The Newspaper Bag Project

join the newspaper bag project

R works for a company which does web development. It is a very small company, run by two people and Ro is their only employee. He’s been there about a year, he likes it very much, because he likes the work, he gets on well with his bosses and he appreciates their high standards – it being such a small company means that every detail is carefully checked and got right. Ro has no problem when it’s his work being checked – if there’s anything that can be improved he’d rather someone found it before it’s gone online.

They have tried to employ more people, but it seems that they haven’t found anyone yet who will fit in so well as Ro. And they look after him, taking him out to lunch once or twice a week, sometimes booking him in for a back and neck massage so that the hours spent at his desk don’t get to him and if, on a Friday afternoon, all the week’s work has been done, it’s not unknown for them all to spend the last hour playing online games against each other. But then, Ro will often spend an evening working on some tricky detail of programming that he would like to improve.

So, the most recent bit of fun that they’ve come up with is for each of them to set up a website and see who can get highest in the Google rankings. The two of them both came up with highly technical and very clever ideas, but Ro, who maybe is a bit less of a geek, went at it from the other end and thought how to get people to link to him, because apparently that’s the best way to get a good score. Having done Al’s greengrocer site, he went for the paper bag idea.

So, please, will you go to his site and join the newspaper bag project. As a bonus, you get a photo of Ro, his boss’s cat, my bicycle and, in the video, the sight of Al actually making one of his wonderful paper bags. Look out for glimpses of Squiffany, who was very interested in the whole thing.

And then, if you could have a go at one of the bags, please send him a photo, because that will be the entertaining and interactive bit.

And then, I’d be most grateful if you would put a link on your own site, and if you could consider linking to him (just for a few weeks) on your sidebar, that would be even kinder. He wants to win, but I want him to have to acknowledge that bloggers are totally lovely, because I still get teased about blogging.

I’m not sure about a prize, because he hasn’t quite worked out how to do the judging. But there is one in it for him, so maybe we should put him under some pressure if he wins?

Oh, and when you send in your picture, would you be kind enough to mention me, so that he knows whom he should appreciate?

Thanks, darlings. Lots of love, as always. MWAH!

27 comments on “The Newspaper Bag Project

  1. mike

    I have linked, but I have a couple of quibbles with the HTML for the badge.

    Firstly, the image is 190 pixels wide, but the image width in the HTML resizes it to 160 – which ain’t half as pretty.

    Secondly, I’d add a border=0 to the image tag, to get rid of the yucky blue/purple border round the image.

    Anyhow, I have made my own HTML adjustments and the badge now looks nice and neat on my sidebar.

    As for actually MAKING one of the bags: have you any idea just how impractical I am? A nightmare beckons!

  2. Jane

    That is really cool and if we had the papers and glue in the house I would make one right now. As it is, I can give some linky love right now on Delicious. I’ll try to make one on the weekend

  3. Z

    Mike, thank you for that and I’ll pass the message on. You will make the bag though won’t you? Imagine the cachet in carrying your shopping home in it.

    And thanks to all of you. You really are lovely.

  4. Z

    Thanks again, Mike, Ro had meant to resize and forgot. He has made the changes as you suggest – as I said, he’s always glad to have an error pointed out.

  5. Dandelion

    Dear Z, I’ve got a problem with the two strips of card. If they are each 20cm long, with 8cm between them, and starting 3cm from the left, I would need a newspaper with a long edge of 51cm, which is 20″, not 17″ as recommended. Am I doing something wrong? Please can you ask Ro?

  6. Z

    Sorry, Ro took the measurement of the newspaper from Al’s site – it should be 60 cm not 17 inches. Just a regular sheet of tabloid newspaper. Ro is deeply apologetic and will change it forthwith.

  7. Z

    And thank you very much. As we’ve just been using sheets of paper, we hadn’t been measuring them. It’s a bit approximate though, and don’t worry about that, as the inside sheets from a newspaper are smaller than the outside sheets so that they are level when folded.

  8. Dandelion

    No no no. This is confusing me all the more. I am on my second attempt, using instinct. When I’ve got to the end, I’m going to describe what I did. This is the most fun I’ve had in yonks. It’s like the Krypton Factor…

  9. Dandelion

    Woo-hoo! I made it through the wilderness!

    Where I had the problem was that I was taking the measurements for the whole piece of paper, whereas actually I think they apply to one newspaper page (of which you want 2 on each sheet that you use). I used 2 2-page sheets of Guardian with no size adjustments, and it’s worked perfectly! (Couldn’t bring myself to buy a tabloid, sorry)

  10. Z

    I just took a couple of sheets of the local paper, which I haven’t actually forgiven for going tabloid. If you can bear to buy the Independent one day, two sheets of that (that is, a double page = one sheet) is what you’re looking for. But it works fine with a broadsheet, the only reason Al doesn’t use it (and he has tried) is that it makes a large bag and people might overfill it for its strength. It is only newspaper after all. Though it takes 3 kg of potatoes with no trouble.

    Do leave it to dry completely before you use it. And I hope you’ll send a picture – Ro says your photo will be put before mine, which is only fair.

  11. Dandelion

    Yes, I saw the bit about waiting for it to dry before the moment of truth. I think you will like my bag, z, because quite by accident, it has a bottle of wine on it.

    One thing I would add to the instructions, for the numpties like me, is to make sure the holes you punch on each side are roughly matched up. My handles are a bit skew-whiff because I was so excited by that point that I didn’t really think. Also next time (and there will be a next time) I would use slightly thicker strips of card. I think the point of them is to reinforce the weight-bearing, right?

    Thanks you two for a fun diversion!

  12. Z

    Yes, the cards aren’t essential but they do strengthen the handles quite a bit. if you use flour and water paste that also seems to strengthen the bag,especially the base. If you want to carry quite heavy things, a piece of card to fit in the base is good too.

    Of course, getting it pierced is a bit fatal and also it’s not much good in the rain.

  13. Z

    Dave, I know how busy one becomes when one retires (you haven’t been persuaded on any committees yet have you?) so I will wait patiently. Dandelion has posted a picture of a truly magnificent bag and that will be something for us to admire for a few days. You will link to the site though, won’t you?

  14. Caitlin

    Ok, I’m done. I went, I made, I photographed, I uploaded and I linked.

    I also posted and now I’m commenting….quite a lot to do really isn’t there?

    Thank you Z, I had fun and managed to avoid work a bit longer 🙂

  15. luckyzmom

    Too cool! Don’t know how I can quickly convert the instructions to our local newspaper and inches. One day I will try though. I have bookmarked the site. I don’t know how to do the link thingy. I’m probably too late anyway.

  16. Z

    10 centimetres = about 4 inches. So the newspaper is about 24″ x 16″, the strips of cardboard are 8″x 3/4 of an inch and the pieces of string are about a foot long.

    It is not too late to link! Please link! If you click on until it says ‘tell your friends’, click on to the bit that starts a href and press control and a (to select all) then, when it’s highlighted, do control and c (for copy). Then you can do control and v (for paste) where you want it, either at the top of your next post or in your template, or even both.


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