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

Leather Longstitch Pocket Journal Production Photos

This spring someone gave me a book of leather samples – I’m not sure where they are from, maybe an upholsterer – but they came in two shades of brown and a beautiful bright red. I had four peices total, of really nice quality fairly thick leather, and I was trying to think of what…read more

A full view of the cover

My sister Martha finds all kinds of great things when she’s out and about sifting through flea markets, thrift stores and estate sales and she sent me this gorgeous hand-painted paper that decorates the cover. This journal was sewn in a style of binding called the Coptic stitch, which not only looks beautiful but also…read more

Cute Thank You Notes!

I purchased these adorable thank you cards from the Paper Tyger in Falmouth, MA – they are super duper cute! You can buy them on their website too – they are letter-pressed on 100% recycled paper and made in New York. The letterpress gives the card a nice embossed feel. The only strange thing I…read more

Gold-leaf fire breathing dragon!

Here’s Ian’s finished journal – the cover illustration was hand-drawn by me and then inlaid into the cover (I very carefully cut the faux  leather cover to allow the drawing to sit flush with the cover of the book). The dragon is breathing gold-leaf fire! You can check out photos of the re-covering process here…read more

Lassco CR 20 Corner Rounder

After staying up late hawkishly watching an online auction for a Lassco Corner Rounder CR-20 , I was able to swoop in at the last minute (literally 45 seconds) and win it at the great price of $62! New, they retail for $150. The Corner Rounder does just what the name says – it can…read more

Custom Fabric Printing

Spoonflower.com allows you to print custom fabrics by uploading your own digital images.

Miniature Book of Boston

When I was working in a library a few summers ago I came across a beautiful old map of Boston from 1858 – I made several copies of it, and one of them I used on the cover of this book. After transferring the image on to silk using a solvent transfer method, I painted…read more