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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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.

• • •

January 11, 2008

I would like to thank all the quilters out there…

Filed under: Morning Musings, Product Review — jackie @ 11:16 am

for making the craft so popular that they continually come up with new and better products to help you all make quilts better and easier but that are also a bonus to us bookbinders.

Good morning dear readers.

Have you ever had one of those moments when the heavens opened up above you and you hear angels sing? I had one of those experiences this morning when the answer to my prayers happened right before my eyes.

I’ve never been quite happy with Heat N Bond Lite as an adhesive for sandwiching thin fabric and tissue paper together for making book covers so on a whim I bought a package of Steam A Seam when I was at my local JoAnns Fabric store the other day. It looked interesting and the lite version is made especially for sheer and lightweight fabrics and promised that it would fuse two fabrics together without making them heavy and stiff. It also promises not to bubble. Uh huh…

Well…let’s just say I am in love. It does all that it says and more. I used it on a piece of Dupioni silk. With the Heat N Bond I alsways had a problem with bubbles and sometimes with the adhesive bleeding through to the front making the silk darker in appearance.

Because it is a little pricier, I think I will continue to use the Heat N Bond for cottons and linens but for thinner fabrics I will switch to the Lite Steam A Seam.

It comes in 9″x12″ precut sheets as well as by the yard. I found the precut pieces at JoAnns and saw it by the yard at our local quilt shop. It’s also available online.

(Edited to add: the 9″x12″ sheets come 5 to a pack and would be perfect for smaller projects.)

If you haven’t already figured it out :o, I am working on my scraps challenge book and should have it up later this afternoon. If you haven’t been over to the Flickr site yet, check it out as There has been a challenge book posted and I have put up the challenge for next week.

I hope everyone has a great day.

• • •

January 10, 2008

I forgot to mention…

Filed under: Morning Musings — jackie @ 2:00 pm

that Book Challenge #1 is due to be posted on the Flickr site sometime tomm. if you can get it in. You are of course welcome to make and post any of the challenges at anytime. The idea is mostly to get you to start thinking creatively about your bookmaking process. So, even if you do it late we’d love to see your results.

I will be posting challenge #2 tomm. morning and my finished challenge book over on the Flickr site. That’s where I will post all future challenge info.

Just a note, one of the reasons that I picked Friday as the challenge day was to give those people who work or go to school the weekend to start their books if they wanted to.

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

• • •

Demo and class info…

Filed under: Morning Musings — jackie @ 10:07 am

Good morning readers.

I’m off to my last day of the first week of my spring semester. Boy is this semester gonna challenge my creativity and kick my butt at the same time.

Just wanted to let anyone that is local know that I have a demo at Jerry’s this coming Sunday (1/13) from 1-4 and a class the following Sunday (1/20) from 1-4. We will be making a small hardcover journal. It’s a great class for beginners. Everything is supplied so you don’t need to bring anything with you and you’ll leave with a completed book. Don’t forget that when I demo and on class days you get a discount on book making related supplies. It’s a good time to stock up on decorative papers. (I sound like an ad don’t I?)

I hope to see some of you at the demo or in the class. As always, I have little gifts for anyone that shows up to the demo and says hi. :)

I also have some classes coming up at the Contemporary Art Center. Please check my upcoming classes page as I update it regularly.

I hope everyone has a great day.

• • •

January 8, 2008

Just a quick note…

Filed under: Morning Musings — jackie @ 3:23 pm

Good afternoon readers…

I’m just stopping in quickly between classes to let you know that in my effort to get organized this year, I started a page with bookbinding tutorial links from around the web. You can check it out here. You can also access it from the left sidebar. It is an ongoing project so check back often for link updates. And, as always, please let me know if you have any to add.

Of note…

The 2008 Paper and Book Intensive is scheduled for May 14-25 and is being held at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN. This would be a great opportunity for those of you on the east coast looking for a workshop to attend. The class list looks pretty good and  I’ve been to Arrowmont and can tell you it is a great place to go for a workshop. If I wasn’t already planning on taking summer courses locally it would be something I might seriously consider.

I hope everyone has a great day.

• • •

January 6, 2008

And the winner is…

Filed under: Morning Musings — jackie @ 7:25 pm

My lovely assistent has picked a name from the jar and the winner of the little gift is: Cris

She’ll be getting a little something to help her along in her bookmaking adventures.

Thank you to everyone that left a comment and well wishes for the future. (and poems :) )

• • •

January 5, 2008

Post #500…

Filed under: Morning Musings — jackie @ 12:34 pm

 500 posts

Good morning readers!

Can you believe it? 500 posts!

When I first started this site and blog I had no idea what I was going to post about on a day to day basis. I guess I didn’t have any problems as here we are at #500 and I am still going strong.

This year will also be my second year posting on this site. In March we’ll celebrate year #2 with a look back over the past two years and maybe even have a few guests come by.

In celebration of my 500th post I’m having a little giveaway. A little book arts related gift. If you post a comment here between now and tommorrow evening (Sunday 1/6), at say around 6 pm eastern US time, I’ll put your name in a jar and have my lovely assistant pull one. Don’t be shy. I’d love to hear from everyone that stops by. :)

Thanks to all of you that continually check back to see what I’m up to. I hope to be around for many more posts to come.

