There has been sewing. Of paper.
First the Podcast Journal. I sewed it three times before I was happy with the arrangement of the beads. That’s fine. This was meant to be a book I could experiment on. The materials were cheap or leftovers. In fact, only part that was recently bought was the blue paper at the front and back of the signatures. Even the beads are repurposed from a necklace bought at an op shop.
The binding is longstitch. I’m liking this method a lot. There’s a lot of creative potential.
The canvas painted with acrylic that I used for the spine works quite well, though I suspect the paint may crack as it ages. It makes the canvas a little stiff, as was shown in the podcast, but because I let it dry folded in a curve close to what I expected it would have when finished, it sits neatly closed and doesn’t need securing with ribbon or elastic.
The Denim Notebook also uses longstitch. This time I tried crossing the outer stitches, which involved working with two signatures at a time. It was easier than it sounds. I only needed to stitch the book once.
The paper is lined on one side, which means there are blank and lined pages throughout the book.
I used coloured hemp from a bookbinding supply shop for the thread, and I didn’t like it. The hemp slowly shredded as I pulled it through the paper and cover and, just over halfway, it had got so thin I was able to snap it with a light tug. I tied on more to finish the book but, as you can see, it got furrier and furrier as I worked along the spine. Though the book doesn’t look or feel as if it might fall apart, I won’t be using hemp again.
I’m happy with how both of these books came out. I’ve learned quite a bit from both of them. It’s interesting how they are quite different tactile experiences. The Podcast Journal is smooth and cool, and the size of it give it the personality of a rather spiffy exercise book. The Denim Notebook is soft and warm, due to the cloth cover and the torn recycled paper, and has the character of a casual, personal diary.
I think my handbound books are starting to evolve identities of their own!