A Patriotic Gift

A good friend of mine, who was born on the 4th of July, has a special interest in the Presidents of our country.

I always get excited when I come across neat presidential things, because I can squirrel them away for later gift giving! A while ago, I found this little book about the lives of the U.S. Presidents at one of my favorite antique shops, The Butler Did It Antiques in Cannon Beach.

The book is very slim and just has a paper cover, so I thought it deserved a clamshell. Then I decided that it needed my friend's initials on it. Very presidential, don't you think?

Here the book is nestled in its box. It is a Little Blue Book, as can be seen on the front cover. I wonder if it was ever truly blue, that's some serious fading!

It all starts with George! All of the illustrations are pretty great. Another thing you can see in this photo is that the book was printed in the US, but what I didn't realize is that it was published/printed in Girard, KS. Girard is about an hour away from my friend's hometown of Independence, KS. That was a fun discovery!

Book Repair: Cassell's Spanish Dictionary

This project began with my client trying to come up with a Christmas gift for her impossible-to-buy-for husband!* This particular Cassell's Spanish Dictionary has a great history, having belonged to her husband's father, and is full of sentimental value.

The photos above feature some of my favorite steps during the process of this book repair. Cleaning the spine went really well because hide glue had been used, and once it was moistened the brittle spine linings pulled right up. These original linings on the spine were removed so I would be able to attach decorative endsheets and anchor them to the book by sewing through a few sections of the binding, this also allowed me to add new linings of acid free paper and adhesive. The bottom row of photos deserve the "favorite steps" title, because they were taken as things really started to shape up and the book looked more and more like the finished product!

Before & After- Stronger spine linings and the attachment of the new cover allow the dictionary to have the graceful opening you see in the bottom photo.

Before & After- What a difference a cover can make! Now those wilting endsheets are protected with decorative endsheets and a cover. My client selected this marbled paper (along with the bonded leather color), and I think it was such an elegant choice.

Before & After- The book can now slide easily onto a shelf without worry of pages folding or tearing.

* We all have those people in our lives! Writing "impossible-to-buy-for" made me think of my dad and all of the things I've ended up giving him. My dad is an audiologist, so ear related things always find their way into my gifting brain storm. One year I made a paper mache ear and mounted it to a clip board! What a lucky guy ;) All that aside, I think my client nailed it with this book!

The Frontier Horizon

The horizon represents a new frontier, personally and globally. Imagine that you can walk the rim of this binding where all of the sections are gathered. Look outward at the endless possibilities extending toward your future. Look inward at the layered spokes of your past and contemplate how your memories, experiences, and the people that have made an impact on your life might inform your steps toward each new frontier. This book structure represents a personal reflection as I search beyond my own horizons and limits. I push toward new experiences while carrying the past with me.

Cave Paper, Mohawk Superfine, vellum paper printed with mementos from the artist’s past, linen thread, magnets

Dimensions: 10.75 x 10.75 x 2.5, Folds flat to 18 x 2.5 x 1.5


I am honored and thrilled to share that my artist book, The Frontier Horizon, was selected for the upcoming Guild of Book Workers Horizon exhibition.

Bon Voyage Sale!

12 days left until I leave the country! On Monday the 12th I'll be closing up shop until I return to the bindery in July. In honor of our upcoming adventures I'm having a 30% off Sale in my Etsy Shop.

 If you'd like to make a purchase, add an item to your cart and click the check out button. In the "notes to seller" portion, be sure to let me know your email address. Click to complete your order, but refrain from going to Paypal to pay. and I'll email you a revised invoice that will include a link to complete your payment.

Back to the bindery for now! I'm sewing a HUGE book today! I'm a busy bee with the sunshine streaming in. I'm taking pictures of everything I'm finishing up, so I'll be able to share everything with you when I have the time. :) Cheers!

Mission Accomplished: Guest Books & Exciting News

Voila! Three earth friendly looking guest books! I've obscured the logos on the front covers, but otherwise, that's just what they look like. I finished them on Friday morning, so I had plenty of time to turn them in before their afternoon deadline.

Ollie kept me company, and thankfully a squirrel kept him entertained, so he wasn't chasing paper around the bindery!

Here is a shot of what I use for my job backer (the contraption that holds the text block in place while the shoulders are formed). Gilding boards with binders board support strips are set securely into a lying press. I use a jewelers hammer and a fender hammer for rounding.

It had been a while since I'd sewn an endband, and it was fun to get to do six of them!

 Now for the biggest news of all! On Wednesday Josh and I found out that we'll be relocating to Paris for 3 months! He leaves on Friday and I'll join him the first week of April after I finish up projects in the bindery. It's just now sinking in that this is really happening. I didn't have time to think about it while I was working on the guest books, so it's been a great weekend just daydreaming about all of the things we'll get to see and do in the next couple of months. Me-oh-my!

