Bookbinding in pictures

Creating a book from scratch is a very satisfying process.  I find something very soothing about the simple act of folding a piece of paper.  Stitching a book is a very mindful activity, you need to pay attention to what you are doing, but it is an unhurried sequence of steps that does not require brain bending concentration.  I thought I’d share some photos of the initial part of creating a hard bound book from scratch.

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Once the stitching is finished, there are more steps to strengthen and reinforce the spine before preparing the covers and assembling the final book, but those stages get a little trickier to photograph one handed when you’re dealing with glue, so I will try to get Adrian to get some photos next time I’m ‘casing in’ a book.

I’m running a two day bookbinding workshop in August and I’ve designed the class to mimic the way a bindery would operate, where tasks are organised around the constraints of having to wait for stages to dry flat in a book press.  In one day, it is a challenge to get a hard bound book finished, but in two days it should be possible to produce one beautiful hard bound book and several other types of book as well.

Of course there are lots of ways to create simpler books and those are the ones that feature in my one day Simple Bookbinding class.  Here are a few examples of folded and glued books without any stitching.

I gave a talk recently to a local SWI group at Port Logan where I got the ladies involved in making a simple meandering accordian book (also known as a maze book).  This always proves popular on my classes, particularly when I bring this art journal out to show people.

Meandering Accordian book (maze book)

This is constructed from a single sheet of paper, folded and cut in a certain way to make an intriguing and complicated looking book.  But actually, it’s really easy to do.  Here are a couple more, each one made from a single sheet of 12×12 inch paper.

If you fancy having a go at bookbinding, these are the two bookbinding workshops I’m offering this year.

Bookbinding Explorations – 2 days

Sat-Sun 19-20 August 2017

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Simple Bookbinding for beginners – limited places left

Saturday 2nd September 2017

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Click here for the full list of 2017 workshops.

Gratitude Saturday

Sometimes you just have to celebrate what’s right on your doorstep.  We love to pop down to the village, scan the beach for sea glass and listen to the waves breaking.  These photos from yesterday show a rare flatness to the sea at low tide.  Not a breath of wind and hardly any movement in the water made for an utterly calming, relaxing view.

What are you grateful for today?

The magic of mandalas

I have always loved mandala designs, I find something incredibly satisfying about looking at them and creating them.  Many years ago, our business had a whole range of mandala rubber stamps and I was so busy back then that I commissioned other designers when really, what I wanted was to get into the zone and immerse myself in creating them myself.

My friend Beth makes exquisite crocheted jewellery, and one piece of hers that I wear quite a lot (it seems to go with most of my wardrobe) is this one, a rainbow mandala.

Through Beth, I found out about an online class called Mandala Magic run by artist Julie Gibbons and after taking a free five day class last December, I signed up for her year long program which started in January.  Well life got in the way a bit in February, so I’m just taking it at my own pace (which is the beauty of online classes) and catching up when I can.

I thought I’d share some of the mandalas that I created last year.  They’re all around eight inches in diameter.

Flower of Life Mandala

Hamsa Mandala

Lotus Flower Mandala

I designed a series of mandala duo stamps for Chocolate Baroque recently which come as a sentiment and mini mandala pair.  They are clear stamps so you can position them accurately.

There’s still one of my old mandala designs that is still in production at Chocolate Baroque too.  It’s called the Waterlilly Mandala and I have to show you some of the amazing cards created by Miranda who used to be on the Chocolate Baroque Design Team.  Aren’t these just stunning?

I see mandalas cropping up all the time in colouring books, and quite a lot of you have taken up my free email sign up mandala download, so I’m guessing they’re still pretty popular.  What do you think, do you love them or are they a bit ‘meh’ for you?


Can you help me spread the word?  This blog is was launched in January 2017, so it is pretty new, fresh out of the box and has no traffic history, no stats, no ranking with Google.  Leaving a comment will really help me get the blog noticed out there, as will sharing a link to the blog on social media or sharing an image on Pinterest.  You’ll see social media share buttons at the end of each blog post.  You’re wonderful – thank you xxx.

(Oh, and if you haven’t already signed up, you’ll get a lovely free printable mandala download if you sign up to get my newsletter, you’ll see the link in the side bar or footer.)