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A close up of my scribbling. The Sakura Pigma Professional Brush Pen I was using was getting deliciously dried out.

Bookbinding and Journaling, I Can Be Contrary In My Choices

I started the new year with one of the journals I bound in the fall of 2017. (I made 50 plus journals in a month while in a cast [foot and ankle] due to a fall down some stairs. Another contrary choice I see in hindsight—but the orthopedic surgeon had cleared me for activity.) It […]

Examples of Sewn on the Spine Journals.

Sewn On The Spine Class Registration Opens Today

Registration for my “Sewn-on-the-Spine” book binding class begins today. You can read more about the class on the registration page.  Also on the registration page you’ll find a link to a detailed supply list. You can view me talking about the various qualities of this book in this video link.   Registration closes on October 2. […]

Examples of Sewn on the Spine Journals.

A Page Can’t Contain Your Sketches and Collage? Learn This Book Structure

If you constantly find that your visual journaling needs more space to capture your ideas, consider making a book which is happy holding fold outs, ups, downs, you name it. The sewn-on-the-spine journal holds signatures on the spine with decorative stitching. This allows you to decorate the outside of book through your choice of stitch […]


Dreaming about Blue Paper (and a Waiting Room Sketch)

See the full post for details.


OK, A Little Bit of State Fair Prep: Listen to Your Mood When Binding a Special Journal

I make a decision about my approach at this year’s State Fair.

MCBA Visual Journal Collective

The Minnesota Center for Book Arts Visual Journal Collective meets 12 times a year on the third Monday of each month, from 7 to 9 p.m. at MCBA. (See their website for directions.) The Collective, founded in fall 2008 by co-ordinator emeritus Roz Stendahl, is part of the adult workshop and program offerings at MCBA. Meetings are […]


Adventures in Bookbinding: Matching Paper Surfaces Across a Spread

NideggenTearStacks5182 Right: The goal, stacks of folded and collated sheets ready to bind into books. These signatures are approximately 6-5/8 x 9-5/8 inches and make a wonderful size for a journal in portrait orientation.

Events keep intervening and keeping me from binding the next batch of Nideggen books, so I don't have a new photo of books made with this paper. But if you want to see finished books made with this paper check out my January 28, 2009 post.

NOTE: this post assumes you have working knowledge of handling a bone folder to tear a folded sheet of paper. Also always do a test on cheap bond first to make sure you understand the instructions. I’ve made every effort to be as clear and thorough as possible, but I’m used to doing this LIVE with people listening, so do a run through first just to make sure it all makes sense before you touch your expensive paper. (I have a note on how to practice at the end of this post.) Also, I find it useful to always have a sheet diagram on hand—and I've been doing this for decades.


It’s Not Waterproof until It’s Waterproof


Above: An ink-test page from my current journal which uses Velin Arches (formerly Arches Text Wove) for text paper. I was concerned about bleeding ink lines with pens usually dependable in their waterproof qualities. (My rubber chicken puppet Gert is always willing to be a test subject.) The page size is approximately 6.5 x 8.5 inches. The right side of the page spread didn't fit on the scanner, but it isn't crucial. The page tab in the center of the spread is from a page I removed when I started the journal; something I do to make room for eventual collaged items. Click on the image to see an enlargement.

So is it bad Karma or the phases of the moon, or more likely the change in humidity as the earth gives up the last of the melting snow moisture into the air? And of course one can’t discount manufacturing tweaks and changes in the products and papers used. But whatever is causing “the change” in how my pens have been working on Velin Arches the last two weeks, it has made me out of sorts. My favorite waterproof pens have been bleeding when I paint over the ink lines.


Paper Sale for Folks in the Twin Cities

NideggenPearClose Left: a sample journal page from a journal made with Nideggen. Note how the lovely texture of the page comes through the colored pencil application. And it takes wet media. Click on the image to see a close up. I deliberately cropped in on this journal page so you could see the paper texture and flecks.

Nideggen is a fabulous paper for bookbinding. It is a 120 gm/m2 paper (available in 25 x 38 and 22 x 30 inch sheets). It has a lovely straw-tannish color with some darker flecks. It has a laid pattern with a wavy chain. It takes pen and ink with watercolor or gouache washes. (The paper will buckle as it is a thin sheet, but I'm not a visual journal keeper who is bothered by that. It is very opaque for a thin sheet!) Nideggen is an excellent printmaking paper and is also great for letterpress. Recent posts have images scanned from the current Nideggen journal (November 22, 28, 29.)

Why am I telling you all this?
I took my current journal which I made with Nideggen paper from Zerkall to the last MCBA Visual Journal Collective meeting. I also had samples left over from binding. People liked the samples. Locally we couldn't get the large sheets. I prefer the large sheets because they allow me to make a 6 x 9 inch or so book without any waste! I like not having any waste. After the meeting I asked Wet Paint if we could do a group order of the larger sheet (25 x 38 inches) and everyone involved could come in and pick up their paper but get the group price. (This would eliminate any packing and carting and possible damage we would have to deal with if we took delivery of the whole order and split it up ourselves.) He graciously agreed.


Brocade Bookcloth


Above: part of the delightful brocade bookcloth display now showing at Wet Paint.

I went out today to pick up a birthday present for an artist friend. I decided to just wander in my favorite art supply store: Wet Paint. Those of you who aren't local will see we are spoilt indeed by this store. I walked past the front desk and over to the paper area and BAM eye exploding color.

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