Friday, March 28, 2008

A book came in the mail

Today was a good mail day. I got the most recent newsletter from CBBAG. I like getting these and reading about what's going on with CBBAG; it makes me feel like I'm part of the group...even though everything they do is in Toronto so it's too far away for me to play.

But also, I got the "Penland Book of Handmade Books" today! We had a Chapters gift certificate that had been lingering for a few months and nearly forgot about; sheesh, I don't understand how I could let that happen. So I finally used it to buy this and it arrived today. I haven't had much time to look at it. My little boy was quite disappointed with the mail today and when he saw what I got, I think he knew it could take me away for hours, so he wouldn't tolerate anyone looking at it for more than a few minutes. I didn't realize that with each of the featured artists, the book also includes a how-to-do-something-that-they-do section, so that is a nice treat. I'll have some new things to try, can't wait!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Some photo albums

I got some gorgeous Japanese silk remnants from one of my favorite Etsy shops, FromJapanWithLove. I backed the silk with Japanese Mulberry paper so I could use it as book cloth and decided to make some photo albums. The remnants weren't very big so these albums aren't very big, one standard 3.5 x 5in photograph will fit on each page. The red one is my favorite, the red and cream silk is amazing.

The brown album is actually done with a Pashmina-Silk fabric that I got from an Etsy seller, SouthamptonCreations. (These two Etsy sellers are actully mother and daughter, which I only came to know afterwards; a fun coincidence.)

I haven't made a photo album for a long time; these small albums that I finished tonight are the first of this kind that I've made in, um...maybe 4 years. When I took my very first bookbinding course, we made a photo album and I was so struck by my ability to make something so widely practical, that I made many many many. I made several for myself (which I just gathered together for the photograph below), and I made several to give as gifts to everyone I knew, and I kept it going until people were tired of seeing them. And now that I've looked at all these albums that I made for myself...I want to make new ones for myself...I could do them so much better now! Great, another project on my "to do" list.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Really Mini

So I made three books tonight.

A few months ago I was supposed to attend a workshop on making miniature books. The workshop was canceled, though. So I got mini book instructions from an Etsy seller called dingo and just finally got around to trying them tonight. They are so small that I lost one under my bone folder; couldn't find it anywhere and was beginning to think that I must have accidentally inhaled it...but then I found it. Phew. The instructions were great, very easy for me to follow so once I adjusted my thinking to accommodate for such tiny measurements and precise folding, this was quite fun.

Here DH agreed to model the books for me:

Monday, March 17, 2008

Love UniquelyCovered

As a result of the Bookbinding Etsy Street Team's most recent book swap, I now have one of Linda's books all for myself! Here it is:

I really love the sewing supports! Linda sells her books on Etsy at She has quite a range of blank books, some with the exposed spine like this, and also case bound, and she also uses wood and metal and leather as well. She also has some cool jewelry, or wearable art, she calls it. Thanks so much Linda!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

H.E.L.P. International

The members of the Bookbinding Etsy Street Team are donating books to raise money for H.E.L.P. International in support of global literacy. The complete catalog of books still available is on the B.E.S.T. Blog.

Also check out the following links:
  • Website for H.E.L.P. International
  • More Info about B.E.S.T. Charity Events
  • Books already sold for this event

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Playing Dress-up

Oh really, I don't normally play dress-up with my journals but I couldn't help it this time. When I finished this book, I just had to dress it up and take pictures!

Dressed up as a Monster

Dressed up as a Messenger Bag

Dressed up as...a journal :)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Travel Journals

I've been having fun making some travel journals. Nothing new with the bindings, but I've been playing with the overall design a bit. The first one here is very small, definitely a mini journal. It has lots of pages, plus an envelope in the middle, and a little zip-lock baggie bound in near the back. And of course the leather is lined with part of an old map. As well, rather than one of my standard closures, I've attached an elastic which seems like it might be better when you're on the go. This little book has a combination longstitch and link stitch binding.

This purple book is bigger and better. The pages are mostly white card stock, but there's also one section of lined grid paper. There is a purple envelope near the back, as well as a double pocket page in the middle made with some pretty translucent craft vellum. This one also has an elastic closure and the binding is one of my favorites, fondly known as the longstitch-through-a-slotted-cover.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

L'Anse Amour

I recently came across this collaborative book arts project. Robin Smith Peck, Kevin Major, and Tara Bryan have created this work based on their visit to the inlet of L’Anse Amour, in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. L'Anse Amour, Labrador is the site of a 7500-year-old burial site of a 12-year-old boy surrounded by evidence of intriguing ritual. This book is their interpretation of the site and its stories. You can check out the book in significant detail by visiting Tara Bryan's website:

I spent quite a while browsing Tara Bryan's site. She also has several of her other artist's books displayed there. Some wonderful accordion structures and fabulous linocuts and letterpress work. Bryan was one of the contributor's to the CBBAG Millenium in a Box project, with her World Without End tunnel book.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Using split tapes

I tried another blanket stitch today. This time it is done using split tapes as supports. This is actually an entirely different stitch than the blanket stitch that i tried a few days ago. On this one, the beading is formed after the sewing is complete whereas the other blanket stitch creates the little beading as it is sewn.

I like the idea of this particular binding and it seems more structurally sound than the unsupported blanket stitch; although, I found it incredibly frustrating when my sections wouldn't stay aligned! I went to great lengths to ensure that I had the sewing stations all punched correctly and wonderfully aligned, but the sewing process caused the sections to go askew anyway. Hurmph. I'm sure subsequent attempts would prove to be more aesthetically satisfying than this one. I was especially unsatisfied with the board attachments on this, but...enh...the next one will be better.