Welcome to my Book Arts site. Please feel free check out the information pages and tutorials. Also, if you find any of the information useful, please drop me a note (jackie at tjbookarts dot com) and let me know.

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February 28, 2008

Over the hump… for now…

Filed under: Interesting artists, Recent News, online tutorials — jackie @ 8:31 pm

Hey there readers…

I feel like a slacker in the book making department. I have been so busy with mid term work in my classes the past couple of weeks that I haven’t been able to participate in the Flickr group challenges. Thanks so much to those that have. I appreciate all who have risen to the challenge and taken on a theme or two. Hopefully you have been learning something as well as having fun with it. Also, do take a peek over at the Flickr site now and again because it’s not just for posting challenges. There are some great examples of reader’s books there. Lots of great inspiration for aspiring binders.

Don’t forget that starting this Saturday March 1 it’s our two year “blogaversary” here at TJBookarts and I’m planning a few special things each week to celebrate.

Of note…

Check this out, a whole book on the book arts available for download in chapters from the Booklyn Artists Alliance. Included are instructions for one-sheet, coptic, flag, accordian, stab and pamphlet books. The downloads require a little patience as they are large but well worth it.

If you do download the book, consider making a donation to the Booklyn site to help further their work. From the site: “Booklyn’s staff works tirelessly to put books in the hands of the people and to encourage the people’s hands to make more books.

This age of slick, offset, corporate-controlled publishing is also the age of photocopied zines, artist books, desktop publishing, and the small press. Booklyn’s mission is to encourage the proliferation and appreciation of people-made books as an antidote to industry-produced counterparts.

Founded in 1999, Booklyn is an artist-run, nonprofit organization headquartered in Brooklyn, New York. Our mission is to promote artist books as an art form and educational resource; to provide educational institutions and the public with programming involving contemporary artist books; and to assist artists in exhibiting, distributing, and publishing innovative bookwork. ” You can read more on their website here.

While you are there, definitely take a look at some of the artist’s books in the artist’s section by clicking on their names. There are some pretty cool books there.

More stuff to check out… 

Here is an interesting interview with Emma Jane Hogbin of the somewhat defunct (I say somewhat because the site has been in renovation for some time now) website “Strange Little Girl”. She does have a new blog but it is not book arts related like the old one was.

I’m always amazed at the books posted on Google Books that you can look through. I recently came across this one on making fabric memory books by Lesley Riley.

Of course you can’t print the books on Google books and some of them give you a full preview while others only give you a limited preview of the book but, there is definitely enough to look through and decide if you’d like to add it to your library. If you do a search on making books you come up with alot of great titles. Check it out. Also, do a search on bookbinding and you’ll come up with a few good ones such as this one by one of my readers Joanne B. Kaar.

See you on Saturday!

• • •

January 16, 2008

When good blogs get neglected…

Filed under: Morning Musings, online tutorials — jackie @ 8:40 am

Good morning readers… 

I’ve been musing a bit lately on the subject of defunct websites. I think it is sad when a good site gets neglected then just finally goes away. I know that things come up and life happens and people no longer have the time or interest to care for their sites. I also understand that it can be a little taxing financially to keep a site going but it is still sad to see them go.

Thanks to the wayback machine you can usually find the info from the long gone site. Unfortuneatly alot of times the photos are missing.

I also think it’s sad when good blogs start falling by the wayside. I’m not just talking about book blogs but others as well. I think people post post post for the first few months or year or so and just when they’ve built up a good following of readers they burn out and either stop posting or post once every few months. I know it’s hard to continually find fresh content for your blog but if you want your readers to come back you need to post at least once or a few times a week.

When I first started this site I wasn’t sure what to write about so I posted only once in a while. Then I felt like I needed to have something to say every day. Now, mostly because of my schedule, I realize that posting a few times a week is ok as long as I am consistent and do so and have found that I can always find a little something to write about.

Another thing that I find helpful is that I might start a post a day or two before I actually post it. That gives me time to add info as I find it and flesh it out a bit. Like this post. This one that you are reading was started yesterday morning but I didn’t have time to put all my thoughts in order until this morning. :)

For those new to blogging, here is a site that might be helpful.

Of note:

I created a page for the list of resources for repairing books and put a link over on the sidebar to make the info more easily available to you all.

The Etsy Street team did a nice post on headband tutorials about a week or so ago. If you sell your work on Etsy you really should be a member of the Bookbinding Street Team as they are doing alot to help promote one another.

Here’s a tutorial for making beaded headbands from Abi over at the Evilrooster Bookweb site.

I hope everyone has a great day.

• • •

January 12, 2008

Saturday morning musings…

Filed under: How To, Morning Musings, online tutorials — jackie @ 11:17 am

Good morning readers…

I finally got my challenge book posted over on the Flickr site. It was actually done yesterday but was still in the press drying when I retired for the evening.

Here is a photo of the cover. You can see more details over on Flickr.

 Challenge #1 book

Edited to add: that it is actually quite lovely in person. The photo doesn’t do it much justice. It’s approx. 8″x8″ in size with hand torn natural stonehenge pages. My favorite paper. Perfect for sketching and watercolor. 

