Custom Address Books

Have you ever had one of those friends that you don't talk with for ages, but when you do it's as if no time has passed? I have one of those from childhood/ teenhood, who I just love! But this post is about address books, isn't it! This friend of mine got in touch to see if I could make some custom address books for some newly married folks, and this is what we came up with!

I had some extra paper after the endsheets were made, so I made some simple soft cover books to include in the package. I thought my friend and her mom could toss them in their purses, or gift them along with the address books!

This endsheet paper is mesmerizing! 
I was able to use pre-sewn text blocks for these, which is a huge savings over printing and cutting out all of those little tabs by hand! Check out the link if you'd like to try your own DIY books.

This lokta paper was interesting to use for endsheets. It is handmade, so there is a variation in thickness throughout the sheet. You can see through it in some spots, I'll have to remember that because it could be a fun parlor trick for another project!

Paper Weaving

 Toward the end of last year I commissioned Rhonda, a bookbinder and paper marbler, to hand marble a slew of paper for one of my custom projects. I needed the paper to make endsheets for a series of guest books. Her work was beautiful and I couldn't have been happier with the result.

 In order to turn the marbled paper into endsheets, I mounted it onto a thicker paper that is sure to be durable for the repeated opening and constant use the books will receive. Each set of endsheets was made oversized and then trimmed to match height and width of the pages of the book block.

Above are the neatly trimmed marbled endsheets in action! I just loved the look of all of the trimmed strips neatly lining my recycling bin, and I couldn't toss them. I also couldn't just let them sit in a drawer for too long without playing with them!

Soon, my paper fiddling turned into paper weaving!

And more paper weaving.

And more! Once I stopped with the marbled paper trimmings, I had a knack for it and didn't feel much like stopping. I picked up some Japanese paper scraps and got cooking!

I plan to mount these little checkered pieces on tissue and then see what happens from there! I'm leaning toward incorporating them into the tops of boxes. Whatever I do, I'm sure the result will be posted here eventually.

Paper Swap!

On Tuesday, Jen of A Red Pumpkin Studio posted about her love for paper. She posed a question to the bookbinding team curious if anyone would be interested in a paper swap. I sure piped up! And here it is the end of the week and it's already in the works! Thanks for organizing it, Jen :) Above are my 9"x12" papers that I'll be sending for swappage! I've included some favorites & am crossing my fingers for good swap karma.

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.