated by artists and used for their work.

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Sunday, 6 September 2009

Alo ja Leila Lugu or Alo & Leila's Story.

This book captures the love story of Alo and Leila who are getting married today in a small peninsula in Estonia.
My friends are interested in eco-friendly life and folk traditions. With this scrapbook I've tried to mix a bit of the style of Estonian folk traditions, especially in the choice of materials like linen, traditional patterns from folk clothes and linen-felt.
In the pages inside there are all kinds of hand-written papers, cards, concert-tickets, printed sms-messages and a calendar made by themselves. All things from activities they have been sharing since they met.
For making this scrapbook, I didn't want to add glue or to do any modifications to their papers, so with an idea of a botanical book in mind, I've attached every single card and tickets with thin tapes of paper from a recycled paper bag in the way that they can take off any of these cards and notes at any time. Also, there is plenty of space for adding new memories.

Hard covers, 30x21cm.

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Sunday, 9 August 2009


After a long while not updating this blog I want to show some kind of experiment. I'm trying to make messenger bags with a similar style to the notebooks, but based on an idea that I would like to develop together with the style of the bags.
I attempted to make a small bag looking as simple as possible, but with a lot of work with the stitching pattern, like with the covers of my notebooks. Fusion is the name of the bag because it is the name of the idea that I want to work with. This idea is about my re-encounter with the most essential and primitive geometrical patterns of cultures from South-America, that is my origin and discovery of the similarities they share with primitive geometrical patterns from Northern Europe, that is the environment where I live now. To do so, my designs won't try to imitate patterns from South America or Northern Europe, but they will have a touch of the essence I find in common between them from my personal point of view. 

2 (Medium)
1 (Medium)

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Sunday, 10 May 2009

M O T H E R ' S D A Y

The new pin on the story-map is located in Spain, where the Mother's Day was last sunday(May 1st) and  my notebook Yoko is  there, because my mother lives in Alicante, Spain. Yoko was my Mother's Day present for her. She is going back to Argentina in June, the next month I will have to move the pin to the other side of the map.

For shipping my notebooks I put a wrapper around them with a typewritten text that I take randomly from books of art , philosophy or Google. The text I used for this notebook is from Yoko Ono:

"Touch Poem V" 

                 Fill the wall.

                       Examine its temperature and moisture. Take notes about many different walls.

                                                                                                                   1963,  autumn. YOKO ONO

Monday, 4 May 2009

Nervation, Crappy and Venation

NERVATION CrappyVenation

Nervation, Crappy and Venation have gone to Taiwan. One pin more on my story-map, but with three notebooks. The person who bought them is an artist who uses to work with her sketches and printings on notebooks "Moleskine". But now, she also likes notebooks "bastiano"

"Crappy" is her new sketchbook and "Nervation" was a custom request on base of my first Nervation notebook (15x10cm), but in big size (21x15cm). She has her shop
linguine on Etsy too and you can see her art-works on notebooks there. Who knows, maybe soon you can buy some of her art-works made on some of my notebooks.

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Monday, 27 April 2009


Originally uploaded by B a s t i a n o
Robert Smithson was a conceptual artist between the years of 1964-1973. My notebook has a double relation with him. I've called this notebook "Smithson" because of him and the second relation is with my story-map, because some of the materials that Robert Smithson used to work with, were photography, language and maps.

This notebook was a custom request from a friend from London as a present for another friend of her. She told me that her friend was working with art. At that time I had a book about Robert Smithson and I decided to use some texts of him for typewriting on the covers. "Smithson" is one of the notebooks I have put more work on it, typewriting, stitching, choosing texts,binding, etc, When making it, I got the idea of putting the elastic band in diagonal,holding the covers by the corners like in a cardboard folder.

"Smithson" has gone too and his pin is located in London in my story-map. But the owner of the notebook is now in Sweden and probably she brought "Smithson" with her. I would like to see it.

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Thursday, 23 April 2009

Inside out.

Originally uploaded by B a s t i a n o
I started the story-map "Where the notebooks have gone" without a map in the previous post. I had found the perfect map I need for the story, in outside.in , but this only works in the U.S. Finally I found one that comply with the function I need. You can interact with the map finding many playful options.

Today I add another notebook on the map: "Nervation". It was made putting its covers inside out. When the covers were finished and ready to place on the pages with the black part inside, I realized of the beauty of the stitched pattern under the black mate paper, producing a relief that looks like nerves or veins under the skin.

Nervation was sold and has gone to Quebec, Canada. I'm glad that this notebook was bought by a sensitive person who knew to appreciate very well everything I put working on the notebook.

