the minis are back

One of the very, very few books I keep making again and again, is this little long stitch notebook. I just checked Etsy and saw I've sold almost a hundred of these over the years - which, for me, is a LOT, since I generally make just one of a kind books or very limited lots. I absolutely get the appeal of these books, as the maker (these are fun to make!), but also as a creative person. The covers are heavyweight watercolor paper and the pages are drawing paper, allowing for all sorts of artistry from cover to cover. Also, these books are inexpensive and cute as a button. I've had several customers buy a bunch for their children/grandchildren to keep the kids busy for more than a minute, and to have their artistic creations in a handy format for years of admiration to come. Then there are the lovely people who turn these into art journals by embellishing the pages with their beautiful miniature-sized creations. And then there's people like me, who just enjoy the minimalism, the practical small-enough-to-travel-anywhere size, and use the books to jot down some ridiculous notes or shopping lists while sitting in a train...

You can now find a big lot of these in the shop.

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silky

Just finished the second half of my latest lot of kimono silk books, slow and steady... Coptic and long stitch bindings now available in the Paperiaarre shop.

We've been enjoying a particularly beautiful and sunny May here in the south of Finland, and it's been a challenge to stay indoors and get everything planned done, while also allowing myself some time to just relax and celebrate my accomplishments. I hope it's beautiful and balanced wherever you are!

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fingerprints - an artists' book

The May theme for the #areyoubookenough bookbinding community challenge is 'secret', and I decided I wouldn't take it too literally and pour my heart out, at least not too much. My artists' book Fingerprints was born after I went through a mental list of structures that hide and reveal in one way or another. I haven't made one of these magic boxes in almost 15 years, so it took me a moment to remember how it's constructed. I don't think I've ever known a particular name for this box structure, but it's basically a variation of Jacob's ladder.

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I haven't given fingerprints much of a thought apart from when I find dirty fingerprints on my supposedly pristine papers, and, of course, when they're mentioned as forensic evidence. This means, in general, it's not exactly good for you if you leave behind any fingerprints. Some research into the matter revealed a more pleasant side of those little loopy, whorly ridges on our fingertips - they provide us with tons of information crucial to our fine texture perception. The friction ridges are like little amplifiers for the sense of texture. As someone whose work is massively reliant on what I feel with the tips of my fingers, my view of the world is much more texture-oriented than the one of someone who maybe works with their brain alone. And it seems my texture-orientedness also affects how I get to know someone, how I trace their face with the tips of my fingers, over and over again...

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Fingerprints - a unique artists' book by Kaija Rantakari, 2018

(paper, board, glass microscope slides, ink)

the box measures 14,9x9,5x1,9cm / 5.9"x3.7"x0.7"

Check out my Instagram for a view of the box in action!

the first two new vintage lace guest books

I'd love to say I've been a good girl, busy at my desk, but actually I've been an allergy induced mess for a good while already, and this past week has been the most tiring of all spring. So, instead of even attempting to stick to all my deadlines, I've given myself some slack and tried to enjoy it the best I can, even when there's barely any voice coming out when I try to speak. Despite some days spent just lazing around and hanging out with friends, I do have two lovely new books in the Paperiaarre shop. Some is better than none, right? The rest of the lot I'm working on, should be done in the coming few days, or next week latest, so do keep an eye on my Instagram and this blog. As a side note, my little #areyoubookenough project is still nothing more than an idea, but if all goes well, it'll be ready in no time. Keeping it simple!

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I always make the most beautiful vintage finds on my trips to London, and now it's time to put some of the lace into good use! I've paired it with dusty apricot and light sand coloured linen.

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One larger landscape format book and another smaller square-ish. Both stay open and flat with ease, which is naturally my favourite feature of a Coptic binding. I mean, it's pretty and all, but functionality is always my top priority!

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See you soon, I hope!