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

Sneak Peek – Tiny Handmade Book Christmas Tree Ornaments

*UPDATE – I made about 40 and sold out! You might have to wait until next Christmas season to get them, or you can check my etsy shop* – I’ve been working on these adorable little book Christmas tree ornaments for the craft fairs I have coming up this week – we’ll see how they…read more

Part 5 of A Collaborative Artist’s Book With My Friend Chelsea Clarke

This post is the fifth 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)! If you want to make sure you catch all the steps, you can subscribe via email, or RSS feed. (or just…read more

Part 4 of A Collaborative Artist’s Book With My Friend Chelsea Clarke

This post is the fourth 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)! If you want to make sure you catch all the steps, you can subscribe via email, or RSS feed. (or just…read more

Part 3 of A Collaborative Artist’s Book With My Friend Chelsea Clarke

This post is the third 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)! If you want to make sure you catch all the steps, you can subscribe via email, or RSS feed. (or just…read more

Part 2 of A Collaborative Artist’s Book With My Friend Chelsea Clarke

This post is the second 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)! If you want to make sure you catch all the steps, you can subscribe via email, or RSS feed. (or just…read more

This is my bookbinding studio desk!

I know I always like to take a peek into other people’s work spaces, and since mine is particularly clean (read: not like an episode of Hoarders) I thought I’d take some pictures to share! I like to surround myself with lots of cool little knick knacks – since this is where I spend a…read more

If you ♥ your pet, check out Jenny Baughan’s custom portraits!

One of my friends who was visiting this us this Labor Day weekend commented “You’re the only friends I can think of who actually buy  other people’s art…and that’s cool!” I love surrounding myself with creative things (a real-life Pinterest, if you will) and also, how can I hope to be financially supported as an…read more

My packaging was featured in the Etsy Success Newsletter!

Yay! I was excited to open up my Etsy Success newsletter and see my nautical notebook packaging featured! Check out the full newsletter for more great packaging ideas. I also have an Amazing Packaging Pinterest board if you’re into that sort of thing.

Doing design work for the local NPR station has some great perks!

So just a quick note to say I’m super psyched that Jad Abumrad, co-host of the awesome NPR show Radiolab autographed the poster I created for his talk yesterday! I am officially an NPR geek haha. Check out the full story over at my OTHER blog Concertina Press where you can see the different versions of the…read more