Poetic Earth

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Finding new artisans at conventions makes them extra special for me.  I was super excited when I saw Poetic Earth at Wizard World Philadelphia.  Based in New York, they make leather Journals, sketchbooks, and bags.

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From their website:

Poetic Earth’s handmade leather journals, artist sketch books and satchels are handcrafted one at a time. We invite you to entrust your memories and creative whims to the pages of our acid free, handmade, archival Quality, linen – cotton parchment paper. Poetic Earth has partnered with a family owned company that has been in the handmade paper making business for almost 150 unbroken years. Our journals contain premium quality handmade linen parchment that passes the most strict of PH – acidity marker test. the environmentally friendly paper is wonderful for all types of media such as water colors, fountain pens or any type of pencils and ball point pens you can think of. Poetic Earth uses top grade vegetable tanned leather throughout our entire line of heirloom Quality, Coptic bound journals. The leather becomes softer and gains character with use and age. One of the great joys about a hand bound Coptic laced binding is that the book always lays open flat, there is never a need of holding down the page so its easy to write in. You can see, touch and feel the Quality of each Poetic Earth journal with the turn of every page. It’s a personal and lasting expereince of texture and senses. A truly good journal begs the user to write within its pages. Look closely and you will see the beautiful woven linen pattern in the tree free paper of our journals. Vintage, old world craftsmanship and consistent Quality never go out of style, these things become more precious as time marches on. Poetic Earth offers Quality and value that will last every step of the way, regardless of where the journey may take you. “Let your Thoughts Dance Across Our Pages!”

If you would like to see more you can find their website here and their Facebook here.

-Toni


DIY Beer Case Recycle

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While I love my phone for note taking, sometimes I just really want to have a tiny notepad to actually write on. I don’t want to pay crazy amount of money for something small that is basically a glorified reminder calendar though so I want to share this brilliant idea I found the other day. Reusing 6-pack containers as notebooks. 😀

The most common use of recycling these containers is as a condiment caddy (summer is readily upon us so definitely keep one around for that), I really liked the idea of using leftover trash that you were likely going to recycle anyway, into something useful.

The step by step guide can be found over at the art of manliness with a very well illustrated walk through to go with it. An easy craft for experts and beginners a like that’s cheap and gets you a custom little tool for only an hour of your time. 🙂

~Nicole


Illustrated Books (but not for reading)

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I’d decided to take a break from book makers a few months back as most of the design I was coming across were technically sound of course, the majority of them were simple binding and basic covers. I’m happy to say that this clever crafter has broken that streak.

Coraline Inspired Book by Vanyanie

How deliciously beautiful and creepy is that? All the little extra details like the sewn binding and button for a built in bookmark? I love it. 😀

Vanyanie has found a way to really put their mark on the books they make with all of these little details. The majority of their gallery contains books with simple designs and covers but they really goes the extra mile in their details. The majority of their pages are custom printed with lines and marking that compliment the overall design/theme they’re chosen.

Steampunk Bound Journal by Vanyanie

If they’re not already running the con circuit in Germany/Europe then they need to be. Their work is so well done and you should definitely check out more of it.

~Nicole


Sprouts Press Designs

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Sprouts Press Designs is a local Toronto business specializing in crafting hand-bound books using needle, thread and a variety of binding stitches.  Carolyn, the creator of Sprouts Press, designs and creates all the products that Sprouts Press Designs carries.  I don’t quite know where I first became familiar with Sprouts Press, whether it was through the store Freedom Clothing Collective, or at the One of a Kind show or somewhere else.  At some point these beautiful creations were all around me!

Carolyn says on her Etsy page, “Discovering and learning new bookbinding techniques and also historical book designs fuels my creativity. While I enjoy mixing new and reclaimed materials in everything I create, I especially enjoy reclaiming old book parts, when possible, by deconstructing and dissecting a book to it’s raw materials and then re-using what I can to create a new journal ready for a second life. I strive to respect this incredible and amazing planet as often as possible by upcycling materials whenever possible, but occasionally I cannot resist a beautiful Chiyogami or Florentine paper. Sometimes the pairing of new and old materials creates a beauty that has to be shared.”

