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April 2007
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April 29, 2007

Sunday musings…

Filed under: Morning Musings — jackie @ 1:11 pm

Good Sunday afternoon readers…

Jerry’s was fun last night. Lots of folks came in to check out the artists and enjoy the food and art supply discounts.

I ended up making 40 little matchbook sketchbooks. Here’s my basket of them.

Matchbook Sketchbooks

They are a little smaller than the last ones that I made. They are approx. 2″ x 3.5″ with 20 sheets of heavy text paper to write or sketch on and feature my flowers photos and custom graphics on the covers. If you would like a couple, I’m selling them for 2 for $6.00 that includes shipping within the US. Just shoot me an email for the details.

For your reading pleasure, the new issue of The Bonefolder, an international journal for bookbinding and the book arts, is available for download.

I hope everyone has a great Sunday afternoon.

• • •

April 28, 2007

Saturday morning musings…

Filed under: Morning Musings — jackie @ 10:04 am

Good morning readers…

It’s a nice day here in Virginia Beach and a big yard sale day. The neighbors across the street have a sale going on so there have been tons of cars zooming up and down our street this morning. Add to that mama duck with her troop of brand new babies crossing the street and it’s more than my nerves can take. :)

If you want to get yourself a nice journal already made, Rag and Bone Bindery is having thier annual studio sale. If you can’t get to thier studio you can get 25% off anything you buy on thier site today. Jason Thompson, who runs the bindery, also has a nice daily blog. He is also the author of Making Journals By Hand. A great book to get you motivated to create and create in your own journals.

I’m making a bunch of matchbook sketchbooks to take to Jerry’s Artarama tonight. I’ll be selling them but if you’re a reader of my blog and come out to the open house let me know and I’ll be happy give you one.

I hope everyone has a great day.

• • •

April 27, 2007

Possibilities and the power of imagination…

Filed under: Inspiration, Morning Musings — jackie @ 10:21 am

Good morning readers…

Now that I’ve bored you with my epistle on finding the perfect bag to carry my journals and junk in, I’m wondering yet again what inspires you? What motivates you to create books or to get out your journal and create in it?

Me…I’m always motivated by possibilities. My blank journals remind of the possibilities of what I could create in them.

My field bag also reminds me of possibilities. The possibility of travel. I don’t get to travel to many places but I daydream about traveling. I love to look at maps. Maps are full of possibilities. I have been all over the US and the world just by map traveling. Years ago I had a job that I would occassionally get bored at because I had nothing to do so I would take out this big ol map book of the US and “travel” to places I always wanted to go. I visited all the national parks and hiked the trails. I climbed mountains, camped in the wilderness, participated in Mardi Gras, sat on a deserted beach. I like to collect old travel books and I sometimes order travel brochures offered by state travel bureaus because they have great information and photos in them.

It sounds a bit odd doesn’t it? Just looking at maps and photos of places and dreaming about them but never going anywhere. To me it’s all about the possibilities and the hope of one day getting to travel to some of the places that I have dreamed about going.

Next time you create a journal, whether for yourself or someone else, think about the possibilities of what will go inside of it someday.

On that note, I am presenting you, dear readers, with a challenge. To create journal with a travel themed cover. You need to create a blank journal with the cover done in some type of theme that represents travel. The challenge will run starting May 1 through May 31. To participate just post a photo of your book and a short description of your technique over on the forum on the Show and Tell board. I’ll have a thread setup for you to post in.

I’m looking forward to seeing what you all come up with.

Have a great day.

• • •

April 26, 2007

The perfect bag…

Filed under: Book Bags, Morning Musings — jackie @ 7:24 am

Good morning readers…

It’s overcast and chilly here in Va. Beach this morning. All the critters have been fed and the humans have had at least one cup of coffee. You can see photos of my critters over on my sadly neglected photo blog

So… you can’t talk about journaling and books without talking about the perfect bag/satchel to carry your journals and books in.

