Uncommon Handbound Books by Cindy Leaders

Dark Roasted Guest Book

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A young friend of mine asked me to make a guest book for her graduation out of a Starbucks gift bag. Another excuse to play with kraft paper! I prepared the bag by fusing tissue paper to the back with iron on adhesive so that the glue wouldn't bleed through. I was pleased with the way the bright green stripes lined up on the spine and edges. It turned out to be a rather elegant little book to hold well-wishes from her many friends as well as some photos of a special day.

I love using Starbucks bags because of the invitation they print right on their bags to reuse in any way you can.


A Special Special Order

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I don't do a lot of local work in my small town, but a friend recently commissioned me to make eight journals for a group of friends who are going through the book "One Thousand Gifts" together. One of the challenges of this book is to write down literally one thousand things that God has given you for which you are grateful. Good, bad, easy, hard, painful and pleasant. It's quite an undertaking with the potential to totally transform a life.

So these are the books that will hold each ladies' 1000 gifts. They're made from my "better-that-leather" material made from painted, stamped, printed, glazed, distressed kraft paper layered with Tyvek and more kraft paper. Layered vintage images are printed onto heavy paper for the cover adornment, which is layered over more kraft paper (I love kraft paper) and anchored with snaps on the corners. They're stitched around the edges, and the cover wraps around the text block and fastens with a closure so they can be carried safely tossed in a bag.

I printed various verses and phrases related to gratitude on the covers as well. I'll eventually have some of these for sale in my shop. Let me know if you'd like something specific.

Thanks to my friend who took these beautiful photos.


A Book Review and My Elephant

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

In February, Etsy broadcast a success symposium featuring speakers talking about various aspects of creative business. I particularly enjoyed April Bowles-Olin's "Achieving Your Creative Dreams." (You can still see that talk if you like here.) She spoke in part from a book called "Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard" by Chip and Dan Heath. I highly recommend this book! Though it has a somewhat "business-y" slant, I took away some great personal application that has really made a difference in how I approach my business and other areas of my life as well.

This very engaging book is a study of change, why it's hard, why we fear it and what might be done to make it easier in multiple contexts. A metaphor the authors use throughout has stuck with me. They suggest that in order to make successful change, we must have our Rider (our rational side) and our Elephant (our emotional and instinctive side) working together to make progress on the Path (the environment where the change will happen). If my Elephant isn't on board with my goals, my tiny little Rider won't be able to keep him on the Path. Which is why you will eat that cookie even if you're "on a diet" unless your motivation is very strong. There must be a strong "why" that motivates on a deep level. We have to engage our mind, will and emotions and tweak our environment to make positive change happen. Of course, there's so much more than that! Read the book.

Here's my Elephant as he was: Old Mossback George. Half asleep, rooted to the ground, not exactly nimble and lithe. Having worked with him for a few months now, he's getting much more lively and engaged in the business at hand. We've been able to set some ambitious goals and actually accomplished some of them! More on that soon . . .