Illustrated Octopus Miniature Book

draw an octopus accordion book

This Octopus Miniature Book is one of my most popular posts – here I’ve polished up the photos, which show the illustration process of adding color to the octopus drawing. […]

Delynne’s Coptic Stitch Yuzen Wave Album

Handmade waves guestbook album by Ruth Bleakley

I was contacted by someone on Etsy who was a fan of my Yuzen Waves Mini Journal but wanted something bigger, that could be used as an album for collecting her mosaic inspirations. I set out to create a custom coptic stitch hand bound book for her, and here are the photos of the […]

Easy DIY Mini Accordion Book Photo Tutorial

Easy mini book photo tutorial - make your own DIY accordion books

My advanced bookbinding class last spring took on the big project of coptic stitch books and so to reward them for all their hard work and patience as I worked out the kinks of teaching a group of people a very tricky stitch, I made everyone in the class these fun little accordion […]

Paper Marbling Video

Paper Marbling from Ruth Bleakley on Vimeo.

I’ve had a couple of questions from students about the actual mechanics of paper marbling – it’s hard to describe in words, but I’ve created a nice little slideshow so you can see how it’s done!

1. Fill a tray with marbling “size” created from a mixture […]

Octopus drawing sequence

I made a special accordion book about a year ago with a little red octopus in it – I documented the illustration so you could see the layers of ink go on. I love using drawing inks (I used Windsor-newton inks in this one) because you can layer them to make really rich colors – […]

Birthday Book in the Making

Progress photos of Travel Journal for Matt made by Ruth Bleakley with little brass toggle closures

Here are some pictures of the process of working on a special commission of a travel journal – The plaid book cloth is actually a pair of favorite shorts the recipient had to regretfully consign to the rag pile – not any more! Now they’re immortalized as a book’s cover. The toggles are antique […]

Cookbook repair

I was approached by someone looking to have a well-loved cookbook repaired for a friend. The book was in sad shape – one of the covers was completely separate from the text block, and the other was barely hanging on by an end page. One of the signatures had come loose as well. I […]

Giant Birthday Card

I just unearthed some photos of a really neat project I completed this summer. It’s a giant birthday card in the style of an award portfolio – so it has buckram-covered book board outside and inside large sheets of paper for lots of people to sign. It commemorated a 90th birthday and several of the […]

Bookbinding Class – Paste Paper

In the beginning bookbinding class that I taught in October and November at the Falmouth Community school, we made paste papers – they are a really easy and fun way to make decorative papers. It’s kind of like finger-painting for grown-ups.

Supplies, Including tempera Paints, Paste, Inks and a brush

Whit making some […]

Floating Ink Bombs: Decorative Paper With Bubbles

Blue and pink bubbles

Book pages created with bubble paper

There are still a few warm sunny days left in September and the beginning of October up here in Massachusetts. Take yourself outside for some decorative paper-making fun using bubble-blowing solution and ink.

Just to warn you, this could quite possibly be the most messy craft project ever […]