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, January 28, 2012

Book 353 - Dick Tracy - Recycled Vintage Book Journal - Coptic Binding

The other day, walking home from the post office, I popped into the antique store across the street to see if they had anything new--well, old, but new to the store. Looking through the racks of vintage books, I struck some gold.

I came home with several treasures to make into recycled book journals. And one of the best was this old Dick Tracy book. Printed in 1943, the novel was based on the square-jawed detective's exploits people already knew from the cartoon strip.

This was a cheap novel in its time and the paper shows it. It was badly discolored and quite brittle. In face, I debated whether or not to include any of the pages from the original book, because of the brittleness of the paper. But the illustrations were just too cool to leave out. I had some text paper almost the same yellow as the unintentionally yellowed original pages, so that became the text block.

The covers were pretty dried out but not badly cracked or scratched, so I went over them with a light rubbing of beeswax to lubricate and seal them then buffed them with a soft cloth till they actually looked not bad at all.

I cut the illustrations from the book as carefully as I could. After cutting off the cover boards, I bound the cut edge with washi tape well boned down. Just for fun and to brighten it up, I used a green and gold diamond pattern tape on the edges and the folds of all the signatures, to be seen at the exposed spine.

The single-needle coptic binding was stitched with black waxed linen thread. The spine of the book became a book mark.

I've been making a lot of these recycled books because I plan to sell them, online and off, after the challenge, and I need to build up some stock, as well as perfecting my technique.

I do think Dick Tracy will sell.


  1. Love the illustrations and using the back section as a bookmark! :)

  2. Alright, you done it again! You impressed me with this book! Beeswax works, I have been using cold wax and if it the cover is cracked acrilic and cold wax. The cold wax takes the shine off the acrilic and returns the feel from plastic back to leather.