100 Books Journey – Books 35 & 36

100 Books Journey – Books 35 & 36

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In the interests of full disclosure, I started what I intended to be book 35 and got stuck. I had this crazy stitching idea, spent days working it out, then just wasn’t happy with the outcome. It’s been sitting on my workbench taunting me ever since! Should I tear the stitching out and try again? Should I regroup and reinvent? Should I abandon it as a lost cause? I swear, it’s sitting over in the corner right now, sticking its tongue out at me! As someone great once said, “the best laid plans are sometimes best laid aside.” I’ll get back to it (eventually). In the meantime, I did manage to bring a couple of other fun ideas to fruition and here they are!

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Book 35/100: This is a single signature, chain stitched book and is another example of the type of book I wanted the lying press for. One thing I learned while trimming this baby, though, I probably need to go ahead and trim the top and bottom of my pages before binding and just use my plough to trim the side edge. I found the signature-fold a little tricky to navigate with my make-shift blade and ended up having to hand-trim in places.

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I was ultimately triumphant, however, and I love this book (though it may not, in fact, be a favorite 😉 ). It’s filled with 24 sheets of my go-to 90lb mixed media paper – folding my cover to create a 1/4″ spine allowed me to really pack the paper in (which I love).

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The marbled cover was actually an oops of a Nonpareil American pattern, but I liked how it almost looked like leaves on vines, so I decided to use it. My favorite thing about it is the spine, which lined up almost perfectly with a “stem line” down the center and “leaves” on either side of the stitching – nice little happy accident!

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Book 36/100: This book was born out of a personal need. If you follow me on Instagram (#kjw2play), you might suspect that I am an avid nature lover. While the rule of the trail is generally, “take only memories, leave only footprints,” when I’m hiking non-protected trails, I do sooooooo love to satisfy my magpie urges by picking up interesting leaves, feathers and the like. Sometimes, the things I pick up are wet, could use cleaning before they’re handled too much (like feathers), or (worse) they end up forgotten at the bottom of my bag. So I decided to make a field journal / flower press! I wanted it to be light, portable and contained – and I wanted it to reflect the natural world I love so dearly.

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The cover is made from Gelli® plate monoprints, made using natural leaves and feathers as masks and stamping tools. I printed a large, abstract piece for the overall background, then created little vignette type prints to sew on top. The book is tape bound with scraps of ribbon and lace and stitched with lavender waxed linen thread. Inside the book are a minimal number of pages – a total of 12, plus two pocket signatures. My intent was to use the book more as a press than to put anything into it permanently, so I kept it pretty small (we’ll see how that goes).

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The two pocket signatures are made from glassine envelopes. For this, I simply taped two envelopes (sized 5.5″ x 8.25″) together along one side with washi tape to form a signature.  I did use a heavier coated tape, stitched the signatures very carefully/gently to avoid tearing, and will need to watch the tape ends as they may begin to unstick over time and use.  Simple solution for that is to just re-stick them with glue stick, matte medium or more tape!

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The book also has an elastic closure to keep it closed and help with the pressing aspect.

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Plus an expandable collection pocket at the back. THIS book probably IS my current favorite and I can’t wait to take it with me on my next nature wander! 🙂

6 Comments

  1. I love the collection/press book! I am always picking up leaves and such but by the time I get home they are crushed in my bag. This is a great idea! But my bag is getting very heavy – multitude of keys, necessary medicines, Zentangle on-the-go pouch and sundry other things that make my handbag a deadly weapon if swung at an assailant! Still, certain things, like a portable leaf press, are the absolute necessities of life. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Kelley Walker
      Author

      Hi Jakki! I have that problem too, so made this book as light as possible – fewer pages, lightweight cardboard for the covers and not a lot of embellishment. Plus I made it fairly small – big enough to hold most things I’m likely to pick up but small enough to fit nicely in the little bag I use for day hikes.

  2. Fantastic duo. I really like that single chain stitch. It looks so elegant. xox

    1. Kelley Walker
      Author

      Thank you, Corrine. I like this stitch a lot and will definitely be using it again!

  3. I’m sure you’ll figure out what to do with the book you intended to be number 35. But in the meantime, both of these books are lovely. Your marbling is wonderful.

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