Neverending Thread

I struck gold at Disney's property control a few weekends ago. All of those large spools on the table were a just a dollar! The white and yellow spools on the windowsill were finds from the same place a couple months ago. The tiny (normal sized) spools in front are just for reference. If you're a cast member, and you're in the area, there are probably plenty left.

These could have come from anywhere in Disney World, judging by the color scheme I'm going to guess that all this thread was used for costumes either somewhere in Animal Kingdom, or Adventureland. I will probably use it for various projects on my sewing machine and for endbands. I wonder how many hundreds of endbands all of that thread could produce. Yeesh! If you need any of those colors, let me know, I just might have some to spare!

Property control is a magical place. It consists of two buildings, one for damaged items and things that have been long lost in the parks, and another for overstock and things around property that aren't needed anymore. You can even find old vehicles and machinery. Whenever we go, I head for the section in the back where I usually find something I can use in the bindery.

Folded Star Book Tutorial

Pictured above are an assortment of folded star books. From left to right; pages made from colored construction paper & covers made from Chili's coasters, printer paper pages with covers using decorative paper and a turquoise bead embellishment, a typography journal made with printer and decorative papers, a gift from my friend Erin - made by Jen Swearington of Jenny Threads with ketchup artwork for the covers, and finally the little book featured in my last post.

The following is a tutorial for making these fun books. They can be made in any size, but if you use the dimensions that I provide, a basic printer paper can be used for the pages. Have fun, and please let me know if you have any questions!

Creating the Basic Structure
Using a sharp blade such as an Xacto or an Olfa utility knife, cut out two 4¼ x 4¼ inch squares from a piece of board (binders board, cereal box, any board will work). Be aware of what is underneath the board while you cut. If available use a cutting board or self healing mat. These two pieces will be your covers.

Making the Covers
Cover these two board pieces with paper or fabric. Use an adhesive appropriate to your cover material. Mix (PVA & Methyl Cellulose), Paste, Glue Stick, and HeatnBond are all acceptable. I like to brush Mix onto the paper and then place the paper onto the board. Use a bone folder to smooth cover material onto boards.

Adding Embellishments
You may add a decorative element to one of the boards to create a distinction between the front and back covers. Use contrasting paper, beads, or found objects to create this sense of a cover.

Folding Paper
Fold an 8½ x 8½ inch piece of paper three times. From one corner to the opposite corner create a diagonal fold. Flip the paper over and then continue from the left side to the right side creating a vertical fold, and from the top to the bottom creating a horizontal fold. A bone folder will help create crisp folds.

Creating the Book BlockPlace your pages in front of you so that your diagonal fold is vertical. Next, flip every other piece onto the opposite side. Adhere the folded pages one to another in an alternating manner. A glue stick may be used for this, a thin even coat of adhesive is desired. When all of the pages are connected, this is called a book block.

This construction paper version is a good example of how the pages should be attached.

Completing Your Book
One at a time, adhere the front and back covers to the endpapers of the book block. Be careful to align the covers evenly. The book should be able to stand on its own when dry. A glue stick or the PVA and Methyl Cellulose mixture may be used for this.

After you finish your book, if you find that you need more pages, no problem! Just fold another page and glue it in -- as I did in my typography journal (above).

Workroom Layout

Last night we moved a truckload over to our new apartment. As I was unloading boxes, Josh took all of the measurements of our work room. When we got back home he took measurements of all of the things that need to fit into that space and then created this helpful turn-around using Google SketchUp.

View from the entrance

View from the windows

Clockwise starting at 6 0'clock: Josh's drafting table, entrance door, Josh's bookcases and desk, my bench and peg board on the wall, my sewing table (12 o'clock), Kutrimmer, another table and more peg board (my book press and potential future kwikprint will go on this table), book case, door to closet with ample storage space

In a couple of weeks we can see how the real pictures compare to these! I won't be taking any aerial shots, but in the meantime these sketchups will be so helpful for moving furniture this weekend.

Now, this isn't about the new work room, but it is about free stuff, so read on!
During the past couple of weeks I've discovered a few different sites that have introduced me to new artists, blogs, and giveaways. I've had a bit of giveaway mania lately and have entered quite a few. In the spirit of the giveaway I'm going to share all of the sites I've commented on, and you will in turn realize how much time I've spent on the internet! is the main site I found, where the community blog is chockfull of posts highlighting different artists, as well as a giveaway or two. These are the ones I found through
1. An ArtFire giveaway for a bundle of Eco Friendly/ Earth Day products hosted by Risky Beads, entering that one takes a little time, but it gives you a chance to see what some neat shop owners are selling. My favorite is Not Moira. While her cards crack me up, I don't know how many I could actually send! Risky Beads has a great interview with her here. Enter by April 7th.

2. All you have to do for Joanna is join her facebook page and leave a comment on her blog for a chance to win one of her lovely photo prints. The chances are pretty good so far, I think I'm the only one that has commented, and you have until May 7th to enter.

3.You have until April 9th to comment on the blog of Jacaranda Designs Jewelry for a chance to win a pair of truly sweet, Sweet Pea Green Pearl Earrings. Just visit her etsy shop, choose your favorite item, and tell her about it in a comment on the blog.

