Look out for Margaret’s handcrafted note books at the MK Handmade and Vintage Extravaganza

We haven’t got long to wait now until the next MK Handmade and Vintage Extravaganza, which takes place this weekend (March 4 and 5) in Middleton Hall at The Centre:MK, writes Anne Green. 

It’s a great chance to buy some gorgeous one-off items, unlike anything you will find in an everyday shop and it’s also a great opportunity to have a browse for gifts for Mother’s Day, which is on March 26.

Apart from this it is a joy to meet some of the stall holders, who have a real passion for their wares.

Margaret, who has created Knicker Drawer Note Books will be at Stall 13 at the show.

Each of Margaret’s note books is a little work of art, thoughtfully handcrafted from leather, high-quality papers, and other materials and fabrics around a theme.

They also incorporate intriguing found and recovered items and are presented in a bag made from beautiful material.

Stall.JPGMargaret explained the inspiration for Knicker Drawer Note Books: “We lived in Hong Kong for a time which made access to materials very straightforward for me – I enjoyed wandering entire streets dedicated to selling fabric, bead, leather – and this experience helped me develop the idea of a personal notebook book as a physical object.”

In our electronic age of online communication via smart phones, you might perhaps not expect there to be a demand for a note book to be written in by hand. However it seems that people do want to ground their memories in something which is literally tangible, which they can hold in their hand, rather than see float away into cyberspace.

Red note book.JPG

Margaret said: “I believe the place of the personal book is becoming ever more important. I might joke that my books are the ‘antidote to Facebook and Twitter’ but I mean a truth by this.

“There is a veracity about the fragments of lives that come to us through the written process.

“I can trust a hand-written note that comes to me from fifty years ago in a way that I cannot trust a document retrieved from a search engine only yesterday.”


Many of the Knicker Drawer Note Books are commissioned for a particular purpose.

Margaret said: “I love, love, love, hearing what books people ask for. The books are made human because of the people who ask for them.

“Whatever life experience you can think of, there is a book to match. I’ve had commissions for simple journals and sketchbooks through to books for use as costume props and books that will contain family heirlooms.

“I have made books for people with the most touching and humbling of stories and really it is a privilege to be involved, even in a tangential way, with their lives. Really, everything from birth and growing up to end of life, then every experience in between.”

Green note book.JPG

The note books are truly a local product, being produced in Milton Keynes and in some cases even containing something of Milton Keynes.

Margaret explained: “I stitch our local place into the books.

“I often use found or discarded object and natural items in the books. For example, into the nature and woodland books I’ll stitch in beech leaves found on a walk through Milton Keynes woods, or I’ll twine into the cover a twist of dried bark I’ve picked up in Great Linford woods.”

Knicker Drawer note books are also available at No. 38 Vintage Emporium in Newport Pagnell High Street. You can see examples of the note books online.

Brown note book.JPG

MK Handmade and Vintage weekend extravaganza details…

Saturday 4 March 9am – 6pm

Sunday 5 March 10.30am – 5pm

Middleton Hall in front of John Lewis

Free entry

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