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

Caterpillar Binding – Part 1

I’ve always been interested in the super ornate decorative bookbinding technique called the Caterpillar stitch – it looks like it sounds – actually, it looks a bit more like  a centipede…but bleeegghhhh centipedes are so gross! I’d rather say it looks like a caterpillar! Anyway, for an upcoming gardening themed book I’m making as a…read more

Tips for Everyday Creativity – Guest Post on Crescendoh.com

I was honored to be invited to guest post on Jenny Doh’s blog Crescendoh.com for the week of June 3-9. I hope you’ll hop over there and read my essay about everyday creativity! Here’s an excerpt: OK, I’ll admit it: I have a creative compulsion. For me, the need and desire to create new things…read more

Awesome Handmade Books: Pamphlet Stitch Bookbinding

So with so many bookbinding fans out there, I thought I would do a weekly roundup of some of my favorite handmade books out there on the internet, many of which I’ve conveniently rounded up on my Handmade Books + Journals Pinterest board. This week: Pamphlet Stitch Bindings! Yuzen Pamphlet Stitch Books by Ruth Bleakley…read more

Awesome Handmade Books: French Link Stitch Bookbinding

So with so many bookbinding fans out there, I thought I would do a weekly roundup of some of my favorite handmade books out there on the internet, many of which I’ve conveniently rounded up on my Handmade Books + Journals Pinterest board. This week: French Link Stitch Bindings! (it’s that lovely “X” stitch) French…read more

Washi Tape Handmade Journal

Oooooh, I just love it when a book comes out just right, and the photos come out just right – that’s how I feel about this awesome washi tape journal. not sure what to call it – maybe “Red and Gray Stripes” “V journal…” in any case it’s one of a kind – you’ll notice…read more

Bookbinding Tutorial: Mini Book Necklace

I saw this cute mini book necklace tutorial when Amber from MakingMyRent on Etsy posted it to the BEST [Bookbinding Etsy Street Team] page on Facebook! Too cute – and nice tutorial too – here’s a sneak peak at it, but to see the whole thing, visit her original post: Mini Book Necklace Tutorial.

Awesome Handmade Books: Long Stitch Bookbinding

So with so many bookbinding fans out there, I thought I would do a weekly roundup of some of my favorite handmade books out there on the internet, many of which I’ve conveniently rounded up on my Handmade Books + Journals Pinterest board. This week: Long Stitch Bindings! Mon Aide-Memoire Longstitch Journal by A Yen…read more

Awesome Handmade Books: Japanese Stab Bindings

So with so many bookbinding fans out there, I thought I would do a weekly roundup of some of my favorite handmade books out there on the internet, many of which I’ve conveniently rounded up on my Handmade Books + Journals Pinterest board. This week: Japanese Stab Bindings! Spectrum of Japanese Stab Bindings by ErinZam…read more

Interview with SueGray Fitzpatrick, Wax Seal Jewelry Maker

Every time I take a look at jewelry maker Suegray’s etsy shop I am overwhelmed with how awesome it is – I love wax seals (I’ve used one to wrap up my wedding invitation orders). Sue makes fine silver wax seal jewelry, utilizing her large collection of antique wax seals, the type used to seal letters or officially…read more

Coverless Coptic Stitch Book with Eyelet-set elastic

Doesn’t that stack of folded signatures in the second photo look grand? I used acid-free card stock left over from a big project – I really over stocked on it a couple years ago when I had a class on concertina bindings. Unfortunately I discovered that the card stock was also too heavy for the…read more