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.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Onward and Upward - a Quick Update for the Patient Ones

OK, the computer is STILL in the shop, but I am nowhere near it. Today I flew to Oregon for a belated family Christmas. Which means... I am in my sister's bookmaker's dream of a studio! With a working computer!

I did not bring all those finished-but-unposted books with me, but I did bring the photos of them, so will be posting them over the next few days. So stay tuned later today or tomorrow for a veritable torrent of posts. I'll probably spread them out over a few days. And picture me in the perfect studio, happy as a pig is s$%t, making more books.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Aaaargh! Rats! Damn & Darn! Crap! and Anything Else you can Think Of...

So I put the computer back together last night, fired 'er up. Everything's fine. I post a couple of books, check mail and facebook, play a little Scrabble. Power off and go to bed.

This morning I get up and turn on the PC and get... "Windows can not start because the following file is missing or corrupted..... bibble babble boo..."

So the baby is BACK in the shop again. Maybe I can pick it up in an hour, more likely tomorrow. If it's not ready then, I'll have to leave for Oregon without posting any more books and catch up when I get there Saturday.

Sorry again, folks. I know this is starting to sound like "The dog ate my book a day..." but it's all disgustingly true.

I'm on a 15-minute-limit public computer, so off I go. Hope to see you all here soon.

Book 301 - Manila Envelope Book - Recycled Envelope, Pamphlet Stitch

Here's a simple little thing but it makes a clever and handy notebook for a pocket or purse. I used a long, narrow manila envelope for the cover, folded it in half and cut the flap. I made two signatures from text paper and stitched them to the envelope cover with a pamphlet stitch with red cotton thread. Then I added another piece of red thread at the spine for a tie.

I cut two circles of colored card stock in two sizes and stacked them for the "button" for the thread to tie around.

The sliced-open envelope flaps form a pocket on each side of the cover, so this would be handy for keeping receipts, tickets, notes, etc. while jotting down ideas on the pages.


Book 300!! - Scroll Saw Wooden Cover Dos-a-Dos Journal - Coptic Stitch

Book 300! We're in the home stretch! And finally, I can start posting again after more than a week with no working computer. Lots of books to post--I'll do them a few each day.

This is a pretty little dos-a-dos journal with covers made of wood with scroll saw designs cut into the covers. I found these little wooden panels at a craft show in Las Vegas last month. Even though they were meant to be part of a night light, I knew, of course, that they really wanted to be part of a book.

Each cover has a different design and each is backed with a different color of pearl card stock to show off the cut-outs. For those who don't know, a dos-a-dos structure is essentially two books with one common cover at the center. Turn it over and you have a different book with its own cover. Each half has a different color text block and both halves are bound with a single-needle coptic stitch.

I think this is a nice book to mark the 300 book milestone.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas

I am sitting in Starbucks in Kingman, Arizona, communicating with you all o pn my brand new Kindle, a Christmas present (and not liking it much at all). I want a real keyboard!!! How does anybody type on these things??

Anyway, the reason I'm doing this is because my Pc has been in the computer ICU since last week. I am told "maybe today." Also my laptop had a dead modem so I couldn't even go sit outside our tiny library after closing and leach off their wi-fi.

So that is why I have not posted anything for several days. But I do have more than a dozen books
finished and ready to post. As soon as I have my trusty Pc back or a new modem for the laptop, whicheber comes first, I will start posting again.

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas/Happy Hannukah/Hap Holidays and I wish you all a very Happy New Year.

And I apologize for any typos in this post. I REALLY hate typing with my thumbs!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Book 299 - Recycled Book - "Junior League Thrift Shop and Worm Ranch" - Blank Journal

This book cover just made me laugh. I had to use it even though the book shows a little wear, including one water spot on the front. This pre-loved little book is "The Junior League Thrift Shop and Worm Ranch." I know absolutely nothing else about it. In fact, I cut the covers off ages ago and no longer have the spine or the book block, so I don't even know when it was published.

