Wednesday, 30 May 2012

My Creative Space

The space is still very much book focused right now. I've finished one of the two hand-bound leather journals I am making to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Here is a small peek into the finished journal.

Here's the other one in progress on my desk.

The idea is to get them finished by Friday so that on Saturday, I can blog about them and have a special Jubilee giveaway to coincide with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Bank holiday on Tuesday 5th June. The winner gets to pick their choice of Jubilee journal. How does that sound? Will you come back to my blog on Saturday to join in the giveaway?

Right - best get on with the second journal - otherwise it will never get finished in time for Saturday!!

Linking up this week with wonderful creative spaces here.

Have a creative day, friends!

Two more journals with pen holder closures

I briefly showed you these journals in a previous post recently. Here are a few more photos of the two journals with the pen holder closures. Both are slim 120-page journals bound in fine leather with a 'pebble grain'. I bought the two hides - one in black and one in a vibrant lime / apple green - from Ebay. I especially love the green.

Here's the first of the two journals. The anchor strap for the pen holder was cut from a grey pebbled leather. So in case you think your eyes deceive you - they don't! It is a different colour.

Here is the back of the journal and the spine.

I used manila card postcards with a campervan print to support the leather cover. These two new hides are a little on the thin side - roughly 1mm thick. So they do need a bit of extra support - otherwise they'd be flopping all over the place. Can't have that now, can we?

Here is the green one. I incorporated star-shaped shell buttons into the stitching on the spine. Aren't they sweet?

Here is what it looks like from the front.

I found these great flora and fauna (and cat) postcards in Paperchase last weekend and thought they would go really well with the green leather. These postcards are a little thinner than the manila card one so I glued them onto some textured cardstock for additional support.

The black journal has joined the others in my stash awaiting new owners. The green one is mine (*strokes it gently whispering in a super creepy voice "My Preciousssss"*) ... all mine!! I actually thought it might be a good idea to test-drive one. I think when I get to the end, I can simply cut the stitching, remove the old (filled) pages and insert new blank signatures. No reason why it can't be done.

I've just finished one of the two journals I am making as my little nod to the Queen's Diamond Jubilee next week. The other one is in the early 'fabrication' stage ... ie cutting, folding and sticking ... and hopefully will be finished by the weekend. I will then post them up and will give one away to a lucky blog reader. Stay tuned for the giveaway at the weekend.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Playing around with closures - the magnetic closure

I like having closures on my journals. I normally have cavernous 'mummy' bags and if I have notebooks or something like a journal in my bag, they try to 'eat' the other stuff in my bag! I already showed you the pen holder closure which I really really like. This one uses a magnetic snap like the ones you find in purses and handbags. I added a couple of rivets to the front.

I used botanical themed postcards glued into the inside of the front and back covers to provide additional support to the soft leather. I secured the magnetic snap to the postcard on the front cover. The rivets on the front serve a second purpose which is to ensure that when one opens and closes (particularly opens) the magnetic closure, the postcard isn't pulled free from the leather.

Using my fancy little punch, I punched out some holes in a pattern on the corners of the back cover. The back cover extends out a little and folds over the paper signatures.

Here's the exposed longstitch spine and I incorporated a few teeny buttons to add some interest.

The magnetic snap is quite discreet actually and does the job of holding the journal closed very neatly.

I think I still much prefer the pen holder closure. What do you think?

Are you up to much this weekend? I'm hoping the weather here holds up and it stays nice, warm, dry and more importantly, sunny! Wherever you are, friends, have a great weekend. I will be back soon with the other two journals.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

My Creative Space

The space is very much book-binding focused at the moment. I just finished these three slim 120-page journals which I will share in greater detail in my next post.

Before that, I must show you my new toy! This is my cute little hand-held screw punch and all its little punch bits. It's a copy of the Japanese drill punch. The original Japanese made one costs a lot more! This one was bought reasonably cheaply on Ebay and does the same job.

You hold it like so and push down on it. Very little effort is needed and certainly no hammering at all! (My neighbours will be thankful.)

And it punchs out a wee hole like this ...

The different bits give you holes of slightly different sizes.

I bought a teeny 1 mm bit to make sewing holes like this.

I was originally using my awl to make the holes. The awl pierces a small hole but after a while, the hole closes up a little. This makes it a bit difficult to sew nicely. This punch actually creates a neat small hole in the leather and the holes stay open, making it easier to get the needle and thread through.

Creative spaces have a lovely new home here. Have you visited it yet? I'm heading over there soon to see what creativity is brewing up in spaces around the globe.

Have a creative day, friends!

Saturday, 19 May 2012

What I got in the post yesterday – Pay it forward 2012/13

Back in November 2011, Fiona over at Handmade By Fiona blogged about the Pay it forward project here.

