Sunday, April 28, 2013


The Final Approach.....

I had cut the book boards out of some random cardboard that was hanging around.  It was thinner than an actual bookboard, but this was my first attempt at binding in about 15 years and my very first  attempt at the coptic stitch, courtesy of University of YouTube, so I wasn't too concerned about perfection.  I had taken a book-making class at Art Continuum many years ago and fell in love with it.  But in running a business and raising two active boys, I never made the time to tend to this art.  Gelli printing may be the kick I need to get me back to it.  I un-earthed the waxed linen thread that I had bought at the Art Continuum Marketplace and got to business!

I had gesso'd the boards yesterday and proceeded to cover them with leftover (a couple of my favorites!) Gelli prints.

Covering the boards:

Boards covered and enough Gelli print left over to cover the inside of the front and back covers as well:

Holes punched in the covers, ready for stitching:

Stitching the signatures:

And, now, the finished object!!  YAY!

Ta DA!

The spine:

Some random page spreads:
Love the blues on the stencil on the left side of the orange page here.

Ghost print goodness on the left.  And see that polka dot in the seam?  That was used to reinforce a page printed on an old dictionary page.  That paper was too thin and fragile to take the folding and punching so this was a fun and decorative solution.

A couple of two page 'centerfolds' where the stitched binding shows:
Love the colors and textures here!

Here is a shot of the inside front cover and first signature:

And here are some "model poses":

What I learned: better to use actual book boards that are more substantial and less likely to bow and bend.

What I learned: make sure your covers are carefully measured and the same size and the same size as your pages.  The back cover was slightly wider than the front and no one would notice that but me, but that little OCD piece of my personality goes crazy because I never noticed that until the covers were covered....and I made the decision that the papers I used to cover were more important than the exact sizing....that no one but me would notice

What I learned: when using dissimilar papers for the signatures, make sure the "wrapper", the outermost of the pages, is not brittle or folded against the grain such that it could "split".  I had a couple of places where that happened and it really distracts from an otherwise attractive spine.

What I learned: be careful how one pulls on the waxed linen binding thread--I ended up pulling the hole in one signature about 2 mm along the fold!  Ack!  Again, I will likely be the only one ever to notice this, but lesson learned to pull and tighten the stitch at a right angle to the fold of the signature.

What I learned: make sure the holes are punched all the way through all the layers of pages in each signature.  Much easier to do it right when first doing it than to add a punch while stitching.  Not impossible, just much easier to do it right the first time.

What I learned: I am not thrilled with the top and bottom stitching where the next signature is added on.  It seems as if that is almost a weak link.  Will see if I can figure out a way to remedy that before tackling another book like this.

What I learned: I can't decide if I want to leave this "as is" or if I want to embellish and make it into an art journal of sorts.  I have avoided doing the "art journal thing" so far...but what if I kind of walked a line in between and just did a thought a day...or embellished minimally?  For the most part, these pages are pretty heavily printed in several layers each, so sometimes it's best just to know when to stop and leave well enough alone.....never my strong suit....will have to go back to work tomorrow and so will just sit on this for a bit....

What I learned: I'm so glad I took the time to edge the pages with a black marker!  Totally worth it for the effect!

What I learned: Pinterest has a ton of inspiration!

What I learned: I think I may be doing more and more prints--this book was inspired by the one I saw on the Gelli Arts video.  Those were gorgeous prints and the book was expertly done.  I learned a ton making this book.

Now, I'm off to make my future projects list: flag book.  Pop-up book.  Greeting cards....etc...etc

Stay tuned....

PS--anyone know of a truly opaque white marker?


  1. Replies
    1. You KNOW I blame YOU for this.....

  2. Wow!! Nothing else has pushed me to gelli printing like your book just has! I love the pages you achieved. Like you, I'm not a journalist, and wouldn't know what to do with them since I couldn't cover them up, but still...just Wow!

  3. Beautiful pages and a fantastic book. I am doing something similar and decided to add a uplifting quote to each page. I have found a couple truly opaque markets/pens. First the pilot latte white pen is truly opaque, but you have to write really slow with it. The Sakura soufflé and glaze pens are also opaque but can take 10 minutes to dry. Last the Montana acrylic paint markers are wonderful.

    1. Oh Stacy! Thank you so much for the recommendations. I NEED an opaque white pen...or 3! I put these on my list. I appreciate the help!

  4. Found you via Pinterest. Nice work.

  5. Found you via Pinterest. Nice work.