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Artsy distraction #2 for writers: The do-it-yourself journal

You know something's up when you're watching YouTube videos about archival glue, and how to make a book press from cutting boards, carriage screws, washers and wing nuts.

For the past two weeks I've let myself putter through the steps of book construction. I measured paper and fabric. I creased and cut pages in half, glued covers, and topped it all with my high school dictionary so it could dry.

Finally, the day came to thread the big needle from my grandmother's sewing box. I replayed this video twenty times to get the stitching right. The signatures wanted to slip through my fingers. I was sure I'd sewn it backwards! I said to myself, over and over: However it turns out is fine. This is your first one.

In the end, the covers warped, the thread was too thick, and the gaps between pages looked funny. But it's like a kid with a teeth-missing smile: it sits on a shelf in your heart.

I imagined what pens I might use to write in this journal, and where I might sit while scribbling, and what I might want to say to the pages. Then I gave it to Patrick who grinned so wide when he saw it. Because, ya know? Every homely art project needs a home.

So here's to making stuff-- even when we don't know what it'll be--and giving it away.

Hugs, Traci


Here's my warped journal #2, bound by coptic stitch. Made from paper, Grandma's thread, recycled card stock and Elmer's glue. Hand stitched with love!

For great videos on how-to bookbinding + crafts, check out Jennifer at Sea Lemon.

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