yellow and gray albums

This is a colour combination I keep coming back to time and time again. And so is the long stitch structure, as it not only looks really nice but it allows me to easily adjust the spacing between the pages. Meaning, it's a great way to create an album that beautifully accommodates a stack of photos, or a great number of collaged pages in an art journal, without beginning to bulge at the fore-edge.


You can find both albums in my shop. And anyway, I usher you to take a look what else is there - since from the perspective of most of you guys I live in a rather remote corner of the world, it's a good moment to start thinking about holiday shopping should you want something extra special paper treasures delivered to you in time from Finland.

My holiday highlight this year will once again be putting together a matchbox art calendar for you... Busy days ahead! Just did a couple of poetry performances that stole my attention away from papery goodness for a while, so I'm glad to take a deep dive in the boxes filled to the brim with most wonderful scraps put aside for this purpose. I'll be working fairly secretly on the matchbox project, but maybe a glimpse or two can still be seen later this month on Instagram...

photo albums with distressed metallic spines

I'm writing this post from a Wednesday night dance party for one. It's reasonable to say my new home is a bit chilly, so after a couple of hours of procrastinating by the laptop, some movement was needed to get this long-stitch photo album thing rolling. Festive books require a festive mood? Not sure, but the photos have finally been uploaded and the albums can be found in the shop. So let's just look at them for a while in moderate awe (I'm an eternal fan of leaf metal and linen).


We're getting to enjoy a rare treat here in Helsinki at the moment - there's a beautiful artists' book exhibition in Galleria Katariina until the 12th of November. I've stopped by twice already, and hope to share a bit with you next week, once I've managed to go through all the photos I took today!

Harebell notebook

Translucency has been on my mind a lot lately. The possibility of layering and the simultaneous being and non-being of see-through materials fascinates me. Sometimes I'm even very much see-through myself. An Instagram comment saying "everything in your work expresses emotions" pretty much nails what I aim for, mostly out of necessity, though - I'm fairly sure I'm unable to work in any other way. And if you claim bookbinding isn't a very expressive line of work, you should really check out what amazing things bookbinders do...


This harebell notebook is a distant cousin of the vellum notebook dating back to February. This one's much more delicate, smaller, lighter, more translucent. The covers are made with vintage school book illustrations and waxed lokta paper, and the spine is a sliver of an antique vellum document.

The pages are a mixed lot - off-white drawing paper in 100gsm and 150gsm and a few vellum paper pages with an occasional foldout thrown in the mix. I actually wish I could see what this book looks like once it's been put to good use! If you feel like you know just the right person to fill this with scribbles, it's available in my shop.


It's book fair week here in Helsinki, so I've got places to be, people to see. I've already got a big stack of paper folded for next week's projects, though, and I think I'll share a couple of my cut-up poems from this summer here come Monday. I hear not everyone follows me on Instagram, and some are even curious to see what went on while things were so very quiet here...

a perfect dozen - new bullet journals

handmade long stitch bullet journals with dotted grid pages / Kaija Rantakari - 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.

handmade long stitch bullet journals with dotted grid pages / Kaija Rantakari -

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.

handmade long stitch bullet journals with dotted grid pages / Kaija Rantakari -

Dotted grid pages, as always - the best kind of pages for bullet journaling:

handmade long stitch bullet journals with dotted grid pages / Kaija Rantakari -

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!