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.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Book 269 - A Simple Blank Journal w/ Hidden Longstitch Binding - Cased In Book

Here's a simple blank journal similar in construction to a few I've made before. It's like a cased in codex except that the book block is not stitched the same way. I basically bind it with a long-stitch binding onto a strip of strong material (in this case, a piece of the same recycled vinyl wallpaper I used for the spine).That block is then glued into the prepared case with the stitched spine strip acting as a hinge between the outer case and the inner end paper. That's what holds the block firmly in place.

For this one, the covers are made of Davey board covered with a beige flowered decorative paper. This was another experiment. I used scrapbooking paper because I wanted to see if it would hold up to the gluing and folding at the edges and particularly at the corners of the cover. It did all right, though you do have to be careful. It will tear in the turning process with any rough handling at all.

The reason I wanted to see if it would work is because there is really no craft store (a la JoAnns or Michaels) or decent art supply store within 75 miles of me and prettily patterned scrapbooking paper is the one thing I CAN find in the local WalMart. It comes in those big "stacks" of various papers at a reasonable price. So now I've learned I can use them if I need to, but I still prefer better paper with more strength and flexibility.

The spine looks like leather in the pix, but it's really another piece of the recycled wallpaper samples I picked up in Oregon. The pages are hand-torn Neenah Sundance 70 lb paper.

I made this book last night, but it definitely needed to spend several hours under heavy weights if it was ever going to lie flat. I think the block is still set just a tad too far into the case, because it wants to open just a bit.

Anyway, I will do more of these. I like the structure, and I need more practice in getting the block glued in perfectly.


  1. I've only tried a bound book twice. Was more complicated than the coptic stitch for me, but do look so finished in a different way. I have used scrapbook type papers for covers, too, and some of them you have to just be extra careful with, yes. If they soak up the glue a little first sometimes they wrap around easier, but some of them just aren't meant to fold well. Probably worth trying some more. I always love to see what you make! :)

  2. I love your books, but a comment on no store within 75 miles. Think mail order, just google JoAn's or other fav store and you will find most have an online store. Happy shopping!

  3. Frances - I have bought a lot of things online. I especially like Talas for book board, PVA, headbands and other book making stuff. But I find it hard to buy paper online. I need to feel it. I did buy a lot of fabulous decorative paper while I was in Oregon and am just waiting for my sister to get back from Bora Bora (yeah, really!) to mail it me.

  4. So it sounds like supplies are on the way. I love the way you experiment and make do with what is available and have kept going. This is a lovely little book.

  5. I was going to subscribe or follow your blog, but couldn't figure out how to do it.