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

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 –…read more

Travel Journal Made out of Repurposed Pants

I was recently commissioned to create a journal for my friend Matt’s birthday – made extra special because in the years past he’s commissioned me to make seven different books that he’s given out to friends – so I finally got to design one for him. (click here to see pictures of me making this…read more

Birthday Book in the Making

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 brass –…read more

Teaching Suminagashi at Clark University

Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting the Book Arts class at my alma mater, Clark University where I was a guest artist and taught the class Suminagashi marbling. The class went really well – twelve participants marbled over a hundred sheets of paper! Check out the gallery to see some lovely suminagashi in progress…read more

Front page on Etsy!

Check it out, one of my accordion books, illustrated by my friend Christina, made it to the front page of etsy the other morning!

Intermediate Bookbinding Class

I think it’s finally time to write up a post about the Falmouth Community School Intermediate bookbinding class! On the wake of the Beginning Bookbinding Class, six intrepid bookbinders continued on to learn coptic stitch binding. Our first class we did a type of paper marbling called Suminagashi where we created papers with neat black…read more

Handpainted Coyote Journal

Handpainted Coyote Journal Originally uploaded by MissRuth This neat little book is currently for sale on my Etsy page!

movie time!

I have big plans afoot to create some bookbinding instructional videos – but first I have to learn how to edit movies – fortunately imovie is pretty easy to figure out – I humbly present my first attempt at a movie created by yours truly Morning Bike Ride – AND my first movie ever! from…read more

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 was…read more

Upcoming Falmouth Community School Classes

I have two classes coming up at the Falmouth night school, so mark your calenders – Registration begins January 11th and the classes begin in February – wednesdays 6:30-8:30. PAPER MARBLING Ruth Bleakley – BFA in Studio Art, Bookbinder and Paper Artist. Create marbled paper that will amaze your friends. Use it for card making,…read more