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Monday, July 25, 2011

New hand-bound journals!

This is what has kept me busy much of this past week...I was down to the last 5 pages of the current journal, and it was crunch time!  So J. tore paper for me last week, and folded signatures, I sewed and glued them, and over the weekend did the covers for all seven.

I am ready to ROLL.

It's fun making your own cover paper...my favorite, at right, is the inside of an old Strathmore watercolor pad, which had an interesting ridgy texture!  Originally I was just testing a Japanese Sumi-e brush, but it was so much fun...journal paper!  That's an old & stamp from an early 20th C. stamp set, but since I ended up with the paper upside down, it looks like a very strange lower case B!

Had to do the maroon cover too, with the brush, the stamp, and splatters and sprays...

The bottom journal was what's left of an old grocery sack I wadded up, dampened, and inked...it and my favorite on the right both have my handmade bookcloth for the hinges/spines, too...


  1. Cathy, this is one of my favorite blogs, since I love making my own journals also. Mine however always have a theme.. art, travel, sewing etc. they are small maybe 4"x4" and chock full of 'stuff' .. I would love for you to see them. or some of the pages, I think you would like them.. I've given away at least a dozen as gifts, but I always have new ideas,
    love your blog. and will have to get this book. I'm a nut for books about books ... lol ! BJ

  2. Oh these are gorgeous! I just remade the sketchbook foe the Sketchbook Project and was thinking I should make some of my own for myself. Yours are so beautiful!

  3. Wow! You have been busy. . . and you have some lovely journals to show for it. Now you just have to find the time to fill them up!

  4. Those are beautiful, Kate! So lovely!

  5. wonderful ideas! This last one I made I used 300# cp wc paper for the front and back covers so I could use them to test out colors or ideas. I loved your idea about including toned paper in them also so this was a first for me. These are wonderful!

  6. I have been making journals over the weekend too. But I was slower than you and it is all your fault! Why you say...? Well your new book arrived and I couldn't put it down. I LOVE IT! Your journals are beautiful. May I ask how many pages you put in your journals and the type of paper you use? Thanks. Sharon

  7. Thanks all! Marta, what a great idea! I do color and ink tests wherever in mine I want, but in the one I'm not the last two pages are FULL of that.

    Barbra, sounds lovely! Lots of people enjoy theme journals! I've got one that's my California journal and one that's my fantasy journal, but other than that mind are mostly integrated--whatever's going on in my life at the time goes in.

    Sharon, should I apologize? :-) I never know how many pages...depends on the thickness of the paper and how many signatures I end up doing. One of these is only two signatures, one is five. Usually I use 2-4 sheets per signature, of 140 lb. paper. I use a variety of CP and HP watercolor papers, Stonehenge, Mi-Tientes, Niddegan, whatever toned papers...

  8. They're all gorgeous! My favorite is yours, too--the one farthest to the right. So wonderful that Joseph helps you with the making of these treasures. :)

  9. It was a HUGE help, Rita-normally he just cuts the book board for the backs, but this time he volunteered to tear ALL that paper. It was great!

  10. These are beautiful, Kate. I liked the one with the brush work too, but I also like the one with all the stamps on the cover. I received your newest book, read it cover to cover in one evening being so absorbed in all the great artwork! Thank you so much for the book and this blog. Ambal

  11. Thank you, Ambal, glad you liked it! (Me too!) I like that stamp paper too...and glad I had some actual stamps to spark it up.

  12. Kathy, I'm a great fan of all your work. Have been making my own journals too. What do you use for the boards?
    Julia B.

    1. Julia, I usually buy acid free book board, but sometimes I use the backs of old used up sketchbooks or watercolor blocks--they work fine too!


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