Helsinki ended up being just the thing I needed – a special artists’ book treat followed by solitude and new neighbourhoods to explore on my long walks. A change in scenery often helps us rearrange the self. And as a result I’m also in dire need of a new journal! The floral journal I made for myself has now been in use just over a month and there are under ten pages left for me to fill with my tiny-ant-handwriting (reserved for journals and anxiety-ridden teenage-letters). I think I’m going to stick with the same size and binding for the next journals, since one of the reasons this has filled up so quickly is the lack of excuses for carrying it with me everywhere I go. And given that I apparently go through a journal a month, I might as well make a few in one go. Easter plans: sorted.
For the rest of you, I already have some new books in stock. These are just a tiny bit skewed – on purpose, of course. These notebooks have 100 dotted grid pages each and a diagonal pattern long stitch binding. Even the slightest change in the expected can be a powerful design element.
The endpapers in this trio vary from gold print to solid to printed handmade paper. My personal favourite is the combination of teal bookcloth and teal-striped golden brown handmade paper.
I should already be focusing on some fine binding projects, but no such luck. Once a procrastinator, always a procrastinator. Perhaps that’s not entirely true, as my reason for putting off the fine bindings is the flurry of interest in other matters. It’s not like I’m not creating new work, it’s just stuff that is less dependent on deadlines. Soon I’ll cut into that luscious pink leather. Soon, I promise.
Just listed in the shop: a dozen new bullet journals in a dozen colours and three different long stitch style variations. I only made one in each colour, and you know the drill: once a colour has sold out, it’s gone & the next lot of bullet journals will be something different. Another reason for you to rush off to shop is that I’m leaving town for a week come Monday morning, so, any orders placed after Sunday morning won’t be heading out until April 11th. My birthday present to myself is a week in Helsinki: museums, libraries, poetry, artists’ books, long walks, and tons of photos. While I visit Helsinki fairly often, I never stay long enough to visit more than a handful of places, and I always end up running out of time or energy. This trip should solve both problems and get me out of the home town rut I’m in. I’ll probably flood my Instagram feed & stories with photos of Helsinki, so do follow along if you’re interested. For those fully uninterested in stuff that’s not books: I will be posting artists’ book stuff next week as well! I have finished my #areyoubookenough bookbinding challenge piece in time, and you can see it very soon on Instagram, and there’ll be a post here on Monday as well.
Back to the bullet journals after the tourism side step: like I said, I switched things up a bit and did three different variations of the long stitch binding. The loopy chain stitch kind on the yellow and orange journals I hadn’t done in a decade but I do like it a lot.
Dotted grid pages, as always – the best kind of pages for bullet journaling:
My personal bullet journal is a life saver this week: fighting a cold most of last week left me horribly behind schedule on many things, and going away for a week on Monday doesn’t help either. So, I’m cramming in long work days this week, writing mega long to-do lists, and giving myself a pat on the back every time I finish a task. V has seen me only in passing this week since I’ve been holed up in the studio so much. One evening he stopped by (yeah, we both work at home, but my studio is at the the opposite end of every other relevant part of our home, so he needs to purposefully come and greet me), sniffed my hair and told me I smelled like home (can I get an awwwww here?). The sweet smell of home was quickly narrowed down as I had just finished sanding a stack of book board. Your homes may smell like cinnamon or lavender, but at our place, we prefer friction and dust…
Today I’m going to finish off with a quick recommendation for pretty much everyone who likes to listen to stuff as they work: the brand new (and brilliant!) S-town podcast kept me company while I glued the covers for this lot – nearly seven hours of amazing storytelling that was so good I got pretty distracted at times and forgot to keep that glue brush going. Which obviously isn’t that great when you desperately need to get work done, but I’m telling you – it’s worth it!
Thanks so much for your wonderful response to last week’s blog post of tips and resources for beginner bookbinders! I truly appreciate all the messages and likes you send my way! As I also got to answer quite a few bookbinding related questions, I came to think of making another Instagram Office Hours session happen sometime soon. Maybe even with one-on-one feedback/coaching with a few lucky bookbinders on Instagram! What do you think? Want me to look at your book photos and tell you everything you’ve been doing wrong? Just kidding, I’m actually pretty nice, and I’m good at giving actionable feedback.
This year I have every intention to spend more time away from art and bookbinding. To most people that sound like a terrible idea, but not to me. I’ve mentioned before I’m writing my second poetry book, and writing requires more room for breathing than I had last year. I was invited to perform at a local poetry club last Tuesday, so I had a pretty good reason to go into editing mode and finally put together something that resembles a near-finished text. It felt great, the performance went really well, and I had a fun night afterwards. So, now I hope to pick up from where I left on Tuesday and assemble more decent text now that I’m on a roll.
Between the hours of rearranging text both in files and as a cut up mess on the living room floor I made some new bullet journals for the shop. There are still some bullet journals with kraft paper pages left from the earlier lots but the situation with the white dotted grid journals was getting desperate. To ease the situation there are now six large bullet journals and two slimmer ones now available.
These slimmer bullet journals are just the thing for people liking the tall and slim Traveler’s notebooks but wanting something more unique. The measurements aren’t identical, though – the slim books measure 13×20,5×1,2cm / 5.1″x8.1″x0.5″, giving you a bit more width than the Traveler’s notebooks. The larger bullet journals measure 14,4×20,5×1,2cm / 5.7″x8.1″x0.5″ and both have 72 pages of off-white 90gsm drawing paper with grey 5mm dotted grid. You can find the larger bullet journals here, and the slim ones here. As always, only one in each colour was made, so speed is your friend if you’re after something particular!
Funnily enough I seldom get papercuts while binding books, but poetry gets me every time… And my next project is a mixed media related one, and one that will most likely give me bleeding fingers, too.