Thursday, January 31, 2008

Snow and Frost Book

I have been accumulating various fabrics with the intention of making book cloth. I procrastinate the making of book cloth, because I have found it to be a rather messy process; I don't have any great surfaces to use; and I don't always have great results. But then I discovered that I could use an iron-on adhesive webbing like Heat-n-bond. Jackie has a quick description of this process on her website - so that is what I did this week. I bought some heat-n-bond stuff and made up a pile of book cloth! Due to the Winter theme of Jackie's book challenge, two of the fabrics that I backed were the ones on this little book, because they look like frost and snow of course!


This is a hardcover pamphlet. Just one section inside. The pages are cream-coloured 90 g/m2 (24lb) recycled paper. The paper that is pasted down on the inside of the covers is some terrific handmade tree-free paper from India that my friend got for me when he was visiting there.

This might be a better picture, taken in the sunlight. The sun was shining on one side of the deck, but I couldn't get a snowy background AND have direct sunlight at the same time...


More pictures on iCraft.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Valentine's Day Giveaway

This Valentine book is a recent attempt at making a heart-shaped book with a limp leather wrap-around cover. I've decided to give it away. Just leave a comment here with this post before the end of the day on Feb 5th. Then on Feb 6th, I will put all the names in a big barrel (or maybe just a little bowl) and then one person's name will be picked.



The cover is limp red leather and it has about 30 heart-shaped sheets of paper. It is bound with a simple Japanese-style stab binding. A narrow leather strap and decorative Valentine ribbon are attached to the cover and can be tied to keep the cover in place. The book is about 16cm wide (6.5").

I was experimenting when I made this book so it is certainly not perfect. In fact, it is kinda floppy. But when the strap and ribbons are tied up nice, it still looks purrrdy!

{Feb. 6th Edit: I put all the commenters' names in a bowl and Hubby selected one for me. Congratulations to Uli!}

Friday, January 25, 2008

The texture book

This theme for this week's challenge was "texture." So I set out with a couple of things in mind. I wanted to create a paste paper using texture, and have various textures inside the book as well.


I haven't done paste papers much, so I had to play with it a bit to get something I liked. The resulting paste paper was made using a handful of crumpled paper to make the marks in the paste.


Inside the book, I used several different materials for the pages so there would be layers of texture. There are various types of handmade paper, a piece of leather, some corrugated cardboard, eska board, a couple sections of drawing paper, a piece of vinyl, some various sheets of cardstock, and some more paste paper too.

It is bound using one of Keith Smith's chain stitch sewings for binding single sheets.

You can check out the other books that have been done for these challenges by visiting the TJBookArts group on Flickr.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Origami Water Lily Tutorial

This is the same water lily tutorial that has been linked from my blog for months; but, it was originally published on the Sixth&Elm blog as a guest tutorial and she is revamping things over there and I think my tutorial may have been lost in the shuffle. Since it is Part 1 of the Water Lily Book Tutorial, I just wanted to revive it here if anybody is looking for it.

Start with a square piece of paper. Thin lightweight paper is best. Doesn't matter how big, as long as it is perfectly square. The paper I'm using in the photos is 6" square. This paper is also two different colours, white on one side and orange on the other. That makes the finished water lily a little more interesting than a single plain colour. But it doesn't matter really.


So, put the paper flat on the table in front of you. (I put the white side up because I want the orange to show on the outside of the flower and the white on the inside). Now fold it in half, straight edge to straight edge, make the crease nice and smooth, then open it back up again.


Then fold it in half again, the other way, open it up again, then flip it over.


Now fold it in half diagonally, just once. Open it up again and turn it back over.


Bring the bisected corners together, push the other corners into the middle, and the paper should fold into a smaller square. Flatten this square and smooth all the folds to make sharp creases.


Place the paper on the table in front of you with the closed corner closest to you. On the right side, lift the top layer of the paper and fold it into the middle – bring the point in to the centre of the square, then smooth the fold. Repeat on the other side.


Flip the whole thing over, and repeat those folds on the other side.