I have been on a quest for the perfect carryall bag for years. I have tried many diff. styles and types of bags and while they each have thier own appeal none of them held my interest for very long. I quess you might say I’m a bit fickle when it comes to bags.

My latest bag is a sling type bag that I aquired at the craft store AC Moore for about $9.00 US right before the Holidays. I like it’s ergodynamic shape but it’s lacking some amenities such as more than two pockets and enough space for my camera as well as journal, wallet, ditty bag, etc. Here’s a pic of it.

My current bag

Ever since seeing the film The Ninth Gate. I have been looking around for a canvas bag like the one the character Corso carries in the film. It’s a generic sort of canvas schoolboy/messager bag. This is the best photo I could find of it.


It looks like it has two pockets on the front with leather straps and buckles to hold down the top flap and leather trim. I’m not sure why I am so enamoured of it. Perhaps it’s because he kept pulling that wonderful looking old leather book out of it all through the movie. I’m thinking that I’ll have to make myself a leather journal to carry around in my new bag.

There are tons of bags somewhat similar to this one on the army surplus sites. One that looks interesting is this one.

One of the bags I’ve been eyeing is a Brady fishing bag. Unfortunately they are way out of my price range starting at somewhere above $200 US. Used ones can be had on Ebay but are still pricey and most are only being sold in the UK.

Another bag that is similar to the Brady bag but geared towards photographers is The Billingham Bag. The Billinghams can be used as a field bag if you take the insert out. The price range starts around $170 US.

Filson has some cool looking field bags but they are still a bit pricey. Not as high as the two above tho. Here’s one I like that you can get off of Ebay for around $135 US.

Filson Bag

Orvis has a nice field bag on sale for $49. It’s the 100th anniversary edition of thier Battenkill bag.


I recently won an auction for a Brady bag look alike on Ebay. I haven’t gotten it yet so I’m not sure if it will be exactly what I am looking for tho I like that I only paid about $14 with shipping for it. Here is a photo of it.

Brady look alike

I’ve also got my eye on a used leather bag but I’m not sure I want to spend the bucks for it. I know…it’s a sickness.

So…I’m wondering what your perfect bag is. Feel free to comment here or surf on over to the forum and let us know.

I hope everyone has a great day. 

• • •

April 25, 2007

Wednesday morning musings…

Filed under: General — jackie @ 9:00 am

Good morning readers.

I wanted to remind all the local readers that I will be at the Meet The Artists night at Jerry’s Artarama in Virginia Beach, Virginia this Saturday evening, April 28, from 6-9 pm. There will be wine, cheese, good food, great artistic atmosphere. You’ll get to  meet all the  workshop artists plus they are offering 20% off any one item, even if it’s already on sale (a great way to save a lot on a bigger item) . I hope to see some of you there.

I have a few classes coming up in May.

On Saturday May 5 at Jerry’s Artarama from 11am-2pm I’ll be teaching you how to make a Mini Japanese Style Photo album. Class fee is $55 and some materials are supplied.

On Saturday May 12, 2007 at The Red Thread Studio in Suffolk, Virginia from 10-2:30 pm I’ll be teaching an Altered Photo Books class along with photographer Jill Beninato. The cost of the class is $55.00 and includes materials.

I wanted to mention my Album and Box Making Workshop coming up in August. It’s a great opportunity to learn first hand how to make flushmount albums. You do not need to be a photographer to come and learn the process. As a bookbinder it would give you the ability to offer an additional service to photographers in your area.

Also, I am available for classes and workshops at your location. Please feel free to contact me for more information.

Continuing on with this week’s theme of visual journaling I’d like to mention a few books that are worth looking at.

Books with information and tips on keeping your own visual journals:

How To Make A Journal Of Your Life by Dan Price

Creative License and Everyday Matters by Danny Gregory

The Decorated Page and The Decorated Journal by Gwen Diehn

Books that are visually inspiring: 

Africa: An Artist’s Journal by Kim Donaldson

South Of France by Sara Midda

Stay tuned…more to come tommorrow.