Now I am making a custom request in the same style of Nervation that will go to Taiwan. But this is a story for another pin on the map in the next post.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009


Originally uploaded
Every one with an online shop sells products to different countries. This is nothing out of the ordinary; but I thought that it can be something nice to make posts telling you where my notebooks have gone. For that, every mentioned place in the posts will be marked with pins on a story-map that I will put in the sidebar, so you will be able to see the location of every sold notebook.
This post has also function of "story-map test" to see how this map works. I can try this idea starting with "Cherry", the first notebook posted in my blog, but not the first one I made.
"Cherry" is in Tartu, Estonia. This notebook was not sold, but was made as a present for Riina, my girlfriend's mother. She gave me an old roll of paper of Telex -an old communication system today useless- and I gave her this notebook as gratitude. Many times she gives me materials for my notebooks.
"Cherry" has 80 hand sewn blank pages of old telex paper . The covers are made with red envelopes that have got a beautiful cherry color after the treatment I give always to the covers papers, not properly visible in the pictures and it is one of my favorite notebooks. The size is 15x10.5cm

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Sunday, 12 April 2009

I've been featured in the front page of Etsy with one of my notebooks, "Simple", my most simple notebook and the first one with very flexible covers. I'm thrilled!

Also, as of today it is SALES TIME in my Etsy shop. In the picture you can see the price of "Simple" is $15. Now it is $10. Almost all my notebooks are on sale and I've made discounts up to $10!

For some time now I've been thinking of restarting with my handmade bags with recycled fabrics. I'll post soon pictures of some bags I've made and explain the style and how I like to make them. It would be nice to receive some feedback from you.
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Monday, 2 March 2009

R e c y c l i n g

== Summary == Universal recycling symbol outli...Image via Wikipedia

I'm joining a website called picocool. It is about cool things of design, arts, architecture, etc. There, I've found a post about handmade bags by a guy from Seatle who likes -like me- recycled materials and old sewing machines. Here, in a page of "picocool" you can see a video that shows how he works and also his web page Alchemy Goods
(Also I've added the video in the sidebar with Google Friend Connect).

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Sunday, 22 February 2009

I'm looking for envelopes size A4 and with "windows", for making a notebook like in the pictures below.
I have a present for everyone who sends me envelopes A4 with windows.

Contact for more information:

Saturday, 14 February 2009


Originally uploaded by B a s t i a n o
With the concept of organic design and nature as its example I made the covers of my notebook Nervation.

Nervation is a pattern of veins or nerves to give more strength to a surface, i.e. like in the tree leaves.

The covers are made with paper, stitches and fabric in between that gives also more resistance. The pages are hand sewn to the covers with a single line of stitches.

. It measures 14.5×10.5cm and has 60 pages of blank recycled paper.
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Friday, 13 February 2009


Originally uploaded by B a s t i a n o
Now I feel very happy with my Femme-inist notebook. Femme-inist and Crappy have something different from my other notebooks, they have printings on the covers and don't have stitching, elastic band or pocket in the inner back cover either.

Femme-inist notebook also has something else different than the others, it has colours and I tried to make it look more like a pocket book about feminism than a notebook. I hope you like it, especially the girls.

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Originally uploaded by B a s t i a n o
The daybefore yesterday I uploaded my notebook Crappy in FLickr. It is called like this because I thought it was a bit overdone with the treatments I usually give to the papers. Even I was not sure about showing it in Flickr, but I did it anyway. I wanted to know the reaction of people to the pictures of Crappy. I've got very surprised with the result. Crappy got 6 good and very nice comments in a couple of hours (for me that is a lot in so short time) and a lot of visits. The next time I don't know what to think about some of my notebook, I will put it immediately in Flickr.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award

I'm proud to tell you that I've been awarded in the blogosphere. This has been by Tulibri. Thank you! The ones receiving the award are to write something about what inspires them to work with their notebooks.

I am inspired by:

1. Old books and objects from offices from the 30s like furniture, typewriters, etc.

2. The natural properties of materials.

3. The function that served the papers that I recycle - I try to put them in new contexts and give them new functions.

4. My own inner world aesthetically mixed with inspiration from the beginning of the 20th century, scientific and philosophical theories.

5. Conceptual art from the 60s and 70s from the U.S. and Germany.

6. Everything that attracts my attention while I'm walking outside - train stations, ports, factories, industrial areas.

I would like to pass this award on to:

1. Marre
2. Helen
3. Amanda
4. Rhonda
5. Celestefrittata
6. Catherine

Friday, 6 February 2009

Black Cover

"The search of the Perfect Little Black Notebook"

The reason why I made my first notebook at the end of 2007 was because I was looking for some black and very simple notebook for taking notes when I was studying Philosophy.

I couldn't find that notebook anywhere. I had already had a Moleskine, but I felt it was just the Chinese version of the original old Moleskine from Paris.

One day I thought to make a notebook for my self (picture above). I had no knowledge of how to make a notebook, especially how to sew the pages together. I spent two days trying to make one until I could find a simple and resistant way to make the sewing. Still I haven't learned any special technique of bookbinding, that is why I can say I've been looking (and still I am) for that kind of notebook I want, and at the same time, for the best way to make it, learning by myself with every single notebook I make.

