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. 🙂
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. 🙂
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. 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. 🙂
It all started with staple saddle stitching in order to make some illustrated pocket journals as another way of sharing my drawings and now here I am, diving deeper into the art of book binding.
Over the weekend I got myself a basic book binding kit. Since I started making my journals I’ve developed a growing interest in book binding and this interest has surprisingly come just when I thought there was nothing else in arts and crafts that could capture my interest. So I’m a bit excited to have a new interest. I find the whole idea of book making fascinating. I’ve always loved books but not necessarily for the stories they told but for the artistry that goes into them. I’m a sucker for a decorative gold leaf classic or a well illustrated cover. And yes, I’m one of those people who literally judges a book by its cover…as well as its paper quality, font and feel. In the past I’ve bought books simply because I found the cover and construction to be appealing yet never actually read the story. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good story, if it’s short but my love of books has always rested on the craftsmanship rather than the storytelling. So, it’s not surprising that book binding has sparked an me.
Lately I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos on book binding and decided I’ll try my hand at what’s called the “perfect binding” method. Right now the only binding method I know is saddle stitching with staples, which is a quick and simple method to use if you’re putting together a brochure, comic or booklet of less than 40 pages (that’s counting the front and back). Perfect binding is good for making books and journals of more than 40 pages, especially if those pages are single sheets of paper. While saddle stitching uses staples (or thread, another method I haven’t tried yet) to hold your pages together, perfect binding uses glue but not just any kind of glue, rather a PH neutral PVA glue specifically for bookbinding. I had to order this separately from my book binding kit but neither the glue or the kit cost much. It’s a basic kit that I got all together for $22 on Amazon.
Prior to any gluing, I prepared a soft cover made from heavy weight card stock then cut and cornered 48 4.25×5.5 single sheets of 20lb paper for my pages. I don’t have a book press and since my journals are pocket size and no more than a quarter inch thick, I can probably get away with not having one, so I use four binder clips to hold the sheets of paper together while I added three coats of glue to one edge. Once the pages were dry, I added glue to the spine area on the inside of the cover and then adhered the pages to the spine. Once dry, voila, I had me a perfect bind 96 page pocket journal…all that’s missing is a nice drawing on the cover.
I’ve cut, punched and stapled up a new pocket journal this week. This one is “Koi”. The cover illustration is from a piece I drew some time ago but never did anything with it. I really like how the ink work prints out on this cream cardstock, it really stands out. So far my pointillism drawings work well as cover art for these little journals which gives me a positive incentive to make more and it helps that I really enjoy making them. Plus, I use them myself to jot down random thoughts and notes. As an avid journal writer, knowing how to craft my own journals mean I don’t have to go out and buy them anymore…so long as I’ve got some paper and staples on hand. It’s always nice to know how to do things yourself.
Along with the Koi, I have a few more “Buddha-Tao’ sets now available in store for those of you looking for something a little unique to scribble and doodle in. 😀