22 wonderful new books!

All these just listed in my shop – follow this link to peruse them thoroughly! The first stack is all medium size books with plain linen covers with or without brass labels & the second photo features a lovely collection of 14 mini notebooks with gold or copper leaf decorations.

I’m so happy to have more than met my personal bookbinding goals this month. My wrists are less than happy, but c’est la vie, and it’s nothing that time and rest won’t heal. While I do hope to add a few more items to the shop this coming month, I think it’s time for me to focus on my writing a bit, and possibly maybe plan this year’s totally non-Christmassy advent calendar. I’m not making any promises yet since the number of ideas is currently a firm zero, but I’d hate to break a tradition.

A bookish DIY wedding

With me as the bride and another poet as the groom there couldn’t have been a wedding without some bookish things – table numbers folded out of miniature dictionaries, folded books holding escort cards, small tablemats for individual tables and a huge tablecloth for the buffet, unsurprisingly made of vintage book pages. Not yet three months has passed since our wedding but I still manage to feel I’m already a bit late sharing these photos with you. I know some of you would love a book folding tutorial, but you’ll just have to settle for some inspirational photos (and a few practical tips) and a link to one tutorial in the sea of others. Do a search on book folding instructions if this post piques your interest – I’m far from a pro in this area of book arts, so I won’t even try covering the basics here.
Like any good diy-bride I roamed Pinterest for hours on end (and mostly managed to find things I didn’t want coming anywhere near my wedding). Folded books were featured on Pinterest in many forms and they ended up being the one thing I returned to time and time again. It was only after I remembered my mother having a couple of these teeny tiny dictionaries in her bookshelf that I really got inspired. You know how I am… I have a penchant for all things miniature. Make it small, make it more difficult. Sounds good to me. I had considered using regular size books but I thought them a bit clumsy, and, to be honest, a bit too ordinary. These 3″ lilliput dictionaries are cute as heck, and I had fun hunting them down (and now I have a nice collection left over from the wedding crafts). Folding these ten books took a small eternity, but I watched several good films while at it, so no harm done.


The books need a rubber band or ribbon tied around them to keep the numbers from spreading out too much. I used pink and blue Petersham ribbon to match our wedding wear. I definitely recommend Petersham over grosgrain ribbon, since it’s usually softer and easier to work with, but I only ended up with Petersham because I couldn’t for the life of me find the right kind and colour silk ribbon in time. 
In case someone is interested in every detail: I used Housegrind font for the numbers and most wedding printables. My books / numbers were so small in height I didn’t have to stretch out my numbers for the folding pattern at all, I simply placed a fold (or two, or three, depending on the shape of the number) every millimeter, or so, of the number’s width, mostly eyeballing it as I went.

The buffet paper tablecloth (it’s barely visible in the above photo) is made the same way I made my photo backdrop: vintage book pages just randomly glued together. The pedestal dishes I built out of wooden candlesticks and coasters and Ikea plates (which were stuck on at the last minute with double sided tape to make transportation easy).

Tablemats were put together by forming a hexagonal ring out of six book pages and filling in the center hole with an additional page. The easiest way to go about this is to first draw a 120 degree angle on a paper and use it as a template as you glue on a page after another until a ring is formed. Your pages are all the same height, so your end result should be accurate enough if you match the corners precisely and use the template to keep the angle constant.


The escort card / drink ticket holders were folded in possibly the simplest manner possible: I drew a groove straight across the head of the book block (a little less than half-way from the front edge) using a sharp knife and used the mark it left as the starting point for folding individual pages. Having that mark there makes for a much more even end result than folding the front edge of a page to the spine fold. Matching the top edge to itself while folding is enough; the fold automatically forms at a right angle. For a purpose like this you want your book to have something like 250+ pages (obviously depending on the thickness of the paper used for pages, you’ll want to skip Bibles and other books with über thin pages altogether) or it won’t form a nice semicircle once laid open on a table. I’ve seen folded books like these used as holders for Christmas cards and as jewelry displays (rings and brooches, mostly, I think), but as always, your imagination is the limit.


I hope this post has at least been inspirational if not helpful. I promise a very unhelpful wedding blog post later, but right now I’m interested in what bookish thoughts roam your mind today?

(Last three photos by our fabulous wedding photographer Kirsi Salo)

Shortlisted!

This was a huge week for me: lots of bookbinding, but more importantly my poetry book Mikado was shortlisted for the debut book award by the biggest newspaper in Finland. Today I was interviewed on a big stage at Helsinki book fair and I can’t really remember much about it. Nerves are fascinating things… The winner will be announced on the 18th, so there’s still plenty of time to be nervous. As the only poet amongst talented prose writers I’m not too optimistic about my chances, but just being on the shortlist is an honour in itself.
You can buy or download Mikado (Finnish only, sorry!) here.
(Photos by Olli-Pekka Tennilä & Ville Luoma-aho)
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