Open one of the folded corners and push the tip in towards the centre to change the direction of the fold – from a mountain fold to a valley fold. Flatten this fold and smooth the creases. Repeat on the other side.


Flip it over and do the same thing on the other side so all four points will be tucked inside. Open it up a bit, and there is your lily, yay!


Now you can make a whole bunch of lilies. I made 5. Then I stuck them all together back-to-back with double-sided tape. Now it will open up, into a big crazy star!!


Now that you know how to make an origami water lily, you can proceed to Part 2 of this tutorial and use your water lilies to make a book.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Another list of bindings to try

After making that 3-section book with the braided spine last week, I got myself all enthused about some of the other 3-section bindings that Keith Smith has devised. So now I am going to work through a bunch of them. There are many, and lots of them are similar to each other so I'm not planning to do every single kind that he describes...I've made a list of the ones I like. So starting with the braided spine, I have now done three different stitch patterns.


I did the woven chain with some thick white linen thread. I think I had done this before but not recently. Using this thick white thread...it actually reminds me of cake decorating...


The thrid one is what Smith calls "tire tracks" and is a very simple pattern so i made this rather simple book with it.


It was v-e-r-y cold when I took these books outside for photos this afternoon - musta been about minus 15 Celsius (which is about 5 degrees Fahrenheit). It was a quick photo-shoot and the first done while wearing mittens. I'm rarely satisfied with my photos taken inside under artificial light so I go outdoors for photos at any cost!

There are about 10 more 3-section bindings on my list and most I have never done before so it'll be fun to try them....stay tuned.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Just can't stop

Sometimes I just can't stop making books... they pile up and accumulate...


Well, not really. This bunch is another special order with a predetermined fate. These are a mix of some crossed structure bindings and a couple different longstich bindings.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Under Wraps

I decided to try a Braided Spine binding for this book. So it has a wrap-around leather cover with a wrap-around strap. Then it is bound with three separate threads (and six needles) which wrap the head and tail of the book, then all the threads wrap around each other as they are braided on the spine.


I really like the look of this and many of the other 3-section bindings that Smith has devised, although I don't like restricting my books to 3 sections since they are usually journals and people like having lots of pages.... I suppose it could be doubled to have six sections so there would be two sets of braids... can't quite imagine doing them simultaneously with 12 needles on the go... now THAT would be a challenge for sure! Thanks Jackie for making me do something new again this week!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Anna the Bookbinder

I just discovered this book, it is a kid's book and I think it's probably aimed at children in the 4-6 age range. The setting is an old-style bindery where the father is binding by hand and passing along his skills to his daughter. The author is Andrea Cheng, with illustrator Ted Rand. Looks all quaint and nice. Might have to put that on my wishlist...for my kid, right.

The publisher's description: Anna loves to sit in the corner of her father's workshop watching his skillful hands as they lovingly repair books. She understands what other people do not: Though the new large binderies that are stealing her father's business can bind books faster, their work will not endure as long. To many customers though, speed matters more than skill. Her father's most important client threatens to pull his business unless his latest order of books is rebound in three days.
Ooooh, the suspense...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Books with Pink Paper


Fifteen leather books with pink pages, made by request. Five covers are dark brown, five are a dark raspberry pink, and five are light pink suede. Aren't they pretty?

Friday, January 11, 2008

Weaving my book

Thanks to Jackie, TJBookarts, I tried weaving some leather. She is having a weekly challenge and this week the theme was "scraps." So when I investigated my leather scrap boxes, I discovered that I had a lot of long narrow strips of leather in there. So, I thought maybe I could weave them.

My experience with weaving is limited to the little paper baskets we made in grade one for Easter. So that is all the knowledge I had to work with here. Initially I thought perhaps it would make a nice placemat.


I secured and trimmed the edges.