At this point, I want to share with you some of the gorgeous products that Carolyn creates!

First, we have this Red Florentine Album Book.  The Italian paper used in this book makes it special and beautiful!

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Sprouts Press also creates Watercolour Sketchbooks!  These books hold 140lb watercolour paper that is perfect for any artist.

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Have you ever wanted to create your own hand-bound book?  Sprouts Press gives you that chance with their bookbinding kits!  This kit in particular allows you to make 2 soft bound books and 1 mini book all in one very inexpensive kit!  I bought one of their bookbinding kits at the One of a Kind Show this past December and I can’t wait to break it open and give it a go!

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Now we get to move onto cute and mini!  How about a set of 6 mini book magnets?  Perfect for your fridge!  If not magnets, what about a leather journal pendant?  These necklaces are tiny, awesome and completely functional!  You can write down your thoughts and dreams and keep them close to you!

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You are as in love with these hand-bound books yet as I am?  You can find out more by going to any of the below sites for more information.

– Lindsay


The Fun Kind of Book Burning!

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The book making group I’m a part of recently added a new artist that does something I’ve never seen before with books, she burns designs on to them.

Taking the skills she learned with wood burning, this Italian artist now uses that same tool to make monochromatic designs on leather notebooks. It’s a very beautiful finishing technique that easily caught my eye this week and her designs are just fabulous, ranging from traditional art styles:

To more the stylized ‘chibi’ or ‘cute’ style that has been popular in recent years:

ChibiPyro has most of her work available online in her etsy shop or can be viewed on her deviantart account; where you can also see her fan based works as well. ^_^

~Nicole


Stylized Novelization

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While customized journals are all well and good for everyday use, there is something to be said for the highly stylized types of books as well. Most of the time inspiration for these types of book covers come from movies or TV shows where they need a their main prop item to stand out in the viewers mind and by easily recognizable. Well they’ve done their job too well it seems as some books (such as River Song’s journal and the Necronomicon) are so recognizable and iconic that fans have been making their own reproductions for years as cosplay props, or even highly decorative journals.

Today I want to showcase an artist that has taken the idea of a highly stylized book cover and really run with it. That person is Canadian artist MillieCuirs.

Ancient Serpent’s Tomeby MillieCuirs

Slenderman Journal by MillieCuirs

While his pieces all start with the basic book binding techniques, he has an incredible talent for making some of the most highly detailed and expressive covers I’ve seen to date.

Blue Book of Hyrule by Milliecuirs

The majority of his work seems to fandom related, but even those have a very unique take on the subject with embossing and bevel work that reflects the source material in a way the compliments the world instead of copies it. He has a facebook and pintrest accounts outside of his deviantart gallery if you’d like to see what else he’ll come up with.

~Nicole


An Old Trade in the Modern Age

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When Star Trek was still being worked on, they were trying to think of a way to truly make it feel like the future. Someone on the staff got the ‘ah ha!’ moment with the decision to remove anything paper, because think about it; how often is paper involved in our lives? More likely than not, you handled something paper related today. Be a receipt or a note, or even the daily mail. Paper is everywhere and it has been for centuries. Now it can be said that we are starting the move towards that paperless future thanks to the increase in technology levels over the last few decades, but as someone who started out as a traditional medium artist, I will always have a soft spot for paper.

In honor of that, I want to highlight GatzBcn, who creates classic books with a modern style.

Slytherin Journal by GatzBcn

As an amateur book maker myself, I’m just in love with the care and detail she has put into her work. In the classics styles (like above) her sewn binding and color selections are just lovely, and she even has pieces that play with other book binding styles such as Japanese Book Binding, and Coptic.

Game of Thrones Journal (StarkII) by GatzBcn

You’ll find a wide range of styles in her gallery for not just how it was made, but also the theme of the design with her fan related and original works covering a wide range of tastes. Should you be in the need of a unique item for that artist/writer/journalist you know, I would heartily recommend giving her gallery or shop a look through.

~Nicole