Book Making Weekend

One of my best friends and I made books this weekend. She took a four-day workshop on it and graciously offered to have me down for the weekend and teach me her new skills. I forgot to take a picture of the book press, which is large, red, and dusty from having sat in someone’s workshop area for years.

Things I learned:

1. Glue is the foundation of all books. That and more glue. With some glue here and glue there. Also some paper.

Photo of a workspace that includes a teal cutting mat which has cut paper and a rectangle of cardstock on top, a wooden 12-inch ruler, a black Sharpie marker, an awl, a white plastic storage container, a box containing a brayer, a bottle of fancy white glue, a yogurt cup containing glue and a a foam paintbrush covered in glue at the tip, a blue bowl with a wet, blue paper towel wadded up inside of it, a pair of green-handled scissors, a red stool, another work area across the table from the main work area (but without the teal mat), and front-and-center a hand which is coated in glue holding a cardstock spine that is also coated in glue. So much glue.

2. I cannot cut the cardstock. Not at all. My friend ended up cutting it all. BUT she has a Cricut and we’re going to cut down some of her huge cardstock sheets to run them through the machine later. I folded all the paper in half, though.

3. Stabbing little holes in paper is fun! So much fun!

4. Sometimes you forget how many holes to make, so you have to improvise. We accidentally put in 5, but you need an even number in this style of book binding, so we put in another one at the bottom. We used variegated thread for our inner binding, which made it super festive.

5. Beeswax smells just like when you smush your face really deep into your cat and then try to breathe, but without all the fur up your nose.

6. There is no 6. 7. Waxing thread is also addictive. I don’t know why.

8. Sometimes you have the wrong sized paper for your interior. So then you need to cut it, but it is hard to do without the guillotine. You may try many things, like sanding the paper, cutting it with box cutters, or even using the dremel wood cutters. They will not work. They will also make the house smell weirdly burnt. Then you will go out to Wal-Mart really late at night and buy a guillotine. They are CHEAP. Start with that last step.

10. Bookbinding has a lot of waiting time while the press does its work. We watched irreverent feminist comedy specials on Netflix while we waited. You can watch whatever you want. 🙂

11. When putting the endpapers in, use the tiniest line of glue. We thought we had. We were wrong. Also, don’t use thin paper for the endpaper. Mine was a little too translucent. Steph’s was fine (a nice sage green, not pictured.)

12. Make a feature of a little error. My error was cutting the paper too close to a little signature spot on the paper. I ended up putting it on the front, where it looks like a cute little frill. We also learned that if you don’t like one side of your book, flip it the other way and make the back the front (my blue was crooked on one side. This side is much better.)

We had such a fun time making these little darlings! 🙂 12/10 would do it again.

Last of the books 2012

Digging through the pile beside my bedside table, I’ve found five last books for the list:
49. Seventh Son by Orson Scott Card
50. Serving as Senders by Neal Predo
51. Hugo by Brian Selznick
52. The Tether End by Marjery Allingham
53. The Harp of the Grey Rose by Charles de Lint

So there you go. 🙂

I promise I do other things than read!

No really, I do.  And I will update about them tomorrow, once I’ve offloaded photos and videos and put away the dishes and laundry from the weekend.

23. Embers by Laura Bickle was one that I liked pretty well.  It was interesting to hear about the character’s past and the way her magic works.  I would read more of this series.

24. Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson was given to me by my friend EH for World Book Night.  She loves this book, as do I, now.  It’s fiction; one of those slow, lyrical, wandering books where it feels like nothing happens, but a lot of things do.  Kind of the story of how one family falls apart, all from the point of view of the latest girl to fall apart.  I really loved it.

25. Messie No More by Sandra Felton is slowly changing the way I do things at home, which is amazing.  I am learning the how’s and why’s behind my housekeeping style and it’s been fascinating.  She explains several different ways/personalities/mental blocks that people get stuck in.  It has questions for you to answer at the end of each chapter.  I highly, highly suggest this book to anyone stuck in a rut.

26. Dark Mondays by Kage Baker is another of her short story books.  I keep expecting them to be from one of her book series, but mostly they’re not.  Until they are.  Yeah.  I’ve tried to slow myself down with these because there’s not a whole lot of Kage Baker left for me.  😦

27.  The Survivors Club by Ben Sherwood is non-fiction and tells stories about how people survived amazing catastrophes, accidents, and injuries and then how to apply that to events that might happen to you.  I haven’t finished it yet, but it’s been eye-opening.

books, books, books!

19. Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch

20.  Moon over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch

My husband stole these out of my giant-pile-o-Steph’s-books and devoured them first.  Then he kept leaving them out places and asking if I’d read them yet.  I took this as a hint that he wanted me to read them so we could discuss them.  So I read them.  They were super fun magician’s new apprentice novels, if gritty and gross at times.  Still need to discuss them with Nick.  Hoping there’s more to the series by now.  🙂

21. Thorns and Blossoms by Theodora Goss

Lovely little two-books-in-one, each told from a main characters viewpoint.  My only problem?  The “unique accordian style binding” that was touted as a feature was actually a bug.  It was impossible to read while sitting in a chair, much less reading in a chair while kids wanted attention.  Also, I didn’t want to read this story twice all the way through, so I kept flipping back and forth between the stories.  It was cute, but annoying.

