A Book a Day? What's Up With That?

Hi, and welcome to this year-long project. So what's this all about and how did it happen, you might ask. In mid 2007, artist Noah Scalin decided to make a skull out of anything he could find, every day for a year. It stretched him in ways he never imagined, as an artist, a writer and a person. His experience turned into a blog that went viral, and then a book.

Others have picked up on the idea: 365 Hearts, 365 Masks, 365 Bears drawn on a cellphone, 365 paper napkin mustaches.
I wanted to play, too, and I chose books. I love books, I know a bit about making books (thanks to my talented book-maker sister, Marilyn Worrix), and they're broad enough in definition to give me a lot of creative leeway.

The whole point is not really the books. The idea is to stretch myself in many ways as an artist and a person, to set up a discipline, stick with it and see what that teaches me.

I hope you'll join with me and follow along on the journey chronicled here, and let me know what you think.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Books 176-177-178 - Game Board Book Trio - Coptic, Stab & Perfect Bindings

We have a group of books today, all recycled/upcycled from a board game board. The trio includes a Coptic Bound Journal, a Japanese Stab Bound Book and a Perfect Bound Notebook.

On my recent trip to the Salvation Army store, I scored this very cool game called "Conspiracy" in like-new condition. I loved the graphic on the playing board and I love the way it looks in these books.

The first book, on the left in the photo, is the one I made yesterday, but I waited to upload it so it could be part of the set. It's a coptic bound journal with eight signatures of five sheets each, for a total of 80 pages (160 counting both sides). After cutting the board into pieces, the covers had two finished edges and two cut edges. I finished those raw edges with black tape like electrical tape. The coptic binding is done with waxed linen thread.

For the next book, a Japanese stab-bound journal, I decided to use the part of the board that includes the center fold. It seemed perfect for the hinge for a stab-bound book. Again I finished the raw edges with black electrical tape. I cut the stack of pages, positioned them and drilled holes through the whole thing. Then I stitched it with a herringbone stitch with red waxed hemp cord. A nice book.

Finally, for the perfect bound notebook, I took the remaining pieces with a very cool graphic from the center of the sides of the board. I finished off the two raw sides with electrical tape, cut the stack of pages, clamped the whole thing together and glued it with a couple coats of padding compound. When it was completely dry, I covered the top glued edge with a piece of black bookcloth to give it a clean look. For a lark, I turned the back board "inside out," so the fun graphic is on the inside of the back of the notebook, sort of a surprise when you get to the back.

I think this trio of game board books is very cool.


  1. Game boards!! Yes, you do see books everywhere! These are really cool. Neat that you used three different kind of bindings, too. Never heard of this game. Great graphics--yes! Super job. We needed to see them as a set. :)

  2. Such a clever use of this game board. It would never been seen if you hadn't upcycled it.. Nice!

  3. very nice! what tool do you use to drill through the paper and covers for the Japanese stab binding? a regular power drill?

  4. Ellen, - Thanks for the comment. Yes, I use a regular power drill. But I'm not 100% happy with it. It works best if I have something very solid under it. On this one, I had bulldog clips holding it together and that created a space between the book and the board under it. So I got a few ragged holes where the bit came through on the back. Better a is drill press. Even better, somewhere in the bowels of my studio I have a Japanese screw punch. I plan a major clean-out this week (prepping for the new workbench that is going to be my birthday present:)) and mayhap I'll find it. Best solution of all.

  5. Bingo! What a score and you just did so much with it. Great little set. A highlight of the collection.

    Ah, using the right tool for the job, well if you're going to be THAT way about it. I suppose I should sort and toss and find lots of things around here.

    Happy birthday in advance and great news about the new workbench. Sounds perfect.

    I forgot to mention what a treat it will be for you to Studio and Mom sit for your sister. Sounds like a lovely time. and likely cooler.

    Nice to be caught up. Oh, I have commited to Brenda Swenson's Ink Sketch a Day for 75 days. Started out today with sketching the chinese dancers at the library summer program. You are inspiring me to give this a try.

  6. Rachel - What a great idea. I really can't draw at all, so that would be an enormous challenge for me. Enjoy it, and report back. We can help keep each other honest!