I added a nice lot of new hardcover journals/sketchbooks/notebooks to my Etsy shop yesterday. From the outside these may look like super plain books, but I'm pretty excited about them! I've once again nixed everything extra from the spine and gone with just a strip of mull, so these books open really nicely (but withstand use perfectly well enough). And they're the first books I've made with my lovely new Munken drawing paper. The paper is lusciously thick without being too stiff (I'm not a big fan of pages that feel like card stock) and it co-operates really well with any type of pen or pencil.
I do my best to let nothing go to waste, so I often tear my big sheets of paper to size by hand (actually, I use a ruler, a bone folder and a bookbinding knife, and get a lovely rough but straight edge) taking advantage of the whole sheet. My paper cutter isn't big enough to cut large sheets, and it's not as accurate as I'd like, anyway, so if I opt for cut edges I usually do it with my plough (which gives super super smooth edges for the book block). I'm not really worried about that little bit of waste that comes from tidying up the edges with a plough, but I do like to plan the sizes of my books in a way that allows me to get the maximum amount of use from a large sheet of paper. Usually I end up with two or three pages for a larger book and a few for a couple smaller ones from one sheet, unless I'm making something really simple working with quarters or eights or sixteenths. These Munken sheets (at 45x64cm) have quite pleasing proportions to offer for books made like this as the grain goes along the short side, which is pretty rare and feels like a special treat after years of working with mostly long grain sheets. It's a new world of possible sizes!
I also finally have a decent yellow linen fabric in stock again! It's not as mustard-y as the one I had before, but it's still quite nice - maybe I'd describe it as a bright saffron yellow. They gray here is a bit of a nightmare to photograph! It looks so different in different lighting, but most times it has a greige tint to it.
My first lot of books from these new sheets of paper was a trio of really nice and large landscape format sketchbooks. In my minds eye I see them in the laps of aspiring artists scribbling down sketches in the subway or on a park bench or at a cafe. They could just as well be journals or guest books (with two columns of signatures, perhaps), but I'm personally a bit stuck with the silly and idealistic artist fantasy...