As I mentioned last post, I’ve been on an organizing kick.  I’ve been making some fantastic progress and am dying to share some of my tips/aha! moments… the trouble is, I’ve been focusing pretty heavily that last week or so on organizing my stencils and I’m losing steam. I’ve started on the little ones (like Balzer Bits, 6×6 stencils and the Dina Wakely ones that are about 6×8) and they are slowing me down. A lot. Suffice to say, I am procrastinating. Which, in my world, usually means a new book or three!

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I recently got a copy of Keith Smith’s Non-Adhesive Binding, Vol. 2: 1- 2- & 3-Section Sewings and have been having some fun experimenting with 1 and 2 section paperback books, featuring some of my marbled papers. Book 33/100 is one of the first book form’s in Mr. Smith’s book, Dot-Dash Sewing (aka “the machine stitch”).

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This stitch acts just like the stitch on a sewing machine, with a top thread that is basically just a long straight piece of thread and a bottom thread, inside the book, that slips out of each sewing station, over the top thread and back inside. I had a little fun with thread colors, using a bright yellow for the top thread and a denim blue for the bottom – both of which compliment the marbled cover quite nicely, if I do say so myself! 🙂

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There are some hints of turquoise in the marbling too, so I covered the inside with a turquoise Canson Mi Tientes paper (love that stuff!!). The book is filled with 90lb mixed media paper.

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I have to admit that this marbled piece was one I’d relegated to a discard/do-over pile, but now that I see it all bound up in a pretty little book, I have a whole new perspective. There was no special pattern involved, just some freestyle swirling through the paint and I’m realizing I need to do a little more of that because it’s FUN and unpredictable and beautiful to boot!

I’ve also been experimenting with trying to create a trimming plough. When papers are stacked together into a signature, they form a little mountain – notice the mountains in the 4-signature book, below-left. Many bookbinders, especially with paperback books, will use a tool called a plough (essentially a horizontal blade with a handle) to trim the edges and make them nice and flat, as you see in the photo on the right…

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I found a great video where a binder shows a diy plough he made out of kneadable putty and a blade for a fraction of the cost (traditional ploughs run $200 and up)! It worked pretty well, but I struggled quite a bit with holding everything in place while I cut (picture blocks of wood and clamps – yeah, not so much). Sooooo, I’ve taken another bookbinding plunge and ordered a lying press, which means my 1-2-3 section sewing adventures are sort of on hold til it gets here. 🙁

Luckily, I get to be shopkeeper for the day tomorrow at My Heart’s Fancy here in Oklahoma City! So I don’t have to go back to stencil organizing just yet. If you’re local and around tomorrow, come see me!! 🙂