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.
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