Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

My little black book

black_gold.jpgblack_gold_closed.jpgblack_gold_open.jpg

This one nearly went horribly wrong! The cover paper is quite fine, almost like thick tissue paper and as soon as I covered it in glue, it started to disintegrate and the glue soaked through the paper so that it glued itself to the scrap paper underneath. I just about managed to rescue it but decided to put another layer of the same paper over it to neaten it up. It does look rather nice, I must say, but I’m a bit concerned about how robust the cover will be once the book is being used.

I have promised to make a book for my friend, Claire, but as she is a writer, she has asked for lined paper inside. Hmm. Tricky. If I use A4 sheets, then the lines will run the wrong way when I fold it them half to make the signatures. I have looked and can’t find A3 size lined paper (which would be the right orientation when cut in half and then folded). I could print the lines onto A3 paper (I found a graph paper generator which lets you download a pdf to enable you to print lined paper, grids, graph and music manuscript paper) but then I would need double sided printer paper which is suitable for writing on too. And I need an A3 sized printer.

It’s all a bit of a puzzle. Any ideas would be very gratefully received…

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10 responses to “My little black book

  1. suburose September 18, 2007 at 7:37 pm

    your books are lovely as usual!

    with regard to the lined paper. i have had the same dilema. the ony way to truly get the lines matching up (normal photocopiers and printers will always be off by about 1/4 inch) is to take it to an ofset printer. the good news is, you will get exactly what you want. bad news, it mgiht cost you a little more.

    good luck! can’t wait to see how it turns out.

  2. strugglingwriter September 18, 2007 at 8:46 pm

    That’s quite a dilemma. Your writer friend will receive a nice book regardless. I haven’t made any books (yet, you have inspired me) so I can offer no advice. Good luck!

  3. Deb Seeger September 18, 2007 at 8:58 pm

    I love handmade books and I prefer the ones without lines as the lines always seem too close together. I like to write and read without my glasses… vanity oh vanity. Have you considered printing lines in a spread sheet like MS Excel? I believe you can print vertical borders/grid lines.

  4. Diane September 18, 2007 at 9:19 pm

    Thanks everyone.

    I have just downloaded a custom pdf from the link I mention above (the graph paper generator) for lines which are the right way round ie. landscape on a sheet of A4 (if you see what I mean) which I reckon will do the job! You can choose the spacing, paper size, colour of lines etc.

    I’m wondering if I tell it the paper is larger than A4, will it print with no border? Worth a try at least!

    If it works, it is genius! I will try it tomorrow. And if it works it opens up all sorts of possibilities for squared paper, graph paper, music manuscript paper, which gives me lots of ideas….

  5. tulibri September 19, 2007 at 1:18 am

    diane, i once bought exercise books (are they called like that?), removed the staples and sew them as signatures. i’m talking about these pamphlets pupils are using in school – at least in germany, they do. maybe an option?

    another option would be to buy a lined book, “strip” it and re-use the signatures. but i assume this works good with case-bound books like i do them, probably not so much with your adorable style.

  6. Diane September 19, 2007 at 6:14 am

    That is a really good idea about sewing the exercise books! I’m not sure that I have seen books like that for sale in shops here anymore though. They give children exercise books like that in school but mainly sell loose leaf folders and hole punched paper or spiral bound notebooks but it’s definitely worth investigating – i shall do that today! Thanks!

    You are right about re-casing a lined book not working with my style of ribbon binding so well, which is a shame as it would otherwise be a good option.

  7. laketrees September 19, 2007 at 10:13 am

    well I can’t help you on the lined paper …..though it sounds like you have it sorted out….
    love this one too Diane !!!!!!…reminds me of Sparta for some reasojn and the black/gold combo is magic…..
    I feel like I’m visiting an art gallery when I visit……everyone of the books is a new creation and quite unique…..
    I admire your energy and commitment to your creative pursuits :)

  8. Diane September 19, 2007 at 10:20 am

    Find the paper combination and the book follows very easily! When I used to do calligraphy, it was always ,find the quote or poem and then the rest all fell into place quite easily! How is it with your paintings? Does the right subject matter sometimes make a painting easier or more difficult?
    I see that the paintings which I like the best are one’s where the subject is close to your heart…

  9. laketrees September 20, 2007 at 9:13 am

    very true Diane
    the better I know my subject…the happier I am with the finished work……and yes there’s always that spark that starts you off….for me that is one of the most exciting parts of painting …and knowing when it’s finished :D

  10. Diane September 20, 2007 at 9:25 am

    I always wondered about that.

    With a book it’s pretty obvious when it is finished…plus I’m always keen to get onto the next one! With my calligraphy, the temptation was to always keep tinkering with it – not the lettering but the embellishment and I have often wondered with a painting, how do you know when to stop?

    I have seen artists at the gallery showing us the work at various stages and occasionally, they admitted that they had gone too far and had spoiled the painting.

    I suppose that is part of what makes a good painter – knowing when enough is enough!

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