A Bit Messy

Where has the week gone? I have been so busy seeing friends, former co-workers, networking, crafting and now things at Casa Bookgirl are getting messy! Here’s a look at one of my craft tables. I think there are various journals underneath the madness. Ha.

It’s been a good week though. I have a lot of plans for the weekend… read, bookbinding, going to EAST, and so many other things I want to do. I really need to finish Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz as my book group meets next week. The book is good but I’m not sure that I’m loving it. More on this later. Plus, I have to return the book to the library soon.

Oh and catching up on book reviews. Can you believe I still haven’t even told you about some of the books that I read while I was on vacation? Thank goodness I kept notes. I also want to go through my stash of craft magazines. I hate to get rid of some of these but let’s be real, when do I look through these? So they may find themselves on the destash section of my shop. Going through these though has reminded me of several publications that I really enjoyed and that aren’t in print any longer.

I seem to be all over the place in this post. Anyway, tell me about you, what are you up to this weekend? And is anyone tired yet of all the Black Friday/Cyber Monday ads? My inbox is inundated with emails. I admit it’s hard to even think of the holidays around here when I’m wearing shorts and a t-shirt. We’re supposed to hit 84 today. I need iced coffee. Ok, have a wonderful weekend everyone and more bookish talk soon!

Nonfiction November Week 3 – Be The Expert

It’s time for the weekly post for NonFiction November. This week is ‘expert’ week. The discussion is being hosted by Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness. Here’s the prompt for the week.

Be The Expert/Ask the Expert/Become the Expert: Three ways to join in this week! You can either share 3 or more books on a single topic that you have read and can recommend (be the expert), you can put the call out for good nonfiction on a specific topic that you have been dying to read (ask the expert), or you can create your own list of books on a topic that you’d like to read (become the expert).

I’m choosing Be The Expert. In keeping with my theme from yesterday’s post, let’s continue the bookbinding talk. It occurred to me that I’ve been bookbinding on and off for about 14 years. That’s a lot of paper & glue in this household. So if you’ve ever thought about the process of bookbinding and or wanted to give it a try I rounded up some books that I think would be fabulous.

Two books that I love are 500 Handmade Books Vol. 1 & Vol. 2. These books are pure eye-candy and a great way of seeing books as art. There are books that don’t quite look like books, bindings of all sorts and books of all shapes and sizes. Some of the books featured in these collections have been made by teachers I’ve taken classes with so it was exciting to see that when I got these books.

If these two make you want to give bookbinding a try then one of my favorite technique books is Cover to Cover by Shereen LaPlantz. I have had this book for years and I still reference it. There is an invaluable section on tools, thread, adhesives and then of course the techniques. Great instructions so you can’t go wrong with this one.

Another book I recommend which I forgot to include in the picture is Handmade Books by Kathy Blake. I don’t hear too many mentions of this one but this was a lucky find for me at a Half Price Books several years ago. It has very nice pictures, goes through various bookbinding techniques which are great for a beginner and even has directions on how to make bookcloth.

Finally, I’m cheating a bit because this is fiction but I couldn’t resist adding this mystery Homicide in Hardcover by Kate Carlisle. The series features Brooklyn Wainwright, a bookbinder and restoration expert. So while there’s always a dead body she’s dealing with in this series, you can also see what some bookbinders deal with when it comes to books in bad shape, first editions, and custom orders. She talks about special books and other adventures in bookbinding.

And, just for kicks I’m adding this picture which I think I’ve shared before. It’s of me with my journals and some of my husband’s calligraphy at one of my craft shows a couple of years ago. I haven’t done a show in a while and I do miss it. It’s a lot of work and unfortunately it’s a bit too late for me to do any this year but maybe I’ll get back into that next year.

So I hope you enjoyed this. Hope I piqued your interest in bookbinding or maybe you’ve dabbled a bit in it before. Would love to hear your thoughts.

Can’t wait wait to catch up with what others are posting for this week’s November Nonfiction posts.

Crafty Weekend

Hope you all had a great weekend. We had some fun visiting with friends, trying out a new recipe and crafting. Lots of gray skies this weekend so it was perfect for hanging out in my studio/library. I turned on some music and worked in various journals and even journals for my Etsy shop.

It’s been a while since I did some bookbinding and it was great to get back into it. Cutting up paper, sewing and using my bookbinding press. I’m trying to take inventory of all my projects in progress and now that I have some extra time as I’m still job hunting, maybe I can finish some of those journals that have been lingering for months.

And, not only that but I decided to start a new journal – a junk journal. What’s that you ask? Well, it’s a journal with a mix of papers. They could be left-overs from painting projects, ripped pages, maps, everything. I think for anyone who is afraid of a blank page, these types of journals can be very freeing. You already have a background ready for you and then you add upon it.

To make my junk journal I had the skeleton of a book I used. I had previously taken out all the pages as I needed those for another project. For the book covers I used pretty scrapbook papers and adhered those to the front. I used some washi tape on the spine thinking that would look cute. Unfortunately I used some tape from the Tim Holtz collection and while it’s really pretty, it does not adhere very well. I tried to use some Collage Pauge over it but it still managed to lift up quite a bit. What I probably should have used was just some clear gel medium.

Anyway, this was my prototype so I didn’t care too much. I just wanted to create something so I could try out the end result and see how I can make it better next time around.

For the inside, I only used one signature of 20 pages, which gives you 40 pages. Again, not all are the same size but I think the inside came out really well. I used a simple three hole pamphlet stitch, some waxed linen thread and it was done. I could have added a whole other signature and made it chunkier but again, this is just a trial.

This photo shows you a bit of some of the random pages inside. I used some vintage maps, gelli prints, vintage papers, cards, and scrapbook papers. This part was actually the hardest – deciding which pieces of papers I wanted to use.

I really enjoyed making this and would like to try working on more of these junk journals but I have a favor to ask, do you think you would use a junk journal? What would keep you from using one? Or if you were to use one is there something specific you would like to see?

Tomorrow I’m off to the craft store because I need to pick up some boards for some other journals I make. I have the paper all cut and ready, I just need the book boards.

Alright, I am going to settle down with some reading. I’ll have to tell you more about what I finished and started this weekend but that’s for another post.