Monday, 31 August 2009

The BEST Back to School Sale Starts today!

The BEST Back to School Sale starts today! Here are a few of the participating shops:

SusanGreenBooks is offering free shipping on all ready-to-ship items!

Notubóc is offering free world wide shipping!

BoomBoxBindery is offering free world wide shipping!

KristinCrane is offering free world wide shipping if you mention BESTbooks in the notes to seller!

Click here to visit a list of all participating shops!

Sunday, 30 August 2009

An Abecedarian of BEST members: R

This post will represent the “R” roster of shops of BEST:

Sara of Re:Paper calls herself a “hackbooker”, using found objects and fine papers to create mixed-media books and albums such as this Chutes and Ladders Journal

Thomas of Red Thread Books is a self-proclaimed book rat and publishes “small poetry”, small volumes of selected poems by various authors including Lewis Carroll: The sun was shining on the sea, Shining with all his might

Marisa of risamay uses her artwork in making lovely little notebooks like these Paris Notes

Robyn of robynsart used an unusual beaded ribbon on this Ribbon Embellished Journal

Sunday, 23 August 2009

An Abecedarian of BEST members: P

Presently we will peruse the planet to pick the “P” group of BEST:

PalePink from Denmark has positively perfect upcycled bike inner tube notebooks and journals such as this (pink, of course!) one:

Elzeline is the part of the sister pair Paperfection, also from Europe, who is pleased to make unique books by painting, embroidering, or appliquéing the covers. Here is her set, I Love Holland Minibooks:

Paper Lion from Australia has always preferred hand making things, but since placing herself on a path in bookbinding, making albums and notebooks has taken over her life. Peter Pan handbound notebook:

Paper Moon Bookbinding from the US has a passion to place precious, practical books into everyday life. Wouldn’t you like to incorporate this Red Bird and Postmarks Journal
into your life?

Papersandtschai from the Phillipines, notes her soul sings for papers! Can you feel the music with this precision mini leather photo book?

Parkside Harmony from the US loves the imperfections of handmade goods but you’d never know it from her work: don’t you love the poppy paisley printed paper on this Paisley Peacock Blank Book?

PrairiePeasant (oh, that’s me!) from Canada has a passion for reusing and upcycling, as noted in her rebound series: Inside Europe Rebound Journal:

Purplebean Bindery from Portland in the US, progressed out of a book binding frenzy, and we’re pleased she hasn’t paused. PEAS IN THE GARDEN blank journal:

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Tools of the Trade: Punching Trough or Cradle

The photos above are of my sturdy book cradle which has done me well for three years. I learned this construction from Mark Andersson. All you need is your thickest binders board and a small amount of pva. It is simple enough that I bet you'll get the gist of it, just by looking at the photos. I will, however, share a trick! The valley portion of many punching troughs is made with two pieces of board or wood. For this clever version the valley portion is made out of one piece of board that has first been scored (approx. 1/2 thickness of the board) with a knife and then folded away from the score line into the "V" shape. There will come a time when it seems you've punched a hole through every millimeter in that fold. When that time comes, do as I've done in the bottom photo - cut another piece of board to the proper length, use the very same score & fold process, and glue it into place. Punch away!

By the way, this post was prompted by two different threads on our group message board. One about punching holes, by Trace of It's all just Menagerie, and another that was started yesterday by Kristin Crane. Thanks for the prompt you two, and Happy Birthday, Kristin!

While my binders board punching trough does the trick for me, there are some really beautiful wooden ones out there that might just meet your fancy! When reading the threads I mentioned, there were a lot of great suggestions made by fellow Bookbinding Team members, including the links below.

Punching Troughs on Etsy:

Sunday, 9 August 2009

An Abecedarian of BEST members: N/O

Introducing the “N” & “O” members of BEST:

Natalie of NatalieAsIs notes she pursues pointed anachronism in figurative and fibre arts. Here is her Dove Gray Sketchbook with Woven Bands:

Josh of Neilsenhandmade juxtaposes the colours and text of old book cloth to produce beautiful and unusual collages and bring new life to lovely and once loved old books, as demonstrated with his Out of Balance journal:

Amy of NightjarBooks makes fine linen journals with vellum appliqué such as this linen and twig handbound journal:

With NinaJudinBooks, materials and technique are skilfully brought together, resulting in a strong statement of a book, pleasing both the eye and the hand. Here is her Reindeer leather journal with turquoise:

OliveArt loves all types of art- from painting and printmaking to bookbinding, photography and ceramics. She is able to combined some of these loves in her bookmaking, as in this Colosseum Cyanotype Book:

OrtBindery creates traditionally made books, like this nifty blank book - tiny 3 piece binding:

Katherine of owleyedesigns believes in clean lines and simplicity when designing her products, as with this Retro Meadow Journal:

Friday, 7 August 2009

Blog Interview: AlternativeJournals


Company/Etsy Site:





Santa Rosa, California

How long has your Etsy shop been open?

since March 2009

How did you get into crafting?

