Uncommon Handbound Books by Cindy Leaders

BEST Collaborative Book Project Sneak Peak

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I'm participating in the first ever collaborative book project hosted by the Bookbinding Etsy Street Team (BEST for short). About twenty book artists are making pages for three different themed books. Each one in my group is producing the same page seven times, one for each participant and a show piece for the team. All of us will receive a full set of pages to bind into our own artist book. It's a very cool idea which I understand is done regularly, but this is my first. I've been a little anxious about my pages but they're done now and leaving for Utah tomorrow!

The poem upon which my book is based is titled Desert Lizard by one of our artists. I don't know if I have the right to print it here, but basically its got a desert-y, rusty feel to it, and trains and oil tankers figure in as well. Lots of cool imagery. My page is actually made from a sheet of sandpaper. The gritty side is painted with acrylic paints in hot desert colors. Since sandpaper cracks when bent, I've covered the fold with linen tape that's been painted with a textured rust paint. The tape wasn't sticking very well, so I used copper stained glass tape to cover all the edges. I like the shiny element the copper tape adds.

To the other side, I affixed a magazine page that had been treated with Citrasolve a la a CPS article from a few months ago. They're all different, but most are dark, suggesting to me a night landscape. I actually had these already and was just waiting for a place to use them. I painted and stamped the page just a little and added a clunky embellishment made from a big rubber washer and a couple of smaller metals ones that I aged, glued and wired together with copper wire. I was thinking "train" when I made these, but it's possible that they would stand in for the sun as well.

Can't wait to see everyone elses' contributions!


The Amazing Versatile Expandable Travel Journal

I have been pondering the Perfect Travel Journal for several months. Something you can write in, draw and paint in, personalize, store photos, scraps and memorabilia and that would just be fun to use. Something equally useful for artists, scrapbookers and journalers alike. Neither too large not to small but just right. I'm thrilled to finally have completed a form that I think works on every level.

(Update May 2015:  I now offer three unique custom map journal designs to fit the needs of many different kinds of travelers.  Visit my "For Travels" page here to see them compared side by side, complete with prices and links to my Etsy shop, and see which one is right for you!  Visit my new home on the web at FreeRangeBookbinding.com

The basic structure is an accordion book made from heavy weight 220 gsm paper. Not only does this provide an excellent substrate for the other elements in the book, it takes paint and collage work very well.

At 4-3/8 x 6-3/8, the journal perfectly accommodates 4 x 6 photos. There's window in the front cover so that you can personalize it with a title, artwork or photo of your own choosing. Whatever you affix to the first page becomes your cover image!

There are separate closures on both sides of the book so that you can open it either way to expose the section you want . . .

or you can open both sides and spread the whole thing out.

One section on each side consists of a pamphlet book with 20 pages (40 front and back): 12 from 70 lb drawing paper and 8 from graph, ledger, legal and primary paper for variety and a touch of whimsy.

There are also two pockets made from a manila business envelope and four tabs made from sturdy manila folders which you can use to add in MORE photos, brochures, menus, anything that fits, as separate "pages" in the book.

My favorite inclusion is a manila catalog envelope that has been cut and the bottom, folded and stitched into the book so as to form two envelopes, concealing when opened two small coin envelopes inserted between them. I've added a wrapping closure to keep everything secure.

There are also some blank folds of the heavy paper left open for your art or photos. And because it's an accordion, you can keep adding stuff till your heart's content and it will grow with you.

These are available at my Etsy shop here. They can be customized with any map you like and personalized to make it the perfect gift for any traveler, including you!