Nostalgia and the Coptic stitch.

My love of stationary began when I around 9 or 10. When I was little I would travel to England with my Mum and younger brother every summer for the holidays to spend time with the rest of the family. It was great to get away from the heat of Karachi during the monsoons and to feel some cool,fresh non-humid air on your face.I remember our journey from Heathrow airport to my Aunties house being a very long one,but the excitiment of just being back in England made the journey enjoyable.There are many things that make me feel nostalgic about that time,but nothing more so than the smell of freshly cut grass and the smell of paper !

You might be wondering ''why paper?'' well, the one thing I could not wait to do as soon as I knew the shops would open the next day ,would be to go spend any money I had in WHsmiths! For me,browsing the only huge book store in town was like heaven! I loved nothing more than checking out all the little stationary sets,letter papers,cards,books and basically anything that was made of paper.Buying whatever I could afford for myself and as gifts for my friends and drooling over the things I couldn't have. I would always try and create little paper gifts once I was back home as well.
WHsmith will always hold a special place in my heart as far as shops go,so I was quite sad when I found out my local store in Belfast was being take over by Easons. But,seeing as all newsagents smell the same with that odd mix of newspaper,sweets and chocolate,which to this day still makes me feel 10 again,I'm sure I'll get my fix somewhere! My facination with paper began this way.
 
I had dreams of being a Photographer & Graphic designer,but that didn't happen.But,what I did do after leaving college was indulge in Photography and got a job as designing stationary,screen & block printed fabric for a gift shop in Karachi by the name of Solo,it was there I first learn't how to use the coptic stitch by an old man who used to bind all the notebooks that were designed for the shop. He had a little shop in Kaghaz Bazaar [Paper Bazaar] yes,Karachi has an entire Bazaar dedicated to PAPER! How I miss it!

I never really tried the Coptic stitch properly myself until more recently.In fact I had completely forgotten about it,until one day I was reminiscing about the good old days,when Karachi was a safe place to be ,a place that never slept,that worked round the clock and where you could get practically anything made by hand by skilled craftsmen. I remember sitting and watching this old man and his sons stitching these books...I found it facinating.

[Each journal comes with a dainty bookmark complete with charm]

So, I checked out a few videos on coptic stitch to refresh my memory and I would like to share some of my recent creations of these 6''x4'' Journals that are stitched using locally manufactured Irish Waxed Linen Cord and made of woodpulp paper  from sustainable forests by Cropper Mills in the Lake District,who have been making paper since 1845! This paper has a beautiful texture to write or sketch on and is even durable enough to stick some photos on to....These journals can be used as planners for your Blogs,bright ideas,reminders or even as Wedding planners,a Photo Journal or Travelogues.I have added page tabs to them all  so you can write whatever takes your fancy .The journals are all made up of 80 pages,divided into 10 signatues and have a distressed and sealed chipboard cover to finish them off. On the inside are ,tags,pockets,mini cards and a bookmark with a charm end,each signature has a distressed and hand stamped cover page with an area to label that particular section.