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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Hand bound books!


I chance upon these pics of hand bound books that I made sometime in October last year and thought I sweep some cobwebs in my blog today by sharing those. It was getting rather dusty in here, wasn't it? *grin*

I have always been fascinated by bookbinding. As a child, I use to sew signatures into pages and bound them into notebooks. I used to beg off pieces of cloths off a paternal aunt twice removed and glue a piece of each as covers for the notebooks. Then I would doodle and paint on those pages. They were my most treasured possession back then, until I got to know the world better and discard those "childish" hobbies. Who would have thought I would venture into these again at this ripe old age?

It all came about when I discovered that my 10 year old loves doodling and drawing. She would draw on stray pieces of papers and old discarded school exercise books. So I thought I make a nice handmade one for her so that I can keep her drawings and scribbles for memories. Handmade stuff has always held its charm to me. Hence my search into "How to bind a book".

My search took me to this blog by Layhoon who had learned bookbinding from a workshop taught by Little Syam. I was fascinated by those hand stitched bound books in LIttle Syam's blog!! Hence my first venture into bookbinding, which in turn led me to my new fascination with scrapbooking and mixed media !

These are some of the books that I learned to stitch. The coptic stitch, the Japanese stab stitch and kettle stitch. I really enjoyed doing stuffs with my hands, and we don't count fingers flying across the keyboard drafting causepapers, sitting in front of that laptop !


This is the coptic stitch.


This is the kettle stitch, which is one of my favourite, cos it's so decorative and archaic looking. And this here below is the hemp stitch, the simplest of all.


I bought some ribbons and frills to dress up the notebooks but didn't get a chance to do it till I got home.

Sasha will probably recognise these ribbons *grin* Most of my minibooks and albums has some of her ribbons on them.

I brought some more supplies from Little Syam to practice at home. Unfortunately, those are still sitting at my shelves. Haven't found time to do any more yet. But I had found making a hand stitch bound book a satisfying pursuit.

My 10 yr old Kimberly always carry one in her backpack when we go out nowadays. She has a handmade journal and a scrapbooked notebook. I think she has gotten into the habit of scribbling thoughts and reminders in school and dooddling and drawing in them when we are out. She also stuck ephemera that she found around her room into her scrapbook, like a letter from her friend, Misha received 2 years back, of which she was too lazy to think of where to keep, so she simply glued the envelope onto her scrapbook. Will share her 2 handmade books later if time permit.

For those with kids who like to scribble a lot, these are very good options for a child to nurture his or her inspirations if you don't fancy buying a store bought sketchpad.

You guys have a great week ahead now. Happy Thaipusam to those who are celebrating!!


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  • they're cool aren't they? My hubs and I made some as Xmas gifts. :D

    By Anonymous mott, At 6:27 AM  

  • you did!!! Wow!! what a great idea to make them as Christmas gifts. Anyone would love to receive anything handmade as a present. BTW, kawan, you tak payah tidur ka? So early in the morning!

    By Blogger allthingspurple, At 6:31 AM  

  • Your hand bound books look fantastic :-) Great idea for your daughter too.

    By Blogger Wishful Thinking, At 8:40 AM  

  • Wow! You are really good with your hands! I am afraid I just make do with store bought ones for my girl's scribblings. The only thing I can do with my hands is cross stitching and I have an uncompleted project lying somewhere around collecting dust for 2-3 years now. :P

    By Blogger mumsgather, At 9:38 AM  

  • Thanks, Rachel !! Now you know how my obsession with scrapbooking came about. *grin*

    By Blogger allthingspurple, At 1:37 PM  

  • Thanks, Mumsgather, and tell me about unfinished projects !! I have them halfway done too. An album here, a few mini book here and an art journal there, waiting for some pages to be filled, the december dailies, etc. I stole snatches of time here and there whenever I could, though.

    By Blogger allthingspurple, At 1:40 PM  

  • Waaaa. Very very hardworking!
    Isn't it difficult to stitch the thick thick books together??