I stuck my virtual hand in the air and did my best “Oh oh yes please! Pick me please!” when Fiona put a call out for participants. Yesterday, a parcel arrived in the post and in it was this incredibly gorgeous bag made especially for me by the wonderful Fiona ... (photos courtesy of Fiona – thanks Fiona – the photos I took today were mostly rubbish!)

How beautiful is that and how lucky am I?!! The inside looks like this –

I did manage to take one reasonably decent photo – here is the bag waiting to head out to the shops with me this afternoon.

Surfing around blogosphere, I discovered that the Pay It Forward Project 2012 was originally hosted by Erin Keane who explains here how this project grew out of a Facebook challenge, which took place at the beginning of 2011.

The Pay it Forward Project is about each person creating something and sharing their talents with others who are like-minded and creative. The recipient of that special something then takes up the challenge and commits to making something for three other people, then those three people make things for others and so it grows exponentially and indefinitely.

Do you fancy joining in? Here's how it works:

If you want to take part, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post here on my blog, letting me know you want to be included. (By the way, if you wish to comment but do not wish to take part, do say please. I would still love to hear from you and understand that not everyone can commit to a project like this.)

The first three people who leave a comment telling me they want to join in will each receive a handmade gift from me during the next 12 months. I think this is a modification of the original project but I am so not complaining. This means in turn that you have a whole year to pay it forward.

When you receive my gift, it's your turn to pay it forward to three people on your blog! (Feel free to copy and paste the rules from this post.)

Blogger for some reason doesn’t always capture the email address of those who comment. So if you look and you’re one of the first 3 who want to be included, please drop me an email (adydando at googlemail dot com) with your email address and postal address too. That way I’ll have what I need to send you your gift.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Playing around with closures - the pen holder closure

Here is the finished hand-bound leather journal from my previous MCS post. I wanted to play around with some closure ideas. I've seen some journals where they use pen holders as closures. This is my attempt at utilising a pen holder as a closure for a journal.

I found some teeny little buttons in my button box and decided to sew them into the spine. I think they work well with the exposed long-stitch.

I used rivets to secure the pen holder strip to the back cover of the journal.

Here is the inside front with the pink textured cardstock title page and the multicoloured butterfly manila card postcard. I might just go get my butterfly punch and punch a little butterfly into that title page after this.

To open the journal, one would slide the pen out of the pen holder loop and pull pen holder strap out from under the tab. I played about with different widths for the securing tab but finally settled for this one which is three quarters of an inch and attached it to the front cover with 4 rivets. To close, the strap would be slipped back under the tab, pulled in until the pen holder loop is visible, then the pen is slid back into the loop.

I think this closure works quite well. What do you think? I am always hunting around in my bag for pens. With this journal, the pen is always there. Pretty nifty, huh?

Have a lovely day, friends.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

My Creative Space

I've been working on a trio of smaller journals recently. Smaller in the sense that they only contain 6 signatures of paper instead of 10 or 11. So just 120 pages in all.

Here is an in-progress photo of one of the smaller journals. I was playing around with using a pen as a closure. I'll share this book with you soon. I think the pen closure works a treat.

Creative spaces have a lovely new home here. Why not drop by and see what creativity is brewing up in spaces around the globe.

Have a creative day, friends!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

A new book

Here is my latest hand-bound leather journal. This one is covered in a beautiful soft and buttery lavender coloured leather. I have used this leather before. My first hand-bound journal was made using this leather. It wasn’t a huge piece of leather to start with but I have managed to cut covers for 3 thick journals and 2 thin journals.

The book is held closed by means of a black leather lace. The metal celtic concho secures the lace to the cover.

Here’s the exposed long-stitch spine – this book was stitched together with 18/3 black linen thread.

This journal has eleven signatures in total. That’s 220 pages in all.

Since the leather is a little floppy, I glued in this pretty butterfly print manila postcard to stiffen it a bit. The pink page you see there is like a title page. It wraps around all the signatures. It’s a canvas textured cardstock. I used one of my punches to punch the butterfly shape onto the card.

I really like this journal. It’s very pretty and I think the black leather lace tie works well with the lavender cover.

If you fancy having a go at bookbinding, you'll find the tutorial which inspired me here. You don't need leather for the cover if you haven't got any. I'm thinking of trying to put together a fabric cover with some interfacing to make it stiff.

Have a great day, friends.

Monday, 14 May 2012

And then there were four

Sorry it's been so quiet on this end, friends. Things have been a bit busy around these parts and the blogging mojo has been running away and hiding from me in the evenings.

But I have not been idle. I have a new leather journal to share with you and two other ones in progress to share with you too.

Then there is this monster.

I'm working on blocks 5 and 6 right now. But the first 4 blocks are done and linked together. Target number of blocks is 12. I think 12 plus a nice border would look smashing. We'll see how I feel when I get to 9!

Have a great week, friends.