Sunday, 26 July 2009

Fat little notebook

Here is my latest creation:
The boards are covered with black-dyed wolf-fish leather.

It's 13 signatures, bound with coptic stitch. For some reason, I find it much easier to get even stitches when I use sewing thread. When I use bookbinding thread like I did here, the stitches tend to come out uneven.

There is a little surprise inside the boards:

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Coptic map books

Here is another recycling project I have wanted to try for a while: map books.


Both are bound in the same way: 4 signatures stitched together with coptic (chain) stitch and the boards covered with pieces of maps. The book on the left has an added spine covering of tanned and dyed salmon skin with natural contours left intact. I may add leather to the second book as well. Ideally, I would like to find fish leather in one of the colours used in the maps - green or tan for preference.

BTW, the book on the left looks skewed because tension in the leather keeps it slightly open. It should get better after a few hours in the book-press.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Finished the beaded doily book

I covered the boards with hand-made paper of a colour similar in tone to that of the beads. I then cut the doily down to the right size and carefully pasted it down onto the front board. After gluing the boards to the leather spine I strengthened the bond with rivets.
I am mostly happy with the result, but I think it needs something to brighten it up, possibly some splashes of colour on the doily.
I think I will make another one - in pink.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Another recycling project: notebook

This is my latest project:
The signatures are long-stitched into the spine, with beading added later. The leather came from some garment, possibly a pair of leather pants.

I will then add the boards, gluing them on and probably strengthening the bond with rivets or brads. As to the cover decoration, I have plans for this paper doily:

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Recycling project: leather notebook


The cover of this notebook is made from recycled leather. You can see from the flap that wraps over the front where the piece of leather came from: it used to be part of the sleeve of a leather jacket. My grandmother had already taken the jacket apart and all I had to do was trim the edges of the round part to make them more even, and cut the piece down to the right size for the paper. I then sewed the signatures in using long-stitch, making a cross-stitch pattern on the spine. Finally I added the beads to the spine and a strap for keeping the book closed.

I think I may finally be ready to start making books to sell. It remains to be seen how I will do it - perhaps I will sell at craft fairs, or if I am lucky I might find an arts and crafts store that's willing to sell them on consignment. Or I might open an Etsy store.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

New cover for the travel journal (updated May 2014)

(Original post)
Out with the old...

...and in with the new:

How it was done:
I began by cutting out a piece of paper the size and shape of the area I needed to cover, and arranged clipped images on it until I was happy with it. Then I photographed the layout so I wouldn't forget it. I then ran a dull knife gently under the glued edges of the leather spine where they rested on the boards and gently lifted them about 5 mm and gently pushed them up. Then I set about gluing down the collage. I made the front cover collage on a piece of office paper which I then glued down on the cover, gluing the edges of leather down over the edge of the collage. This was a bit thick and bulky, so I did the back cover collage straight onto the boards.

Finally, as it is difficult, if not impossible, to put gilded lettering on the spine, I made a label from a piece of millboard, wrote the year and the contents of the book on it, and attached it to the exposed stitching with bookbinding thread. In the future, I may replace this thick label with a thin one that can be tucked into the book like a bookmark.

The collages:
The images I used all came from tourism leaflets and brochures. The front cover images all relate to the northern part of Iceland, and the back cover images to southern Iceland.

Friday, 3 July 2009

New travel journal (updated May 2014)

I’ve mentioned my travel journals before, and now I have a new one to add to the collection. It covers my recent week-long camping trip around the country.

hand-drawn Iceland map
A look inside the journal.

This book was a journal-from-scratch project like my last three travel journals. This means that I didn’t pre-make a book, but brought loose signatures with me and journalled on those, and then bound up the book when I got home.

The Polaroid Zink printer has made journalling from scratch much easier – I used to leave blank spaces on the pages of my journals for photos I would later print out at home and paste in, but it was always a hassle, especially when I forgot what photo I was planning to insert where or had left too small or too big a blank. Having a printer with me has all but eliminated that problem, and while the photos are small and the quality not always the best, they allow for more spontaneous journalling.


I decided not to do a full hollow-back binding for this one because it is only 2 signatures and I like experimenting with different techniques, so I made a long-stitch binding similar to the red notebook I blogged about earlier, using the same stitching pattern.

I was feeling singularly uninspired when I designed the boards, using some scrapbook paper I had found that has a map of Iceland on it:
On the back I chose a similar-coloured paper that looks like a watercolour wash. The plan was to glue something interesting onto the back. I have since changed the cover completely.

Then I decided that instead of traditional pastedowns, I would collage the inside of the boards with photos of places I visited, clipped from tourist brochures:

Now I am unhappy with the outside of the boards and am considering a collage there too. I will post more once I have finished the project.