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

Bookbinding Tutorial Secret Belgian Binding

It’s tutorial Tuesday! I am sharing great bookbinding tutorials I’ve found around the web on Tuesdays – today’s tutorial is about a mysterious sounding bookbinding style called “Secret Belgian Binding” – This binding was invented in the mid 1980s by Anne Goy, a Belgian bookbinder. She was looking for a Western version of the traditional…read more

Chevron Washi Tape Chain Stitch Journal

I love Washi Tape! A friend from Japan sent me a huge care package of washi tape, a thin Japanese masking tape with designs printed on it ( you can even get washi tape on Amazon)- I used the tape to create this pretty striped pattern on raw book board, and then sealed the whole…read more

Bookbinding Tutorial Accordion Book Photo Album

It’s tutorial Tuesday! I am sharing great bookbinding tutorials I’ve found around the web on Tuesdays – today’s tutorial is about making an accordion book photo album – a lovely gift to give to friends or relatives. This lovely tutorial was made by Carrie who writes at Making Lemonade: freshly squeezed ideas for home and…read more

Blue Bathymetric Handmade Journal

These blue chart journals are always a huge hit at craft shows – before my Christmas fairs this year I made at least 10 and they all sold out! The bathemetry charts I used are underwater topography maps and show the elevation of the sea floor – the local NOAA office was going to recycle…read more

Bookbinding Tutorial Single Curved Needle Chain Stitch Binding

It’s tutorial Tuesday! I am sharing great bookbinding tutorials I’ve found around the web on Tuesdays – today’s tutorial is about a very popular but tricky style called chain stitch (also known as coptic stitch). This step by step tutorial by Shelly at Cat-Sidh has tons of photos and detailed directions though – click on the…read more

Rocky Mountain Travel Journal

I made this book specially for a friend who went traveling around the national parks out in the West and wanted to document her trip. I wanted a woodsy feel so I went with raw book board – I also did a little hand-drawn woodgrain pattern on the inside with black and gold pen. The…read more

Bookbinding Tutorial Long-stitch Binding

It’s tutorial Tuesday! I am sharing great bookbinding tutorials I’ve found around the web on Tuesdays – today’s tutorial is about long stitch binding and was created by Sarah at the blog Are you Flowin’ – it shows you how you can use all different types of paper that you have been hoarding to make a…read more

Holiday Craft Shows for 2012

Hi all! Here’s a list of my Holiday Craft Shows for Ruth Bleakley’s Handmade Journals and Stationery (plus my alter ego Concertina Press!) MBL Holiday Bazaar Thursday, November 29, 2012 10-4 Swope Building – Upstairs 5 North Street, Woods Hole, MA free admission Come to the charming village of Woods Hole, Thursday, November 29 from 10 –…read more

Part 6 of A Collaborative Artist’s Book With My Friend Chelsea Clarke

This post is the last of a six-part series detailing the assembly of a collaborative book between myself and my friend Chelsea, a talented illustrator as well as print and fiber artist (start at Part 1 here)! What a wonderful project – It got me doing things I don’t normally do (like making paper lichens) and Chelsea got…read more