Book #090 - April Fool - I mean...Food!

I have decided that we need to keep better track of our grocery shopping and food consumption. And of course a project like that calls for a new book! A fairly big one, with room for lists and calculations, and envelopes for receipts and whatever else. So I made one.

(Pictures coming soon.)


Book #089 - "Four" needle binding`

I think, after all, that this is my favorite sewn binding. I learned to call it a 4-needle binding, but I usually do it with just one needle, and retrace my steps to complete the stitching. Yeah, I know; that means absolutely nothing to most people. Maybe I'll draw a diagram one of these days. It really is a cool binding. The sewing is enough, structurally, to hold the book together, but I added the strops of paisley paper to reinforce the spine. The covers are simply heavily enhanced first and last pages - neat flash cards, no?


Book #088 - Lupins

Seems I've been doing a number of weird and experimental little book-like objects lately, so I thought it was time for a simple booky-book, with pages and a cover. So here's an 84-page book - seven 12-page signatures and a cover with a nice picture of a field of lupins.


Book #087 -

Two books in one, sort of. The cover folds in from both sides to the center, where the two parts overlap and interlock. There are pages stapled into both folds, so that they open to both sides. The pages can be closed and layered in many ways: left/right/left right, or left-left/right-right...etc etc. Or you can do all the lefts then all the rights. Or...

I hope that's clear.

I'm thinking I'll save this for the next time we go on a road trip - even a short one. One side could be the trip out and the other the trip back. Then I could shuffle the pages and make up different trips. Save some gas.


Book #086 - a graphic story boustro

Another boustrophedon, this time with a story.

It was a full and busy day, and I wasn't at home much. So I had to make a book in my lap and this is what I came up with. The boustro...is cut and folded freehand from a piece of watercolor paper. You almost can't tell from the images but no two pages are the same size or shape; all folded up it's a pretty eccentric looking thing. But it doesn't seem to matter.

The story is the beginning of the Finnish epic, the Kalevala. A maiden floats in the primordial waters; she floats for seven hundred years. A bird, looking for a place to build a nest, finally settling on the maiden's exposed knee, which is protruding above the waters. The bird builds its nest and lays seven eggs, six of gold and a seventh of iron. As it sits on the eggs, the maiden's knee begins to warm, until it is so burning hot that she jerks in pain and the eggs fall into the sea and break. From the broken pieces are formed the earth and the heavens, the clouds, stars, moon and the sun. At last the Water Mother, having so long ago been impregnated by the sea and wind, gives birth to a fully grown son, Vainamoinen, who goes on to have many adventures and to become a hero of his people.


Book #085 - Blank Slates

Two Blank Slates - a very nice local cheese, and today's very plain empty book.


Book #084 - Dear sir or madam,

Here we have an accordion book doing one of the things an accordion book does so well - present two versions of the same story. It's handwritten on ever so tasteful gray stationery, with very dignified darker gray covers. (If I'd thought of it I would have typed it on the old Underwood.) I think it should go in an equally tasteful gray envelope, but I'll have to make it to fit the book.

The text, side one:
"I would like to apply for a job with your company. For two years I have been employed as a sales clerk for the Jones store. I sold nothing that I did not take pride in. I'm sure it will be the same if I work for you."
and side two:
"I would like to apply for a job with your company for two years. I have been employed. As a sales clerk for the Jones store I sold nothing. That, I did not take pride in. I'm sure it will be the same if I work for you."
And there are more where that came from...


Book #083 - Last Blizzard for a While

The biggest blizzard yet, made from a map and single sheet pages about 8x10 inches.
might be an effective way to present several separate pictures or documents. A portfolio of sorts.


Book #082 - Another Blizzard

Here's another book like yesterday's, but bigger and with different proportions, so that it has what are more like pockets than tabs. I forgot to put something in the pockets so that you could see how they work, but I'll bet you can figure that out for yourself. The triangles lift up to reveal previously hidden parts. Secret Decorations!


Book #081 - "Blizzard"

Blizzard is one of the names I see used to describe this book structure. (Supposedly it was invented during a blizzard.) The spine is one long piece folded as for a fan, but then additional folds are made to the corners of the pleats, along the long, zig zag edges. These folds both prevent the fan from expanding, and provide tabs for holding the folded pages in place. (If your paper is wider, and your pleats are bigger than in this example, your tabs will be bigger, too. And I can't figure out how to describe what that accomplishes so I guess I'll make that tomorrow's book. The cover is made separately and attached at the end.

Book #080 - Flexagon

Oh dear, oh dear. Would you believe I totally forgot about making a book today? Until about 11:44PM that is. We were on our way home from an evening out when I realized I had to work fast. So, I tore up a sheet of paper that was in the car and made a flexagon which I will photograph and post shortly.

