Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Step Six: Sweet Notebook

Hi sweet Sylwi

How are you? How are things this week?! Still in panic mode? ;-) I was suffering from panic mode too, today. I don't know why (it's not like I'm even close to having as much on my plate as you), but I just could not sit down to write this post! Instead, I did everything to avoid it and spent the whole day worrying about it! :-) 

I couldn't think of a single thing to make... and when I finally decided on what to do, everything went wrong; things ripped, needles and threads broke, I measured things incorrectly... When I finally got it finished and started to take pictures, my camera battery died! ha ha! :-) I feel exhausted now. Who knew playing was such hard work?! ;-)) 

This week, I explored more uses for recycled paper and decided to make another book. Not a hardback journal this time, but a small notebook, using coptic stitch to bind it. 

Coptic stitch was originally used in Egypt (in around about the third century) and it's a very simple way to bookbind. With this technique, you end up with very sweet, exposed stitching along the spine, which closely ressembles the chain stitch in embroidery.

To begin, you cut yourself two identical sized pieces of cardstock; one for the front cover, one for the back. You can use whatever type of card you like and cut it to whatever size you need. It all depends on how big you want the notebook to be and how you want it to feel.

I've used very heavy card before and covered it in pretty material, or paper, but this time, I wanted to use up an old box from Ladurée (that once had delicious macarons in it! Drool!) :-) 

I adore their logo and the powder blue colour, so have been keeping this box for a special project like this. It's not a very heavy card, but it still works well as a cover for this handbag-sized notebook.

For the pages, you cut (or tear, for a more handmade feel) sheets of paper. The sheets need to be the same height as your cover and twice the width of the cover. 

For my notebook, I stacked 4 sheets on top of each other and folded them in half. This gave me my first booklet (or signature, as they're called). Each signature in this example, therefore has 8 pages. 

In total, I made 8 signatures as I wanted my notebook to have 64 pages. This is for my Mum to use as a sketchbook on her upcoming trip to China - I'm pretty sure 8 is a lucky number there! :-)

With a needle, I poked holes in the covers and down the folds of each signature. The holes were spaced out at intervals of 1.5cm, 3cm and 4.5cm from the top and 1.5cm, 3cm and 4.5cm from the bottom. The holes were spaced exactly the same on the covers and were spaced quarter of an inch from the edge of the covers, all the way down the lefthand side.

Using a waxed thread, you then sew the pages and covers together. You can find instructions here with Jaescala on YouTube.

.. and here's the finished product!

The possibilities with this technique are endless. You can make all sizes, use scrap paper or posh paper :-) and make all sorts of useful things - notebooks, photo albums, wedding guestbooks, etc. 

For inspiration, check out this extra, extra, EXTRA-ordinary 'keepsake album' made by the gorgeous Alli Bozeman at Bird Dog Press. I really love her work! (I ordered a letterpress card from Bird Dog last year and the attention she pays to detail is HUGE! I still have the envelope my order was sent in because it is so pretty!) :-) It gives you an idea of how beautiful and creative you can really get with this technique... if you have a little time, patience and talent! :-)

Right, well, my dearest. I'm exhausted now! It's been a long day of things going wrong :-) and my eyes are closing! I hope your day is going well. Have you managed to find a hiding place and some time for your Step Six? 

Lots and lots of love

1 comment:

  1. My Dear :*

    I'm not in panic mode anymore, but I feel tired and overwhelmed. I wish I could take a break and do nothing for some period of time (with no serious consequences following he, he). I'm living in constant tension lately, and I physically feel in my body that this is unacceptable anymore.

    I love your notebook. It's fresh and fabulous!!! I hope your Mom will be thrilled. I'm also a big fan of Coptic stitch, I own many notebooks with this binding style they are irresistible he, he. I wish that one day I would make one, maybe even here? There is so many things I would love to try... You know that I worried today because I realized that I won't be able to fit all my ideas in our 52 projects?! he, he.

    I really, really love the link you provided I have never seen this store before, instant favourite!

    Ah! and I know about the days when everything goes wrong, they are funny but only much much later ;)

    I also know that you have a little time, patience and huge talent, and I cannot wait to see what you will came up next week!


    I need to find a better solution for my Tuesday's posts. I really like how the Tuesday take pressure from my Monday he, he, but I don't like to post so late, especially because you never have the chance to see my post... Hm... this is a tough one ;)