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!

floral kimono silk books

Something blue, just for you. And so my vintage kimono silk projects return - this gorgeous floral silk stole my heart! This month had an energetic start and I made three Coptic bound guest books/ journals, a long stitch photo album and a small long stitch book suitable for use as an art journal or a tiny scrap book. The weather has been simply delightful, and it's been a challenge to stay in and get work done, but it's also motivated me to work with focus when I'm at my desk (you finish this one thing, and then you get to go out and walk in the sunshine for a good while...). This week I'm focusing on Coptic bond wedding guest books - linen and lace next!

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You can now find these books in the Paperiaarre shop - maybe put together a perfect wedding gift duo of a matching guest book and photo album, or treat yourself to a luxurious journal?

bullet journals and #areyoubookenough gems

My artists' book didn't end up being the only book I bound in April. Yay me! I had started a trio of bullet journals for myself way back in March, but it took me over a month to put the covers together and sew the lot. For all of April I was dependent on notes and to-do lists scribbled on random post-its and backs of envelopes. Normally I rely on my bullet journal routine and get tons of stuff done, so maybe that's why I didn't manage to fit all that much bookbinding into my schedule...

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All that will change now, thanks to these long stitch bindings, with a custom printed dark purple 4 mm dotted grid on recycled kraft paper for pages (a smaller than usual grid as I have a smaller than usual handwriting). The yellow one is the first in line for me - already filled with a few months' worth of calendar markings and plans for new books. Larger kimono books are underway as well as some tiny sketchbooks with watercolour paper covers, which have been sadly out of stock for a long time.

Now that the first days of May have flown by, it's time to share my favourites books of the April #areyoubookenough bookbinding community challenge. Visit the instagram post below to click through to each book artist's profile and see more of their work!

The May theme for the challenge is 'Secret'. I look forward to seeing what people come up with - will there be writing in code, hidden compartments, or personal secrets revealed? I have a list of possible ideas, but I'm still miles away from actually deciding what to create.

at last - artists' book

Quite fittingly the #areyoubookenough artists' book challenge had the same theme as my entire month of April. The theme was "poem" and I happened to make a book titled At last. This is the only physical book I've finished in April so far (I hope I can still fit a couple more into my schedule!), but I did finish writing my own poetry book due out in August. From now on it's just tiny edits, if any. I had hoped to finish the poetry book last summer, but I'm glad the project took its time, as I'm very pleased with how everything turned out.

This artists' book is the first one where I use my own photography as well as collaged cut-up poetry. The images are printed on 21 gsm Japanese paper, which I also used for hinges. The structure is basically a concertina, but as the pages are hinged with thin paper, the book can be manipulated into a variety of positions instead of it sticking to the rigid zig zag of a concertina. The pages were inspired by old slides, but I chose to print my imagery slightly translucent paper to keep the text more legible than it would be if I had chosen 12 gsm paper for example.

At last is an artists' book with a signed and numbered edition of six. The pages measure 6x6 cm / 2.4"x2.4", and the book measures 69,5 cm / 27.4" fully opened. The book will be available through the Paperiaarre shop. To see video and more photos of the book, please visit my instagram.

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a city, from memory - artists' book

There's something intriguing about maps and our tendency to map every possible thing. This month the #areyoubookenough artists' book challenge had the theme 'Mapped', which gave me the perfect opportunity to further delve into an idea I've had for almost ten years now. The starting point was that I wanted to draw a street map of a city based on my memory of those streets. And now I've got this artists' book called A City, from Memory. It has three parts housed in a latched case - a scroll of nine hand drawn maps and two kaleidoscopes.

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The city I chose for my memory maps is London. I've been to London over the past 11 years so many times I've actually lost count. It's a city I dearly love and where I feel at home, yet have currently absolutely no desire to live in. It's a city I love so much I've even made another artists' book about it before.

The maps were drawn using a variety of maps in London tourist guide books with some overlap: sometimes the same place was drawn several times, and the result was never the same. With the first of the nine maps I only drew the streets I remember having walked - everything else was left out, even when I knew I must have walked a certain route to get from point A to point B. If I don't remember the street, the street does not excist on my map. Later on I found my memories changed, or I remembered more streets, and added those streets to the map I was working on, but let the earlier maps stay as they were. I find this to be the very nature of remembering; memories come and go, and I like how the differences in my memory maps reflect the fickleness of my mind.

This method resulted in maps that in certain parts of the city were fairly complete, or at least look like they could be an accurate representation of a neighbourhood, but then there are lesser walked parts of the city were there's only a street here and there and they may not connect to one another at all because I have no recollection of the walk between.

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The kaleidoscopes worked their way into all this as I thought about the tools commonly used with maps, and how they relate to my approach to mapping out memories. I couldn't figure out a compass that would reflect how I remember, but a telescope turned into a kaleidoscope quite easily! A kaleidoscope shows mere fragments, multiplied.

One of the kaleidoscopes I built is a traditional one, the kind that has colourful bits that form a series of different patterns forever changing as you turn the kaleidoscope. These fleeting colourful fragments describe my visual memories of London quite fittingly. The other kaleidoscope lets you view your actual surroundings in a new way - it's just mirrors that leave the majority of the world outside your field of vision and turn a fragment of your reality into surreality, which is something I feel is also a part of the process of remembering a thing over and over again.

The memory can grow or transform with time as it bounces back and forth in your head, and you may even start to consciously question the reality of your memory. After all, it's not really the original experience we remember at any given time but the memory we have of remembering it the previous time we were reminiscing. How much of a memory is just hopeful thinking, our own decorations added on a remnant of a memory? And how much of our experiences we forget immediately after? How do we decide what we deem irrelevant right from the start?

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Some technical details of A City, from Memory: The largest of the nine maps measure 19x23cm / 7.5"x9.1". The case measures 13,5x24,5x5,3cm / 5.3"x9.6"x2.1". Materials: tracing film, handmade paper, gold metal leaf, cardboard, paper, acrylic mirror, acrylic, glass beads, book cloth, box latch.

You can find more photos on Instagram.