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

Book Cloth Workshop in Asheville and Cape Cod Shibori Journals

Are you like me? Do you have a stash of beautiful fabric that you buy “just because” or say “I’ll make something out of this someday!” – me too…and I don’t even sew! Haha. When I saw the class, “Making Book Cloth”, being offered last fall at Asheville Bookworks I was intrigued…and I thought, “FINALLY…read more

French Link Journals with Blue Indigo and Gold Branches

I’ve loved the French Link Stitch ever since I first learned about it in a college bookbinding course. It’s very old, and traditionally it’s used on the INSIDE of a hardcover book, the interlocking stitches were thought to make the text block sturdier than simple straight stitches across the signatures. With exposed bindings like the…read more

Honeybee and Daisy French Link Stitch Journals

My love affair with my Glowforge laser cutter continues with these beautiful hand painted nature journals featuring the very pretty and intricate French Link Stitch Binding. The first step for these journals was engraving the covers using a super-hot laser beam to actually burn the black lines of the design into the acid-free bookboard. (You…read more

What is that weird looking monkey? It’s a Koboldmaki!

What in the world is that? Some kind of weird monkey with a human face? I had no idea either, in fact I saved this image as “Weird Monkey.tif” on my computer until some top-notch google sleuthery turned up that this thing is called a Koboldmaki! That’s right! It’s real! Not only that, this little…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

Nautical Chart Notebooks

I had my last craft fair of the season yesterday so I spent the week making lots of these awesome notebook sets out of nautical charts. I live right near the ocean and have acquired quite a collection! I’m going to have a GIVEAWAY this week [UPDATE: The giveaway is now closed! Congratulations, Amanda from…read more

Colin’s Travel Journal – Two Stab Bound Books in a Custom Case

I received a commission from a return customer who wanted to get another journal for his son Colin’s upcoming travels around asia. I wanted to make something that reflected both where he came from (Cape Cod) and where he was going (Asia). I really love complex stitching patterns and this Marionette Japanese Stab Binding Tutorial…read more

Easy DIY Pizza Box Cat Bed!

Easy DIY Cat Bed out of a Pizza Box! (Your cat may have already MADE ONE without you even knowing!) Step 1 – Place a small pizza delivery box on the counter, preferably empty. Step 2 – Turn your back for *one minute* Step 3 – Ta-da! That’s it! Haha, ok so maybe this isn’t the…read more