Anyway, I followed my normal routine. I bound the raw edges of the cut off covers with maroon washi tape. The inner liners were damaged, so I added some dark red decorative paper that mirrors the book cloth texture of the covers. The folded signatures were bound to the covers with a single-needle coptic stitch with maroon waxed cotton thread.

I just think it's funny and I imagine someone will like it enough to buy it once it goes up for sale.

Book 298 - "The Tower - Babel/Babble - Recycled Foreign Language Text Book - Tape Binding

Something different today. "The Tower: Babel/Babble" features recycled pages from books in several languages. The pages are trimmed into shapes to form the look of the Tower of Babel, like the image on the cover of the book.

The pages are tape bound with washi tape. The cover is brown card stock printed with the words Babel and Babble in different sizes and type fonts, with an image of the tower glued on.

I like the idea of this book better than I like the book. The shaped pages don't show as well as I'd hoped, probably from lack of contrast. If I were going to make this book again, I think I would glue each page to some darker paper or card stock, then cut it out leaving a very narrow dark border around each page. That would make the pages pop and show off the tower shape better.

Oh well, live and learn.

Book 297 - Recycled Snow White - Blank book-Journal with Coptic Stitch Binding

It works! The camera works! (Battery recharges will do that for you.) So, catching up...

Here's another recycled children's book, good old Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. (Sounds like the recent political debates... but only 5 dwarfs left... ooh, did I just say that? My bad. Sorry. No more politics.).

Snow White was one of my great favorite Disney films when I was a girl. So I love the classic Disney illustrations in this book. As usual, I cut out the book block and slit the cover case down the spine. Then I trimmed the cover boards close and bound the edge with some decorative red-and-gold washi tape. I folded up the signatures then folded more washi tape over the fold edges for a decorative accent--some in red/gold check and others in green/gold checks.

The book is bound with a single-needle coptic stitch, or chain stitch binding, with goldenrod waxed cotton thread.

One thing I reallyh like about this book (if I say it who shouldn't) is that it is really very well made. It makes a neat package and  would probably appeal to a young girl (or an old lady like me who was once a young girl who loved Snow White).

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Update - Dead Camera!

Well, after four days with a dead camera and no way to post pix, I finally found the camera charger. I am ashamed to admit that this time frame definitely tells you a basic truth about the current state of my studio.

Anyway, the camera is charging as we speak (write?), and books have been piling up awaiting their turn in the limelight. I'll start photographing them tomorrow and posting them tomorrow night, catching up with where I'm supposed to be.

We've got some old standards for you, a few soon-to-be old standards, and a couple of true one-of-a-kind out-of-the-box creations, too. (Geez, I think I need to find a few more cliches to stick in there, don't you?)

So if you're not getting bored  yet, please stay tuned... or tune in tomorrow night for more book-a-day treats and treasures.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Book 296 - Fuji Book - A Recycled Camera Box Journal - Modified Buttonhole Stitch Binding

I suppose as long as I am co-owner of this store, I will forever be making books from recycled packaging. It's everywhere I look.

Today's book is a little blank book/journal made from the package for a Fuji one-time-use camera. We used to sell a lot of these. Of course, we also used to sell a lot of film, and now I can't remember the last time we sold a roll of film. Everyone s gone digital now--or they've got a phone with a camera. We only sell these disposable cameras when someone has forgotten their camera or phone or it's broken.

For this book, I cut the box down and glued the spine so it's double and very strong. I then cut out the center section of the spine. The binding is a modified buttonhole stitch, really easy to do once you get the concept. There are eight signatures of pale pea green text-weight paper stitched with white linen thread.

It's a pretty b sic little book, but I'll take it.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Book 295 - The New Topical Textbook Journal-Recycled Textbook w/ Bookmark - Single-Needle Coptic Stitch

A slight change from altering and recycling children's books... here's a recycled/upcycled vintage textbook. I cut the covers off The New Tropical Textbook. This time, I was careful to cut it cleanly enough that I could also use the spine as a bookmark.

