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

Illustrated Octopus Miniature Book

This Octopus Miniature Book is one of my most popular posts – here I’ve polished up the photos, which show the illustration process of adding color to the octopus drawing.

Look what I made today! A hand tied glass fishing float net!

//EDIT FROM THE FUTURE: Hi everyone! – my main thing is bookbinding! This is the only glass fishing float net I ever tied in my entire life, and I’m not interested in doing more, and I’ve given this one to my mother-in-law, so you can’t buy it – however, if you want to do a…read more

Something for Her + Something for Him Treasury

  Treasuries are curated lists of items on Etsy, and I thought this list called Something for Her + Something for Him that features my Red Deer Journal was particularly nice!

Merry Fishmas! Christmas Card Craziness

  *Whew* it has been a WHIRLWIND for me the past month or so – as of today I’m so proud to announce that I have 174 sales in my stationery etsy shop – 20 sales in the past week! wow! I introduced nautically themed holiday cards to my collection about halfway through November, and…read more

Paper Triangle Giveaway! {ended}

Hey you craft-happy cardmakers, collage artists and scrapbookers – Last month I made a post about how I just recycled my little miter triangles from bookbinding, because even though they are so fancy, I couldn’t think of a use – well several of you chimed in and said you’d be able to make a use…read more

Paper Potluck! Scrap Packs for sale until Nov. 19th

Pin It **EDIT and update – these have all been sold! This is a post from 2011** I’ve been working hard on packaging up one of  my most popular craft show items, the paper potluck! It’s a big scrap pack of assorted papers, color coordinated by me (most paper scrap packs are just a big…read more

Plum Blossom Handmade Journal

Behold! My latest in what I like to call my “Yuzen Book” series. I wanted to showcase some of my very favorite Japanese Chiyogami papers* by making journals, but I didn’t want to simply cover boards with the paper – boring! I decided to pair my favorite papers with lovely handmade paper on the spine…read more

Bakers Twine & Wax Seal Fancy Packaging

I had a custom order for an Annapolis Guest Book and you know how much I love gift wrapping. Inspired by my Pinterest board called “Amazing Packaging” I wanted to do something with baker’s twine, but I also love my wax seal, so I did this awesome combo – gold sticker + baker’s twine +…read more