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, November 26, 2011

Books 282-284 - Black Forest Trio, or "What There is a Fruit Snacks Box" - 3 Blank Books

There is just so much cool design on packaging these days. I can't resist it.

I found these Black Forest Fruit Snacks on sale at the supermarket the other day (which are delicious, BTW) and realized we could sell the small packets sell individually for a decent profit. It was a good idea because they sell well. I've already had to buy more. And look what I got from the first box.

Book 282 is an oval book with a ring binding. I cut the logo from both sides of the box and backed it with raspberry colored textured pearlescent card stock for strength. I then cut about 50 oval pages from a variety of papers--white text, purple text, blue speckled card stock, white translucent vellum, pale blue cloud print, and purple granite scrapbooking paper.  I punched holes in the two covers and in all the pages, stacked them up and bound them with a double ring I made from 20 gauge copper wire.

This is obviously a dead simple little book to make but it was actually very time intensive because of the unusual shape. I had to hand-cut all 50 oval pages. But it was OK. I called up the Dancing With the Stars finals on the computer and watched while I cut. (Way to go, J.R.! I was rooting for you!)

I will make lots more of these simple little books, because I know they will sell quickly. But I'll make them in shapes I can cut in piles, with straight lines, or ones I can punch out quickly with a paper punch. Fast, we like fast!

Book 283 was made from the sides of the box. The covers were lined with a nice silver-blue metallic textured card stock. I folded and trimmed nine signatures and then wrapped the fold edge of each one with colored japanese washi tape in three different colors. I stitched the book with a single-needle coptic stitch with black waxed linen thread.

Perfect size for a purse or pocket.

Book 284 - This one came out kind of cool because I was able to cut off all the type on the cover. It simply looks like a little blank journal with a fruit design cover. It doesn't look like recycled packaging.  These fruit designs were also from the box front and back. I used the same silver-blue card stock to line the covers. Ten signatures were bound with a single-needle coptic stitch with red Irish linen thread, but it is slightly different this time. Using a trick from Shereen LaPlantz, I carried my thread down TWO signatures instead of one before wrapping it around the stitch to form the chain. This gives the chain stitching on the spine a little more substance.

The squared off shape makes for bigger pages and more room to write, but this is still a good purse size. I'd carry this notebook around with me.

And that's what there is in a box of fruit snacks... if you're a bookmaker.


  1. I like them all! Especially the little oval book. :)

    I was rooting for JR, too, and just watched the finale after the fact, too. (I record so I can FF through much of any reality shows--LOL!)

  2. Handmade and so clever. I really think you are on to something with recycled packaging books. I am in the packaging biz and I know how much hard work and money goes in to producing full color printed graphics. These books are a great way to showcase and recycle a humble box.
    Oh and JR all the way too!

  3. Joy - I agree, and I love the recycling aspect of it. But mostly, I just love the graphics. I'll probably never stop using packaging for books, at least not while we have the store and have an unlimited supply of it!

  4. oooooo..., I love the ring shaped book; perfect for that black forest logo, Now I am hungry for the fruit.