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

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

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.

This is what happens when the cat “helps” me repair books.

We had a big snowstorm overnight, with a total accumulation of 15 inches of snow! I stayed in and worked on a book repair job (both covers fallen off, and no spine) and Meowstro the cat decided to “help” – I thought she should go enjoy the snow instead.

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…read more

Do you hate Papyrus?

Here’s a really neat Etsy product – a san-serif wall hanging featuring your favorite san-serif fonts (Futura is my favorite) made from laser-cut wood! For $60 from PepperSprout‘s etsy shop , ships out mid-january

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. . You can make your own paste papers at home – first you’ll need…read more

Lotus Blossom Journal

Lotus Blossom Journal Originally uploaded by MissRuth I’m proud of this latest hardcover book – it showcases some of my favorite papers and book cloth. The book was completely made by me from start to finish – I hand cut, folded and sewed the pages together, and created the cover out of beautiful hand-stenciled japanese…read more