Flexagons are paper structures that fold and refold in circles...if that makes any sense. Jacob's Ladders and Magic Wallets are cousins of flexagons. A fun thing about flexagons is that as you fold them repeatedly, the "pages" split and reappear rearranged. Oh, it's impossible to describe. Go look here.

The content of this flexagon is all inspired by the concert we went to this evening. Leonard Slatkin (younger than I thought) conducting Britten, Stravinsky and Berlioz. An impressive young Latvian violinist with a very impressive violin. It should have had its own ovation.

I'll see if I can't draw up some directions for this flexagon and post them tomorrow.

In all honesty I will have to say that this wasn't done until a few minutes after midnight, so I missed my deadline. And I wasn't able to post until now, so the date is off. C'est la vie, I guess.


Book #079 - Magenta Whatever

Yes, I am calling this a book. It's a very simple, sort of a boustrophedon, 8-page (or panel) folded structure made of a single square of card stock. The picture is a collage showing several of its different "poses." Any of the inner folds could have extra pages sewn in, but even as-is I think it's kind of interesting. I might use it for a short story, a poem or more than one poem, or some images that combined and separated and recombined in different ways, depending on how you folded it. It might make a good travel diary for a short trip; each page could be a segment of time and they would all flow together - as time does. Or the background could be a map, and each panel would be about its own part of the map


Book #078 - Machine Sewn, Blue and Yellow

I blazed a trail to a sewing machine in the studio. That enabled me to make this little book in about 2 minutes: cut pages, cut cover, sew, tie a couple of knots, clip threads. Fini. Done. That's all.


Book #077 - Sewn on Tapes

Just what it says: 5 signatures sewn on tapes (strips of paper) and glued onto separate covers that are covered with an old bicycle map of Seattle. The lower picture is a detail of the sewing. A simple book for a busy day.


Book #076 - Rubber Band Pencil Binding

I think this would have been a good candidate for photo rather than scan - but scanning is so quick and easy that I did it anyway. Just ignore the weird blue shadows that the scanner sees when there's a 3-D object involved, ok?

This is one easy binding! Even though the picture is minimal, you can probably see that it is simply a pencil, a rubber band, and two holes in a stack of pages. The rubber band is at the back, with the two ends poked through to the front and then looped around the pencil. No, you can't take the pencil out to use it. Or, you could, but the book would fall apart.

I've seen this done with pencils, twigs, bones, skewers, paintbrushes, knitting needles, chopsticks, artificial flowers and even a test tube! Anything long, skinny and strong. Just think...


Book #075 - Palm Leaf experiment

Sorry about the lateness of this post. I haven't had much time on the computer in the last 48 hours...too much other stuff going on, with sickness in the family and such.

palm leaf book
palm leaf book
Today's book is a quick study in an old form that had its origins in South and Southeast Asia. As I tried to do a little research on palm leaf books, I discovered that a little won't do...there is so much to be said and described and admired in these books.

As the name indicates, the pages of these books are traditionally made of sections of palm leaves. Covers, when there were covers, were typically wood, bamboo or ivory. They were often elaborately carved and decorated, sometimes encrusted with jewels. My version is made from the things I have at hand: recycled cardboard and fabric.

Here are a couple of images of genuine old palm leaf books. Amazing, don't you think?


Book #074 - Untitled

A small (1.25 x 1.5 inches) sewn book with an attached cover. I had a bunch of offcut from previous books and I couldn't just recycle it, of course. Tomorrow something completely different - maybe.


Book #073 - Burger-Boustrophedon

We had lunch at Burgermaster today; this is made from a paper place mat that I managed to keep clean. I should have scanned it before I glued it down and made it un-flattenable. But take my word for it, the name and steer head are in the upper left corner of the mat, and the stone wall and Coca-Cola logo are in the lower right. I sat in the car and folded and tore, then made the covers at home later with images horked off the Burgermaster website.

Somehow burgers and boustrophedon seemed to go together - oxen and steer and all.


Book #072 - Flip Up Flop Down


I saw a kids' book along these lines in a bookstore once. Such a simple idea, but one that could be put to creative use. Each page has a flip up (flop down?) section that covers all but a little bit at the bottom. It lends itself to images that are the same but different, or that change to move a story along, or that just create funny effects. The original wasn't an accordion as this one is, but I like the idea that with the pages side by side the content can cross pages - even be one big picture that changes as different flaps are flipped up or left down. The cover was cut from a box I took out of the recycling. As you can, Buster likes this one.


Book #071 - Lucky Again

I made another one of the "Lucky" books from a couple of days ago. This time I retrieved my foil papers and made the five little books as originally planned. I like the way it turned out, but have forgotten that special scanner setting that eliminates the weird stripes when scanning metallics. So the book covers aren't really all stripey like that. The needle threader is just part of the image as scanned. It might be a good place to attach a four leaf clover charm, if I can find one.