Happy Miniature Monday!

This will make all you bookbinders out there shiver with fear! Here we have two copies of The Offering, published in 1852 by J. Buffum.  The text consists of verses by various authors on flowers. These books should be nearly identical except…one of the covers is reversed! Such a simple yet drastic mistake.  We have numerous other miniatures from J. Buffum, all very similar.  I imagine these books were printed quickly and in large quantities, hence more room for error.  In my opinion, the mistake makes it more interesting.  Enjoy!

The Offering. Boston: J. Buffum, 1852.  The Charlotte Smith Miniatures Collection.

See all of our Miniature Monday posts here



Follower Appreciation Giveaway!

I’ve been wanting to have a giveaway for quite some time now and finally it is time. One of my followers will be randomly chosen to win this hand dyed lamb leather notebook with a blind tooled leaf on the cover and about 120 off white pages perfect for writing, sketching and/or wet media or perhaps photos and scrapbooking. I adore this book and I know whoever wins this book will too! :)


  • You must follow me.
  • Reblog this entry at least once, but don’t spam.
  • It must be on your real blog, no spam blogs or giveaway blogs.
  • Don’t delete this text.


  • The winner will be randomly chosen July 15th 2014 and contacted in their ask box, so make sure to keep it open. If I recieve no answer within 2 days a new winner will be chosen.
  • If you are not 18 ask your parents or legal guardians permission.
  • If you have any questions just ask!

This giveaway is not associated with Tumblr.


Xylobooks, by Gary Robbins of Container Corps, are some seriously heavy-duty notebooks made from wood scraps from a furniture factory in his local Portland, OR. The books ”marry old-school bookbinding methods with a clean, modern aesthetic that emphasizes the tactile nature of the materials,” connecting the wood to the paper by means of cotton twill tape and tiny iron nails.

The hard (and heavy) covers of the notebook are not just for show—they also provide a hard ,flat surface on which to write or draw and the taught twill tape creates a place to hold cards and other collected bits of paper and scraps. (x)


Eye candy

Whether medieval or modern, sometimes a bookbinding has just the right properties to make it look like candy. Both of these bindings have that effect on me. The top one is still in its wrapper, while the lower one, milk chocolate with a white filling, is ready for consumption. Their likeness is interesting, because the two couldn’t be more different. They were produced 600 years apart in opposite corners of Europe: the upper one in early-twentieth-century Paris, the lower one in fifteenth-century England. Moreover, the material is quite different too: fish skin (top) as opposed to calf skin (lower). Perhaps the candy-esque appeal of the two is the photographer’s doing. Colour, shine and shape: the images catch the bindings in just the right light to make you want to take a big bite out of them.    

Pic: Stockholm, National Library of Sweden, 1930s (upper pic, more here); London, British Library, Add. 10301, 15th century (lower pic, more here).


So, at the request of the lovely pondweed, I’m in the progress of creating a photo essay (not quite tutorial) on the process of creating and casing in a hard cover book. This is part 1. I’m not sure how many parts there will be. Fewer than 5, I hope. 

Binding a French Groove Book. 

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Appendix (video)

Step the first: Raid your stash! Find all the amazing papers and cloth you’ve been collecting and pick a few. Maximize the awesomeness of color/texture/pattern/style mixing. 

Step the second: Prep your text block. You gotta fold your signatures and then sew those puppies up. In this example, I’m using a french link style. After you sew, you’ve gotta press and glue. (And later on, we’ll reinforce and do headbands and stuff. But first, that’s in the press). 

Step the third: Cut your boards. You’ll need a front cover, a back cover, and a spine board. 

Want even MOAR detail on the steps I took? Check out the full album (since it was too many photos to upload here) with lots o’ fun captions. I’ll be adding more pics there and here as I finish up the book. 

I hope you enjoy this book-y madness! 



Attention, attention. I am happy to present you a full range collection of fandom notebooks. The fandoms featured are BBC Sherlock, Sherlock Holmes, Cabin Pressure, Game Of Thrones and Hannibal.

For the first time there will not only be books but also booklets with wonderful drawing paper inside. The booklets mostly feature hand cut and hand printed wood prints. The book covers concentrate on relief illustration and stencil prints.

All books are available. Take a look, maybe there is the right one for you?

I am currently working on new projects. Do you have a special wish for a notebook or a suggestion for another fandom? Please message me, I am delighted to hear from you!

Finishing tools for decorative bookbinding and gold tooling.  The binder will heat these tools and press them into dampened leather.  

Most of these tools were brought to the University of Iowa by legendary fine bookbinder William Anthony or acquired for his work here.  They are used on campus for teaching and research, particularly for work with the Center for the Book faculty and students uicb.  

So that list you’ve been compiling of weird/awesome things you can check out from libraries?  Add binding tools.