4. Another pair of earrings is waiting to be claimed at Shop By Hand. Pretty Cheap Jewelry is featured with their Cinnabar Earrings giveaway. Same procedure as earrings above, contest ends April 15th.

5. And now for my favorite so far! Unfortunately, the opportunities are over for this one, but it was exciting to me because I won something! Patricia Snow posted an opportunity to play a game. She invited anyone to take a look at her Art Shoppe on Etsy and search for her illustrated note cards. Scattered throughout her shop were listings for 3 different cards, all you had to do was find it and she'd send it to you! Check out her shop for some really sweet illustrations. There's a panda on my free card :). When she posted the winners on her blog, Patricia included an image from each of our shops. It was fun to see my tea time book in a new location. Thanks Patricia!

Handmade Winners

This morning I took a trip over to and generated my six numbers. Drum roll, please... In order, the numbers that came up were:

4. djStoreRoom
3. erinsimpson
8. Christina & Tyler
6. Kate Jones
2. Hannah
1. Emily

Congrats to you who won and thanks to all who entered! I loved having people comment on the blog, it was sort of like getting people to sign a school yearbook! I'm certainly looking forward to figuring out what I'll make for you six! It's fun that it's a mix of people I know really well, kinda well, and not at all! I'll get in touch with you soon for your contact information and I'll definitely post photos of what I end up making after the goods have been sent.

Two items of note before I sign off. Last night I was delighted to see that I made my first sale on Etsy! My purple perennial miniature book earrings will be on their way to Colorado today!
And second, today is the day we get the keys to our new place, which means time to set up the bindery/work room again! Thanks to Glenn who will be moving all of the HEAVY stuff with Josh this weekend! Here is a before photo of the model apartment. I'm thinking I'll set up my bench near those windows, and can't wait to organize things in that big closet!

Paper Storage

Several Years ago when I was meandering the wooden walkways of Gilman Village in Issaquah, Washington, I noticed a contented woman sitting on a bench in the sun enjoying a snack. It took merely a second for me to memorize that comfortable picture, and what happened next is why I still remember it. I glanced to my right and saw an open door and a sign that read "The Paper Fix." Always having been a fan of paper, it was only natural to walk inside.

The Paper Fix turned out to be a shop with a balanced offering of decorative papers, fine stationary, and custom gift wrapping. Those are three things that I thoroughly enjoy. As I was taking in my surroundings, the woman from the bench came inside. It turned out that she was Angela Fix, owner of The Paper Fix. I had a great time talking to her and learning about her business. Seeing what she did for a living and how content she was, gave me a little glimpse of something I might like to do in the future. We enjoyed the same things.
Cutting, folding, tying, gluing. At the time I thought, someday I'd like to be surrounded by beautiful paper, just like this. Happily those likes of mine led me to bookbinding, and voilà, I'm on my way to being surrounded!

The paper shown above is a piece purchased from The Paper Fix. The papers were displayed hanging on wooden rods that were suspended from the ceiling using heavy chains. From what I remember the rods just slipped through the large eyes of the chains.

I have a small collection of papers that I like to have at the ready, and at this time, my bindery lacks a good spot for flat files. After telling my husband, Josh, the story above, he set to work recreating similar paper storage for me. I think his variation on the theme might be a bit sturdier than the original.
Instead of threading the rod through the eyes of the chains, he screwed eye hooks into the rods so that they could accept S hooks which could then be attached to a length of chain. The eye hooks are also what hold the contraption to the ceiling. His final step was to add rubber feet to the ends of the rods. I thought that was a nice finishing touch. Below are close-ups of the attachments.

There are some pros and cons to storing paper this way. The major pro is that a lot of color is instantly added to the bindery. Also, because of the way I've arranged the papers, with a little sliver of each showing, I am able to take stock of what I have and readily select the paper I'd like to use. I don't have to sort through a drawer of papers stacked on top of each other.

After a few hours hanging on a rod, the paper is trained to have a little bend in the center. Luckily it is easily trained to do the reverse. Surely, the actual hanging on the rods must not be a major issue considering how many stores use a similar hanging method.
A possible con is light damage that may occur. The paper is located on the wall furthest from the bindery windows, but I think there is a fair chance that if I don't plow through these papers, those slivers will be discolored in a few months. Time will tell.

For now, I'm pleased that my decorative paper is out of tube storage and off of the floor where it was stored between pieces of binders board. The rest of my paper has a different story. I store cut pieces on shelves of my desk, and other pieces on a shelf made out of binders board, that is fitted to my Kutrimmer. This shelf holds large plain sheets, decorative papers that aren't quite the right size to hang, as well as rolls of bookcloth.

Sadly, The Paper Fix is no longer in Gilman Village. I'm not sure if the store moved, or if it closed. Hopefully Ms. Fix still has beautiful paper in her life, and is just as content as the first day I saw her.