Books and Other Stuff

mostly about making books - blank and otherwise - reading books and keeping a reading diary

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Weeds Book

This is a book I made for an exhibition a couple years ago. It's a book-in-a-box, both covered with handmade paper. The lighter paper is made with spartina, an estuary grass, and the darker one is made from hemp and cedar bark. You can read more about this on the colophon page.

I think dandelions were my inspiration for this - they're my favorite flower.

The box is closed with a kohaze Japanese bone clasp.

Dedicated to Grandmas Crosby in Toronto. Following are some of the pages - sketches are pen and ink and watercolor on Arches Textwove.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

New Reading Journal

This is the new book I made for my Reading Journal. The other one was full

It's a double pamphlet of 90# rough watercolor, 12 pages - not easy to write on because the texture is so pebbly. It's most excellent for colored pencil and ok for watercolor if kept not too juicy

The leaves on the cover were kept in the freezer over the winter and then rehydrated briefly before adhering to the cover ... my oh my, I do so love gingko leaves. There is only one street in our town where they can be found ... the trees grow tall ... so tall that the leaves can't be reached, so we wait until early fall when they drop to the ground.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

a new Watercolor Journal

Last week I made a new journal that I could use for pen and ink and watercolor. I chose a 140# machine made paper from Opus Art and a 140# handmade from St. Armand ... a lovely soft pale grey tint to it, called Morseby. I don't think they make that color any more because I don't see it on their webpage. It's been in my paper stash for quite a few years now.

Here's the beginning of it.

I used a linen thread to bind five sections with a five-hole pamphlet stitch

and the finished book

Friday, September 15, 2006

An Old Encyclopedia from a garage sale


I found a set of these old books at a garage sale. In this one I removed all the pages and sewed in my own paper, using a long stitch.

I used brown lunch bags to make pockets on some pages

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Coptic Stitch

This is one of the first books I made. I was totally taken by the Keith Smith techniques and instruction. I bought one of his books unbound so I could have the experience of binding it myself.

The coptic stitch was my chosen favorite because it lay flat when open so it was easy to write in and paint. The book was Non-Adhesive Binding - another favorite because I didn't have to get all sticky and smudged up with paste

Soon it arrived in my mail box in large sheets as it came from the printers. This was another whole learning experience - I had to cut them apart and collate the sections.

I covered the book board for the covers with some marbled paper I'd made that summer in a workshop in Portland. The sewing is done with waxed linen in a burgundy color to match the covers

Calligraphy Practice

And a smaller coptic stitch that I made for a friend who was beginning to learn calligraphy

the sections have been made up with plain paper, lined paper, square grid paper ... white and different colors

It's quite small ... 4-1/2 by 6 inches ... I like this size because it fits in your pocket quite neatly

The Yoga Book

Friday, September 08, 2006


The leporello style of binding was popular in Europe for many many years, and only recently became popular in North America. I learned this binding in a workshop with Barb Tetenbaum at Sitka Center in Oregon.

The name leporello is derived from the opera Don Giovanni. Leporello was his manservant. He kept a record of Don Giovanni's female conquests in a book. At the end of Act II he spread the book across the stage. It's an accordion fold of unlimited width. Pages are joined to form the accordion.

More Leporellos

The pages of these leporellos are made from translucent vellum. The images can be seen through from the other side.

Covers of the smaller one are covered with antique kimono fabric.

Long Stitch with Chain

I like this paper and wanted the dark brown linen stitching to show up on the spine.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Piano Hinge Binding

I first learned this method of binding from Denise deMarie at a workshop in Sisters, Oregon

This is another style of binding that opens flat - making it easy for writing and painting or collage