I wrapped the raw cut edges of the front and back covers with maroon washi tape and boned it down very well. I glued maroon card stock end papers inside both covers for a clean look. I folded and trimmed to size seven signatures of white text paper. Once the pages were nested, I covered the folded edge of each signature with the same maroon washi tape used on the spine edges. I knew this would give me a clean, uniform look to the exposed spine.

I punched holes in the sigs and the covers and bound the journal with black waxed cotton thread in a single needle-coptic stitch binding.

Finally, I took the separate spine I'd cut out, glued the cut edges inside and then covered the entire inside with the maroon washi tape.

This is not a super-creative journal, but it's a nice little book.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Book 294 - Keychain Notebook from Recycled Steel Color Samples

Here's a tiny keychain notebook/jotter. We've had these enameled steel color ships lying around for ages. We used to sell laser-cut southwest style ornaments made from this, and the company sent us a set of color samples to help with ordering. We haven't carried them for a few years, but still had the samples. I discovered them in a drawer the other day.

So, of course, I had to use them to make a book.

Since they were hanging on a keyring, they already had the single hole drilled at the top. All I really had to do was cut pages to shape, punch some holes in them, and make a ring from heavy nickel wire. The pages are a really  nice Strathmore text paper with a very faint stripe in it, called "Lines." I love this paper but unfortunately, they don't seem to make it anymore.

Anyway, this is just a silly little thing, but mine own. And today's book is done.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Book 293 - "All Beef Patty" - Recycle Hamburger Box Colcorful Blank Journal - Coptic Binding

Guess what I had for lunch today? Well, actually, I suppose it was dinner, since we were already closed. I was on my own and really didn't feel like cooking just for myself, so I just nuked one of the frozen hamburgers we sell. Emptied out the box, so I had to open another one and... yep, there was another book.

I cut this cheeseburger image off the front of the large box, lined it with gold metallic textured card stock and and cut it in half down the center of the sandwich. I cut round pages from colored paper and layered them into signatures in order--green for lettuce, brown (well, beige) for the meat, yellow for the cheese and red for the tomato slices. I bound the book with a single needle coptic stitch using golden-yellow linen thread.

This one would definitely get a comment or two if you pulled it out of your purse to make a note... or take a bite. (Are you hungry yet?)

Books 291-292 - Recycled Countrer Top Sample Chip Notebooks-Ring Binding

I was in Home Depot the other day, looking for who knows what... but I always have my eye out for anything that might make a book. In the Kitchen department, there were these ~ 4"x5" sample chips for some kind of composite counter top made to look like granite. (Who knows what it's actually made of.)

I knew it would be perfect for a book cover, because it is both light and rigid and also pretty strong. The sample chips were hanging on pegs so they already had a hole at center top. So the logical approach was some sort of ring or wire binding.  The granite-y look was nice but a little bland, so I decided to add some kind of graphic to the front. One has a vintage ad for some sort of kitchen appliance, the other has a photograph I took of some funny yard art here in Chloride, Arizona.

I simply cut beige paper (because it looked more "rock-like") into squares the size of the chips, punched holes at the top and made a wire binding from medium gauge nickel wire.

Pretty simple and handy.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Book 290 - "Dogopoly" -2 - Recycled Game Board Box Journal/Blank Book - Single Needle Coptic Stitch

Can't seem to get away from coptic stitch journals and board games. I do love this "Dogopoly" game--a Monopoly clone for dog lovers. This one actually uses the lid from the box the game came in, which shows a smaller version of the entire board. Cute, no?

I cut the board image from the box cover and lined it with a pretty pearly moss green textured card stock. For the back, I sandwiched a piece of tag board between a piece of white card stock for the inside and another piece of the green. I folded six signatures, poked half-a-dozen holes for sewing stations and bound the journal with a single-needle coptic stitch, or chain stitch binding, with black waxed linen thread.

Done. And cute.