Kettle Stitch Ambition

Saturday night I got a bit ambitious and tackled kettle stitching. First off I have to mention that this feat probably would have never happened if I hadn’t of been blindsided by my sweet tooth and been hyped up on cake and oatmeal cookies. (We all have our weaknesses.) I had spent the day watching bookbinding videos on various stitching techniques and found myself interested in kettle stitching. To me it seemed the easiest to grasp of all the stitching techniques that I watched yet still rather challenging so I really didn’t have any real intentions on trying it. But late in the evening I was full of energy. Too much to sit down and stipple, which requires me to be in a less excitable mood. So I opted to make a blank journal using kettle stitching.

In this project I used two precut 5×7 mat boards, some cardstock, two images from an old wolf calendar I had (by the way, if you didn’t know, I love wolves), an elastic band and bookmark I cut from an old Mokeskine journal, waxed thread, a needle, a corner rounder (I think that’s what it’s called and 72 sheets of paper cut and folded to the appropriate size.
I first made the case cover which is why I needed 72 sheets of paper. The sheets I grouped into six signatures (this is a group of folded sheets) of 12 sheets. Most examples I watched used signatures of four sheets, if I had of done that, I would still be stitching right now. After making the signatures I made the proper holes with an awl to prepare for threading. Now I won’t go into all the details on kettle stitching, it would be better to watch the video below that shows the technique I used if you’re curious to know the basics of how it’s done.

Once I got my text block ready I glued two end papers to the front and back of the block. And to keep from getting long winded, in a nutshell, I glued those end papers to the inside cover of the case I had already made and voila, I had a hot mess of a wolf journal on my hands.

You can’t see from the pictures but the first mistake I made was attempting to stitch such a large number of sheets for the first time. I blame the sugar for my lapse of good judgment. Second, I didn’t keep the thread tight as I was stitching which made the binding a bit loose and this led to a rather  uneven cutting of the pages when I trimmed the excess. Initially I was disappointed with how it turned out but I had to remind myself that it was my first attempt and mistakes are a given. Sometimes I put too much pressure on myself but some things just take time to learn so I’ll be tackling kettle stitching again. Anyways I’m not going to let some paper and thread defeat me. Overall it was fun and I look forward to mastering this technique. โ˜บ

Lights, Gingersnaps and Cheer

Welcome to December, the busiest and biggest holiday month of the year and I’m already tuckered out from wrestling with Christmas decorations over the weekend. It’s not like me to get all wrapped up in the Christmas spirit but this year all the cheer that I can squeeze in is warranted to lift the mood of what has been a pretty difficult 9 months for all of us. I won’t bombard you with random photos but just know that my living room looks more like a 70’s disco than a Nativity scene. I’ve gone all festive with the lights and to my surprise my hubby doesn’t mind. I guess he’s also been needing a little cheering up. So we’ve both taken to spending our evenings in the dark watching the blinking lights and eating gingersnap cookies. (I’m too lazy to make gingerbread cookies.) It really doesn’t take much to put a smile on our faces. ๐Ÿ™‚
In the meanwhile I’ve expanded my line of handmade illustrated pocket journals by adding “Magdala” to my growing collection. This makes three sets and three singles that I now have available for those who enjoy unique handmade stationary goods. I’ve also managed to get through my creative block to start fiddling around with an idea I’ve been mulling over this for a week now. There’s a little sketch of what I have in mind below. I still wanted to do something involving a mouse so I’ve worked that in and added some other little creatures. This piece will be a bit more involved since I’m working with more than just one or two elements. I’m also debating on whether to make this an ACEO drawing or make it a bit larger. I’m leaning towards larger but it would be interesting to see if I can make the idea work on a small scale. I’ll just have to get to work and let the drawing unfold as it will. Be sure to check back to see how things turn our. Or never miss out on my latest finished drawings and handmade items by getting updates straight to your inbox when you sign up for my store newsletter at: Art of Q. Rumbley Newsletter. Until next time, stay safe and stay healthy. ๐Ÿ™‚

Tree Frog Blank Pocket Journal Set

New to my growing line of stationery are my handmade Tree Frog Blank Pocket Journal Set. I sliced, folded and threaded these up over the weekend and they’re now available for your quick notes, doodles and rambling thoughts. I just adore tree frogs so these journals so far are my favorite, I even made a set for myself. So be sure to check them out at my online store and get yourself a set or two. ๐Ÿ™‚

New Journal Set

Tree Frog Pocket Journal

Got to making the first journal for my upcoming new set of Tree Frog blank pocket journals. This is the first set where I’m using the threaded saddle stitching on and I really like the look. The thread gives the journals a more handmade feel to them that is much more appealing to me. The cover illustration is a reproduction of my ACEO drawing “This Little Fella”. I plan on making the cover illustration for the second pocket journal from my ACEO drawing, “Strike A Pose”, which I’m currently working on. I’m excited about this new set of journals so be sure to stay tuned to see the end results. ๐Ÿ™‚

Close up of threaded saddle stitch.
Inside view of threaded saddle stitch journal.
“Strike A Pose” (wip)

Growing Line Of Journals

Koi Blank Pocket Journal

Today I just want to take a brief moment to share my growing line of illustrated handmade pocket journals.
This year has been a bit of a surprise for me. I can’t say I ever intended to get into bookbinding and making journals, it has all happened rather organically. Back in January when I found myself deep in a rabbit hole of YouTube bookbinding videos I thought I was just going through a phase. Sometimes things pique my interest for a brief moment and then I’m on to something else. I just knew for sure after I went through the trouble of making my first set of journals, that would be it. It wasn’t an easy process and I was a bit exasperated after a month of toiling through the specifics. I figured, okay, I’m not doing that again. But I knew it I was ordering PVA glue, bone folders, clamps and looking at book presses. Now here I am, eight months later and I’m up to four journals, which are all available here at my online store. What I thought would be a brief curiosity has now become a companion passion to my drawing. And here I thought I was getting too old to learn anything new.ย  Okay, technically I’m not that old (47) but society can really do a number on ya and have you thinking that once you get past 40 life is pretty much over for you. Here’s to teaching old dogs/cats new tricks. ๐Ÿ™‚

Moon and Stars Mandala Lined Journal
Maybe Unfold Blank Pocket Journal Set
Buddha Tao Blank Pocket Journal Set