Friday, 25 December 2009

Merry Christmas from BEST

Merry Christmas to you if you are celebrating today!

Top (l-r): mylanderbooks, KupoKiley, LizzieMade
Middle (l-r): susanholland, CinderLisaDesign, BethR99
Bottom (l-r): anticovalore, moonlightbindery, UsefulBooks

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Book Swap #9 - OliveArt

Kristi, of, sent us this journal for the book swap. She has used a variety of business envelope security patterns to create the covers by cutting the patterns into strips and arranging them on the book board. She has also wrapped each signature with strips cut from envelopes so the exposed spine also displays similar patterns. The journal is bound using a chain stitch, sewn with red thread. There are also some envelopes used inside the book for the first page and as the endpapers on the inside of each cover.

Visit to see more of Kristi's work.

See all the books from Book Swap #9.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Book Swap #9 - TheCraftyKitten

Our next swap book is from Cassie, known on Etsy as TheCraftyKitten. She made this square format journal using a chain stitch binding sewn with dark blue thread, and the front and back are covered with some pretty blue floral paper.

Visit to see more of Cassie's books.

See all the books from Book Swap #9.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Book Swap #9 - MyHandboundBooks

This two-sided album was made for the book swap by Rhonda of MyHandboundBooks. This book opens in two directions, bound on each end using the classic Japanese yotsume toji 4-hole stab binding. There are black card stock pages and it is lined on the inside with Japanese paper. On the outside, there are two colours of soft sheepskin leather inlaid on the covers and a little brass hasp in the centre.

Check out for more of Rhonda's books.

See all the books from Book Swap #9.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Book Swap #9 - Surfbunny

Duane, of, sent us this 'Ladybug Ladybug' notebook for the book swap. It is bound with a Japanese stab binding, using the hemp leaf variation as described by Kojiro Ikegami. The cover is a sandwich of Thai batik, Tyvek, and silk endpapers. The textblock is 50lb sketch paper.

Check out Surfbunny on Etsy to see more of Duane's books.

See all the books from Book Swap #9.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Book Swap #9 - Anticovalore

Made by Simona, known on Etsy as Antico Valore, our next swap book comes inside a special purse! Simona crocheted the purse using organic natural hemp thread and then added some organic colored hemp for the closure. Fitting perfectly inside is a notebook made entirely with recycled brown paper.

Visit to see more of Simona's work.

See all the books from Book Swap #9.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Book Swap #9 - Yatsu

Next up in this group of swap books, is this book from Meredeth, known alternately as yatsu or notubóc, etc. Meredeth backed this pretty cotton cloth with fusible web and tissue to make book cloth, then used it on this case-bound book. The textblock is made using Strathmore's children's drawing paper.

Check out Meredeth's Etsy shop to see more of her work.

See all the books from Book Swap #9.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Book Swap #9 - PurpleBeanBindery

The first swap book that we will look at more closely is this one from Anna, of PurpleBeanBindery. She said that when she made this book, she was trying to design a journal that would not be intimidating to write in. This chunky journal with the button-hole binding was the result. It has a page for every day with monthly dividers made from a variety of decorative papers.

Visit to see more of Anna's books.

See all the books from Book Swap #9.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Book Swap #9 - Preview

Thanks to all who participated in our most recent book swap! The swapping is complete and your new books are en route. We had seven participants this time, from three different countries. Here's a quick preview of the books; more detail will be posted about each book over the next few days.

Participants in this swap:

The next swap will happen in the new year, stay tuned for details!

Sunday, 13 December 2009


Here's a little inspiration for book artists and book lovers, and for those who just like surprises!

Patience from Glowing Heads on Vimeo.

Randi Parkhurst, paper artist and bookmaker demonstrates her creation, PATIENCE. Film produced by Glowing Heads. Original music provided by Laura Inserra.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Blog Interview: Moonlightbindery

Hello and welcome to another blog interview here on the BEST blog. I had the pleasure to interview our team member
Katie Wagner from Moonlight Bindery.
If you want to meet her in person you have to go to Alexandria, VA in the metro Washington, D.C. area.

"Moonlight Bindery", what a romantic name. Can you explain why you picked it?
I work as a book conservator in private practice by day and a bookbinder at night.

