Pastimes and fixations on projects come and go with me, but I’ve always sketched, doodled, painted and otherwise made things from scratch. Some years, I am up to my elbows in buckets of sudsy water, scraping layers of wallpaper from the walls of our old farmhouse and other years I can’t seem to get enough time outdoors in the gardens. This year, I’m sketching more, started playing with watercolors again and am getting rather obsessed with fountain pens, paints and sketch books. Especially sketchbooks made with watercolor paper.
Over the years, I’ve made a couple of booklets and pamphlets and have enjoyed the process, but mostly I adore having a tangible piece to show for my effort. Lately, I’ve been wanting to create sketch journals, making the sizes that I want and filling them with good watercolor paper that won’t warp with repeated washes. After watching a fast-action video in which a guy makes himself a beautiful journal, I got it in my head to make a book press and get started bookbinding.
The maple board and the hardware came from Lowe’s. My kind husband cut the boards for me and yesterday, I assembled the book press. Today, I created my first book with it. It’s not perfect, surely, but it’ll do nicely for as a palette journal. I’ve got to revisit a couple of Web sites to find out where I went wrong with the stitching, (although the stitches seem tight, one of the signatures is slightly separated from the others,) and it would probably be a good idea to get some archival glue. But, I’m happy to have been able to put this little 3.25″x4″ booklet together with scrap materials.