Did you find last week’s bookbinding tips useful? Want more? Stop by my Instagram feed tomorrow and ask me pretty much anything! I will set up a photo dedicated to the office hours Q&A before it’s noon here (GMT+2) and you’ll have until the following morning to ask your questions in the comments section so you don’t need to go out of your way to convert specific hours to your time zone. This all day office hours solution to the time zone problem does mean I won’t be typing out replies exactly real-time all the time, but I somehow doubt you have a bookbinding emergency at hand where you need answers urgently. Commenting on Instagram requires and Instagram account (it’s free!), but you can still browse the Q&A without one.
Like I said, I’m happy to answer all kinds of questions about bookbinding, the books I create, my mixed media art, and even about myself, if you’re really interested. Still, I reserve the right to not reveal all my secrets online. If you’re having problems with your own bookbinding projects, or wonder what would be a good book structure for a beginner to tackle first, want to know whether I like cats or dogs better, make a mental note to ask me all about it tomorrow!
PS. 18 new long stitch dotted grid notebooks are available in my shop.
Just a small glimpse of a work in progress today. The heat has made me sluggish and this piece refuses to be rushed. Maybe you’ll see how it turns out next week, or maybe it needs a longer incubation period and I’ll share something else instead.
I received several lovely emails and comments after my bookbinding tip blog post and decided to go ahead with the Instagram Q&A / Office hours idea. Office hours would be a misleading title for what I have in mind, as I plan to keep a dedicated Instagram post open to new questions for all of Friday. I’ve got followers from so many time zones having a set time frame of a few hours would be needlessly complicated especially since I don’t expect to be drowned in questions. I’ll just answer the questions in the order they come. So, make sure to follow me on Instagram, and start thinking of bookbinding/mixed media art/paperiaarre related questions you’d like to ask me on Friday! I really know quite a lot about bookbinding, so you don’t need to limit the bookbinding questions to the techniques you see regularly featured here on my blog.
Time for prickly things! Vintage pins and needles it is, then. Sewing supplies is perhaps the category most my cherished treasures and accumulations fall under. Maybe it’s because sewing is the thing that runs in the family, and as such has a special interest to me. Maybe it’s because sewing supplies are such small and timeless things no one is easily inclined to get rid of them, and they tend to accumulate in large numbers.
You’ll see plenty of sewing supplies in the future of this series, but I’ll try to scatter these posts among other types of collections and finds so that there’s still content for those less enthusiastic about buttons and such. Still, I think the design aspect of these needle packets I’m sharing today is a lot more interesting than the needles themselves, so no craft skills required for enjoying this post!
Needles from the U.S., England, Czechoslovakia and Germany. I won’t even try to date these, I’m not that obsessed with google (I’m pretty obsessed with googling, but there’s a limit to everything, and today I can barely keep my eyes open).
John James & Sons is still making needles. I love how their transparent wrapper was once such a rare thing it was worth mentioning it on the packet!
I arranged my needle packets for the group photo only to find some more just after I put my camera away. The above needles were hiding in another box with hooks and eyes. I’ve had that elephant one ever since I was a kid, I’m fairly sure my maternal grandmother gave it to me.
This De Long toilet pin packet has gone through a lot. (Does anyone know what that lone peculiar two-eye round-tipped needle is for? I just used it here to prop this persistent pin packet open, it’s actually from the John James & Sons needle set you’ll see later in this post.) The De Long Atlas silk pin strip in the top photo (and bottom left corner of the group photo), however, is as if no one before me even unwound it. Google didn’t instantly give me a De Long Hook & Eye Company history, but I ran into this letter written by a De Long sales promotion manager during war-time metal shortage.
These John James & Sons needles came to me in this case, which is probably an original one. There’s this beautiful embroidered crescent on the cover (it feels like silk to me):
This Akra needle book features a Dutch pop-up scene. Sadly the pop-up elements have gotten folded at some point. I could fix them easily, if only I got round to it! This one came to me from my paternal grandmother’s stash recently. Below you can see the whole thing unfolded.
Another reason for the abundance of old sewing supplies must be that these tiny things have a tendency to get lost all the time. Replacements need to be bought even though hardly anyone ends up really needing those potentially hundreds of needles during their lifetime, unless they’re an absent-minded seamstress. My pins and needles are used with such frequency they fortunately stay somewhere in the top stratum and easily found, but I can’t remember how many times I’ve had to buy new zippers just because I couldn’t find the ones I already have in my stash…