Categories
Craft Notebooks Paper Stationery

New notebooks roundup

Recently, I’ve been trying out a few different things. It’s generally quieter over the summer months, so once I’d got all my wedding orders out of the way it was time to play! I think trying new ideas and learning new was of doing things is very important; you’ve got to keep moving and keep doing things to keep your brain working.

These new notebooks have hard covers and a firm but flexible spine – my own take on a hollow back binding. It was definitely a learning process for me but I’ve loved making them. My first attempt was the silver swirls book on the right; it’s less than perfect but is still beautiful:

  

Now I think I’ve got the hang of it. I’ve got more papers which I’ve not used yet, so look out for those! Plus I’m planning a new YouTube video on reusing and recycling, and will also be sharing with you my first attempts at book restoration and rebinding. Stay tuned! x

Categories
Craft Craft fairs Notebooks Origami Paper Stationery

Updates! Recent makes, stall bookings, latest Etsy stock

Lilac guest book spine

 

I’ve been busy making Coptic-bound notebooks lately – and they’re all up for sale in my Etsy store. All hand stitched, I’ve done an A6 one and a couple of A5 books; use them for what you will – notebooks, sketchbooks, guestbooks, journals – they’re all very versatile! Here’s a peek at the newbies:

As well as stock, I’ve been playing with my new origami paper – making these gorgeous gingham elephants!

Origami elephants

I’m thinking they’ll make lovely greetings cards – what do you reckon? What other things do you think I could use them for?

Last but not least – I’ve booked a summer fete for later in the year. It’s a local affair for a good cause; my stall fee went straight to the hosts Just Giving page for SWAN – syndromes without a name, supporting undiagnosed children. It’s on July 24th at The Elgar Centre in Northampton, more details on their Facebook page.

Categories
Craft

Beginner Bookbinding: Hints & Tips

There are many, many tutorials out there, covering all your beginner bookbinding needs; and so I thought I’d do a hints & tips section to complement them! These are things I’ve learned and picked up along the way.

  • Invest in a bone folder. This will be your new best friend.

Bonefolder love

  • You can use grease-proof paper for waxed paper. It’s very handy for pasting onto.
  • PVA is great while you’re learning. Proper book paste can be quite pricey, and when you’re just starting out PVA is absolutely fine for practice work.
  • Get a basic set of different size brushes. You can pick them up fairly cheap from places like The Works, and it’ll help you get a feel for what you need and what you feel comfortable with.
  • Always have a couple of pieces of clean kitchen roll to hand! It’s sturdier than tissue and less likely to shed little bits everywhere. It’s good for wiping down surfaces and hands and things. Keep a sheet separate for using on your books to avoid smearing.
  • It’s best to use waxed thread. If you can get a block of beeswax from somewhere, you can wax your own thread. This works out a bit cheaper and gives you more options.

Beeswax

  • Get into the habit of fraying the loose end of the thread after a knot. This will keep it from coming undone- I use my needle for this and just tease it gently.

As with everything, the internet is a wealth of information when it comes to bookbinding tutorials. Here are a few good ones:

Super simple all-in-one pamphlet book from My Handbound Books

5 hole pamphlet stitch from Design Sponge

Coptic stitch from Torta Gialla

Simple staple-and-glue hardback from Instructables

Good luck and happy binding!

Notebook 001

Categories
Craft Notebooks Paper

New design! Hand bound map journal

Leather spine

 

Up till now, I’ve been making simple notebooks or amending existing templates to create my own notebooks. But now I’m working for myself, I’m starting to have time to create my own designs and templates. This is the first!

Map journal

Friends and family have kindly donated old leather bags for me to up-cycle; as soon as I saw this yellow leather, I knew it would work beautifully with the map print paper I bought in Amalfi a few years ago. I’d been hoarding the paper for the right project and this was definitely it.

Yellow leather spine

 

Taking what I’ve learned over the years I’ve been making notebooks, I combined a flexible leather spine with solid boards front and back, covered in that beautiful quality map paper, finishing off the corners with leather for durability (and because it looks gorgeous!).

Map notebook corner

Hope you like it as much as I do! I’ll be making more of these and also designing new books, so keep a look out  🙂

Categories
Craft Notebooks Paper Stationery

New Year, new notebooks

I’m currently working to stock my online shops with my handmade notebooks, plus I’ve got some products into a shop in town – so it’s all go! Here are some samples of what I’ve been doing:

Light leather

Leather 1

Leather 2

 

Bright coptic

Coptic spines

Categories
Craft Notebooks Paper Stationery

Handmade Wedding Guestbook

Guestbook work

After working my way up to doing bigger notebooks and sketchbooks over the years, I got the chance to try my hand at a wedding guestbook (yep, for the same friend I did the flowers for!). This was a great opportunity and I found working with a specific purpose made me push myself more.

I chose a song that was special to both of them for the inside cover. The cover itself was navy sewn with silver thread, to match their colour scheme. Opting for a Japanese stab-binding method, I found this fantastic tutorial for the spine. It’s not as complicated as it looks, I promise, and it’s well worth the effort. I’m incredibly grateful for the tutorial.

Here’s the result!

 

Guestbook work 2         Guestbook Inside        Guestbook 2

 

 

Guestbook 1

 

Categories
Lunchtime Lusting Paper

Lunchtime Lusting- pretty paper

I am both glad and sad that Shepherds Falkiners has moved. Sad because I can no longer browse their lovely store in my lunch hour, or wander down to buy more book binding supplies. Glad because it stops me buying yet more paper.

I am resigned to online window shopping and trying to think up an excuse to buy some of the following:

Oh. But I actually think I do need some of this French waxed paper for covering my notebooks:

Why? Erm, well, I just do…

Categories
Craft Notebooks Paper Tutorial

Coptic Binding – first attempt

Coptic binding is something I’ve been wanting to try for ages and I found a really great tutorial. I love this one particularly as the pictures are so clear.

To practise this technique, I decided to bind my old sketches together. They’ve been laying around, sheets of A4 from sketch pads that have fallen to bits… I don’t really know why I keep them but I do! Binding them all together meant I could keep them all tidy in one place and also have a go at coptic binding. Winner.

I love the spine!

One of the advantages of this type of binding is that allows the pages to lay nice and flat:

🙂

Categories
Art Craft Inspiration Notebooks Paper

Weekly Inspiration- Books and art

I’ve been thinking recently about what kind of books to make and decided that maybe it would be a good idea to figure out what kind of book I would want for myself. What is about a book that makes me want it when I see it? It’s most definitely the look of the thing, initially – it will always be the cover that caught my eye – but also the overall look and feel of a book, including the insides and how it’s been put together.

After that all important Google research, I discovered a wonderful world of artist’s books – and a concept that I was familiar with but that for some reason hadn’t registered fully.

Having started to become familiar with bookbinding techniques and thus able to start putting things together by myself, I think I may be almost ready to try my hand at something a bit more… well, a bit more.