Monday, January 26, 2015

The Coptic Stitched Handmade Book

My new beginnings got a little waylaid by an awful cold. But inbetween down times,  I've been learning how to coptic stitch little blank books.

There are a million chances for imperfections: gluing paper onto cardboard for covers, lining up little holes for signatures & binding, the stitching itself, zut alors! I am needing faith & patience with this craft that isn't naturally easy for me. I'm learning that sometimes what I perceive as imperfections along the way are inconsequential in the end. Other times, they are, but I'm learning to accept them as part of the practice.
Part of January has been about sifting through lots of old tidbits of paintings & drawings. Tossing, filing, & re-purposing some for covers & content.
How did it begin? A generous art friend, a prolific & diverse artist who enjoys sharing her joy, gave me a handmade blank book. Click here to see her blog, "sew sew art". At the top, are categories of tutorials. One is "Making Your Own Sketchbook". She refers you to a great Youtube by a bookmaker named Sea Lemon.
Beth's concept of the handmade sketchbook is that it be a "repository", a place in which to put one's ideas, scribbles, plans, notes, inspirations...The book itself is beautiful & precious, & also a wonderful organizing tool. Hallelujah! 
Little scraps of miscellanous doodles get honored here & get the attention they deserve.
The 6 X 9 inch pages take a variety of media & they, as well as the SPIRIT of the handmade book, inspire new doodles & new play. (To the left of this page I've pasted in a greeting card whose design I found appealing & that is related to my own graphic marks.)

After my practice books, I'm ready to make a few books to give away, & to share the craft of the coptic stitched blank book with a few friends. The gift that keeps on giving! Thank you!


  1. Great work!
    The books look very professional, in a "work of art" sense. Love covers and content!

  2. That's interesting ! this year , I began to do what you, English speakers , call "journaling" . I've already made around ten pages and I LOVE it so much ! I use "collages et découpages" , and a lot of handwriting . Once more , it seems that we're connected ! I'll go and see this tuto to see if I can do my own notebooks .
    I hope that you're fine now . I've seen on tv that a big storm is about to reach US east coast .Take a good care of you and stay safe !
    Hugs !

  3. I love you books and your covers. What an auspicious beginning!!

  4. Witam serdecznie. Z pewnością takie bardzo ładne zeszyty będą dla Ciebie bardzo przydatne i pomoce. Nie będziesz miała kartek z pomysłami luzem, tylko spięte. Pozdrawiam serdecznie.

  5. I have tried mini soft covered easy ones.. with very few pages.. you are inspiring me to broaden my horizons..
    Copic are special pens..?I have seen them..I have bought "specialer"markers and have noticed I am not special at all:)

    Madame Soleil is just too cute.
    I think you could have such a great published book Rita..have you thought of it?
    Went to peek at Paddington..sounds great.I have emailed a reseller:)
    Thanks as always for the suggestions..

  6. They look absolutely fabulous! Treasures. And you should think, for now, of the imperfections as what makes them unique.

  7. Totally cool, and what fun to look through over and over.

  8. I remember taking a work shop to make one. I was totally frustrated and tossed it before it was finished. I do not have the patience or the steadiness of hand to do it. I commend you for sticking with it. A great lesson in patience. I adore that last page you show in your journal. Missed you Rita!

  9. Really like the idea of handmade books. Maybe I will visit your mentioned Youtube -- see if it is something I could handle without getting frustrated. I do make some rather primitive journal notebooks so maybe some day I can leap up another step?

  10. Heck, even your practice books look interesting. Love little personal books.

  11. That looks like so much fun, challenging, but fun. You should look into that Stonehouse course in Freeport from USM. I love it. 7 days straight and they have different teachers every summer, so lots of folks (mostly older sorts...) take it year after year. AND I got a hefty senior citizens discount!!
    Love your work.

  12. i love the cover in the third photo. It reminds me of cake! And I this post reminds me I want to get back to making books again. Thank you!!

  13. Ah friend - this looks like a wonderful project and the perfect place for those wonderful sketches of yours. I love that blue cover. Will have to check out your link. Have never made my own sketchbook but when I get a chance will have to give this a try. Looks like such fun. Have a wonderful day.

  14. Oh, thank you for this renewed inspiration! Love these -- love that you show samples, examples -- all inspiration! xx

  15. Would love a book like you have made will look up the utube video and see if I can attempt to make your booked are wonderful like how your doing your pages also like the book your doing like a smashbook have to try and find more information on this.


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