I've been making things since a very young age. I used to draw and sketch a lot, I would draw portraits of friend's animals. I can't really say what got me into it.. I think being a very quiet person drew me to solitary activities. But i love what I do.

How did Etsy come into your life?
A long time ago, I found, a site for teens to trade, buy or sell low cost items. I abandoned the site for it's lack of activity. Recently I revisited the website and saw an Etsy banner and clicked on it. Now I'm addicted to Etsy!

What was your involvement in the crafting world before stumbling upon Etsy?
I'd always loved to make gifts for friends.. I'm a very DIY person- if I want to gift something to someone I'd always rather make it myself.

Do you have a day job?
not currently.

Tell us about your shop:
Does anyone help you?
I think it would be fun to make books with a partner, that way each person could be in charge of certain things and you could switch up tasks whenever one gets tired of the ones they've been in charged of. But no, it's just me!

What advice would you give to newbies on Etsy or in the crafting world?
To be fair I'm a newbie myself. But I believe that listing often on Etsy is a good idea, and really just make sure you love what you do.

What's the most challenging part of your crafting?
measurements- making sure things fit perfectly, I can't stand imperfections especially with the type of books I make being case bound.

Do you show your work locally?
I've started this year with First Fridays in Santa Rosa, CA. {} which is a crafters & artist event located in two different areas along Fourth street, and takes place every first Friday of the month from May to September. I've been exploring other craft shows and events, and the idea of offering my journals in some of the local shops.

Famous last words?
I wish I knew then what I know now

How did you get interested in bookmaking?
I lived with a roommate for a short while, she was an artist and I would always love being invited into her room, where I'd offer smoothies and we'd watch things on youtube.. anyhow, she had a lot of interesting things in her room and I noticed some intriguing books. When she left, I decided to inhabit her old room and make it my art room. That's where I tried to put together my first book, where I used a old letter enveloppe for the covers and connected those together with masking tape. The pages were all cut 3 at a time with a dull exact-o knife and each signature was sewn one at a time, and all together at the end. I've come a long way!

How long have you been crafting? Bookmaking?
I've always made things but never difficult projects. I've been bookbinding since the beginning of the year, so 7 months.

What is your favorite stitch/technique?
I've tried a few others but codex binding with a covered spine remains my favorite.

What is the one tool or supply that you couldn't live without?
my Carl paper cutter board

Materials you use for your books?
I started out with using vintage fabric to cover my books in, I use a few new fabrics but with vintage reproduction prints. Some are covered in scrapbook paper, a few in imported handmade paper,;my favorite being lama li handmade paper from Nepal. For the inside pages I always used some type of recycled paper, whether it be sketch pad paper or just plain multipurpose paper.
What inspires you?
In art, nature and flowers. In life, my boyfriend and his parents.

Who is your crafting hero?
I don't actually have one..

Guilty pleasure?

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Making Recycled Paper at Home

Etsy Handmade PaperMaking recycled handmade paper is easy to do at home. I've collected a list of resources here to help you get started. These particular resources are meant for beginners and they focus primarily on using old paper scraps to make new sheets of recycled paper. The various tutorials and guides listed here are all a little different since there are different ways to do this. Just pick one that makes sense and try it!


How to Make Paper - An Illustrated Step-by-Step Guide

Making Handmade Paper in 10 Easy Steps

How to Make Paper

How to Make Paper at Home

Making and Recycling Paper at Home by G. Carboni


How to Make Paper

How to Recycle Paper

Paper Alice make your own homemade paper


Arnold Grummer's Complete Guide to Easy Papermaking

Paper Making and Bookbinding: Coastal Inspirations by Joanne B. Karr

The Complete Book of Papermaking by Josep Asuncion


Arnold Grummers Papermill Pro Papermaking Kit with Video

Paper Making Kit

And the winner is . . .

Thanks so much to all of you who participated in our Virtual BBQ Scavenger Hunt last weekend. We had a lot of fun with it and hope you did, too!

The winner of the $30 gift certificate is Etsy spinner and knitter lwhitewave. Happy shopping!

Saturday, 1 August 2009

The Virtual BBQ is ON!!

Saturday, August 1, through Monday, August 3, be sure to take part in the Bookbinding Team's Virtual BBQ Scavenger Hunt and earn chances to win a $30 gift certificate! Don't miss it! Click here to jump to details.