Tuesday, August 9, 2011

And this is where my OCD becomes painfully obvious

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I like to bind books. Typsetting, sewing the signatures, painting a cover and title onto fabric, the whole bit. I've made a couple, the first one's were pretty shitty but they've gotten much better since. I'd like to do a long post on how I do it, complete with pictures.

In any case, I'm trying something new. Open-spine binding. (I totally made that name up.) But instead of having the cover wrap around and have a board over the spine, there is NO spine, the front and back covers are separate, the sewing looks like a nice braid and you can see the folds of the signatures. Pretty cool, but I'm completely winging it. I saw a journal in the bookstore bound like this (super ugly journal though) and thought I'd give it a try. I'll be sure to post pictures when I'm done.

I'm making a journal, but it's more a notebook for my calendar and things to remember and my writing notes. I would have totally dropped forty dollars on one of the beautiful leather-bound journals in Barnes and Noble, but I really hate lines. I write too small so it's easier and more efficient for me to just use unlined paper. And here is where I run into the problem.

It seems like every time I start a new story I start a new method of keeping my notes together. A file on the computer, a notebook, loose pages in a folder, sticky notes on a posterboard... nothing seems to stick. (This is the OCD part. It really is bad. I have so many elaborate systems that I abandoned after a week.) The intention with this journal is to have all my various projects in one place. They'll get their own little section and I can flip between them easy as pie. That is, of course, as long as I keep using the journal and don't give up on it after a month.

But I super excited for several reasons about this book. One, the new way of binding, which if it turns out right will look really cool. Two, I bought a bunch of new tools over the weekend, a chisel for those goddamn "artistic edges" and aerosol glue for pasting the fabric to the cover boards. I have no idea why I haven't bought aerosol glue before this, it took about 30 secs to do 25 minutes of annoying, messy work, AND I could immediately move onto the next step instead of waiting for it to dry overnight. The chisel is to shave off about a millimeter to three around all the edges of the book block. When you fold them the outer edge gets all uneven, like some of the hardcovers you get in the store. Plus, the top and bottom can get a bit off just from little inconsistencies in the sewing. I don't know if I'll be able to do it for this book, because of the step order the covers will be attached. I'll have to figure something out with my vice.

Can't wait to show you the book. I should be done tonight. I started sewing last night with the plain heavy-duty thread I usually use, but since it's going to be showing I ripped it all out and grabbed some nice purple embroidery floss that matches the cover fabric, and I am going to use that instead.

One of these days I'll get links and instructions and a supply list together, in case anyone is interested in doing it themselves. (It's expensive to start out, but once you have all the neccessary tools it's super cheap to make an individual book. Plus, there are ways around steps if you don't feel like buying certain tools.)

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