Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Snowy Owl for me

So for the book swap, I sent the leafy book to Uwe, and Cathryn sent this fabulous Snowy Owl to me.

Cathryn Miller is a fellow Canadian, located in Saskatchewan. On the CBBAG website, her artist statement appears thus:

I have had a lifelong fascination with paper. I enjoy not only making it, but 'playing' with it to create unusual 3-dimensional structures. I consider it to be not just a support material for other processes, but an interesting thing in itself. The sculptural possibilities appear to be limitless.

More examples of her work.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Secret Belgian Binding for Uwe

Over at the Book Arts Forum, I discovered that there was a book swap going on! So I jumped on board for the latest round. A few weeks ago, I made a blank book using the Secret Belgian Binding and sent it off to Germany.

The fabric on the spine and corners is some drapery fabric that I backed with mulberry paper and I matched it up with this other leafy Japanese paper. I am usually not so brave to combine prints like this, but I do like it.

There is a discussion thread over the Book Arts Forum concerning the Secret Belgian Binding and several links have been posted to information about this kind of book. Today Uwe shared a link that he found to this Secret Belgian Binding tutorial. I am amazed that it is being done so differently than the way I do it! I took several photos of Uwe's book as I was making it and it is my intention to post a tutorial here...but that will take some time to prepare. I am now intrigued about this other approach to the structure...must investigate...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

My Apprentice

My little boy is 2 years and 10 months old and today he asked me to show him how to make a book. So we embarked on a 3-hole Pamphlet Project.

His technique with the bone folder needs some work but this was good for his first try:

We used the Japanese Screw Punch to make three holes.

We chose to reclaim an old poster to make the cover. Then he selected pink string for the binding.

Of course he doesn't know how to tie knots but he concentrated very hard on this for a few minutes before passing it over to me for the knot.

I think the scissors were his favorite part.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

More Books for Sale

Once again, I packed up my books and set up at a craft market this weekend. Although this particular event was not as well attended as the show I did a few weeks ago, I had more visibility and made more sales. So it was quite a different experience.

The photo of my table looks very much the same...I suppose because it is mostly all the same stuff I had at the previous show! However, this was a somewhat bigger space and it was not as crowded for either the sellers or the buyers, there was better lighting...just better overall - even though the number of buyers wasn't as great as the previous show. People were giving me suggestions for additional craft shows that might still have space available. But I think that's it - no more this year.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Fluffy Secret Belgian Binding

This is another one of the group of non-leather books I made recently. A few years ago, I acquired this amazing fabric from a box of stuff at my mom's house but never did anything with it. So I decided to finally use it. Obviously I also decided to experiment with the fluffy stuff too. I wanted to do the visible sewing in green, and this Turkish fibrous stuff was the perfect colour so I decided to try it. Since the textblock is sewn separately, it is still bound using ordinary linen bookbinding thread. So although the characteristic thread pattern isn't as obvious, the yarn still works adequately for attaching the covers and spine pieces like this.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Paying it forward

Kaija, of Paperiaarre, got her PIF action together really fast! I was unexpectedly greeted with a package from her this morning. Beautiful before I even got the package completely open.

Inside the pretty package I found this beautiful, elegant book! A work of art, really. Kaija, you are too kind, thank you so much.

If you want to join the PIF fun, you can follow the trail. I joined on Kaija's blog and then 3 others joined on my blog:So check out their blogs and when they post their PIF offer, you can jump on board.

Now I should get to work.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Ethiopian Chain Stitch

A green and silver chain stitch binding that I did recently. I have done a bunch of non-leather books recently, mainly because I had someone ask me to make something that their vegan friend might like. Obviously, the leather books that I make would not be suitable gifts for vegans. This is one of the books I made after getting that request. She didn't buy this particular book for her friend, though, so I still have this one.

Covered with pale green handmade paper that has silver star-bursts on it. The spine edge of each section is also reinforced with some light green handmade paper. I decided to use silver and green metallic embroidery thread for sewing. Generally that made everything really difficult and I don't recommend it. This is sewn with four needles using an Ethiopian chain stitch binding.

I summarized some historical information about chain stitch bindings like Coptic and Ethiopian bindings, for the Bookbinding Etsy Street Team blog.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A book for Remembrance Day

I am wearing a poppy today for Remembrance Day.

This is a book by Jenny Gunter, a bookbinder I've met through the Bookbinding Etsy Street Team. A very pretty address book covered with poppies. Jenny did the poppy design herself! Wonderful faux raised bands there on the spine too. This is just a tiny example of her work, she does some amazing books with wood and leather. Very nice stuff.

Friday, November 09, 2007

My Case-Bound Books

Although it seems like I spend most of my time making books with limp leather covers, I still enjoy a good case bound book from time to time. They are more satisfying than the limp leather books - probably because they are so much more effort! So I recently made four hardcover case-bound books. I am not exactly sure if this particular method of binding and casing in a book has a special name...the spine is sorta hollow, does that make it a hollow back? Probably not...I definitely need some education in this area. But I was pleased with them in the end, regardless.

