Its gift-giving season. There are a lot of options out there
for the giver, but if your looking for handmade books or journals my etsy shop
is full. It’s too late for a custom order but that’s a thought for next year.
For the tree hugger on your list, check out my assortment of
recycled content journals and notebooks. I’ve got a few 100% recycled content
notebooks left and plenty of journals with recycled covers, in both paper and
vinyl. See them here.
For the moleskine enthusiast check out my hand bound
hedgehog notebooks. A hedgehog notebook is a handmade version of the moleskine.
Mine feature decadent leather covers, writing paper or cardstock for sketching,
leather bookmarks, envelopes in the back and an elastic closure. Check them out in my etsy shop.
Maybe you’ve got someone on your list into large 400 page
journals? I’ve got one left in fantastic brown leather, great paper and a
unique one of a kind binding. It’s on sale $25 off. Check it out here.
If I’ve got nothing that interests you look around on etsy
and buy handmade this holiday season.
I just finished listing 8 new sets of jotters to etsy. Each has 6 jotter notebooks in the set. I have 3 different styles 100% recycled, Graph Paper and Wausau Ivory paper. Each se tis unique and one of a kind, as the covers are made from recycled materials- old advertising posters from a major retail establishment, cut up so that they no loner look like ads, just abstract designs. A few have letters and words on them, you’ll have to head over to etsy and see them.
So these 3 journals are hard cover hedgehogs, covers are bookboard covered in hand made papers of various origins. The tan journal is covered in Lama li paper, the gray journal is covered in this odd gray recycled paper I found in Maine at The Craft Barn- it'[s filled with all sorts of fibers and is buffered for longevity. THe final journal is covered in one of my favorite handmade papers- thick, soft and green fiber filled textural paper. I love this paper it was really pricey but I fell in love with it and had to have it. It got a great fabric like feel to it. I want to keep this journal…
When I was making the book blocks I forgot to trim my paper to size, so when I finished the block they were all an inch too wide. I headed to my local Staples (the one with the crabby manager) and their print shop to get the blocks trimmed. When I asked the guy if he had a paper shear he at first said no, when I pointed to the electric shear right behind him and asked what is that then? He said oh you mean the electric trimmer? I then asked if that would trim the fore edge off my blocks, and he said he didn’t think it would cut through the stack. He then asked me if I needed the spine edge cut off. I re-explained what I wanted and he got it. He still didn’t think the machine would do it, but I inisted that he try, so he did and they came out pretty good. You can see where some one tried to cut through a staple or a paper clip as the blade had several nicks in it, but the price I paid to have 6 blocks cut down to the needed 3.5 inches was well worth it.
I’m using the last 3 blocks to make some leather hedgies. I’ve got several buckskin hides that are nice and distressed.
So this little beauty is a miniature moleskine. It’s stitched with hand waxed cotton thread. The spine was clamped and glued by hand with acid free flexible glue. The cover is a vinyl plastic coating just like a real moleskine. Inside are 32 pages of cream colored heavy paper. The bookmark is naturally colored hemp and in the back is a pocket. Holding the whole thing shut is an elastic.
A comment was made about mini books and I’ve made them in the past, so I thought I’d make a few more. These measure 1×1 inch and about 1/4 inch thick. The stitching is smythe or hedgehog/moleskine style. Working in this size was not compatible with my full sized tools, so I made a few mini tools- including a sewing cradle an an awl. For folds and scoring I might have to look into making some sort of folder.
This week I finished 5 more journals. 4 are going up to my etsy account and one is going to eBay. All are smythe sewn- the style of moleskines. So I start with the book block, stitch it, then glue it and clamp it. Then that book block is glued into a cover.
For these I decided to make covers with flaps and straps instead of elastics. I thought it would be a nice deviation from what I’ve been doing. I’m particularly fond of the distressed brown leather. I like to call the color Choco-Latte, because it’s the color of coffee or milk chocolate.
The 4 below are the books on etsy. They are on there for $24.99 plus shipping via priority mail.
The book press below might not be pretty but I’m sure it’s plenty serviceable and would give anyone the amount of pressure they need to press up a few hedgehogs. I found it on this website. And it’s currently for sale.
It’s made from a pipe clamp- readily available from any woodworking store or big box building store like Home Depot. Most pipe clamps can be bought in the pieces and you then buy the pipe to mount the clamping pieces and the system works through leverage. After sliding the top clamp into place you then screw the turn screw to create the tight pressure. Because you can buy pipe in any length this is a great design to work with- the only limit to the stack is how high you want to go. I wouldn’t suggest going over 16 inches, but that’s a lot of books. Hurrah for a binder thinking outside the box and making something that works, is relatively inexpensive and provides more than enough clamping pressure for the home binder.