Category Archives: Book Art

A Bibliopole Bird

Today’s weird bird is collaged with old books.

So I thought a fitting title is a Bibliopole bird:

The dictionary definition for Bibliopole (bib-lee-uh-pohl) – a bookseller, especially a dealer in rare or used books.

I enjoy reading during summer…

Have you read any good books lately?

Happy Weird Bird Wednesday!

Cheers! ūüôā

A Handmade Journal – Done!

I’m very excited to announce that¬†my handmade art journal I started on September¬†1st is complete!¬† You can see the first post – here, the second one –¬†here and the third one –¬†here.

I learned a ton creating this journal and I hope you have enjoyed my instructions.¬† ūüôā

One of the things I learned when putting my book together during this last part was I learn much better with a video than a book.¬† It really helped me to SEE it being done!¬† I know there are free YouTube videos on the subject such as from Sea Lemon but I discovered one through from Paige Martin that was¬†excellent!¬†¬†The downloadable ¬†video was about the price of a book – $20 but worth it!!!¬†(IMHO)¬† I highly recommend her video called “Stitch This Book:¬† Long, link and Coptic binding for beginners and beyond.” If you are serious about creating your own art journals and sketchbooks, I found her instructions to be the most complete from start to finish.

Here are the supplies I used for this last “chapter” of my art journal:


I found the small curved needle was helpful when stitching the Coptic stitch with the waxed linen thread.  I have included two different awl sizes.

The larger handled¬†awl was great for punching (screwing) holes into the journal cover and the smaller awl was better for punching holes into the paper “signatures.”¬† An old telephone book was great for protecting your table during the hole making.

I also found that using a scrap piece of paper – I used an old file folder – was excellent for marking my holes in my signatures so that they were accurate and would match up with my holes in my journal cover:


I put the creased watercolor paper (signature) in the middle of the phone book as you can see above.¬† I darkened my holes with a Sharpie pen so you can see them but I don’t recommend you do it because it can bleed to your¬†nice paper.

I’m not going to show you how to do the Coptic stitch because I believe there are some excellent videos on the subject.¬†¬†I recommend¬†you go slow, keep your tension tight on the waxed thread and remember this is your first book!¬† It will become easier with practice!

I put my completed art journal under some heavy books so it will relax a little before I use it.

I hope to show you my first entry in my new art journal soon!

Cheers Friends!¬† ūüôā

P.S.¬† Would you like to see more art journal making instructions?¬† I’d love to hear from you!

Your Art Is Uniquely YOU!

I think it is so AMAZING how we each create art in our own style!¬†¬† Your art and journey¬†is uniquely you, my friend!¬† ūüôā

I decided to add a little of my “unique”¬†art¬†INSIDE¬†my art journal that I am making.¬† I copied this doodle that I completed previously.¬† Trimmed it to the size I wanted and glued it inside my front cover:


I added my own lettering and collage from an old dictionary.  I also wanted a place to document when I started my journey in this art journal and when I will complete it.

I do believe we can add a little bit of ourselves to every journal we create!¬† It doesn’t have to be handmade… store bought is fine too!¬† It doesn’t have to be an¬†ART journal, it can be any kind of journal such as a written diary.¬† Yet, you can make it YOUR OWN by adding a little bit of you to the inside cover.¬† (Note:¬† I suggest the inside covers¬†as you don’t have to show it to anyone else unless you want to!)

And the back inside cover too!  Here is a quote I liked that I had in a rubber stamp:


Here are some ideas to personalize the inside covers of your journals:

  • Copy your own artwork and glue to the inside cover page
  • Type a favorite quote on the computer and paste it inside
  • Use a rubber stamped image or words
  • Collage images from a magazine with a glue stick
  • Doodle with a ink pen
  • Experiment with¬†drawing the¬†letters of your name
  • Choose a favorite photo of you or¬†some place or someone you love

I hope¬†you give¬†one of these¬†ideas¬†a try¬†for your own journals!¬† I’d love to hear YOUR ideas too!

Happy Creating!!¬† ūüôā

P.S. A Handmade Journal – Part 3 with be completed next week so stay tuned!¬† ūüėČ

A Handmade Journal – Part 2

Today I will show you how to make a book cover for your handmade journal.  This post is a continuation of Part 1.

Below is a photo of my completed journal covers using Gelli-printed papers:


I discovered from my research online and several books on book making that journal covers can be anything you can punch or drill a hole into – as long as it won’t cut your thread!¬† Glass wouldn’t be a good cover in my opinion.¬† ūüėȬ† Another thing to consider is strength and durability¬†of your cover if you will be hauling it around.

You can add a decoration to the front such as a found object or some other ornamentation but you may want to keep it flat if you will be painting in it.

I found that Dick Blick and Amazon both sell bookmaking supplies.  I know there are other companies that specialize in bookmaking materials also.

Recycling old book covers like this one are also an option:


One of my books suggested cutting up old paintings done on canvas or illustration board which I think would be a great repurposing idea!

Davey board, also known as Book board is popular with bookmakers because it is archival and inexpensive.  Mine did not arrive in time for this post so I improvised by using the cardboard backing on a pad of Fabriano watercolor paper:


Be sure to use a box cutter when cutting your book board on a protected surface.  An Exacto knife is not strong enough.

You can cut your cover board the same size as your signatures or allow 1/8 to 1/4 extra around your paper.  I chose to have a little extra space:


My Gelli-printed papers were 9 x 12 inches in size so they covered the outside of my boards.  I used other paper to cover the board on the inside of my book.


