Washi Tape Journals with Ladder Back Coptic Stitch

They’re back! In 2015 I had the privilege of having my handmade journals included in Charlotte River’s book Little Book of Book Making: Timeless Techniques and Fresh Ideas for Beautiful Handmade Books. Doubly cool was that one of my journals was featured prominently on the cover of the Spanish-language edition called Cómo hacer tus propios…read more

Unlined Journals with Marbled Covers and French Link Stitch Binding

If you look back on my Indigo and Gold Branches French Link Stitch Journal post (that’s the journal pictured below in the middle) you’ll notice the beautiful blue, green, gold and black marbled paper that I used on the inside end pages. I can’t pretend to have some kind of top-secret source for that gorgeous…read more

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

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

Easy DIY Mini Accordion Book Photo Tutorial

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 books! Here’s…read more

Coptic Guest Books & Miter Triangles, oh my!

*Phew* it’s been a busy summer for me. The cute stationery shop I worked at closed this spring, prompting me to really make a go of it selling my art. I started a stationery line of my own called Concertina Press, and I’ve gotten my books and cards into a few shops on the Cape…read more

Well awl be! A turk’s head knot!

A couple weeks ago I was bitten by the friendship bracelet bug (maybe it’s because it is summer time, and I remember making friendship bracelets at summer camp) – anyway, I was knotting away on a chevron bracelet when my husband came by and said “ooh, friendship bracelets – I used to be pretty good…read more

Yummy, Inexpensive Homemade Granola

Ooh here’s a little cross-posting action, from my other blog at Concertina Press with a recipe for inexpensive, nut-free homemade granola. I thought it would be tricky to make granola, but it turns out it’s really easy. Plus I can control what goes into it, for instance I really don’t care for nuts in granola,…read more

Front page of Etsy – yay!

Yay, at 3:30 today I got an email from the very handy Featurator app at Statsy.org letting me know my miniature submarine book is on the front page of etsy! I took a screenshot because front pages are fleeting, but it feels nice to be loved!      

Pamphlet Stitch: Great Success!

This Saturday 18 participants in two separate classes joined me for a session of Pamphlet Stitch binding at the Falmouth Public Library – these classes were free of charge, made possible by a grant from the Massachusetts Local Cultural Council and additional support by the Library Trustees. Everyone did really well and seemed to have…read more

Free Bookbinding Classes this weekend at Falmouth Public Library

Hi friends – If you’re around Falmouth this coming weekend, why not stop in to the public library for a FREE pamphlet stitch binding workshop, taught by yours truly. There will be two classes back to back (the same class, you don’t have to take both!) because my last classes have filled up instantly! here’s…read more

Advanced Bookbinding Class rocks the Coptic stitch!

Seven brave women signed up for my spring 2011 Advanced Bookbinding class through the Falmouth Community School, and completed Nautical Chart coptic stitch books as a final project! Great job ladies! Check out the pictures below –