Uncommon Handbound Books by Cindy Leaders


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

February 29, 1948 - October 6, 2008

Intrepid indomitable cantankerous straightforward untamed hilarious independent generous frank brave unpretentious loyal tenacious adventurous fearless gracious inquisitive impudent irreverent nonconformist stubborn childlike eccentric solitary creative confident-in-God tenderhearted anglophile dog-lover particular leader motivated efficient organized opinionated detailed accepting industrious optimistic self-reliant impetuous encouraging rocker quick-to-laugh flamboyant loving beautiful



A Different Kind of Art

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

August has come on the heels of June. July is a blur! My husband and my two dear sisters set off unexpectedly on a whirlwind cruise of the British Isles and Northern Europe, thanks to a generous gift from my father to my oldest sister, Kathy. What a trip! Please allow me to depart from my usual book arts to share with you a few photographs from the trip. While I would never represent myself as a photographic artist, these few compositions make me very happy.

Fauna . . .

And flora . . .

Iconic images . . .

Ancient monastic ruins . . .

And cliffs overlooking the North Sea . . .

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to enjoy these beautiful places with my beloveds on this trip of a lifetime! But now it's back to the books.


Generation Gap?

Monday, June 9, 2008

One of the things I've enjoyed most about making books is that my younger friends like them. Even my kids and THEIR friends like them. So I'm apparently a cool old lady. (Okay, not that old. Don't ask.) Anyway I made this book for my young friend Matt's 18th birthday and high school graduation.

He came up with the idea of putting the quote along the spine, which I really like. The cover material is another of my paint/glaze experimentations. I really like the way this one came out, though. It looks like old leather. The Shakespeare quote was Matt's choice. I put in pages from my old Shakespeare book and used paper made to look like an old map for the endpapers.

I like how classic this look turned out. And I'm really pleased Matt thought it was cool.


Happy Earth Day!

Monday, April 21, 2008

In honor of the occasion, I've been focusing on recycling! Of course, all of my reinvented journals are recycled, but I'm always looking for something new to make into a book. Here are three journals that are actually made from grocery bags. The green one is from a Whole Foods bag, and the funky Tiki ones are from a bag from Trader Joe's. The pages are not actually recycled but are made from scraps I've had leftover from other books.

Here's a mini-journal made from a transparent red 45 record! I really like the way the music shows through the hold. And it makes a perfect little place to highlight the coptic stitching. More proof that, if it's flat, it's in danger of becoming a book!

I have to confess that I have not always been very "eco-minded." But as time goes on, I am seeing that we must take our God-given responsibility as stewards of the earth seriously. Now I really am looking for places to make a difference.


Alas, poor Yorick!

Know the next line? It's not, "I knew him well." It's, "I knew him, Horatio." Your trivia for the day.

My hubby was genuinely concerned when he saw a page full of skull clip art on my computer. Not my norm to be so dark. But don't worry; I'm not going goth. This is for the world book day challenge the Etsy Bookbinding Team is doing.
What can I say? Shakespeare means tragedy to me. Yorick popped into my head when I first read about the challenge and I couldn't get him out. About half the pages are tea-stained and splattered with brownish-red paint. I've also included about a dozen pages of dialogue from Hamlet out of an old Shakespeare textbook. The end papers are from another old textbook.

It's a little morbid, but we can't really make Hamlet cheerful, now can we?

The Etsy bookbinding group is also sponsoring a sale for World Book Day starting April 23 and going through April 26. My shop will be included, as well as many other really wonderful book shops! Go to the team blog at www.etsybooks.blogspot.com to link to participating shops and to see the other Shakespeare challenge books created by members.


39 Happy Little Journals

Monday, April 7, 2008

I made one of these tiny, 20-page journals for each lady that's going to my church's ladies' retreat this weekend. I love the happy spring colors. The cover is just scrapbook paper from a pad I got half price at Hobby Lobby. (Doncha love Hobby Lobby?) They're filled with plain and pastel copy paper that is just cut in half to make pages 5-1/2 inches tall. I don't think I'll ever go into mass production of anything, though, because I was fairly tired of them after making 39. But I put them away for a couple of days and now I love them again.


