Monday, 29 October 2007

Confused in a nice way

There's suddenly a whole lot of traffic in here. Nice to meet you everyone!

I'm paying it forward to Shirley, Rhonda and Kirsty, so hop over to their blogs and join in (as soon as they get their PIFs posted)!

I finished 'Pebbles' and I'm very proud of them. Pictures will be taken and posted. Etsy related things have made progress, so there might be happening something soon. If you have a favorite you'd like to see in my shop, let me know, because I won't be listing everything right away.

This book was finished a couple of days ago, it's a long stitch binding (I do make other kind of books too, not just long stitch and coptic). The spine is reindeer vellum and the covers are handmade paper laminated to cardboard. 76 pages of gray, 100% recycled, acid free paper. Natural linen thread sewing. 6"x5.5"x0.4" (15,2x14,2x1cm)

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Work in progress

I've been home alone (again) and working way too much. I like what I do, so I do it even if it hurts me someway. Stupid me. At the moment my right hand isn't too cooperative with me, because of too much leather paring. 'Pebbles' brooches and pendants aren't ready yet, but here's a sneak preview. The bright blue isn't that blue in real life, it's bluish violet.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Pay it forward

I'm so excited! I think this is a great idea, so do join in. I got into this via Artist, Emerging, which is Deanna's really interesting artist blog. Remember to check that out too.

Pay It Forward (via Sia, via Sandra, via Camilla, via Bibbi and so on) - here are the rules:

I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

The book of good things

This one has really been a long term project. These are basically books with a list of good things inside them. The things on my list are more everyday things than luxurious, things of which goodness you don't remember unless you're reminded, and things that are simple but irresistible. These books are in Finnish, but I'm making them in English too, as soon as some native speaker checks my list.

I think I've made these little books since 2004, in some form or other. First they looked more like a normal book, but I got sick and tired of making them, so it was time to undergo transformation. Now I'm happy. These books were first made in August and now I've made some more in white, green and blue (not in the photos).

Thin cardboard and 100% recycled paper. Hand stenciled covers. 25 pages.
2.2"x3"x0.2" (5,5x7,6x0,5cm)

"not moping"

Fine paper binding

I just had the most enjoyable walk in crisp autumn weather after visiting Marimekko and Hemtex shops. My ears still tingle a little from the cold. I'm also excited and tingly about Etsy, but for some reason I can't get my self to just do it without thinking everything at least twice before actually doing something.

One more newly finished book. Next post will be about something a little different (books anyway, can't get rid of those darlings). This is a binding that was taught to me under the name of fine paper binding. I've never heard anyone else use that name, so if someone knows a better name, let me know.

Head and tail cover edges are covered with burgundy book cloth, the rest of the cover is handmade paper. Since the paper is pretty delicate those two edges are reinforced with book cloth making the book more durable. 96 sturdy white pages with burgundy end papers.

6.1"x7"x0.7" (15,4x17,7x1,7cm)

Wednesday, 24 October 2007


We've had such gray days since my last post that I haven't even bothered to try taking pictures. I'll have to come up with a solution to my lighting problem soon, because it's getting really dark. Now it's getting dark around six and seven, and at four it's too late to take good photos in our living room. Nevertheless, many new things photographed and on their way to the blog. Setting up an Etsy shop has also been on my mind, but we'll see how that proceeds.

This is coptic binding with reindeer leather spine. Covers are brown tarred paper with white leaves painted in acrylics. 96 sturdy white pages sewn with waxed linen thread.


Saturday, 20 October 2007

My favorite things!

Today I finished a new set of 7 botanical brooches. I'm so proud of these. Sizes vary from 1"x 1.7" (2,5x4,4cm) to 1.3"x3.1" (3,2x8cm). Click photo to enlarge.

Friday, 19 October 2007


The weather was funny today and it was hard to get any good photos of my newest creation. Now the colors should be as close to the real thing as they can get with my photographing skills.

This too is a long stitch binding with cardboard covers. The trees have a nice rough touch as there's a slight texture on the cardboard. 4"x4.7"x1.1" (10,2x11.9x2,8cm). 112 pages.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Not being able to live with idle hands

First of all, lots of thank yous to Jesse! She has been a real inspiration to me. So now I warmly welcome everyone she's guided here.

I've been busy watching snooker on Eurosport up to 7 hours a day since Saturday. Snooker's as close to art as a sport can get (and Ronnie O'Sullivan is what makes it interesting). I can walk again, but now I don't want to. Yesterday I did get out of the house to get a new haircut and after that I part accidentally went to see Persepolis with a friend and my husband. I think we all loved it. I highly recommend it!

While sitting in front of television, I've made some long stitch bindings. That type of binding was used in the late middle ages, often to bind account books.

5.9"x5.9"x0.8"(15x15x2cm). The cover is handmade paper folded over a piece of cardboard. 96 thick, white pages.