• • •

April 24, 2007

Visual Journaling…

Filed under: Inspiration, Morning Musings — jackie @ 7:56 am

Good morning readers…

A quick shout out to the readers from Finland, Iceland, Brazil and Japan!

So now that you’ve made a stack of blank books what do you do with them? Give them away? Sell them? Create art in them?

Roz of Rozworks makes her own journals and sketches and paints in them.  Roz says that “Initially I bound my own books because I was on a quest: I was looking for the perfect sketchbook to contain my visual journals.” There are some great photos of her books as well as the artwork in them on her site.

Nature artist Cathy Johnson has a great site with information and tutorials on sketching and drawing from nature.

Aisling has a great site with lots of information on art journaling. She has free tips and tutorials as well as links to other sites on art journaling.

Artist Michael Bell creates visual journals. Michael says “Visual journaling is a way to record life’s experiences, feelings, emotional reactions, or one’s own inner voice visually and verbally. Sometimes words alone fail to describe what we feel inside. Visual journaling is a creative way to respond to an internal, very personal situation in traditional sketchbooks, or through non-traditional works of art that include both text and imagery.” There are some great video clips of his students talking about the journals that they keep and how it helps them in creating thier art.

An interesting site on using visual journaling as an educational tool from the Jefferson County Public Schools.

Def. check out the Trumpetvine Travels site of Martha McEvoy. From the site header: “This site is dedicated to the study, appreciation, and promotion of personal sketching to enhance our travel logs, illustrated journals, nature diaries, art projects, sketchblogs and more.” While you’re there download the pdf copies of her Trumpetvine Travels zine. They are great.

That’s it for today. Tomm. I’ll have more information on journaling for you.

• • •

April 23, 2007

Monday morning musings…

Filed under: Morning Musings — jackie @ 8:22 am

Good morning readers.

Yesterday was a busy day spent doing family stuff and lying on the couch reading. :) Today I’ve got one more guest book to finish, an album to print, photos to prepare for the printer and a few book rebacks to start.

I’d forgotten how quiet and still the mornings could be around here after my housemate has left for work and the dogs and kitties have layed down for thier morning nap. (Apparently eating breakfast and going outside takes alot of energy.) My housemate has been working from home for the past month so the house hasn’t been as quiet as usual. This morning she went back to work and other than the humming of the computer the house is very quiet. There doesn’t seem to be much noise from traffic out on the main road either.

Sat.’s baby shower went well. Our matchbook notepads went over big as shower gifts. Here is a photo to show you what they look like. Unfortunately the plastic covering on the front caused a funky reflection so it is hard to see the photo.

Matchbook notepads for baby shower

I’ve got this new web stats tool that I am using. It tells me what countries all my site visitors are from. It’s so cool to see that folks are surfing in from places like Sri Lanka, Australia, Egypt, Romania, Austria, The UK, Canada, Hawaii and all over the US. A big shout out to all you folks. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Lately I have been reintroducing myself to the journals of Peter Beard. I have a few of his books, The Adventures and MisAdventures of Peter Beard in Africa and End Of the Game. Both have photos of some of his journal pages in them. His pages are bulging with photos and objects collaged onto the pages.  You can see a few on his site by looking under the publications section and clicking on diff. works.

Another person whose journals are similar in style to Peter Beard was Dan Eldon. He also lived in Africa and was the youngest photographer working for Reuters until his tragic death in Somalia in July of 1993. You can read about his life and see photos of his journals on his site. There is a book available with Dan’s journals as well as a book on his life and work. Both edited by writer Jennifer New.

Bookbinding and journaling go hand in hand so over the next week I’ll be posting links to sites about journaling. Hopefully it will get some of you inspired to start making and keeping your own journals.

I hope everyone has a great day.

• • •

April 21, 2007

A guestbook…

Filed under: Client Books — jackie @ 8:37 am

Good Sat. morning readers.

