the bunny notebook by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com

a bunny book

the bunny notebook by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com

I’m always on the lookout for bunnies, rabbits, and hares. There’s a very special bunny-loving friend across the Atlantic I like to surprise with little gifts every now and then. Late in the summer I ran into this gorgeous old endpaper pattern full of little bunnies, tweaked it a bit, and printed these endpapers for a mini notebook. Now that the snail mail finally made its way to the recipient I can share this little bunny book gem with you too!

the bunny notebook by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com

This mini sewn boards binding is about the same size as the other notebooks with reproduction vintage endpapers. Sometimes it’s hard to resist the temptation to go tiny, and I give in.

the bunny notebook by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com

Truly pocket-size.

a brass bunny found in Florence, Italy / paperiaarre.com

This darling brass bunny was an unexpected find from a small Florence market (which also was an unexpected find in itself), and now it, too, has found a new home with my dear friend.

A note for the curious: the endpaper bunnies will most likely reappear on other notebooks soon-ish! I’m working a bit slower at the moment, but I promise bunny books will come in time for holiday shopping!

the moment - mixed media necklace by Kaija Rantakari, 2016 / paperiaarre.com

mixed media monday – the moment necklace

the moment - mixed media necklace by Kaija Rantakari, 2016 / paperiaarre.com

The moment. It seems to elude me lately, so I have very little to say today. Instead of words I leave you with this mixed media necklace I made during the weekend.

the moment - mixed media necklace by Kaija Rantakari, 2016 / paperiaarre.com

The vintage watch case collage pendant hangs from a lovely hand-dyed silk cord. I left the cord long so that you can freely adjust the length to your liking. A sheet of natural mica protects the collage.

the moment - mixed media necklace by Kaija Rantakari, 2016 / paperiaarre.com

vintage watch case, vintage photo, vintage graph paper, cut up vintage text, mica, wire, silk cord

the pendant is a little under 5cm / 2″ in diameter

the moment - mixed media necklace by Kaija Rantakari, 2016 / paperiaarre.com

Lots of wear from earlier life. I hope this piece will get lots of wear in its future life, too. You can find this in my shop later this afternoon.

embroidered wax paper crossed structure binding after 14 months in use - handmade by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com

after 14 months of use

embroidered wax paper crossed structure binding after 14 months in use - handmade by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com

Way back in 2013 I experimented with using embroidered wax and tar paper (and vintage book illustrations) on the covers of a crossed structure binding. I was thrilled with the book and wanted to keep it, but also see how it handles use in the long term. In situations like these I turn to the more prolific author of our household and have V to use the books I make. This way I get to see how my experiments look after some heavy-duty use, and I get to look at them any time I want. I admit I sometimes miss some books I’ve sold. At first V refused to use this book because it appeared so fragile. But in the end this book ended up traveling in his messenger bag for 14 months, and here’s how it looks after:

embroidered wax paper crossed structure binding after 14 months in use - handmade by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com

Not bad. Really. V is not very gentle with his notebooks, and this really is just embroidered paper, so considering all things, this experiment exceeded all expectations I had. You can see all the photos of how the book looked right after I finished it in this blog post, but here’s a pre-use spine detail for those too lazy to click the link:

embroidered wax paper crossed structure binding - handmade by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com

As you can see below, the back flaps would’ve benefited from having no exposed raw edges to them, and some of the linen embroidery has worn and fallen off. The stitches keeping the book intact, however, are in perfectly good condition!

embroidered wax paper crossed structure binding after 14 months in use - handmade by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com

The bent fore-edge flap was no surprise. I’m glad I had the foresight to reinforce the edge where I attached the thread for tying up the book – it has held together nicely. I doubt I’ll try to recreate this book with improvements any time soon. I absolutely adore it, but it was extremely slow to make. I’m still too practical a bookbinder to focus on notebooks like this. But for a more artistic bookbinding moment in my life, I tuck this idea deep into my mind.

 

embroidered wax paper crossed structure binding after 14 months in use - handmade by Kaija Rantakari / paperiaarre.com

All in all, I like the signs of life this book acquired along its journey. I generally aim to make my books as durable as possible (this book being an obvious exception), but I also love how they change as they journey with their owners. Everyone has their own way of handling notebooks and they end up having individual wear patterns. How do your notebooks look once you’ve finished the last page? (Or do you never make it to the final page before switching books?) Are the corners worn, or the spine falling off, or the book doubled in thickness?

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