Monthly Archives: April 2012


Heavy snow on April 23rd?  Totally absurd.  Light snow that melts quickly I can handle, but a snow that stays on the ground all day, just not right.  Besides, my lilacs really don’t like it.  They are just starting to bloom.

Here’s the view out my front window this morning.

Fortunately, the big trees – maples & walnuts – haven’t leafed out yet.  I was able to shake the snow off my small fruit trees, but not before getting a load of snow down my neck.  Happy April Everyone!

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Hanging Books

These hanging books are a lot of fun to make, so I’ve been doing a lot of playing.  I made a batch of ones with hinged covers and have more planned that are soft covers.  The best part of it all is that I have a treasure trove of beads and ribbons and cord in my basement to finish them.  I’ve found some of it, but I know there’s a box some place filled with spools of cord. Here is my current “inventory” plus some different views of one of the books with a hard, hinged cover.

I love the design and texture of the Japanese paper used in this book.  The paper is soft, but the printed side has a smooth finish.  It takes adhesive very well and is really easy to work with.  The only disadvantage is that the finished book is not as resistant to stains and scratches as the Italian papers that have hard finishes.

The hardest part of making these is getting the holes the correct size to be able to thread two thicknesses of the cord, too small and the cord rips the paper, too large and the pages slide around.

I’m hoping to finish the soft cover ones this weekend and begin selling them on Etsy next week. Here’s more information on their construction and a preview of my Etsy shop.

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Trial: Stamp Book or Card Holder

Back to fooling around with papers and boards.  I tried out a new folder this week.  It was originally designed to hold stamps, but I don’t think stamp collecting is very popular any more, so I may have to put it to a different use.  When I was young, stamps were all the rage and I had a stock book similar to this one. Well, not as pretty: It had plain brown covers and, as I remember, more rows of pockets.

The stamps are held in place by Mylar pockets. I could use paper if it is not necessary to see the entire object in the pocket.

This book is only 4.5″ x 6.5″.  I think a larger size would be more useful.  I need to figure out a specific use, like holding business cards and then design around that.  Just haven’t focused  on particular use.  Suggestions sought and welcomed!

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Pain in the Mouth: Real Life Interupts

Sometimes one just has to do what one has to do. Today I had the pleasure of visiting the dentist to have a crown replaced. Physically, we’re talking pain here, it is no where near as bad as having a large cavity excavated or having a new crown done.  It will still wipe me out for the rest of today and most of tomorrow. In two weeks I’ll have the temporary crown replaced with the permanent one.  Don’t know why they call them permanent when I seem to be replacing them all the time. It’s not only a pain in the mouth, but an even larger pain in the wallet.

I had fun yesterday making my new hanging books, but right now I’m not thinking well at all, so I’ll just let you enjoy the picture.


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Off On a Tangent: from box to book

I really thought my next project would be a different style of box, but the road took a twist.  A few days ago I bought a book on how to make 100 different books.  As usual with this type of book, most of the designs explained were in the genre of “Artist Books”. Books in weird shapes, with pop-ups or folded pages, beads dangling or cleverly designed around artwork.  They are wonderful to look at and explore.  Unfortunately, I don’t enjoy making them. My “artist books” tend to look either like a kindergarten project gone awry or something designed by the Mad Hatter on his way down the rabbit hole.

I prefer functional books, just like my preference for functional boxes.  After a lifetime of collecting non-utilitarian objects, I’m all about function and use these days.  Anyway, the book I bought did have a bunch of “real” books with sewn bindings and hard covers.  There were a few that caught my eye and I even tried out one.   (See more in the Book section on this page.)









While I was plotting out some possible designs, the Arts Center called to say that they needed more towers. So all plans on hold while I make a few more towers for them! Such is life.

Here are the the quickie towers I did over the weekend.










I think I mixed up the yellow boxes and put them into the wrong green backgrounds.  Whoops!  Not sure though and it’s too late to do anything about it.

Here are the two yellow/green towers.  Still not sure.

I also discovered that Etsy has an app that lets me put a gallery from my store on this site.  I’ve put it here as a test.



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Filed under bookbinding, Boxes and Towers, Craft design

Decision Time Again: Which Box to Make?

I’ve been thinking for a while about making some other types of boxes, but I haven’t settled on any one style.  Here are some of the ones I’ve been considering.


These are some of the styles of boxes and portfolios I’ve made in the past.  I’ve probably made at least a hundred calmshell boxes in various styles over the years.  Most were made to fit specific books, papers or other objects and I’ve created many different variations.  I enjoy making them, but they are nothing new for me. Another negative is that they use a lot of purchased materials.  The brown and blue boxes on the top row are clamshells.

The first photo on the second row shows a few of the origami boxes I have made.  They are cute and easy to make. On the pro side, the only material they use is my marbled paper.  They are also great for using the perfect parts of an imperfect sheet.  When I marble, I still catch air pockets or stray hairs which ruin parts of the paper.  On the con side, they don’t require any creativity, just good dexterity.  To counter-balance this, I rarely make the top and bottom from the same paper.  Drives the folks where I sell the boxes crazy!

The next two photos show lidded boxes.  These can be made in any size and shape as well as being able to be lined or partitioned.  I’m leaning toward these for my next project, but I’m still pondering.

The matchboxes with the book inside are cute but rather useless.  I tend to put sayings, quotes or lines from poems or songs in the books, but once you’ve read them, what do you do with it?  I much prefer structures that have some useful function.

The miniature books are neat, but again, not really functional.  I have seen them made into jewelry as pins or hung from necklaces and earrings, very nice but not me.  I rarely wear any jewelry anymore.

The last photos are the portfolios.  They can be made any size or shape and are very useful.  Carrying a hand crafted custom portfolio is neat.  The major drawback is that they use large quantities of bookcloth, especially the 9×12 one.  The outside needs to be cloth rather than paper if  the portfolio is expected to be used.  Paper would be prettier, but it wouldn’t wear well.  Unless I could do the hinges and edges in cloth and the center in paper, like a half-cloth book.

So there’s my dilemma.  What to do?  What to do?

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Filed under Boxes and Towers, Craft design, Marbled Paper