Florence - paperiaarre.com

florence

Florence - paperiaarre.com

Florence treated us kindly. I’d felt a little stressed and down towards the end of this summer, so the vacation was a much needed one. I’m not sure if it managed to cure the blues, but while there everything was nothing short of lovely, and the stress is definitely gone. I’ll now write myself a prescription of museum after museum for the next time I feel super stressed.

In Florence we went to lots of tiny museums (in addition to the big ones), like the Museum of Mineralogy, where there was no one else there, or had just a tiny handful of people wandering around in different parts of the museum. Florence was filled to the brim with tourists, even when the locals were away vacationing, and many shops closed, so stepping away from the crowds was always a good idea.

Mineralogy Museum, Florence - paperiaarre.com

We got to enjoy great weather all week. Hot, but windy enough for it not to feel stifling, and the light was just gorgeous throughout our visit no matter what the time of the day was. I now understand why many of the late 19th century Finnish artists traveled to southern Europe for inspiration. The light is quite unlike the light we have here. At times it felt like we had completely stepped away from reality.

Florence - paperiaarre.com

Il Torchio, Florence - paperiaarre.com

Before heading off to the airport we managed to squeeze in a visit to Il Torchio, where we met Erin, who had coincidentally just returned from her vacation to Finland/northern Europe. I could have admired her books and workshop for longer, but time quickly ran out as we chatted. I did buy a few sheets of paper – more on my Florence paper finds at a later date. Talking with Erin was a much needed grounding moment; it really was the first time in a week that I had a connection to everyday life. Such an absurd idea, but there was nothing in Florence that looked or felt like home. Talking about bookbinding always feels like home.

I don’t want to bore you with travel stories, but I still wanted to share photos and bits with you guys. I know this is a photo heavy post, but I’d rather have it all out there at once instead of turning this blog into a travel blog for the next month, so I hope you accept my excuse this one time and click ahead to read more. (more…)

vintage endpapers on mini notebooks - bound by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com

vintage endpapers on mini notebooks

vintage endpapers on mini notebooks - bound by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com

I’m slowly opening up to the idea of using patterned papers again. For the longest time I used strictly solid colours – partly because of my less is more mentality, partly because I felt the patterned papers available were the same everywhere and I’d gotten bored with seeing them all the time. Florence (which was gorgeous!) had an abundance of patterned papers, both printed and marbled, but the majority was honestly too busy or too traditional for my taste. I did bring home a few pretty sheets I’ll share with you later!

Of course there’s the option of making patterned paper yourself, but it requires time and space, and the lack of the latter has been a huge issue in the past. Maybe I’ll reconsider creating my own patterned papers now that there’s a bit more room to create a mess in. The endpapers in these mini books, however, were totally mess free to make! I dabbled with vintage endpaper patterns and simply printed these off my laptop once I was happy with the tone and pattern size. This way using patterned endpapers doesn’t drive up the price too much like some handmade patterned paper might. Material costs do add up even when the books are tiny, and I wanted to keep these affordable. Printing these endpaper sheets was super simple, but still gave a pretty result!

vintage endpapers on mini notebooks - bound by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com

Once again I used finer lightweight linen for covering such tiny books. These are a bit smaller than the elephant book I made earlier, but all the structural choices are the same. The size of the book I’m making has a lot to do with the materials and structures I choose to use. Tiny books require lots of flexibility because their small pages weigh next to nothing and a stiffer spine might make it hard to keep the spread open. Large books in turn require more support, and also more heavy weight materials to keep things more balanced visually.

vintage endpapers on mini notebooks - bound by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com

For some reason I get a very mid-century feel from this endpaper pattern that is actually a lot older. I ended up using soft grey on cream-coloured paper on these books, but I can see later using this pattern in several other colours, too. I actually have a file full of different patterns I’ve saved for later use, so who knows what I’ll end up making with them.

vintage endpapers on mini notebooks - bound by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com

Now on to an entirely different matter. See that hand? Spotting other pale people on the streets of Florence quickly became a game I played with V. Every now and then we saw someone pretty pale, but in the end I don’t think anyone beat me in paleness… I’m pale, even for a Finn, but not in that sweet Snow White kind of way, or even in that cute redhead kind of way, even though I do have loads of freckles. I’m just kind of translucent in a barely-ever-outdoors-and-never-gets-tan-anyway kind of way. It doesn’t usually bother me, but at times I did feel like a bit of a freak in Florence when everyone else’s skin was glowing in the sunlight and I just spotted yet another vein that shows through my skin. We’ll were back in Jyväskylä now, and I’m blending in with the crowd again. And summer appears to be over anyway, so we can all get back to wearing sleeves again…

vintage endpapers on mini notebooks - bound by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com

Lots of work ahead now that the official summer vacation is over – some of it a bit hush hush and to be revealed at a later date, some of it very basic bookbinding work putting together more bullet journals in sold out colours and slightly different sizes. I hope to get those in the shop in a week or two, but my first back to work goal is to get these mini notebooks listed in the shop this weekend.

vintage buttons, snaps and hooks - accumulator seriali - part 24 / paperiaarre.com

accumulator seriali – part 24

vintage buttons, snaps and hooks - accumulator seriali - part 24 / paperiaarre.com

I adore buttons. My collection is pretty massive, so I try to break it down and share just a bit at a time. This post features a big part of my collection of buttons, hooks and eyes, and snaps that are still on their original cards.

vintage buttons, snaps and hooks - accumulator seriali - part 24 / paperiaarre.com
vintage buttons, snaps and hooks - accumulator seriali - part 24 / paperiaarre.com

Koh-i-noors from Czechoslovakia with Swedish, French, and German text.

vintage buttons, snaps and hooks - accumulator seriali - part 24 / paperiaarre.com

Above you see the back side of those lovely white linen buttons sewn onto a black card. What a gorgeous label, don’t you think?

vintage buttons, snaps and hooks - accumulator seriali - part 24 / paperiaarre.com

Tiny linen buttons. I’ve made a few buttons like this myself, a long, long, time ago, but they were nowhere near this small or intricate.

vintage buttons, snaps and hooks - accumulator seriali - part 24 / paperiaarre.com

This long strip of metal buttons is one of my cherished finds from the Spitalfields Antique Market. The reverse is equally lovely (if not more).

vintage buttons, snaps and hooks - accumulator seriali - part 24 / paperiaarre.com

I wonder if Florence will be kind to us and brings more treasures like these to my path. I really hope so – there’s always room for more vintage buttons!

 

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