That sounds like a life full of books.
Yes, all my jobs revolve around books. I have worked as a librarian, book conservator and bookbinder. I have a degree in Library Science and am bench trained as a book conservator. I trained with Tom Albro, former Head of Conservation at the Library of Congress. I have Professional Associate status with the American Institute for Conservation.
I am also an avid reader (go figure) and am active in a very fun, very D.C. book club.

Could you walk us through your typical workday?
I wake up at 6:30 and rush around getting the kids up, fed and to the school bus by 7:15. After that I have my coffee and read The Washington Post for about 20 minutes then I head down to my studio. I usually work until around 1:00 then am off to the Post Office to mail Etsy orders. Then it is back home for a quick lunch and then I pick the kids up at 2:30. After dinner and the bedtime ritual I sew my books made from LEGO® base plates while watching Tatort or SOKO Wien with my German husband.

How and when did crafting and bookmaking come into your life?
I checked out a book from my college library, Bernard Middelton's The Restoration of Leather Bindings, and was fascinated. After graduation I moved home to D.C. and found a class at the Smithsonian on bookbinding and a job at a bookbinding supply store.

Tell us a little more about your shop and your crafting: What do you make and sell?
I love making things from materials that fascinate me whether that is paper made from kiwi seeds, hand marbled paper, LEGO® pieces, or chalkboard cloth. I make travel journals, photo albums, wine journals and print designs (with my Gocco printer) on Moleskines®.

Many of my books are case bound (and thus look like what people usually have in mind when they think of books). I enjoy combining different papers and cloth for different effects.

For my books made from LEGO® pieces I do a Coptic binding which has an exposed sewing on the spine. It is relaxing for me after a long day to sew these colorful books. I always have a smile on my face when I make them!

I find inspiration in paper stores, fabric stores, my kids toy bins. I'm always looking and thinking of new ideas. I have too many ideas and too little time.

What part of the process of making a book do you like best? And why?
Choosing the materials of a case bound book appeals to me. Mixing and matching paper and cloth until I reach the desired effect is so much fun. With the Coptic bound books the actual sewing is my favorite part.

Which of your books do you treasure the most?
I have a journal I made with some paper handmade by Timothy Barrett that I did in the Langstitch/Kettenstitch style. It is not for sale. I have this wonderful paper in blue and white and plan on making a volume II in white soon...

What's the most challenging part of your crafting?
Time management! It is so easy to be distracted working from home. There is always something pulling you away.

Do you have special plans for your crafting and your shop for the future?
I have some new products I hope to have out in the spring - cool one of a kind journals that will incorporate some of the piles of vintage images I have collected over the years. I want to try and snag a BUST Magazine ad through Etsy next year. They are hard to get but I have been a long term reader of BUST and think my work fits with their readership.

That sounds promising! Thank you for taking your time for this interview.

If you missed the link above: Find the Moonlight Bindery here and have a closer look at all her inventive, professionally made books.

Monday, 7 December 2009

B.E.S.T. Holiday Event Winners

The moment you've all been waiting for! Drum roll, please!

And the winners are....
Rusty Charm

Susan C.


and Daniel K.

CONGRATULATIONS on your winnings!
You'll be contacted soon.

A hearty THANK YOU goes out to all of our patrons. We appreciate you!

Follow this link to the original Holiday Event post to revisit all of our participants!

Friday, 4 December 2009

Prizes Four & Five: Gift Certificates

You've seen prizes One, Two, and Three, but that's not all! Your entries are also eligible for gift certificates that can be spent in any of the participating shops. Not one, but TWO $30 Gift Certificates are available!

The two shops listed below contributed to our gift certificates;

BookWraps is a new shop full of journals, book covers, and portfolios that are beautifully hand-sewn. Take a peek at the shop to see all of her lovely fabric designs.

B├╝chertiger's shop is a great place to find well crafted handbound journals, note books, and holiday cards. You'll soon discover that her store is a delight to explore!

Our BEST Holiday Book Event ends tomorrow, and the five lucky winners will be announced on Monday the 7th. A reminder of how this works;
For every $10 you spend in participating shops, until Dec 5th your name will be added to the drawing. For example, if you purchase something for $50 your name goes in 5 times! If you put "BEST Holiday" in the note to seller box then you can have an extra ticket in the drawing!

Happy Shopping and Good Luck!! To see a list of all participating shops, visit the main post about the BEST Holiday Book Event! Also visit the pages for Prizes One, Two, and Three to watch videos of all of the fantastic items that could be sent to your mailbox next week!

