Wednesday, May 12, 2010

project #10: over-due gift

My good friend Ashley Lugo asked me to make her husband a sketchbook as a gift for their first anniversary. I seriously love her and Rob and was so delighted that she would ask me to make this for them! They are both super talented and you should check out their etsy shop and blog. Both.

However, despite the (ample) time Ashley gave me to make it, due to complications in the construction (I tried to make it super fancy and it did not work at all. Sad day.), I just finished it today—no worries, their anniversary was the 17th of last month... Luckily since Ashley and her husband are artists themselves she has assured me that she understands: the muse knows know deadlines.

The cover cloth was custom made by me (the cloth itself I got from my lovely Tess friend, but in order to make it book-worthy I had to iron on some heat-n-bond then tissue paper to back it so the book glue wouldn't seep through).

 The end papers were hand-dipped (not by me) and they're pretty fantastic. I can't remember where they came from, but I've had them for a while and I'm happy to put them to good use. The title page was stamped by a silicone stamp (in the center) and a rubber hand-set stamp with a custom message (lower right-hand corner). I have to say that I'm pretty pleased with how it came out. It's very different than I had originally planned, but I think this is way better and that is the best when that happens.

 In the back of the book I put a fancy little envelope because I know that I always have stuff that I stick into my notebooks and it's nice to have some place to put it so it doesn't fall out. I got the idea for this envelope pocket after looking at a series of datebooks made by Esther. In the front and back of this particular set she had stitched in an envelope, similar to this one, and on the side of the envelope that doesn't have the main opening she had cut off the top corner to make a little pocket with an open top. So clever!

You can see the envelope pockets a little better in this picture. The closure clasp was made using small scrapbooking rivets and circles I'd punched out of a playing card. The pattern on the back of the card actually works nicely with the endpapers. A happy coincidence. The cord hooking the envelope shut is the same thread that I used to bind the book.

Here's a quick shot of the spine stitching for any of you bookbinding nerds out there. This type of binding is called a coptic binding and is originally from Africa—it's the oldest type of binding we know of, so that's kinda neat. It's also my favorite type of binding. That said, I have to say that the stitching I did on this book has to be one of the best I've ever done. None of the stitches are skewy or missed and it just looks beautiful. Seriously, click on the picture to get a closer look. It will make you smile.

So, in short, this one's for you, Ashley and Rob! May our friendship blossom like tie dye flowers on a pre-washed 100% cotton shirt that's been folded to look like a triangle. (Fun fact: the flower fold was my favorite fold at camp. I believe Ashley also liked it.)

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