I need to use something else besides foam core for my backdrop when taking photos of my books. Or at least ditch the bounced flash and use continuous lighting. The shadows tend to have a greenish grey tint to them. I’ve used black velvet before but it is only good for light books.

I found this tutorial on lighting through another blog. It’s primarily geared towards taking photos of quilts but I think the techniques should carry over well for books since they are basically fiber also. There is a great tutorial for making your own simple light stands as well as a reccommendation for inexpensive lights to use. I am def. going to try a set of the bulbs that they reccommend.

You don’t have to have an expensive camera and fancy setup to get good photos of your books. Knowing a little about how to setup and light your books goes a long way and as we all know having good photographs of your work makes it look nicer online and sell better because of it.

If anyone has any techniques or tips they would like to share I’d love to hear them.

I hope everyone has a great day.

• • •

December 14, 2007

Phew…

Filed under: Morning Musings, online tutorials — jackie @ 10:38 am

Good morning readers…

I am finally finished with exams and can concentrate on the Holidays and upcoming new year. Which, besides finishing up things on my gift list, includes a good house cleaning and writing out my “goals” for next year.

Some of those “goals” are to start making more books to sell and to get my Etsy shop in order. I feel like such a slacker after seeing all the books Rhonda made recently. {sigh}

For anyone local, I’ll be at Jerry’s Artarama this Sunday Dec. 16 from 11-2 demoing. If you’re in the area, please stop by and say “hi”. As an extra incentive, I have a few little gifts to give out to those who do. And, if that wasn’t enough, they give a discount on bookbinding supplies and those fancy papers while I’m there. :)

I hope everyone has a great day.

• • •

November 29, 2007

Into the home stretch…

Filed under: Morning Musings, online tutorials — jackie @ 11:38 am

Good morning readers…

I don’t know about you, but I am never prepared for the onslaught of the holidays. Every year I say that I am going to prepare early and every year I am still preparing things and making/buying gifts at the last minute.

I bought a little book a few years ago titled Hundred Dollar Holiday: The Case For A More Joyful Christmas by Bill McKibben. The message being, of course, about scaling back and enjoying the holidays and the people more than the things. I bought it several years ago at one of those big book sales that they put on in empty storefronts during the holidays. I wish I had picked up a bunch of extra copies to give to family and friends.

I’m in the home stretch with my first semester of college. One more week then exams. Luckily I will only have two to study for but unfortunately they are both on the same day. I’m looking forward to the break as I plan to do a major pre new year clean with lots of organizing and purging of stuff.

On the bookbinding front, there has been some discussion about book presses over on the Book Arts Mailing list. There are a few places that you can get a good handmade book press at a reasonable cost.

One place is, Wood and Metal Craft. They have some nice looking presses for bookbinding and paper arts. They also have a few unique looking tools for binders that you may want to check out. I really like the natural handled awls.

Many of the tools that we use are easily built at home. If you are looking to build a press yourself, here are a few links to help you out.

I have some instructions for making a simple portable press on my guides page.

Here’s a book press tutorial from the tutorials section of the Book Arts List.

Another one that utilizes a bottle jack that is not so portable but easily buildable.

And another bottle jack press that is a little more detailed but still easily buildable.

I hope everyone has a wonderful day.

• • •

August 29, 2007

Wednesday morning musings and 117 days…

Filed under: Inspiration, Morning Musings, online tutorials — jackie @ 7:18 am

Good morning readers.

The weather here has been mild the past couple of days which has been a nice change. I’m trying not to whine about wanting fall to come and having fairly nice days really helps. The one thing about fall that I don’t care much for is the shortening of the days. I realized walking out of my evening class last night that before the end of the semester it would be dark by the time we got out.

That being said, I really want to break out my knitting and finish that wool sweater I started last winter that only has one sleeve and half a body. Also, I have socks and a pair of slippers on needles in a bag somewhere. It seems that I am a seasonal knitter.

Ideas for the Holidays:

Leslie of the Comfortable Shoes Blog has posted the rest of her tutorial on using coffee bags for making the little notebooks similar to the Moleskine Cahiers. These would make great little gifts for the coffee drinker in your life.

Theme baskets always make nice gifts. For a journaler you could include a handmade journal, a nice mug, some fancy coffee or tea, a handmade bookmark and some baked goods or sweets.

For a reader just substitute the journal with a book in their favorite genre or perhaps a gift certificate to their favorite book store.

For a letter writer add some handmade stationary or cards and a nice pen.

Not necessarily book related, but for my sisters (they don’t read my blog) this year I plan on making a bread baking kit with a cookbook, a handmade bread cloth, some yeast and some fancy flour all packed into a clay bread pan.

Of note:

If you’re interested in type here is a two part article on 70’s type. From the site: The decade from 1970 to 1980 stands out for many reasons, from sideburns to Richard Nixon to disco. But the things Gene Gable remembers most fondly are the decorative, bold, and sometimes goofy type designs. Gas was in short supply during some of the 1970s, but not so great type designs. Several new companies and technologies emerged that made that period the decade of display type. While good headlines were still set one letter at a time, new technology gave both designers and typesetters almost unlimited options. The results, says Gene Gable, while not always readable, were at least nice to look at. Part 1 and Part 2.