I drew a pencil line around my board on the back of my papers so I knew where to cut my corners of my paper.  It also helped with gluing to keep my board centered:

I discovered after I cut my corners that I didn’t leave enough allowance for the thickness of my board in my corners so they didn’t fit as snuggly as I would have liked.¬† Next time I think I will fold my edges first before I clip the corners.

Folding ALL my paper edges with a bone folder BEFORE I added glue was extremely helpful because the glue dries very quickly.

PVA glue was recommended by bookmakers.  I purchased this recommended brand from Amazon along with this glue brush:


I started by gluing the back of the board to the paper and found the glue brush helpful in spreading the glue evenly.¬† (I kept the brush soaking in water in between uses so that it didn’t dry on the brush.¬† I removed most of the water on a paper towel before I used it again.)

After I glued the back, I applied the glue to each fold directly Рone fold at time Рand used the bone folder to press the fold evenly to the board.  It helped to have some paper towels to mop up the excess glue.

Once the edges were glued, I finished my cover by gluing a solid piece of paper to the inside board:


In my next post, I will show you how to attach the book covers to the signature pages using Coptic binding.  This binding is wonderful because it allows your book to stay open and flat when drawing or painting in it.

Please check out Annie Glacken’s blog – she was¬†Charlie’s Guest Doodlewasher on September 16:¬† ¬†¬†

Annie has some lovely sketchbook journals and also shares her tips on making a handmade journal along with 2 excellent YouTube videos from Sea Lemon.

I hope you enjoyed my instructions and I look forward to hearing about your handmade book covers!

I plan to post Part 3 of my bookmaking series next Thursday, September 29th.

Cheers Friends!¬† ūüôā


A Handmade Art Journal – Part 1

I am almost finished using all the pages in the  art journal that my friend made me.  I have really enjoyed the size of this journal Рeach page is approximately 6 x 8 inches.


There¬†is something magical about a handmade journal.¬† So I have decided to try to make my own journal and show you how – as you might want to make one too!¬† ūüôā

I have been promising Margaret at Yuba Gold, (I love her nature paintings with such rich, vibrant colors!) that I would show her how to make one so here goes!

I started by gathering a few supplies:


I think a bone folder is really handy to have but it isn’t necessary.¬† I usually like to tear my papers but you may want to use scissors.¬† A ruler is necessary so you measure accurately.

You will next need to decide on the paper you want to use in your journal.  I decided to use 140-lb COLD and HOT press watercolor paper for variety.

I¬† started with a large sheet of watercolor paper – 22 x 30 inches.¬† I don’t like to waste paper so I¬†chose to make my journal pages a little smaller in size than the one my friend made me.¬† Here is¬†how I¬†folded and¬†cut (tear)¬†my large piece of¬†watercolor paper:


First, I folded my paper in half and tore (or cut) the paper so I have two halves that are     22 x 15 inches:


I continued to evenly fold and tear my paper so that I am left with a folded size as below:


After I had three folded¬†papers, I could make what is called a “signature” in the book world.¬† (See photo below).¬† I covered¬†my signature¬†with tissue paper (so the papers¬†stayed clean) and stacked several heavy books on them:

Since I don’t have a paper press, weighted books are the cheap alternative!¬† It helps to weight the signatures so they are relaxed before you punch holes in them.

I decided to make a total of six signatures like my current journal:


I will do some research and discuss some ideas for making a journal cover in 2 weeks on September 15th.

I hope you found this information helpful on how to start making your own journal.

Happy September!¬† ūüôā

The Old Neighborhood – Part 1

Do you ever drive by your old neighborhood where you grew up?  I do from time to time.  I was raised only about 30 minutes from my current home.

I created this short story from the art I did in an old book, as part of the “Word Play Painting Class” I took online¬†from Lynn Whipple.

It was a cool fall day in late October when Ellen decided to take a short drive –


Past the home where she was raised in the old neighborhood –

the old neighborhood

The new owner had changed the house color but everything else looked much the same.

Ellen remembered her childhood friends and all the times they went “Trick or Treating” in the neighborhood –

Trick or Treat character

Dressing up in handmade costumes of cats, ghosts and little old ladies…

Ellen was about ready to¬†drive away¬†when the lady next door came outside to get her mail.¬† Ellen was surprised to recognize her neighbor, Dee Dee – as she thought she had moved away –

Dee Dee

Ellen hopped out of her car and waived hello to Dee Dee!   When Dee Dee saw Ellen, she broke into a wide grin.

They started chatting and Dee Dee invited Ellen into her home for a cup of coffee Р 

a cup of coffee

Reruns of the show, “Super Cat” were playing on the television (rather loudly I must say) so Ellen was thankful when Dee Dee turned the volume off –

Super cat

As Ellen sat down on the couch, the phone rang.¬† Dee Dee was answering the phone, when Ellen noticed a ______ in the room!¬† (Now it’s your turn to help complete Part 1 of the story in a clean, humorous way).¬†¬† I hope you play along…

I will post my ending to the story in Part 2 next week!

Happy Storytelling!¬† ūüôā

What Do You Love?!

I finally got a few moments to START Lynn Whipple’s new online class, WORD PLAY!¬† I love playing with words so I know this class will be a so FUN!

I created this in an old dictionary using white chalk paint, water soluble wax pastels, Tombow markers and pencil:

I love art - wordplay for Lynn's class

If you could choose one or two WORDS, what do you love?

I would love to hear from you!¬† ūüôā

Happy Saturday!