Thought I’d show you one of the projects I’ve been working on this week. A guestbook for signing at a wedding. This was made for another photographer to give to a client.

The book in it’s presentation folder. The folder is just a quickie made with fabric covered bristol board.

Presentation folder

As you can see I used a velcro dot to keep it closed. The ribbon on the front is just for decoration.

Album inside presentation folder

The cover…the book is 8″x8″ and is made in the flushmount style with the pages folded and applied back to back. The cover is Duponi silk in a teal that shines diff. colors depending on how the light hits it.

Album front

Inside…there is a photo with a quote on each left side of the spread and the pages on the right are blank for signing. The first blank page is the only one with the word guests at the top.

Album open

A few details…

Spine detail

The book lays flat when open.

Spine detail

This is the type of book we’ll be making in the workshop. We’ll also be making a hard clamshell box and if time permits one of these presentation folders.

• • •

April 20, 2007

Friday morning musings…

Filed under: Morning Musings — jackie @ 8:31 am

Good morning readers.

I created a page for the cutting information that I posted yesterday so that it would be easily available in the future.

Today I am finishing up one guest book, a boatload of client photos and I will be making little baby shower favors for tomm. morning. Custom matchbook notepads and magnets and candy pacifiers.

A couple of sites I found in my Internet travels yesterday. Both have some great photos of binderies and bindery equipment.

Deepwoods Press has a nice page with photos of thier equipment.

Richard Minsky’s site has a page in the archives with the American Decorated Publishers’ Bindings 1872-1929 exhibit which has some nice photos of old presses and such. Def. take some time to look at the works in the exhibit. Many wonderful book covers. Lots of examples of Richard Minsky’s work as well.

Looking for some cool tools to add to your collection? Check out Shanna Leino’s site.

That should keep you busy for a while.

Have a great day.

• • •

April 19, 2007

To cut or not to cut…anyone have a bandaid?

Filed under: General — jackie @ 9:37 am

Good morning readers.

I apologize for the short posts of late. Things have been a bit crazy around here what with lots of client work (happy bank account) and being thrown off by the senseless tradgedy that happened not too far away from here at Va. Tech.


Lately folks have been asking alot of questions about cutting board and trimming book blocks and signatures.

For trimming board you can either use a straightedge and craft knife or buy some sort of board cutter. Kutrimmer makes a really nice board cutter but they are expensive if you get the size that will cut a full sheet of board. They also have a fairly large footprint so you will need to have the space for one. Most heavy duty paper cutters will cut binders board but I imagine you’ll need to have the blade sharpened fairly regularly. Here is another heavy duty cutter. Again, you’ll need a space for it sit.

If you are making alot of boxes where you’ll need to cut mutiple pieces the same size and you want to have a few strands of hair left on your head, a board cutter would be a worthwhile investment.

A diff. approach is using a blade and one of these cutting guides. This product actually looks kind of interesting. When I get some time I might play around with trying to make something like this.

To get around the need for an extra large board cutter you could always cut the full size sheets in half by hand before cutting them down further or buy them precut in half size sheets.

For cutting the book block after the have been sewn you could use a vertical plough or a traditional lying press and plough.

Here is a modified version of the lying press and plough. You can also use the simple book press (see sidebar for plans to make one) into a plough with a few modifications. Please email me if you’d like instructions on how to do this.

I have used a lying press and plough in the past but these days I prefer a guillotine cutter. I bought one last year off of Ebay from this seller for less than $300 including shipping and am very happy with it. If you will be making alot of books then the purchase is well worth it.

So there you have it. A few suggestions and ideas for cutting paper and board. I’m sure there are other methods but these are the ones that I am familiar with. Please fell free to email me if you have any other ideas, suggestions or thoughts on this.

One more tip…when cutting always have a box of bandaids close to hand. Blood stains are hard to get off of paper. :)

I will be putting this info up as a page so that it will be readily available in the future.

I hope everyone has a great day.

• • •
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