Reorganizing; Fixing a Perfect-Bound Book; Watercolor Journal with Beaded Spine

As mentioned, I turned my stuff upside down last week to put it back together in a new and pleasing way–then I’ve spent the last week looking for stuff I cleverly put somewhere new and now can’t remember where it is.  I’m getting there though (the last ten percent of stuff is always the hardest!) and am very happy with the effort.

Of course I know I’ll do this all again next January, but that’s okay–it’s a valuable reset for me and an excellent opportunity to think about what I want to focus on for at least the next six months (or rather, until the school year ends for the kids) and arrange my stuff in order to best facilitate that.  I get a chance to be reminded of supplies/tools I acquired during the year and to remember things I got longer ago and had forgotten, plus I look at things in new ways every January since I am still learning and discovering so much each year.

I am nearly done with my journal that I keep talking about here but haven’t shown any pics of yet because it’s just not quite finished.  Yesterday during my kids’ taekwondo lesson I messed around with different ideas for the pockets, and I think I’ve come to some decisions.  Sometimes I feel so paralyzed with what is, I suppose, ultimately a lack of confidence.  I just want to be so sure before I cut anything, but I am learning that even the mistakes or things that just don’t work out can always be used in some other fashion, and reminding myself of that helps break through the weight of inertia.

One other thing I started working on this week is fulfillment of an obligation to my son’s school.  They contacted me back in October, saying that one of the Harry Potter books in their library had sections coming out of it, and did I think I could do anything about it?  I said I’d be happy to take a look at it but couldn’t get to it until after the holidays.  Well, that time is here, so I hauled it out and examined it.  At first I was hopeful as it looked like the pages were sewn signatures, but I soon realized that unfortunately, what I was looking at was a perfect binding.  I got on the internet and confirmed that the HP hardbacks are just that.  Bummer.

Spine after pages had been separated
and most of the perfect binding glue removed

So I looked through all my books that I have on binding, and nearly all of them said to kiss it goodbye as there wasn’t anything to be done to rebind a book originally done with perfect binding.  However . . . Manly Banister did offer one method to try, so I am giving it a go.  Basically, you clean up the spine of the pages, glue them together lightly again, then separate into sections and whipstitch them together.  If there’s enough space left in the gutter then it might work.  I figure it’s worth a shot since the school has no other options, and it’s an interesting challenge.  So far I’ve cleaned up the spine and glued the pages back together in preparation for separating into sections.  Later this week I hope to separate into sections and punch holes for sewing, then on a long day, I’ll settle in and do the whipstitching.  I should know by about halfway through if it’s going to work–those Harry Potter books got big towards the end.

Spine after trimming off the ragged edges using my
Purple Cows guillotine, four pages at a time
Finally, today I found myself beset by the paralysis described earlier.  I need a journal with 140 lb. watercolor paper in it so I can finally get around to doing the Pam Carriker lessons from the Strathmore site (I don’t think anywhere in town sells the Visual Journals, and I’m too cheap to order one online–plus I thought it would be nice to make my own).  At first I thought about doing the longstitched cover described in real life Journals by Gwen Diehn, but that just looked like too much work, and even after poking through my papers I still couldn’t find ones I wanted to use for the covers.
A four-signature book made with Strathmore 400 Series
watercolor paper, 140 lb. (finished size 7.5×11″)
So I ended up going with the multiple-signature binding described on pages 88-91 of Alisa Golden’s Expressive Handmade Books.  I didn’t even put a cover on it–the paper is so stiff that I decided it didn’t need one, and it’s just for me to play in anyway, not for show.  
(Forgot to mention the paper–yesterday I picked up on 40% off sale at Michael’s a 12-sheet pad of Strathmore cold press watercolor, 400 series, 140 lb., 11×15″.  I cut the sheets off the spiral binding and then trimmed with my guillotine before making 4 signatures of 3 pages each.  Before folding the signatures, I did turn the middle page of each the other way, so that every spread has the same side of the paper rather than one side being rough and the other smoother.)  
I did add some beads along the spine, just because I wanted to.  Very pleased with the result and looking forward to finally doing the lessons now that I have somewhere to glue my cut-out copies! 


Middle section of spine sewing with beads

Top section of spine sewing with beads

About Elizabeth Ann's Studio

Artist. Musician. Mother. Wife. Me.
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