I didn't do anything else to it, most of the leather that I used was a bit thick. So I just sewed directly through the cover to attach the signatures. I think a woven mat like this could be used to cover a hardcover book if it was made with much thinner leather strips. I'm not very good at paring so I'm going to start saving thinner strips. I've added that idea to my list of future projects to do as soon as I have some time.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

New paper and a Teflon folder

Another good mail day. I had recently been shopping online at Hollanders and my stuff arrived today. Of note, is this Teflon folder! A while back I solicited feedback here on my blog about these...y'all convinced me. I don't think I've ever held one in my hand before...it is heavier than I expected. And now I'm ready for anything; but, the only thing I've tried so far was ripping paper - nobody mentioned that it sucks for ripping paper. I'll have to make a box soon just so I can use this thing more effectively.

There is a pile of decorative paper in the background of that photo. My supply of decorative papers needed some refreshing so I was paper shopping as well. I got some great Chiyogami, direct from Japan. I got it on Etsy from FromJapanWithLove. I am always surprised by the speed of shipping from Japan. I am not kidding when I say it arrived faster than most things I buy domestically.

I was paper shopping at Hollanders as well, got some chiyo and some other Japanese papers, some papyrus, some Indian paper, some metallic stuff, and this amazing piece here:


This is a large sheet of paper (24x36 inches) and this photo shows almost the entire sheet so the marble pattern is huge! It is Thai Marble - the description on the Hollanders site: Immense, flowing patterns of Black, Gold, and Silver are created by hand to form this Thai Marble. An occasional imperfection is part of the character and adds beauty and variety. In addition to its many uses, this paper looks great framed as wall art.

I don't have any special plans for any of the papers that I just bought, so I will just hoard them for a while...

Monday, January 07, 2008

Blizzard Book

I recently got a little Blizzard Book kit from Green Chair Press. This book structure involves no sewing and no adhesive. All folding. The spine is folded to create little pockets. Then the pages are single sheets which simply slide into the pockets. This Blizzard Book structure was invented by Hedi Kyle - apparently during a blizzard, hence the name.

The kit from Green Chair Press included the materials to make one book, about 4cm x 4cm. Probably the smallest book I've ever made, actually. So not only did I have to wrap my brain around the precise folding process, I also had to get my stubby fingers around those tiny little corners and folds.

At one point I thought I might not get through it, the folding of the spine was not going well at all. But I survived and produced this little book shown here. I like it.



Sunday, January 06, 2008

TJBookarts Weekly Challenge

Over at the TJBookArts blog, Jackie has started a weekly book challenge. There will be a new concept each time. This week she has proposed the idea of making a book with "scraps." So sometime over the next week, I'm going to try to fit that into my schedule. Check out Jackie's blog if you're also interested in playing: www.tjbookarts.com.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Pricing Formula

Tonight I decided to develop a new pricing formula for the books in my Etsy shop. Until today, I had a really simple pricing structure which was basically a set price for each of my standard book sizes - regardless of any other factor. This has been working quite well for me but I recently purchased some paper that costs substantially more than the paper I've been using so I was wondering how I would price books made with this new paper.

So I have developed a pricing formula that seems to make sense so far. Concerning the materials costs, it is the cost of the paper which varies the most in my books. So that is part of the formula. Then I decided to actually price out the cost of the leather, per square inch. In some cases there are other material costs such as paper linings on the leathers so that is included. I have also devised a pricing scale for the various types of bindings that I have. So the more time-consuming bindings will get priced higher...whereas until now, I was charging the same price for a quick binding as a complicated binding.

Now my Etsy shop is full of uneven prices. Earlier today I had a bunch of books that ranged in price from $30 to $33. Now those same books range in price from $29.50 to $37.25. I am curious if anyone thinks the range of uneven prices is not as user-friendly as the more generic pricing with all round numbers; however, the changes were not very drastic with this particular selection of books. Once I start using some of this more expensive paper and doing some different bindings, then I think the formula will be more important.

[Edit: after trying this pricing formula for a while, i've decided to go back to using the round numbers. The formula resulted in prices similar to what I was using anyway, so at least I know it is still the same ballpark. I can still use the formula when I do something new or if the cost of supplies change and that will help keep everything priced fairly, but I'll still be rounding it off to match similar books in my shop.]

Tuesday, January 01, 2008