Back in 2009 I took an extended trip to Portland, Oregon and while I was there, I came upon an amazing collection of colorful topographic maps entitled “Geological Hazards Maps of Northeast Clackmas County, Oregon” in a thrift store. I loved the unusual orange, yellow, blue and even salmon pink colors in the maps and knew I had to have them!
I kept those maps around for YEARS, waiting for the perfect time…ok that’s a lie, actually they got kind of buried underneath all of my other paper, and I came across them when pawing through my flat files (flat files are also called map drawers, and I lucked out and got mine used for a very good price!) – you can see the actual moment of discovery here:
(on a side note, I get lots of my paper from Paper Source, they have a gorgeous selection of handmade papers from Japan, Nepal, Italy, Thailand, you name it!)
If you visit my instagram page, you can see lots of photos of the different stages of construction for this particular journal and many others that I’m working on at this very moment. I created several journals using the same maps, so check my shop to see if I have any left.
Here’s where I put a tiny ad for Paper Source, the store I would live inside of if I could – their gift wrap is very pretty and is a less expensive option for book covers:
This one of a kind guestbook was created by me for folks getting married at Niagara Falls, with a beautiful vintage nautical chart of the area. I remember one year I got to see the falls twice; once on a beautiful warm May day (on my way to a wedding that took place on a roller coaster) and once on a freezing cold February day when everything was glistening with ice. This is a one-of-a-kind nautical chart guestbook – When I say one of a kind, I mean it! I don’t have any other charts of Niagara Falls right now, so when it sells, that’s it! (You can check to see if it’s still available for sale by clicking here:Niagara Falls Guestbook)
I stitched this 7″x9″ (7″x18″ when opened) hardcover guest book together by hand and it is filled with 36 pages (72 sides, front and back) of creamy 90 lb drawing paper.
The book is hand-sewn with a coptic stitch, a type of braided binding that I did with blue waxed Irish Linen thread, which is really strong. Check out this blog post to see a big stack of handmade nautical chart guestbooks (all of these have been sold)
If you follow me on Instagram you’ll be able to see process photos for the creation of this and many other books.
I always get excited when I create a new design for my handmade journals. This one that I’m calling the “Barnacle Book” is a handmade french link stitch journal for sale in my etsy shop and it combines my love of watercolor and illustration with my love of technical stitching patterns.
This little handmade book combines the open spine of a coptic stitch journal with the detailed crossover of the french link stitch. French link is traditionally used on hand bound books with full covers, so you usually can’t see it, but it’s so neat looking that it’s a shame to cover it up! I did the sewing in a contrasting waxed Irish linen thread, which is essential for open spine bindings if you don’t want them to be “floppy”.
This little journal might be blue, but you won’t be if you make it yours (it’s for sale in my Etsy shop) This small handmade blank book features light blue filler paper made from recycled blue jeans and covers made from marbleized blue, black and white paper.
I made the paper using this marbling kit (not too expensive) […]
Art journaling is a fun alternative to traditional journaling with writing – if you’re an artist looking to keep your drawing or painting skills sharp, or simply experience the world more visually, keeping your memories in an artist journal by drawing or painting your daily experiences is a fun way to remember things. I made […]
So depending on how often you glance at the left sidebar of my blog, you may or may not know that in addition to bookbinding, I am also a wedding invitation and stationery designer. Concertina Press specializes in unusual wedding invitations featuring antique scientific illustrations collected (in scanned form, not paper form!) from my time spent working […]
This summer I got to fulfill a dream of mine for many years, to attend the Penland School of Crafts in the mountains of North Carolina near Asheville. Ever since reading about it in the Penland Book of Handmade Books, I’ve wanted to go take a class. Well, after getting back from a week-long course on […]
Today I’m showing off these cute little blue pamphlet stitch and perfect bound (glued spine) books I made – I printed out sheets of patterned paper myself – I have a fairly fancy Canon printer because I have a stationery business, and I have LOTS of black ink, so I experimented with printing my own patterns […]
Are you interested in learning bookbinding, and wondering how you can get started binding your own books? Believe it or not, most of what I learned about making books by hand is self taught! Here are some of the most helpful do-it-yourself bookbinding books I’ve personally used, in order of easy to difficult with links to […]