• • •

January 4, 2008

2008 Weekly book challenge…

Filed under: Morning Musings — jackie @ 1:41 pm

To help us all get a jump start on our binding for 2008 I’m starting a weekly challenge. (Kind of the binders equivalent of Illustration Friday) Each week, on Friday, I will post a challenge topic here and in the TJBookarts Flickr discussion board for the group.  The challenge will be to create a book with a cover that illustrates the topic for the week. Challenges will be due the following Friday. The style of binding and materials is entirely up to you. If you decide to participate you can post a photo of your completed challenge over in the Flickr Group. Please tag your photo with the words “Weekly Challenge” and the topic.

Please note that the challenge is open to anyone with any skill level.

Challenge #1 is “scraps”. If you’re like me you have scraps of paper, fabrics and leather as well as other crafty bits lying all over the place as well as in baggies and shoved in the back of the drawers. The challenge is to figure out how can you use some of those scraps to create a unique book cover.

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

If you have any ideas for future challenges, please let me know as I’m sure I will run out of ideas quickly. :)

• • •

Chatty Cathy is freezing here in Virginia…

Filed under: Morning Musings — jackie @ 9:42 am

Good morning readers.

It’s another freezy cold day here in Virginia Beach. The water I keep out for the visiting ducks is frozen solid. The weather folks are predicting that it will warm back up to the 50’s and 60’s this weekend and on into next week. Of course only after this evening which will again be below freezing. Brrrrrr…

Can you believe it? Today you are reading post #498. In a few days I’ll be posting on this blog for the 500th time. I didn’t realize that I was so chatty. Definitely check back this weekend as I’m planning on doing something special to celebrate.

Of note…

A couple of posts back I directed you to the blog of fabric artist Sue Bleiweiss who made some cool journal shells. She has some new journals up on her site that are pretty cool as well. Definitely surf on over and check them out.

Here’s a nifty idea for making a case to carry your Moleskine or Hedgehog as well as your Ipod and some journaling supplies in.

I hope everyone has a great day.

• • •

January 3, 2008

Thursday morning musings and learning to repair books…

Filed under: Book Repair, Morning Musings — jackie @ 9:52 am

Good morning readers.

It’s chilly cold here in Virginia Beach this morning.  

The recent discussion on the Book Arts mailing list about sources of information for learning simple book repair on your own has got me thinking about when I was just learning about binding and how resources were few and far between. When I started learning binding and repair there weren’t any learning resources locally so I had to learn what I could from books. Lucklily I found that the few working binders that were in the area at the time were very nice and helpful. Unfortunately they were not offering any classes but were happy to take a little time out of their busy day to answer questions and chat about bookbinding. When I felt it was time for me to learn about leather binding I did seek out a professional who was willing to train me. Nothing compares to “hands on” instruction but if none is available in your area here is a list of books and resources to get you started.

The Indiana University library website with lots of good info and tutorials on simple book repairs.

The Alaska State Library offers a free PDF manual on book repair. Conservation Book Repair: A training manual by Artemis BonaDea

Here is a list of books that have instructions on basic repair.

The Care and Feeding of Books Old and New: A Simple Repair Manual for Book Lovers by Margot Rosenberg and Bern Marcowitz

Practical Guide to Book Repair and Conservation by Arthur W. Johnson

Book Repair: A How-To-Do-It Manual(How to Do It Manuals for Librarians) by Kenneth Lavender and Scott Stockton

The Care of Fine Books by Jan Greenfield

Hand Bookbinding: A Manual of Instruction by Aldren Watson

Basic Bookbinding by AW Lewis

The Craft of Bookbinding by Manly Bannister

Bookbinding & Conservation by Hand: A Working Guide by Laura S. Young

Bookbinding: The Classic Arts and Crafts Manual by Douglas Cockerell

Bookbinding: Its Background and Technique by Edith Diehl

Preservation of Library & Archival Materials: A Manual by Sherelyn Ogden

Cleaning, Repairing and Caring for Books: A Practical Manual by R. L. Shep

For information on repairing leather books, a book that is out of print but worth it if you can get a copy is The Restoration of Leather Bindings by Bernard Middleton

One of the best books for instructions on making protective boxes is

Boxes for the Protection of Rare Books: Their Design&Construction (LC publications on conservation of library materials) by Don Etherington

If you are a current member of The Guild of Bookworkers they have an extensive lending library with many books on repair.

DVD’s that would be helpful in learning repair are:

Restoring The 1819 Atlas Peter Goodwin

Repairing the ‘HUMBLE’ Paperback Peter Goodwin

Restoring the 1819 Atlas Peter Goodwin

Restoring the Family Bible Peter Goodwin

The Leather Bound Book Peter Goodwin

For supplies as well as books and free instructional videos on book repair, check out the SicPress.

There is also Talas in NYC and Bookmakers in Maryland for general bookbinding and repair supplies. In the UK check out J. Hewit & Sons.

As always you can find a wealth of information on book repair and binding over at The Book Arts Web. 

I’m sure I’ve left out many other good resources. If you know of any, please let me know and I’ll add them to the list.

I hope everyone has a great day.

• • •
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