    By Blogger NomadicMom, At 4:02 PM  

  • Suen Mei, it was killing on the fingers, really, cos you got to stab those holes to pull the thread through, and pull the thread tight each time you move on to a new signature. But when I got home to create another one, I cheated. I use my scrapbooking tool, the slot punch *grin*

    By Blogger allthingspurple, At 7:43 PM  

  • Beautiful hand bound books! It looks quite complicated to make one. But it is a nice idea to make some for journaling or diary.

    How are you? Havent been hearing from you and I miss the catching up time at crafting class. Hope to meet up day! take care

    By Blogger Jaime Lee, At 3:12 AM  

  • Wow! You're very geng!

    By Blogger prince n princess mum, At 4:26 AM  

  • Thanks, Jaime, it isn't complicated, since it's repetitive procedure, but it does take some tugging and pulling. Cutting and glueing scrapbooking stuff is much more kinder to the fingers than book binding. And heck, yea, I miss the comaderie too, I haven't been there for any workshop since my first workshop there. HOpe they will have another one coming up soon.

    By Anonymous allthingspurple, At 2:14 PM  

  • Thanks, prince n princess mum. YOu do wonderful crafts with your kids as well!

    By Anonymous allthingspurple, At 2:16 PM  

  • Hi there, Found your blog and absolutely love it. You are very creative! Do drop by my blog when you have the time..

    By Anonymous Tracy, At 1:43 PM  

  • Those are gorgeous book binding!! Always wanted to try but not bold enough. LOL!! YOu did awesome for sure!

    By Blogger teacher jessy, At 12:55 AM  

  • wow, chris another new passion?? very good...u hv been effectively utilizing the talents in you given by Him :D
    good job!!

    gong xi fa cai to you & family.
    hope we gets to exchg angpow again this year ya :P

    By Anonymous jacss, At 4:28 PM  

  • hello there :)
    OMG!! Ms Davina is definitely the same Davina!! OH WOW!!! what a small world! i wonder if we've met at KDU ... if your kids look anything like you, then i think we met before tho i cannot place you yet :) i am April 87 batch ...89 i was in the Manchester twinning program :)

    the people you mentioned LayHoon and little syam ... i follow them too :)
    and i love your books!!

    we must keep in contact :) Davina is now my FB fren :) she's moved to Hawaii. if you are on FB do gimme a buzz under the name winnie luthien thye :)


    By Blogger Luthien, At 12:27 AM  

  • Thanks for visiting, Tracy. I just checked out your blog! My MIL enjoyed looking at how your in law held prayers at home

    By Blogger allthingspurple, At 9:49 AM  

  • Thanks, Jessy! Hey, I found your blog recently and spend days reading them *grin* and thanks for being such a sweet soul in helping Kimberly with the birthday card. I have always stressed upon her not to spend money in buying me any gifts for birthdays or Valentines

    By Blogger allthingspurple, At 9:52 AM  

  • Heehee..Jacss. Gong Hei Fatt Choy. We are not celebrating this year since FIL's demise being less than one year, but will definitely make it a point to meet up again soon to catch up. I have been missing in action, haven't I ? *grin*

    By Blogger allthingspurple, At 9:54 AM  

  • Luthien, good lord!! I was in Manchester 1990-1991 too!! twinning program too!! We have got to catch up. Leave your number or email here , which I won't publish, okay? There is only one other chinese girl from Malaysia and two other HOng Kong chinese girls in my faculty then. I am wondering if you are the one !!!

    By Blogger allthingspurple, At 9:55 AM  

  • Happy Valentine's day. Love your handbound books. There is something about making your own folio that just appeals so much to me.

    By Blogger Sandy Ang, At 8:46 PM  

  • wow.. from bento to scrapbooking to book binding, what other arty tarty stuff do you know how to do?

    Nice... make my hands go itchy and feel like trying also. But nope, I shall stay with baking.

    By Anonymous zmm, At 2:14 PM  

  • Wow! Long time did not drop by here and what I found! Very creative. I like it. Keep up the good work.

    By Blogger Rose, At 5:57 PM  

  • wah....u are really good with your hands update more on your girls here. miss seeing them!

    By Anonymous chinnee, At 7:59 AM  

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