I hope everyone has a great day.

• • •

August 26, 2007

A rainy Sunday afternoon…

Filed under: Morning Musings, online tutorials — jackie @ 3:03 pm

Good afternoon readers.

I’m still here trying to embrace summer but it has been so darn hot the past couple of days. The storm we are getting right now will be a relief if the sun doesn’t come out blazing afterwards and make it humid as heck.

It’s been a lazy weekend for me. I have been spending time relaxing and doing mindless activities like watching movies and napping. :D

Of note:

The very prolific bookmaker Rhonda of the My Handbound Books Blog posted a tutorial on making a Waterlily book. A fun little book structure that looks simple to make.

Also, Leslie of the Comfortable Shoes Blog posted a tutorial on using coffee bags for making the little notepads similar to the Moleskine Cahiers.

Well…back to being lazy. I’ll leave you with a summer bouquet.

Summer bouguet

I hope everyone has an enjoyable afternoon.

• • •

August 24, 2007

Friday morning musings & wishing our days away…

Filed under: Morning Musings, online tutorials — jackie @ 8:49 am

Good morning readers.

I hope all of you are doing well and that if you are in any of the areas affected by hurricane Dean or all that flooding that you are safe and dry.

The past few days have been overcast off and on without rain here. This morning it is overcast and it looks like we’ll have high 80’s to low 90’s temps. A little bit hotter than yesterday.

You’ll remember that a few posts back I was lamenting about summer and wishing for fall. My friend and I were talking and because fall weather is still several months away in our area we should probably enjoy the weather we have by thinking about the good things of summer. So…instead of wishing my days away I made a list of some of the things that I like about summer. Here’s a few.

Summers are:

  • Sitting on the porch in the evenings listening to the crickets sing.
  • The sound of the wooden screen door slamming against the door frame.
  • Fresh tomatos, basil and mozzarella drizzeled with olive oil
  • Cold melon pieces from the fridge
  • Iced coffee
  • Farmers markets
  • Fresh local flowers
  • Walking along the beach, pants rolled up, feet sloshing in the cool water
  • Music on the streets at the oceanfront
  • A bike ride in the park
  • Roasting marshmellows around a camp fire
  • Smore’s
  • Canoeing down river and stopping for lunch on some rocks

Of note:

If you are familiar with the Instructables site, you know that the tutorials there are hit or miss when it comes to being good. Some of them are great and some are so so. I recently came across a tutorial on Instructable for making a basic messenger bag. I’m pretty stocked to try it as it looks pretty decent. I have been wanting to make a bag but have been too lazy to create my own pattern. You can download a pdf file of the pattern.

Andrea of the Scout and Jem Blog, has created some nice looking book frocks. There is no tutorial but they might give you some ideas on making some of your own.

For a tutorial on making book covers, checkout the Moonstitches Blog. It has lots of good photographs with descriptions. 

I’ll leave you with a summer sky at dusk.

Summer sky outside my door

I hope everyone has a great day.

• • •

August 14, 2007

Tues. morning musings…

Filed under: Morning Musings, online tutorials — jackie @ 8:52 am

Good morning readers. 

The weather her has been mild the past few days. Hot but not too humid and just enough breeze to make it nice to be outside if you need or want to be.

I am looking forward to my classes starting on the 23rd. The second week of classes will be very hectic because I am supposed to teach a children’s summer camp class at the CACV that week.

Just wanted to remind everyone that tomm. is the last day to sign up for the first book swap over on the forum. It will be conducted in a round robin style so you will only need to send your book to the person who will be getting it. We have seven players but there’s room for more.

Of note:

Here is a tutorial from the Moonstitches blog to make a fabric cover for a book or journal.

Wanna learn how to make paper? Here is a papermaking photo set on Flickr that walks you through a simplified process. You can buy a PDF file of the tutorial here and help support the artist.

Instructables has a few bookbinding tutorials. Here is one for an envelope book.

Here’s a nice blog on fabric art journals.

I hope everyone has a great day.

• • •

July 5, 2007

Thursday morning musings…

Filed under: General, Morning Musings, online tutorials — jackie @ 8:46 am

Good morning readers.

I hope everyone that was celebrating had a nice fourth of July. I didn’t have any hot dogs but did spend some time relaxing with family.

It seems that TJBookarts has gotten mentioned on several other blogs in the past few days. :)

A while back I sent Artist Penny Sanford a few little gifts that included a matchbook sketchbook as a thank you for sharing her heart yo yo pattern. She blogged about them yesterday. 

My little matchbook sketchbooks are also mentioned on a the german bookbinding blog of Tulibri.

If you’d like to make some matchbook notepads of your own, here’s a link to a simple tutorial on making them at About.com. They make great gifts and giveaways for parties and baby showers.

I hope everyone has a great day.

• • •

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