4.6"x6.4"x0.7"(11,8x16,3x1,8cm) The cover is sturdy handmade paper. Sewing and closure natural linen thread. 128 pages.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Everything brown

I finally was reckless enough to use some of my precious handmade papers.I think this lovely brown paper on the covers is Nepalese. Spine is covered with dark brown book cloth. The binding itself is quite basic except for the construction of covers. (See Large bindings in Johnson's Manual of Bookbinding) Though this one isn't large. It's 6.6"x6.6"x0.9" (16,8x16,8x2,4cm). 192 vanilla colored pages with dark brown end papers.

It took me almost a year to finish this. I'd sewn the book block when I was still in school. I remember having some plans about a full leather binding, but luckily I didn't have the time or energy to finish it. I like this book so much more than almost any full leather binding. But I do miss working with leather. I'll probably get my hands on some hides sooner or later, since we've got another bookbinding competition going on. I can't show pictures of that particular work in progress until May or June. I'll let you know what's generally going on with it every once in a while.

Monday, 15 October 2007


Brooches made by mounting hand dyed paper on a piece of cushioned board. Thinly lacquered, so they're weather proof but not plastic looking. 1.2"x1.4" (3x3,5cm). Silver colored, nickel-free pin.

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Parnassia palustris & co.

These are coptic bound, 6"x 8.4"x0.8" (15,2x21,3x2cm). 112 pages of gray, 100% recycled, acid free paper. Boards are covered with crumpled tarred brown paper, which has a hint of tar scent in it. Vintage pictures from a Finnish 1949 botany book are mounted on cushioned pieces of board, lacquered and embedded to the cover boards.

From left:Parnassia palustris, Paris quadrifolia, Ranunculus flammula.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

be careful what you wish for...

I'm home alone the rest of the week. I'd planned idleness and eating fancy food. Now, once again, the muscles in my right hip are crushing a nerve, so I can't even walk properly. Idleness isn't that sweet when it's involuntary. And I managed to cook a lousy dinner. Luckily I had
some things done today before my leg started hurting: I rearranged furniture, bought curtains for our bedroom, hanged them, knitted a mitten (the other one's still missing), did some laundry (which is sometimes quite an achievement for me), and decided taking photos of my new books, mittens and brooches can wait until tomorrow.
The lack of daylight limits my photography hours more and more. Hence I'll have to settle for a I-wish-the-winter-doesn't-come-soon -picture from a forest excursion earlier this fall.

Monday, 8 October 2007

Autumny things

I was at Turku International Book Fair on Saturday. Book fair time means that you can't fight back, the summer is long gone and you should start thinking about Christmas presents. And today has been the most autumny day yet this year. It's cold, rainy and pitch black outside. I think I've got the flu coming or something else nasty.

This was my 7th time at the book fair and it was like taking a time machine back to 2001. Who would have thought I would get bored among books?

Despite the crowd and tiredness I bought three books: Roald Dahl's Rakkaani, kyyhkyläiseni (which includes short stories from the books Someone Like You and Kiss Kiss), Kello 0 (a selection of Latin-American poetry) and the selected poems of the Finnish poet Jyrki Pellinen. I thought all of these books were exceptionally beautiful, so they got to go home with me. Dahl's book was printed in 1961, the others in the 70's. Beautiful colors, stylish cover design and lovely, soft pages. Today all books look so American, no matter where they are made. And someone seems to have decided that it's ok for a book to fall apart after it has been read once.

And now, books that won't fall apart, made by me: These are similar to the ones with crows, all nine books are 4.3"x6"x0.9" (10,8x15,1x2,3cm). 128 blank, white pages.

Botany book is all chopped and only one more book needs to be sewn. Maybe I'll sew it while watching Kill Bill vol.2 on TV tonight. There's a serious lack of energy somewhere around here. Ideas are bursting, but nothing gets done.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Flock of crows

Crows are probably my favorite birds in the countryside. City crows are mostly annoying. So I hope we can agree that these live next to some old, gray barn.

The books are coptic bound, sewn with natural linen thread, and the boards are covered with blue linen. Crows are made with acrylics and hand-cut stencils.

My crows first appeared about a year and a half ago in this book:
It was made for Finnish Literature Society's bookbinding contest and got an honorable mention. I won the other category with a huge art history book, but I'll skip the bragging and get back to this book. So this "Pieni lintukirja" is in fact a small bird book as it's Finnish name says. It's a book about bird-related phrases and beliefs in Finland. Sorry, I have only this crappy picture so I can't show you the beautiful pages or the hand-painted top edge.
This is a full leather binding with tight joint and hollow back. Covers are laced in. The title and the crows are back-pared leather on-lays. All this bookbinding terminology probably doesn't make any sense, but I'm writing it just in case a fellow bookbinder stops by.

Six more coptics are on their way to the blog any day now, and three new ones are in preparation. The new ones are different from these in many ways and making them requires, among other things, chopping an old Finnish school botany. What kind of a bookbinder am