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Prize Three

Here are the wonderful items (that could be yours) currently known as Prize Three.

B.E.S.T. Holiday 2009 - Three

A coptic bound book featuring black and copper paper and a fabric gift bag was donated to this prize package by ParksideHarmony. View the other fun holiday books in her shop.

Prize Three also includes a remarkably crafted journal by BooksByStephen. It features a vintage postcard on blue bookcloth, you can see other books similar in style in his Etsy shop.

There are also ribbon flowers by
Lizziemade. You could use them in scrapbooking, cards or even as a bookmark :) See more in her shop.

Next is a hardbound pamphlet book by MyHandboundBooks. She carries more of this style of book in her shop.

included 3 beautiful gift cards made with beautiful Italian paper. See more fun paper items in her shop.

A little lavender leather book by KarleighJae, perfect for your pocket. See other leather books and pocket size books in her Etsy shop.

Next is a longstitch journal by LadyArtisan. It features a thread handle and flower beads on the cover. LadyArtisan likes to add beautiful and interesting things to the covers of her books as seen in her shop.

KupoKiley contributed a Star Book to Prize Three. She has more star books in her shop.

The ninth item in Prize Three is a small soft felt book by CinderLisaDesign that could also be yours! You can even slide a pen into the front like this book in her shop.

Make sure to check out Prize One and Prize Two as well! To see a list of all participating shops see the main post about the B.E.S.T Holiday Book Event!

Prize Two

View the details of Prize Two Below featuring great items from 9 different Etsy Shops!

Details of the participating shops that have donated to Prize Two in the B.E.S.T Holiday Book Event are as follows!

We'll start with Re:Paper's awesome chutes and ladders coptic bound book. She has other exposed spine books in her shop.

Next is volume i of mouth watering recipes by NatalieAsIs. You can find volume i and volume ii in her shop.

Prize Two also includes an amazing Christmas scene book with beautiful edge stitching and plenty of pages handmade by Notuboc who has some wonderful unique books in her shop.

Next is a beautiful and fun star book contributed by KupoKiley. She has more star books in her shop! I think it would be fun to write holiday traditions or memories on them before placing them on the tree. :)

Also included is a lovely coptic bound book by BoomBoxBindery. You can see more of her beautiful craftsmanship with items in her shop.

Next is a set of 10 Vintage Matchbook Notebooks perfect for stocking stuffers by KarleighJae. See more of these sets in her shop.

Weebindery contributed a lovely holly berry book to Prize Two. If you love this book, check out her shop!

Next is a triangle accordion book from PrairiePeasant. She has other fun shaped items in her shop.

To top off Prize Two, FlurrSprite included beautiful silvery frost earrings. Among the earrings in her shop, she also has some amazing books!

To see a list of all participating shops and details of how to win Prize Two (and other prizes) see the main post here about the B.E.S.T Holiday Book Event!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Prize One

The B.E.S.T Holiday Book Event has some great prizes. This is the first batch! Some lucky winner will win all the prizes shown below. Prize One consists of prizes from 9 participating shops!

Here are the shops that donated to this prize package along with a brief description of the item:

We'll start with a Christmas Ornament Book with Tags by Lizziemade. She has more of these mini album scrapbooks in her shop.

Next is a set of 10 Vintage Matchbook Notebooks perfect for stocking stuffers by KarleighJae.

Volume ii of scrumptious cupcake recipes by NatalieAsIs. You can find volume i and volume ii in her shop.

Next is a lovely Coptic Bound Box Book by OliveArt. She has other books with paste paper and books made in the same box style in her Etsy Shop.

Also included in Prize One are these lovely Book Earrings by Anticovalore. They're made with parchment and old pages from a xix book. Check out the other book earrings in her shop.

AnagramForInk donated this luxurious little cream book with brown paper, a book marker and a card w/envelope. There are other small books to explore in her shop.

Next is Badonhill's leather longstitch wrap around book with snap closure. You can see a variety of book related items in her shop.

Yes, there's still more in Prize One!

A pink and green flowers coptic book with a beaded spine by BookGirlsStudio. She has a variety of other beaded books!

UsefulBooks contributed her Upcycled "Just for Fun" Book with a fun assortment of papers. You can see other reinvented journals browsing her shop.

See the video for a view of all these spectacular items.

To see a list of all participating shops and details of how to win Prize One (and other prizes) see the main post here about the B.E.S.T Holiday Book Event!