Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Handmade Book #1 of 100

One of the things I've always wanted to learn AND do is hand stitch bindings in homemade books and journals. Over the years I have accumulated all the necessary tools and materials, so when I saw that one of my yahoo groups, Artists of the Round Table (A.R.T.), was offering a free year-long book study workshop of a book I already own, Alisa Golden's awesome book Making Handmade Books: 100+ Bindings, Structures & Forms, well, I felt like it was Karma and I joined in. The slow pace and my previous experience with A.R.T. book study (my first book study, The Decorated Page by Gwen Diehn, in 2009, was a blast) were major factors in my agreeing to make room in my art life that I am trying to re-prioritize. I've finally made my first book and had so much fun, so I think it was a wise choice.

We are following the book, which starts with basic folded one-sheet books and gradually builds up to the sophisticated ones. Lesson 1 had us to read the first 30 pages. Lesson 2 had us to make an X-Book and a Shorts Book, both from one sheet of scrapbooking weight paper (like from 60-100#). Today, I am sharing with you my X-Book.

But one of the recommendations that I promised myself I'd do is to try following the instructions (do a rough cut or run thru as it were) using copy paper. This course will be a good workout for my spatial or 3D brain skills, something I have always struggled with. Copy paper is no-risk. No urge to worry about *ruining* anything. 
With the rough cut done, I decided to use some longer paper, so I went with some 110# legal size index stock that I had onhand. Using my Scor-pal helped . I did have to fudge-score one fold on the cover (score, then re-score just a hair over, once folded up). When I look at the book photo up close, I could swear I see where the sample is that way too, lol.
We not only have to construct the books, we have to try to decorate them too, if possible. For this one, I used SwellTape, stamps, brayer, ink, gelpens, a tab punch and a string closure embellishment.
I decided to keep this generic as to function because I am making it to include in a payback rak for a dear friend. I decided that once I saw that it might could look pretty good when finished!
To close, you just kinda take the ends and pinch inward, and the folds collapse into this 3.5x4.25-inch booklet. Yeppers, this was about the moment I fell in LOVE with this lil thing.
Although it really was not going to work any other way as well, I hemmed and hawed about adding the string closures because I didn't want to obscure the flowers.
But I decided to do it and now I'm okay with it because you still see flowers...I just changed their shapes with the brown circle and eyelet circle. They are still there. Plus the cool string around it.
 A view of the back. Those are cute mod flowers, no?
The tabs are on pockets that can hold anything flat -- notes, receipts, a credit card or two.
I really enjoyed making this first book. I learned that a good *fit* is crucial so pay attention to measurements and folds. Plus I got to use a few more of my *vintage* supplies.


Linda said...

Great job, I love it. Best thing is that you really enjoyed working on it.

Enjoy the rest of the class.

Barbara Hagerty said...

Wow! You turned this into something really fun! What a great book!

jan b. said...

I find this book quite delightful with a terrific color combination. Love the tabs you added too!

bohemiannie! art said...

This is really a great book! My brain prefers loose and easy...meaning no precise folds or measuring...but YOU have it down!

couragetocreatewriteandlove said...

i should order that book
i have been making books and i maybe with that book i can practice other stitches and forms
i am enjoying making books i think i have five so far all complete but it is the same stitch
and one with binder rings
hugs my friend i am very happy to see you so creative busy and happy
more hugs!

teri said...

Well now you've got me wanting to dig out my copy and join you. And I swore I wasn't going to take on anything else...

Heather Robinson said...

Love how your affirmations are front and centre to keep them firmly in focus! It is SO easy to get distracted. Hmmm....my word for the year is "focus"....wonder why!LOL I'm liking your foray into book binding. And...your blog is looking fantastic. Hope you found some creative time this weekend. Hugs...

Donna, Doni, Lady D said...

Absolutely AWESOME! NO, I'm not going to be tempted! Really. I'm not. xoDonna

Bad Jones Rising said...

I have read this book through and through many times. I own it and it's like an artist's bible. I am an avid bookmaker, printmaker, sketchbook keeper and I can't imagine a better guide.

I am excited you are about to take on all of them! I think I am going to do them as the situations call them. I have made about 20 thus far, and they are simply guides without all the jazz. BUT YOURS HAS SO MUCH JAZZ!
I love the front and the colors are so nice! Great job and good luck.