What’s a Temari Ball? It’s featured on this journal!

These handmade Temari Ball journals are kind of meta-handmade, because not only is the Chiyogami cover paper handmade in Japan, the colorful toy balls on the cover are also a depiction of a beautiful Japanese handicraft called Temari (手まり) Balls. Temari translates as “hand ball” and supposedly were sometimes used in games, but the idea…read more

Blue Cranes and Peach Clouds Twin Journals

This gorgeous crane paper is one of my new favorites! A big flock of white cranes flies across clear aquamarine sky, with golden swirling clouds. The aqua color perfectly compliments the other paper I used here, a vintage chiyogami pattern of golden clouds on a peach sunset sky. If you look closely you can also…read more

Waves and Blue Cherry Blossom Twin Journals

Don’t you love how the cherry blossoms coordinate on the two pieces of paper I used on the covers of this “twin journal” ? If you use chiyogami or yuzen paper as often as I do, you start to see trends and themes emerge. (All of a sudden I just pictured someone talking about the…read more

Lay Flat Journals in Bright Bold Colors

Feast your eyes on the rich, saturated colors of these beautiful lay-flat coptic stitch journals that I finished last week. In addition to Japanese Chiyogami paper, I also made a couple journals using some of my favorite new papers featuring hand marbled and hand stamped designs. While their patterns are totally opposite, something about the…read more

Cherry Blossom Twin Journals made with Chiyogami Paper

I was surprised to find out last Friday that my very first outing as a newborn baby was visiting the cherry trees in Washington D.C. 🌸 “you don’t remember?” My dad teased…but maybe I do remember, in a way, because I’ve always been drawn to cherry blossom imagery like on this Japanese paper – did…read more

Shibori Indigo Journals Made From Fabric I Hand-Dyed with Indigo

Here are some of the beautiful journals I created using the skills I learned in two of the workshops I took in 2018 – Shibori Tie Dye workshop at Aya Fiber Studio in Stuart, Florida, taught by fiber artist Jane Callender and the Making Book Cloth Workshop in Asheville taught by bookbinder Sara Brooks. I love challenging…read more

Blue Waves French Link Journal with Golden Thread Detail

This lovely blue waves french link journal combines two of my favorite things: fancy stitching and decorative paper! I combined four different types of decorative paper in this book, a blue and gold florentine pattern made in Italy, a blue waves pattern and white flower pattern both made in Japan (this pack of five chiyogami…read more

Twin Journals Made from Colorful Japanese Chiyogami Paper Inlays

One of my favorite things about living in Florida is how bright and colorful everything is. No one blinks twice at an aqua or coral colored house, or my crazy purple hair. It’s interesting then, that one of my all time favorite bookbinding materials is this super colorful and vibrant Japanese Chiyogami paper since having…read more

Coyotes and Bears, Oh My! Handmade Journals Made From Recycled Paper

I created these wonderful laser-engraved journals featuring a fearsome grizzly bear and Wiley coyote almost exclusively from recycled materials. The covers are 100% recycled book board, and the inside unlined pages are 100% recycled. The only thing that isn’t recycled is the waxed linen thread that I used to stitch them together, but even that…read more

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

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

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everybody! Here’s a little Christmas craft project I indulged in since we’re lucky enough to have a holly bush (more like a tree really) in our yard.