Blog Archives

My Handmade Books Class – Week 8!

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This week, we began work on the cabinet card sketchbook from Jeannine Stein’s “Re-bound.” We won’t finish them until next week, but they’re really fun and cute so far…

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Our last project will be a leather journal. While at a thrift store obtaining a busted Trivial Pursuit my game for a project, I found a green leather purse that I’m going to happily destroy in the name of art. This evening, inspired, I spent a few hours making my board game into an accordion-style book.

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Yep. Nerd. 😉

My Handmade Books class – Week 7!

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Friday Ritual: Iced Americano @ Beans & Bagels on Montrose pre-class. The Americano is made from Metropolis Coffee's Red Line Espresso, and is awesome.

With only three classes left in my Handmade Books class, we finished two books today.  The first, which we’ve been working on for a few weeks, was the Western Case style book – which is essentially a library-style binding, as shown below.

Being an overachiever, I made two books this time around.  The bigger version is going to be my travel journal for our April road trip.

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In previous classes, we cut and covered our boards for the book covers and spine for our Secret Belgian Book — I’ve been going very sedated in color for the past few books, so I decided to kick the girly psychedelia up a little.

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Today it was time to sew the pieces of the book together.  Which was easier than I thought it was going to be. (I’m really not much good with a needle and thread.)

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The rest of the class was spent sewing our book block (aka, the pages) to the spine of the pieces we’d sewn together.  I finished, and my book held, but it wasn’t as tight as I wanted – so I’m going to re-do it.

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Next up, we’re going to be tackling a project from the book “Re-Bound” by Jeannine Stein, the “Cabinet Card Sketchbook.”   (I’m excited.  It’s a quirky little book.)

Lillstreet will be offering the Handmade Books class again for their spring session, if you’re interested.  It’s a really nice class, and I’m having a great time.  I look forward to it each and every week.  The price looks a little steep, but it’s 30 hours of instruction, plus materials and open studio time as well, so I think it’s actually quite a good deal.

My Handmade Books class – update!

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We’re working on two projects right now that are spanning multiple classes.  I’ll have pics to show next Friday, byt I’m really excited about both.  One is a library-style binding, and the other is the secret Belgian binding seen above.  Mysterious, no? 😉

My Handmade Books Class – Week 4

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Dear Coptic Binding,
You won this round, sure.
But the war isn’t over.
I will master you.
Yours,
Me

My Handmade Books class – Week 3!

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Yeah, yeah…so I didn’t blog about last weeks class.  😉

Once again, this class is the perfect antidote to the “feeling a little down/boo to winter” blues.  This week, we finished our accordion books (see above) and started our next project; coptic books.  Which apparently involve a lot of sewing.  Fantastic.

I’m thinking I’ll save my accordion book for this summer and press leaves and flowers in it… we’ll see.

Can’t wait for next weeks class. Go make something, people. Beat the winter doldrums with art and books.

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My Handmade Books class – Week One!

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For a while now, I’ve been interested in the actual binding of books.  Happily, my dear darling husband was able to work from home one day a week so I could attend a class.  (Also, I recently became a stay-at-home-mom, so a chance to get out of the house solo is always welcome.  I love my family, but a girl just needs to wander sometimes.)  Everyone I know that has taken classes at Lillstreet Art Center has raved about the place, so I decided to sign up for their Handmade Books class.

Today was our first class, and I’m already excited for the next one.  I trekked to the lovely Lillstreet facility, located in the Ravenswood area right off the Montrose Brown Line stop, and stopped for a coffee at Beans & Bagels (who’s staff was lovely and friendly) before heading in to get my bookmaking on.

Our teacher is a lovely artist named Connie Wolfe, who admits bookmaking is “addicting.”  In addition to introductions, our first activities were to try two different kinds of bookbinding – the Japanese Stab (shown above on the left) and the Pamphlet book (above, right.)  The Pamphlet book was a breeze, and is super cute.  The Japanese Stab book nearly bested me.  Turns out I didn’t start with enough thread. D’oh.  Lesson learned.

After class, I headed to Michael’s to get some supplies to make books on my own.  Namely, an awl (for putting holes though thick stacks of paper) and cardstock.  Like I need an excuse to stop by Michael’s.

So far, the class is stellar.  I’ll be reporting back each week on what I learned, as well as showcasing the books I made.

#booknerdfun.