I tried to do some rounding and backing...although two of the books I was working on here have just 8 signatures and didn't round very well. The two other books had more signatures and my rounding attempts were more successful. But I worked on the spines, attached some false endbands, layered on some pva and paper.... Briefly, I considered the possibility of attempting to sew my own endbands...then the feeling passed, very quickly. Phew.

The fun part of making these books is mixing and matching book cloth, leathers, and Japanese papers in pretty combinations.

I did two books with leather spines, and two with book cloth on the spines. All four have Chiyogami paper on the covers.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

A Blog Award

Diane recently awarded me an award, posted on her blog, Much of a Muchness. She passed along the Shibumi award to me.

Shibumi is a Japanese term which used in the following context is a noun. Its meaning refers to a particular aesthetic of simple, subtle, and unobtrusive beauty which can be applied to almost anything.

Thank you, Diane. I would like to pass on this award to the following bloggers: Paperiaare and Enthral

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

In Memory of Brynn

Elaine Suddes has an Etsy shop and a website (www.beheartstrings.com) dedicated to raising funds for the Brynn Proctor Memorial Bursary Fund. Elaine lost her daughter, Brynn, in January 2007 in a tragic accident. Brynn was interested in fashion and art so the revenue from Elaine's Etsy shop is used to support the memorial bursary fund, to be given each year to another aspiring art or fashion student graduating at the high school where Byrnn would have attended.

You can buy greeting cards with prints of Brynn's art, as well as jewelry designed by Elaine, and other handmade items donated by other Etsy sellers. I recently donated another book to Elaine's shop, so if you'd like to contribute to her fund raising efforts, you can buy this book.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Chopstick Notebook feature

My chopstick notebook tutorial is really finding its way around the book community. It was used by the North Redwoods Book Arts Guild in their September 2007 Newsletter. Now it is featured on Notebookism.com.

View the original tutorial.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Pay It Forward

I recently started reading Kaija's blog, Paperiaarre, where she has posted photos of some amazing handmade books. A few days ago I joined her PIF exchange and now it is my turn to share this with my blog readers.
One of Kaija's books
Book by Kaija
Pay It Forward (via Kaija, Denna, Sia and so on) - here are the rules:

I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

- - -

For anyone who is interested, Wikipedia has an interesting entry for the concept of paying it forward including some history as to the origin of the concept. The main definition given is an expression "used by a creditor who offers the debtor the option of paying a debt forward to a third person instead of paying it back. Debt and payments can be monetary or by good deeds."

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Bookbinding 101 - Secret Fold Notebook Tutorial

These little books have a hardcover and the textblock is made with one piece of paper that is nicely folded up inside like some of the neat origami books that open up into fun shapes, except this just opens up into a rectangle! The paper used here is 8.5" x 14" (standard "Legal" size paper) and the finished book size is one-eighth of the original paper size. This is easy - might be fun to do with a group of kids.

So this is what you need:
  • one sheet of paper for the pages
  • binder's board for the covers
  • decorative paper for the cover
  • paste or PVA

Fold the paper in half, the long way. Crease the folded edge. Open it back up.

Fold in half in the other direction, and crease it. Do not unfold.

Fold back one quarter of the sheet as shown:

Flip over and fold back a quarter on the other side:

Open the last two folds and cut along the centre fold until you reach the halfway point. In the next photo, I’ve marked the cutting line in pencil. Cut along that line – through both halves.

Open the paper up completely.

Fold the sheet in half, the long way.

Holding the paper at both ends, push together so the middle opens up.

Let the middle flatten out to form two more pages.

Flatten the "pages" by creasing all the folded edges. Then it should fold into a nice little booklet.

Now you are ready to make the cover.

Cut two pieces of binder's board for the covers, the same width and length as the folded booklet (or just a tiny bit bigger, maybe add 1mm all the way around, but no more than that). Cut a piece of decorative paper that is big enough to cover both boards.

Apply paste to the back of the decorative paper, then place the two pieces of board side-by-side with about 1cm between them. The width of the space between the two covers depends on the thickness of your papers and boards so you might need to test it before you attach them here. But I find that it is usually about 8-10mm.

Trim the corners of the decorative paper. Turn in the edges of the paper starting with the two short sides, then the 2 long sides. Make it all smooth and neat with your bone folder and press it down into the spine area.

Apply paste to the first page of the booklet.

Place it onto one of the covers, completely coving the cardboard. Make sure the spine of the booklet is aligned with the spine gap on your covers.

Put a piece of scrap paper under the last page of your booklet, and apply paste to that last page. Remove the scrap paper, and then just close the book, pressing the back cover down onto the last page so that the last page is totally adhered to the back cover (apparently i neglected to take a photo of this step, but i think it should make sense without the visual...).

Put some pieces of waxed paper inside the book, one just inside the front cover and one inside the back cover. This will prevent the moisture on the covers from seeping into the other pages while the glue dries. Once the waxed paper is in place, close the book and set it under some weight until the glue dries. A large book or a brick will work fine as a weight. Let it dry at least 24 hours, longer if you can wait.

This little book appears to have just a few pages – but the pages open up into a large writing surface. But don't forget how to re-fold your booklet!