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I’ve been making hand-made books for about a year now. I’ve learned about paper grain, how to fold signatures, what a wrap is, and the intricacies of glue.

I still get glue all over my fingers and my work area—but someone let the secret out….have a wet washcloth–nearby to wipe sticky fingers and then to wipe off work surfaces. Wastepaper is essential—and I have a lot of packing paper and copy paper of images–..lets just say I need to practice copying images on those big machines at Kinko’s—but then they are just three cents a page.

There is a new project posted every month. It takes me most of the month to complete the project–glue dries very slowly in our humid environment—I don’t have formal book press to make my signatures nice and neat. I finally figured out a cheap method–two smooth floor tiles and two clamps from Harbor Freight. i added a crop-a-dile. It is a fancy hole punch and eyelet setter althought I could not figure out the eyelet setting.

And last month I bought a paper cutter—what fun! chopping up paper into tiny bits the size I need for book signatures or to decorate covers. And so easy to cut book board.

After accumulating the parts for several books, I spent a day doing the final steps.

And then there was this project.

I’ve been experimenting with using soft covers–fabric but making it more substantial and not so floppy. This project started as a single book with very tall signatures. I decided it would be far better to make two smaller ones.

I have a large (maybe too large) selection of hand-painted/printed/embroidered fabrics to choose from. This was a piece printed with a zucchini one year; I just could not face another loaf of zucchini bread. I did simple stitching onto a piece of interfacing-it was fairly thick but not stiff. I reinforced the spine with another piece of interfacing and stitched along the lines to reinforce it.

The signatures are sewn in using a long stitch method.

Because the interfacing is technically a fabric, I didn’t think I could glue the end sheet in–so I used a fusible web; and then glued the flap to the signatures.

That metal plaque on the book on the right is from an old sewing machine. I have a large number of these–a touch of whimsey.

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