Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Personality of Paper

It's honestly amazing to me how different styles, colors, patterns, textures of paper can completely change a project. I was initially lured into papercrafting via book binding, which sent me in search of lots of unique and beautiful papers to make lots of unique and amateurish books. Cardmaking and scrapbooking, in turn, lured me away from book binding, which I now do only at Christmas.

One of my Christmas projects this year was to make Blessing Books with my Bind-It-All. The idea is that the recipients can write their blessings down in the book over the next year. The covers are made with different papers glued to matte board; the book block is made with high-quality stationery paper.

The first book I'm showing has a very natural, highly textured paper with bits of flower petals and stems embedded in it. The result is perfect for a friend who gardens, don't you think?

The second book is covered in a smooth Florentine paper with a very ornate pattern highlighted with gold metallic ink. The result here is elegant, formal, and pretty.

Structurally, these two books are identical, but their personalities couldn't be more different. Because of the paper.

For those of you with BIAs, the covers are 5 3/4" x 4 3/8", and the book block is 5 1/2" x 4 1/4". The BIA settings are B for the cover, and C for the book block. The books are bound with 3/4" wires and are just over 5/8" thick.

If you are interested in making books beyond the BIA, or in learning to cover boards with paper and PVA glue, I recommend any book by Alisa Golden. There are also lots of tutorials available online. Book binding gives a papercrafter another way to explore the personality of paper.

FYI: Posting on all my blogs will be sporadic over the next week or two. We will have out-of-town guests and lots going on with the kiddos. Have a very happy Thanksgiving!


  1. Very pretty! I had to come over and wish you A Very Happy Birthday!! Hugs and Love! Hope its Wonderful!!

  2. Is today your BD??? Mine is Tuesday the 24th - another thing we have in common!!!
    Have a great Thanksgiving - I am thankful for getting to know you.
    Hugs, Harriet

  3. Wicked notebooks! I love the one with the flower petals in the paper. I've just bought a BIA (last week) so I'm looking forward to trying that out! Am still exploring what sizes are the best to use and the thickness of the covers. Thanks for the tips!

  4. Happy Birthday, Susan. What's your favorite kind of birthday cake?

    What is a BIA?

    I've very much wanted to make Blessings Books, though I didn't think to call them that. But I've been put off by the hunky crude-looking wires with the beautiful delicate papers. I must look into this craft and see if it is the next one calling my name.

    You're probably too young to remember "Simple Abundance", and the journals in which we all wrote five things to be thankful for every day. Each day had a little "pep talk" written by the author, and then space for the owner of the journal to write. It's such therapy to get through rough spots in the road and remember "tough times never last but tough people do."

    Hmmmm, thanks for the inspiration. I need to be a cat and have 9 lives so I can do all the projects triggered by your inspiration.


  5. thanks for the info about BIA, susan. sounds very interesting, and i need to explore this some more after the holidays. happy birthday! enjoy your company and have a blessed thanksgiving.
    marty ferraro

  6. Hi Susan,
    Love your lovely. I think it is a 'good thing' to take a moment in our busy days to remember all the things we feel have blessed us in some way. There are so many times that blessing happen all around us and go unnoticed. We have so much to be thanksful for but sometimes we just lose perspective....nice way to remember.

  7. Bahb,

    The Bind-It-All is an adorable little machine for punching holes and binding with wire. You can check them out at

    I have the old blue one and wish I'd waited a year for the pink one. But who knew? Anyway, it's a fantabulous machine.

    I love the simple abundance idea. It's similar to what I do on Mondays on my other blog Questioning my Intelligence.

    Have a great Thanksgiving!



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