Some books are complete in your head before you start. It's just a natter of putting the pieces together to create the reality that already exists in your mind. Others, like this one, evolve more slowly, the ideas coming into being as the hands make them real.
This hand-made journal began with a greeting card. I love all the old Day of the Dead/calaca prints by the great Mexican political cartoonist Jose Guadalupe Posada. He put skeleton figures in all sorts of whimsical and satirical poses and situations, using the illustrations to comment on Mexican society, human nature and the politics of his time--the early 20th century. I loved this card and knew I wanted to use it as the cover for a handbound journal.
I cut the card up and glued it to a baacking of manila card stock for added strength. Then I started going through my stash of paper to find the pages. I had this cool red and white graph paper (in millimeters) and also some translucent white vellum I've been eager to use. I cut the papers to size and folded the pages into signatures. I still wasn't sure at that point how the book would go together.
I needed something sturdy for the spine. I found a scrap of red-and-clear checked plastic left over from book 104. I glued it to a piece of the manila cardstock and added a red paper liner for the book's end papers. Then I realized I could sew the signatures to the spine first and add the Posada covers afterward.
I stitched them in a longstitch binding with white waxed linen thread. Then I glued on the covers. I had to keep going over all the folds with my bone folder because the plastic didn't want to bend cleanly and stay bent.
This hand-made journal measures 4 3/4" x 6 1/2". It has 36 sheets folded into 6 signatures for 72 leaves (144 pages). It's a nice little handful and would be fun to carry around in your purse.