Haz Mat Would be Proud

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Yesterday was marbling day. My family cringes a little when I announce plans to marble for several reasons:

1) No food will be served. In fact, there will be no access to food for the entire day.

2) Mom's mood on marble days is uncharacteristically volatile, depending on the mood of the Paint Muse.

3) The rakes & combs make an ooky scraping noise on the bottom of the tray that make some members of the family feel like fingernails on a chalkboard.

4) It's a mess.

I try to plan my days so as to minimize everyone else's discomfort. Like on Mondays and Fridays when everyone else is at school or work. But there's no place for me to go!

I am still pretty stressed when I marble, because I'm really not that good at it yet. I LOVE working with the colors, and it's so great when I get a really nice sheet off the size. But there are inevitably quite a few sheets that don't turn out as desired. I always have a picture in my mind of what I'm going for. It's amazing how often it doesn't translate in paint. Hopefully I'll get better at it as I have more experience.

Even with my herculean efforts at protecting my kitchen from paint splatters, I end up with the scrubby pad getting it off the tops of the cabinets. Love slinging that paint HIGH!!


Book Police

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Meet my conscience. He is the first one to greet me when I come home from a book hunt to check out my acquisitions and approve each one for my use. Some he rescues from my "murderous clutches" to take up permanent residence on his bookshelf. (He has quite a nice vintage book collection, himself.) The one he's holding is actually a first edition Tolstoy. Unfortunately, in a moment of irrevocable decisiveness, my sister in Dallas dissected this one in Texas before sending it my way. Even though it's just a shell, my son was so offended by its destruction that he would not allow it to be made into a journal. The corpse sits appropriately alongside his Edgar Allen Poe collection.

For the record, I have great respect for the old books I recycle into journals. I feel that I provide a dignified end to their usefulness in life. Each of them has inevitably been discarded by a previous owner to end up on the shelves of a thrift store or antique mall. I bring them home, carefully deconstruct them, fashion beautiful marbled paper to coordinate with their covers and give them new life as a journal that someone will trust with their reflections and memories. Surely they will end up as a personal treasure to their new owner, and perhaps even for those that come after them. My sisters and I love thumbing through my mother's old journals. It's like hearing her voice again after many years of missing her.

So it's not murder. It's Extreme Makeover Book Edition.


My New Addiction

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Greetings! I've been gone so long I couldn't remember my password. Very sad! But I'm back and excited about reconnecting with my friends in cyberspace.

While I've found very little time to be creative so far this year (how DID it get to be February 16??), I have developed a little problem with antique malls. Those of you who've frequented those musty, cluttered places for years may be amazed that I never had any use for them before. I would go occasionally with friends and really "not get it." Who wants to sift through 1500 pieces of junk to find the one item that you really want? The thrill of the hunt eluded me.

Ah, but now! NOW, I have a quarry that is worth the trouble. Now I am smitten by a deep desire for just the right vintage books. I can't really quantify what I look for in a book. There are various qualities that will endear one to me: cover art, great titles, interesting color combinations or a sense of humor. Now they call to me from the dusty shelves in second hand stores and antique malls wherever I go.

And the end result? I have now acquired 68 books, my friends. 68 books are waiting patiently in my studio to be made into journals. I certainly hope that selling everything I had on Etsy at Christmas time wasn't a fluke, or I am in big trouble with my husband! (Not that I expect to sell every single thing I list all the time, but hopefully I can sell SOME books.) Every time I walk in the door with a bag of books and get "The Look," I say, "It's for my business." That's pacified him for now, but I definitely have to reverse the flow and start getting some books OUT of my house instead of in!

Happy hunting to all ye similarly afflicted!