Shimmering Hand Painted Fish Journal

Many years ago, one of my favorite types of books to make were hand-painted ones, but with the discovery of Japanese Chiyogami paper, I got away from that for a while, but now that I have the amazing Glowforge laser cutter, I’m back at the hand-painting game! This fish journal is a great example of…read more

Teflon Folders vs Bone Folders – which one is better for bookbinding?

I’m pleased to announce I have a limited number of teflon folders available for sale in my online shop at RuthBleakley.etsy.com. Read on for more information about what makes these bookbinding tools so wonderful and different from regular bone folders. What is a Teflon folder, anyway? Well, a traditional bone folder is a thin stick…read more

Shibori Tie Dye Class with Jane Callender at Aya Fiber Studio

To celebrate my 33rd birthday on March 22nd, I made a special week-long trip to Aya Fiber Studio in Stuart, Florida to learn stitched Shibori tie dye from world-renowned fiber artist and author, Jane “Cali” Callender. Her book “Stitched Shibori”  is not only gorgeous to look at; it also provides lots of practical instruction about…read more

Honeybee Journals Make a Great Gift for Beekeepers

You can buy this bee journal in my online shop 166 pages, unlined, lays flat when opened I created this journal in honor of one of our most important pollinators – bees! Did you know more than $15 billion a year in U.S. crops are pollinated by bees, including apples, berries, cantaloupes, cucumbers, alfalfa, and…read more

Book Cloth Workshop in Asheville and Cape Cod Shibori Journals

Are you like me? Do you have a stash of beautiful fabric that you buy “just because” or say “I’ll make something out of this someday!” – me too…and I don’t even sew! Haha. When I saw the class, “Making Book Cloth”, being offered last fall at Asheville Bookworks I was intrigued…and I thought, “FINALLY…read more

French Link Journals with Blue Indigo and Gold Branches

I’ve loved the French Link Stitch ever since I first learned about it in a college bookbinding course. It’s very old, and traditionally it’s used on the INSIDE of a hardcover book, the interlocking stitches were thought to make the text block sturdier than simple straight stitches across the signatures. With exposed bindings like the…read more

Honeybee and Daisy French Link Stitch Journals

My love affair with my Glowforge laser cutter continues with these beautiful hand painted nature journals featuring the very pretty and intricate French Link Stitch Binding. The first step for these journals was engraving the covers using a super-hot laser beam to actually burn the black lines of the design into the acid-free bookboard. (You…read more

What is that weird looking monkey? It’s a Koboldmaki!

What in the world is that? Some kind of weird monkey with a human face? I had no idea either, in fact I saved this image as “Weird Monkey.tif” on my computer until some top-notch google sleuthery turned up that this thing is called a Koboldmaki! That’s right! It’s real! Not only that, this little…read more

Cat Journals! The Perfect Gift for Cat-Loving Writers

Oh my goodness. I feel as though I’ve achieved some kind of next-level journal making thanks to my Glowforge laser cutter (appropriately timed for Transfiguration Sunday). In fact, my hilarious friend Ellen summed it up nicely for me: Guess what, friends? it’s time for ALL CAT ART, ALL THE TIME! Let’s begin with the amazing laser cutter, which…read more

Daisy Journal with Hand-painted Lasercut Covers

I have been having so much fun with my new Glowforge laser cutter (long awaited) – one of my favorite things is that it can cut through book board! It can cut the sewing holes and everything! Watch this (with the sound off though, it sounds like a freaking jet engine): AMAZING!!!!  After I engraved…read more

Droolworthy Washi Tape Care Package Straight From Japan!

Oh boy oh boy! If you somehow haven’t heard of the amazing craft/office supply product called washi tape then you are MISSING OUT big time. I’d drooled over it online for a while, but couldn’t QUITE get myself to pay $4-$5 a (teeny) roll – so I emailed my friend Yori who lives in Tokyo with…read more

My 100th Etsy Sale! Hooray!

Say Hello to my 100th Etsy sale! This Chiyogami Patchwork Journal was one of my favorites because it showcased several of my favorite papers – no need to pick your favorite, because they’re all on one book. There will definitely be more of these to come, since I have plenty of scraps leftover from my latest…read more

1 Great Tip For Making Better Books

So I’m definitely on some kind of extreme bookbinding kick right now, and last night I made covers for 11 new yuzen (the Japanese silkscreened paper I like so much) coptic stitch journals – meaning I covered 22 boards! I remember a  few years ago I was reading another bookbinder’s blog and I saw a…read more

Beautiful Bookbinding Business Cards!

Yay! I am so excited about my beautiful new bookbinding business cards! (try saying that five times fast). I LOVE double sided business cards, because you can put an eye-catching graphic on one side and all of your details on the other side. Business cards are the first impression people have of your business, so…read more

Bathymetric Chart Journal: An underwater topography map!

So earlier I posted a sneak peek of an up close look at the chain stitching on a coptic stitch journal I’ve been working on. Actually, I’ve been working on a bunch! A lovely student of one of my bookbinding classes gave me all of these absolutely gorgeous bathymetric charts that her workplace was going to recycle….read more

Bathymetric Chart Journal Sneak Preview

more pictures soon, but I had to share this lovely up-close stitching photo with you – I love it! This type of braided-look binding is called Coptic stitch. It’s done with waxed Irish Linen Thread.

Easy Tiny Envelope Tutorial

Hello bibliophiles! just like I promised a few days ago here’s the easy envelope tutorial I just wrote up/photographed for the lovely blog Poppytalk. Head on over or click on the picture above to see the whole tutorial and happy crafting!

Little Envelopes

Look what I was up to this weekend! Tutorial coming soon!  (might be a good reason to subscribe to my blog, hmmm?)

Fancy Gift Wrap!

I’ve been hooked on Pinterest and one of my boards is called “Amazing Packaging” where I keep track of all kinds of neat gift wrap and packaging ideas I see. One thing I love about Pinterest is that it’s always inspiring you to new ideas. For instance, I’d never thought of wrapping up a present…read more