Some days ago I found an interesting blog. It's called Black Cover: the Search of the Perfect Little Black Notebook and the author says:

"This blog is dedicated to the search for the perfect little black notebook. Yes, we're insane and obsessive. But for some reason, the Moleskine, which comes close, still feels lacking. And we can't believe there isn't ANY competition out there".

I'm glad to know that there is someone else looking for the perfect notebook he needs and cannot find. I hope I can never make that notebook I'm looking for because it would be the end my notebooks. I don't pretend to present my notebooks as an alternative to any other either, I just present every one of them as a result of my research and experimentation, and luckily I can say that it gives me satisfaction to see that each notebook I make, I make better than the one I made before and I have not yet repeated any design. I have no notebooks that are exactly the same.

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Marre's Blog

Tonight I want to add want more link in my list.

This is the blog of a friend from Estonia:Marretsy(english) and Vaatan(estonian).She makes very beautiful jewellery with an elegant and very femenine style.

I must tell that my first pair of earrings, "Pendulum", I made in Marre's place in Christmas time in a very nice evening listening Yann Tiersenn and playing with her black cat during the brakes. I went once, I made one earring and, at the next week I went back for making the second one. I've learnt that days what is that paste called "polymer clay" and also I started reading a book of sociology that she borrowed me and I haven't given back yet to her. So, these earrings,"Pendulum" and my begining with jewellery in Etsy is thanks to her.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009


{{nl|Animatie van een slinger, waarbij voortdu...Image via Wikipedia

I've started experimenting with jewellery. It is my first pair of earring. As with my notebooks, I like to give them a bit of old style look and this is its story.

In these earrings I've added some kind of mechanical or industrial look that I made thinking in a mix between an old balance and a pendulum or in an old balance with pendulum.

It has a tiny black wheel that holds all the wire structure of the earring from its hole in the center. The earring has in the back a pendulum hanging from the wheel's axis. In the front part, it has a 1/3 of circle that I made thinking in the ruler of the balance that measures the wight, or some ruler that measures in grades the trajectory of the pendulum.

Up on the wheel, the structure has a little circle which is not supporting the earring, and it is crossed by the wire that is supporting from the center of the wheel all the structure. This part would be like the needle of the balance, and then a little chain attached to the hook.. That's it.

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Saturday, 31 January 2009


Traditionally sewn book opened flat.Image via Wikipedia

Did I said something about moving this blog to somewhere else? I was wrong. I will continue here. I realized that many etsyans (or etsians or etsyers, I like etsyers) are with their blogs here in Blogger, and I want to be here with them, even I have two etsyans followers of my blog, also working with bookbinding, handbound, notebooks and other beautiful things that I would like to buy in their shops. I have added their links




Also I've added another link in the list, this is another etsyer I like very much, Amanda, and I've put one widget with a library of the music I listen to all day while I'm making my notebooks, if you want, you can play it.

My English is not perfect, I´m sorry for mistakes, but making post will help me to develop my English grammar and the result will be better posts.

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Sunday, 18 January 2009

Organic architecture

Frank Lloyd Wright, American architect, portra...Image via Wikipedi

The architect Frank Lloyd Wright introduced the word "organic" for his concept of architecture in 1908 going further than his mentor the architect Louis Sullivan --considered by many as the creator of the skyscraper and the father of modernism-- whose said "form follows function".

Wright changed the concept of that phrase saying that "form and function are one" and taking the nature as the best example of his idea.

Frank Lloyd Wright's organic architecture takes on a new meaning. For him "organic" does not refer to something that has forms of animals or plants, but it involves a respect for the properties of materials and the harmonious relationship between the form/design and the function of the building.

When I thought of making a notebook with a round edge I immediately thought about its function, if this round shape would be comfortable for writing at the same time as it looks nice. Also, there was another element to think about in relation with that question, that is the pattern of the stitching.

The pattern of the stitching in my previous notebooks has always been inspired by the shape of the covers, the usual square cover, but now, this unusual round shape gave a freedom to the pattern of the stitches and my question was:

Does the shape of the covers follow the pattern or the shape of the pattern is given by the covers? So I took this question as a small experiment with my notebooks between form, functionality and aesthetics. I do that experiment respecting the natural properties of the papers I use --following the concept of "organic" of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright-- as the expression of the materials by themselves in the same way I have done with my previous notebooks as well.

Aesthetics is commonly know as the study of sensory or sensori-emotional values, called judgements of sentiment and taste. So everything you can write in this notebook --your thoughts, sentiments, feelings or judgements-- can be part of the same experiment in interreletion with the form and functionality of the (brackets) notebook and its natural properties as a whole.

Thanks to Redi for helping me to edit the text because my English is not perfect. You can find her in flickr: http://flickr.com/photos/neveredi/

Also thanks to Jan.C for giving me inspiration to write this post. You can find her here : http://flickr.com/photos/jancrabtree/

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Saturday, 17 January 2009


Brackets. Done in Inkscape by Fibonacci, simpl...Image via Wikipedia
Brackets are punctuation marks used in pairs to set apart or interject text within other text.

The covers are made with the same material, treatment and size than my previous notebooks.

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