I finally worked out a method that I am happy with and I’d like to share it with you. It is a modified coptic binding. I didn’t want a hard cover since I’m using it as a refill for the Midori Passport.
3 Sheets 140lb Watercolor Paper 9×12 (this makes a book slightly smaller than the original refil)
Decorative flexible Paper for Cover
Linen Thread (or Dental Floss)
Awl (you could put a straight needle in a cork)
Bone-folder (or Butter knife)
Step One-Cut Down Paper
Using the bone folder to create strong creases. Fold the paper half both long and short sides. Then fold the long end back on itself. This is called Octavo and you will have 8 little segments on your sheet of paper. I like to fold the paper both ways to make it extra flexible. Go to your sink and get the half folds damp on both sides. Then very carefully rip the paper into quarters. You will have 12 little folios that are creased at the end of this step.
Step Two: Assemble Folios and Punch Sewing Stations
I like to alternate edges in my folios so half of the deckled edges are up and half down. I use 3 pages in each folio. Arrange folio, recrease if desired, line up sewing station template with folio, secure with binder clip and punch sewing holes with awl.
Step 3: Sewing
Folio 1: Starting on the inside top of one of the folios, sew in and out down the edge, in one hole, over to the next, out the other side. When you get to then end come back which will alternate side. Watch your tension so its not sloppy. Tie a double not. I leave the other end attached to the spool of thread in case I run out (which was more of a problem with a larger notebook.\
Folios 2-4: From here out bind the folio’s using the coptic method. The first kettle/chain stitch is under the two long stitches on the first folio. I used this Video: Coptic Stitch binding with hard cover method 1 to learn how to do it. Be sure to tension before you pull the chain stitch closed. Tie a knot to end it off.
Cut the cover paper to the desired height but long than you will need. Put glue on the one of the outsides of your book. Place it on the cover paper. Hold for a few seconds. No glue goes on the spine. Glue the backside, wrap the paper around. Hold for a few more seconds. Trim cover. If you have a book press, great, I used an over stuffed bookcase to dry my sketchbook in over night.
I’m off work for two weeks. Week 1 is a stay-cation, Paul’s Birthday Prep, and Claudia Nice Art workshop. Week 2 is Boston and our 19th Anniversary. This morning I went to the parks for a run, then photography and sketching. My goal is to fill up this first notebook before the trip and to get practice before it counts. What I learned today is that I really need some blotting paper and some wet wipe singles.
I fly out on Sunday on an overnight flight. I’ll hit Boston at 8 am and need to move around town with my carry on until I can check in. I want to practice doing that this week to make sure my bags and supplies work.
It is much more stable than my first attempt. I didn’t want a hard hard cover since I am planning on using it in my Travelers notebook. But the cardstock crumbled. So I glued it on to the first signature and didn’t’ bother sewing the back. I covered the spine with fancy gold duct tape. I might do a no cover next and wrap a folio of fancy paper around the outer signatures which might make nice journaling backgrounds inside.
I am getting somewhere now. Put the duct tape down before punching. Packing tape would likely work just as well. Used Gold parchment for folios instead of Watercolor paper. I’m thinking about 8.5 x 5.5 or (9×6) next (packing tape did not work BTW)
I bought a Pogo a year or so ago. Its not much larger than my iPhone and I thought it would be big fun to add photos on the spot to travel journaling. The ink is in the paper which has an adhesive back.
The problem is that Apple doesn’t support the printing bluetooth functionality. And I’m not prepaired to jailbreak my phone at this time. I was able to print ‘from my iPhone’ today using Mark Hawkins instructions. But the Pogo needs to be in the same room as my iMac. So I could from anywhere in the world where I can get on the ATT Network, send a picture to the Pogo at home. But not the cool travel journaling functionality I was hoping for. And at home I could just print to one of my 3 other full sized printers.
It works fine by connecting my Lumix GF3 to the printer using the USB cable and PicBridge. That is an acceptable journaling option since I am planning on traveling with those cameras.
I’m constantly on the hunt for the perfect sketch book, I bounce around a lot between a back bound and my 3 ring system. I’ve tried other sizes. I feel trapped by bound books but don’t like how big and floppy the other. I have a couple of the pentalic moleskin size. The paper really stinks for anything but very rough sketches and journaling. I have a couple WC books but the extreme landscape is annoying. My latest purchase is a TRAVELER’S NOTEBOOK – PASSPORT SIZE from My Maido which I picked after seeing some happy blog reviews.
I’m not sure it was worth $50+ and I’m tempted to make more in multiple sized but it is beautiful. The biggest concern that people seemed to have was with refils, and where to get them. The little book is very simple just some paper folded in half and stapled. So I’ve made some attempts at making my own. I’ll put up a tutorial when I’ve perfected the process. I will probably make a parchment refill for plain journaling but I’ve started with Watercolor paper. Just cheap Strathmore 300 series. 9×12 Quartered and scored and folded with a bone folder.
Stapling didn’t work. The staples popped out even before I could get it into use.
I’ve made 2 with the sewing method shown in this video by Lauren Nash:
I used 2-3 folded pages per signature. Using 2 full sheets gives you a thinner book with a 2 (3 page signatures) and 1 (2 page). Using 3 full sheets gives four (3 page).
A section of ink work does not a picture make - Claudia Nice
Everyone in the class was whiney and had trouble with the pine tree. We got demo time. Its amazing how relaxed her penstrokes are. I think I got far enough in I can just plow ahead and hope the second one is better. I think I need to re-transfer some of the branches in the middle with my tracing paper. I was reading her book last night, and she said there, that she did a very light wash to help establish the tree. So I’m going to try that on my second copy.
Sylace’s daughter is due any day now. Yesterday I worked 8 hours, baked champagne cupcakes, knit a hat, stenciled 5 onesies, did power vinyasa , planted my herbs and half the flower pots. It took one trip to Sur la Table, and 3 Fred Meyer runs.
I used Cupcake Vinyeard Prosecco, Paul was concerned that the universe would collapse in on itself. I feel like I topped my mothers Chocolate Sparkle Cookies where she puts Chocolate on Chocolate with more Chocolate.