Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

It’s not really a secret….

I was visiting AmyH’s lovely blog to drool over her lovely new studio and I saw that she had made a book using a binding I hadn’t tried before and even better, she had included a tutorial showing how to do it. It’s called a Secret Belgian Binding. (I’m not sure if the binding or the Belgian is secret). However, never one to resist a challenge, I had a go and actually found it quite easy to follow BUT my book (unlike Amy’s) does have a couple of big errors. It looks fine on the outside.


Inside is where it all starts to go pear-shaped. I followed the instructions to the letter but two things went wrong. I ended up having to join two lengths of thread and didn’t realise the knot would show if I joined them where I did – I’ll know better next time. And the three sections – front cover, spine and back cover, have to be held in place using masking tape AFTER you have covered them with the decorative paper and unfortunately, it stuck to the inside paper when I peeled it off. Next time I will not use such a rough finished paper as the masking tape didn’t stick to the outside paper which is much smoother.


Anyway, I loved this binding and it is actually, quite easy to do, so I shall definitely try it again. It requires lots of very precise measuring and cutting which I love so you will be seeing more of these!

Now, are you sitting comfortably? Got a few minutes to spare? Well, following on from yesterday’s post, here is my favourite penguin, Pingu. My boys and I used to LOVE watching this on TV when they were very small.

But not all penguins are cute….

as Wallace and Gromit found….

15 responses to “It’s not really a secret….

  1. Cliff Burns April 2, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    Thanks very much for posting the “Pingu”, which my sons and I used to watch voraciously when they were little, little guys. This is one of the best ones and my youngest and I laughed as we viewed it again, after at least five or six years.

  2. strugglingwriter April 2, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    I love that binding. Please try that again. Very cool.

    Big smile for Wallace and Gromit. We have that one on VHS and love it. In fact, we have a silly Wallace and Gromit clock hanging on the wall in our bathroom.

    I have no idea what to write about today. Any ideas? :)

    PS Did The Colour of Magic turn out to be any good? I’ve seen very little about it on the web.

  3. Rhonda April 2, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    Your book looks wonderful – It is a fabulous combination of papers!

    The tutorial surprises me, though. The approach is very different than how i learned it. I was taught to sew the textblock first, onto slippery removable sewing supports (i use Tyvek strips). Then make the cover pieces to fit, and attach them to the textblock – using the same pattern as you’ve done, passing under the stitches on the textblock where the supports are. When the sewing is done, just pull out the supports. The advantage to this method, as far as I can tell, is that you could have a much bigger/thicker consolidated textblock. And no need of temporary masking tape either.

  4. Diane April 2, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    Cliff – glad to be of service! I actually had a couple more penguin animations lined up but this post was getting to be ridiculously ‘YouTube’ heavy so I had to leave some out, so I’m glad I left your favourite in :-)

    Paul – it’s a nice binding isn’t it? I will definitely have another go at it, if only to get it right next time!

    Why not write about writers block? :-)

    I’ve only had time to watch the first episode (of two) but it was good. I’m not sure about David Jason though – I always think he is a bit ‘hammy’ but the special effects and the other actors were fantastic. I’ll watch the other episode and let you know how it was overall….

  5. strugglingwriter April 2, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    Diane – maybe I’ll come up with a funny post about writer’s block. No rush on the movie thing. Just curious, is all.

  6. Diane April 2, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Rhonda – thaks for that I just checked out your blog and the Book Arts Forum and I see what you mean, so I shall have a go your way next time and see how it goes. No masking tape has to be a big plus and I shall also use longer thread lengths so no knots :-)

    It will also be better to be able to have more pages!

  7. Jenny April 2, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    Oh girl, I laughed till I cried at Pingu … thanks for that. My fave part was when the seal started crying, all the way to the end. I love W&G so much, my kids bought ME all their movies after THEY were grown! I’ve been known to fall off the couch laughing at their antics and adventures! Cheerio doll.

  8. tulibri April 2, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    Diane, congrats for trying something new ;-) The book looks great to me and I think the mistakes make one learn to understand technique and structure. What’s that paper, if I may ask? One of that falkiners-only-edition?

  9. Diane April 3, 2008 at 8:10 am

    Jenny – glad you enjoyed them! I still enjoy Pingu and Wallace and Gromit – it’s such silly humour but it appeals to adults and children :-)

    Astrid – thank you and well spotted! Both papers are from Falkiners. The outside paper is from the Curwen Press collection and is a design from 1928! I bought quite a few of these archival designs and they are still gorgeous

  10. Daddy Papersurfer April 3, 2008 at 9:32 am

    Out of interest, or not, in ‘real’ life my big bruv is Chairman of the British Association of Paper Historians ……… he’s sensible ……. oh well.

  11. Diane April 3, 2008 at 10:59 am

    That sounds intriguing – what do they do?

    …but you are Chairman of the British Association of Paper Surfers – how cool is that?

  12. Daddy Papersurfer April 3, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    I haven’t a clue I’m afraid …….. he drags me off every now and again to exhibitions …….
    ‘Chairman of the British Association of Paper Surfers’ – me likey …… I might steal that – ta!

  13. Teresa April 3, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    I’ve never seen Pingu before, but will definitely check it out with the boys. We all love, love, love Wallace and Grommit! I’ll never listen to “Tie a Yellow Ribbon” without thinking of Feathers McGraw again. Hahaha!

    What a very neat looking binding! Glad you figured out the knot thing. Be sure you show us the book that you do Rhonda’s way. :)

  14. AmyH April 6, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    Thanks for the mention! I did get a spike of hits on my blog for that entry. The book is a fun one, so simple–but I realized after I posted that I should have put a few notes in with the post such as: use about twice the length of string, and curved needles make the sewing a lot easier. I’m going to have to check out Rhonda’s tutorial on her blog and try it the other way, too. Your book turned out lovely, and you are much too kind to think that I didn’t have the exact same little errors inside as you did!

  15. Diane April 6, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    Teresa – glad you like Pingu! Me and my boys loved him!

    I shall have a go at this binding again soon. It’s all a bit hectic here at the moment…..

    Amy – thanks for bringing this to my attention! I loved the book you did and we should compare notes if we try Rhonda’s way – I think I understand it….. I always stab myself using curved needles and then have blood stains all over the pages….. :-(

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