22. In the Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

I started this book yesterday after coming home from piano lessons with the kids and finished it by 11pm, reading pretty much continuously, except for dinner, snuggling kids before bed, and trying to watch Eureka while finishing it.  It was really, really good.  So good, in fact, that I’ve already been to the author’s website to see when the next one comes out – and it turns out there are two more books, already out!  Must find them.  I really don’t like zombie stories, but these are so good.

Books, 2012, one more

17.  Rude Mechanicals by Kage Baker

Yes, I’m on a Kage Baker kick again.  Somehow there’s always more of them, which is amazing and wonderful and sad because one day there won’t be more that I haven’t seen yet.  This one was one of the delightful shorter length books focusing on Joseph and Lewis.  I love them!  🙂

I’ll just go ahead an list it now, to put the lie to the title of this post.

18. Mother Aegypt by Kage Baker

I’m starting it as soon as I stop typing this.  🙂

Books 2012, continued

12. Reread The Hunger Games in time to see the movie.

13. Finally read Goliath by Scott Westerfeld, after putting it off forever because I was scared I’d drop a cup of tea in it like I did to Behemoth.

14. Finally finished Wings by Aprilynne Pike, which I can’t remember where I got it in the first place.

15. Scarfed down Every You, Every Me by David Levithan & Jonathan Farmer in one evening as I really, really needed to know who the crazy person was.

16. Now reading The Women of Nell Gwynne’s by Kage Baker.  The cover really is that purple.  Love it!

Again, not dead

No, I’m not. Really, I promise. I got an iPhone, rarely go near the computer any more, and so blogging has fallen by the wayside, as I’m not entirely proficient with the thumbs-typing-on-small-keyboards thing yet (though I am trying. This for example).

So, what’ve we been up to lately? Lots of stuff, mostly kids, school, church, more doctor visits for me. Whirlwind. I will try to find time this week for details and pictures maybe tomorrow night while people are off at scouts.

I did finally sit down & read this week, a nifty little book about feeding your children called “Hungry Monkey”. It was more of a memoir than really helpful with what to do with your own kids, but it had some fun recipes (we have overlapping cookbooks with the author, so some things we’ve already tried) and things I may try with Greg that I hadn’t thought to do with him.  So add this to the book list at #11 for the year.

RA Guy’s Book Club: “How To Be Sick”

Book 4 of 2012:

In case you haven’t seen it, there’s a discussion over at

RA Guy’s Book Club on the book: “How To Be Sick” by Toni Bernhard.

How to Be Sick

Through the magic of Kindle I went from the panic of ACK!  I need to go to the bookstore!  to  AHHHH…. book in hand.  I do so love my Kindle.  I’ve read the first couple chapters already, keep tissues close by if you are easily emotional, as I am lately.  I’ve gone over and answered the discussion questions already as well, but you’ll have to go over there to read my answers.  🙂

(And I know some of you may flinch at “A Buddhist-inspired Guide” but I’ve found Buddhist inspired guides to be some of the least offensive things in the universe and usually some of the most helpful.  So I’m going with it.)

Books, 2012

I don’t think I’ll be able to beat my reading record from last year, but here’s what I’ve been reading the last two weeks.  🙂

Books I’ve read/am reading:

  1. The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan (David and I are reading this series together – I really liked this one)
  2. Point of Honor by Madeleine Robins (I’m reading this in the car and am only 21 pages in)
  3. The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan (Just started it – there’s not a lot of time for reading lately)

Kindle cover

I don’t think I posted about this, but I got a 2nd generation Kindle for my birthday, slightly used, but in great condition (and very inexpensive, as well).  I’m so excited about it!  I had books downloaded and was reading (and fending off children who wanted to borrow it) within an hour of getting it.

The only problem with it?  No cover.  Just the Kindle and the cord came in the mail.  With three kids and my propensity to just shove things in my bag and move on, the poor Kindle doesn’t stand much of a chance in it’s nakedness.

The answer?  Well, I made a cover.  I started with a little bag a friend had made me years ago that just happened to be nearly the right size for the Kindle.  I also had a couple flat pieces of styrofoam from one of David’s gifts, a piece of super-soft cashmere fleece leftover from baby blanket making(it was $20/yard, long story there), a bit of velcro leftover from another project, a lost button, and some ribbon off a gift.  Total cost: $0  My favorite kind of project. Smile

So after a bit of time with my handy-dandy scissors and some liquid stitch, here it is:

The inside:

DSCN2196

The outside:

DSCN2194

All laced up and ready to go:

DSCN2193

I do have a “real” case on order from ebay…the kind that makes the Kindle feel like a book with a booklight attached.  I’m sure it’ll be nice, but it won’t arrive for a week or more and this case is just sooo soft.  Smile