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.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Books 276 & 277 - Grand Canyon Suite - Recycled Beer Box Books/Journals - Single-Needle Coptic Binding

Ah... more recycled packaging books, and very cool packaging it is.

We recently started selling beer in our store, and one of the beers we carry is from a small brewery in Williams, Arizona, called Grand Canyon Brewery. Both the cans and the boxes they come in have great graphics, so of course the cases screamed "Books!" at me.

Here are two journals from the same case of beer. The first is a long, narrow book. I used one side of the case and cut it in half lengthwise to balance the graphic in an attractive way. I backed the two pieces with heavy brown card stock for added stiffness and strength and punched holes for the stitching stations for a coptic binding.

I wanted something on the pages for added interest, so I found a nice photo of the Grand Canyon, sized it and reduced the opacity so it would print very faintly, then printed enough pages for six signatures. I trimmed the pages, folded them into signatures and punched the holes for the stitching stations. The book is bound with beige linen thread in a single-needle coptic stitch or chain stitch binding. When you open the book, the faintly printed image of the Grand Canyon is on the left side and the right side is blank for writing.

The graphics are what make this book.

The second book in this series was made from the top part of the box, the one with shaped cutouts that make a sort of handle to make the case easier to carry. Again, I backed the cardboard with heavy card stock, this time in a canvas-textured moss green. With an Xacto knife, I carefully cut away the card stock from the hand holes and creased the cover at the center of the cut-outs for the spine.

I folded ten signatures of text paper trimmed to the size of the book and stitched them to the spine with a modified button-hole stitch from Alisa Golden's book. The stitching was done with linen thread in a goldenrod color.

To close the book, I added a length of braided linen thread and a brass button for it to wrap around.


  1. Never heard of this brand. Both books look great and I love the finger holes in the spine on the square one!! You see "book" in almost everything--LOL!! ;)

  2. Oh, those a *grand.* Very nice graphics and love the idea of the lightly printed paper. you are on a roll.

  3. I particularly love the use of the handle section for your second book. How creative.
    The lovely translucent image on the first book really adds something! How lovely.