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, January 15, 2012

Book 325 - Recycled Nancy Drew Mystery as Journal - Single-Needle Coptic Stitch

Another recycled hard-cover book as a journal. I was a huge fan of Nancy Drew mysteries when I was a girl. Looking back, I think they played a really important part in my love of words, and books and in finally becoming a professional writer. So I was thrilled when I found a few copies of vintage Nancy Drew books in a thrift store not long ago. Here's the first, "The Bungalow Mystery."

Like most of my recycled book/journals, I cut out the book block and slit the covers down the middle of the spine, then removed the book board on the spine. I folded the spine edges in and glued, then taped them down. The insides of the covers were nice and clean, so I didn't need to glue down other end papers.

I folded seven signatures from white text paper and bound the book with a single-needle coptic stitch binding, also called a chain stitch binding. I used bright green waxed cotton thread to pick up the green of Nancy's dress on the cover.

A neat little book that brings back happy memories of reading under the covers at night.


  1. I think I was deprived. Seems like I am one of the few of all the women I meet who never read Nancy Drew mysteries. I was reading books about wolves and horses. ;)

  2. Wolves and horses are good, Rita. Not to worry.

  3. When I was a tween or young teen, we found a collection of quite old Nancy Drew book at a yard sale. I loved them! I'm still a fan of mysteries - I wonder if Nancy Drew tilted me towards it, or if it already existed inside me? Either way, good memories.

  4. I want to make one but I'm not completely sure I know how.. care to explain how the stitching works?

  5. #dft,
    It's not really hard once you understand the basic approach. This book uses a standard coptic stitch binding--sometimes also called a chain stitch binding. Do a search and you will find detailed instructions on several websites. The hardest part is keeping the tension even--not too tight and not too loose. Too tight and the book will not lie shut. To loose and the binding will be wobbly, allowing the cover to slide and flop around.

    Once you get the "feel" for it, these are pretty easy and quick. Good luck.