My Easter plans of making myself a couple small handmade journals turned into me making myself six new journals. I had every intention of adding a couple of them to the shop, but in the end I couldn’t decide which ones to keep. So, I’m keeping them all! (I’ve actually got some for you, too, if you read all the way to the end… and I promise I’ll make some books using that beautiful shimmery gold linen – seen on two book spines above – really, really soon!)
When binding books for myself I get to use materials that don’t pass the quality requirements for the books I’m happy to sell my customers. That translates into endpapers made of fancy metallic paper that sheds shimmery bits everywhere and covers made of unevenly dyed linen or book cloth that ends up looking quite distressed within days of use. I don’t mind the imperfections – in fact they can be inspiring – so all kinds of bits and pieces ended up in these books! You wouldn’t believe how scrappy they are by looking at these photos…
Since one of my favourite things is picking out the perfect linen / book cloth / paper combinations, and another favourite thing is taking photos like this of the books I make, let’s all take a peek what happens between the covers of the six books:
The shimmer-shedding woodland notebook became my first pick for a new journal. By now it’s got plenty more pages filled with scribbles.
And, as promised, new notebooks for you, too! These aren’t actually new new, since I made them several months ago, but sort of kind of forgot to add them to the shop at the time… Oh well – they’re available now! They all have wonderful 90 gsm drawing paper with a slightly rough grain for pages, and the sewn boards binding structure means the covers are nice and flexible without being flimsy at all. Check out the Paperiaarre Etsy shop to see more photos and to pick your favourite!
For the longest time I didn’t keep a journal. I used to write one religiously, but somehow it began to feel like a burden, and the pages so heavy with emotion I decided it best to let it all go. But this March, after some five years of not keeping any type of personal account of the goings on in my life, I found myself drawn back to it. I made myself a small journal that fits even in my smallest purse – quite plain and simple, but with a splash of colourful oversized floral patterns on the endpapers.
The pages are 100% recycled paper: rough just the way I like it, and with imperfections that help me get over the imperfections of my handwriting that goes from tiny squiggly ants to messy reeds depending on my mood. The dark teal and sea-foam book cloth are a recent purchase, but I doubt I’ll use either on the books I sell as it seems the starch coat finish of the cloth is pretty prone to both staining and overall wear. I’ve used this journal for a bit under two weeks now and its finish is in pretty rough condition already. I don’t mind it in this case, but the quality isn’t up to par with what I like to offer in my shop, even though there are always people who enjoy the distressed look…
Next up on my bookbinding to-do list are some small Coptic bound journals with leather spines, and some new bullet journals, too. On the mixed media front it appears there’s an odd body of work emerging – a bit moody and haunting. I’m curious to see what comes next…
These eight little notebooks are among the last of 2016. Bookbinding-wise 2016 has been an amazing year – I’ve had such a great time binding books! And I’ve made more books this year than I have made in any other year since graduation in 2006! I’ve also made more long stitch bindings than before, and I totally fell in love with the sewn boards binding structure. Today’s perfect eight of linen covered sewn boards binding really bring together the things I enjoy most about bookbinding – they’re handmade items made to be used, they perform their function perfectly, and every detail is thought out. Also, I love using linen.
This week is the last real work week of the year for me. After selling at a Christmas fair this Saturday I’m going to take it easy for the rest of December. I’ll end up making stuff despite my attempts to take it easy, but maybe a little less. Maybe I’ll focus on making plans for 2017 and on prepping some bullet journals for all those also making plans.
Are you making plans? Is it as terrifying for you as it is for me? Just kidding (well, sort of) – planning isn’t as scary as it was some years ago. Having a plan is good, even if it’s just a small one.