Showing posts with label long stitch binding. Show all posts
Showing posts with label long stitch binding. Show all posts

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

small ones

All these little long-stitch jotters along with some friends have spent months and months on my desk badly neglected, mostly done, before I finally took a morning off just for taking photos and squeezed these into my schedule. It's most certainly winter here; daylight is scarce and sun a rare guest, so it is not often that light and inspiration (inspiration. who am I kidding? it's all about having or not having the energy at the right moment) coincide. Despite these minor difficulties on their way, these notebooks are now listed on Etsy. Some come in pairs, some individually; all beautifully wrapped (and ready to give away as gifts if you can bear to part with them).

I'm feeling a bit surreal today; I've had many good days, creative days, along with a feeling my mind is two inches right from where my head is located. Sometimes that's just how it is and it's alright, but today I just ended up wasting time - precious daylight hours to make things worse - only waking up to action so late I should've gone to bed already but instead I now procrastinate ineffectively (effective procrastination would be too much to ask tonight). Maybe by morning I've had some great revelation and made headway with the newest version of my poetry manuscript. If not, I'll just have to try not to break my printer again tomorrow and spend the day actually writing, making and doing.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Skiing and other methods of getting lost

Long stitch binding - Finnish reindeer vellum, brown wax paper, self made paper, photo transfer (photo from Emil's album), waxed linen thread
204 pages of coarse brown recycled paper  (13,5x10,5x3cm / 5.3"x4.1"x1.2")

The hottest day this year. Cross-country skiiers are appropriate, then. Maybe I need to think wintery things just to balance my sudden yearning for a hammock. For the first time ever I have a balcony large enough to house almost whatever I want, and apparently the one thing I return to again and again is a hammock. Getting lost in thoughts a lot lately. I already got a small herb garden today (strawberries, tomatoes and some flowers, too), thus my not-so-green thumb is perfectly content balcony-wise. V will have to do the watering because I usually can't tell one day from another and forget when it's time to tend to the greens. 

The picture rail is up, everything framed and laid down on the floor in the exact order they're to be hung - maybe tomorrow will be the day. The original plan changed along the way (art lost into random piles during the move, cannot be bothered to turn everything upside down looking for it, etc.) but I'm actually quite happy about the end result being more simplistic than planned. My collection of cabinet photos grew yesterday so I get to exhibit even more long-dead people on my wall. Leafing through the disintegrated new-to-me photo album got me thinking I've always found the habit of marking crosses on photos (over the heads of deceased people) somehow very morbid. It's not very likely you forget who's dead and who's not, is it? And if it's meant for the future generations, I still don't get it.

If you've been following my blog for a while you've probably noticed I get stuck on details a lot. Lately it's been getting a bit out of control, mostly because of the TV series I've been watching. Just a few nights ago V had to discuss the medical discrepancies in Hannibal with me for what seemed like hours, way past bedtime anyway. V thinks it's irrelevant if something's plausible or not - I just can't take seriously stuff with factual errors in it. (Hannibal's not too bad, actually. It's just gross and fascinating.) If a fictional story is supposed to happen in the same reality we live in, you just can't go and change the scientific laws unless it's the whole point of the story (which basically means the story isn't happening in our reality after all).  V's very patient with me, still foolishly disagreeing on certain things, though...

Monday, 6 May 2013


wax paper, brown tarred paper and a vintage illustration laminated with linen thread embroidery, vintage mother-of-pearl buttons, 304 pages of white 100gsm paper (approx. 12x17,5x3cm / 4.7"x6.9"x1.2")

This is what happens when I stop thinking if anyone is willing to pay ridiculous sums for my work. I spent hours and hours sewing layers of wax and tar paper together without any idea if it was going to work or not. I'm usually so focused in matters like durability I rarely err on the side of impracticality. I'm happy I made the exception this time.  Now I'm a bit obsessed with how this book will look after, say, a month's use. The surface layer is brown wax paper which, as you can see, shows every little crease and scratch (the ones on the book so far are made on purpose, though), so I imagine this book would soon turn into a pleasantly soft thing to hold if it were carried around and used on daily basis. . The reality is that this book will most likely end up sitting on a shelf with my other experiments since I don't really know what to write anymore making it pretty useless for me to own one more notebook or diary. V seemed a bit intimidated by the fragile looks of this book (telling him it's not fragile had no effect) so he's not volunteering to wear out my book for me. It's also a good thing to have some books that stay with me instead of the mere photos I'm usually left with.

The binding is a long stitch binding, a variation of Carmencho Arregui's crossed structure binding. The last time I made one of these was when I was teaching V to bind a book that wasn't case bound. Results proved that either I'm a great teacher or V isn't nearly as uncrafty as he seems. I recommend checking out the link to Arregui's website as there are tutorials for several variations, and the tutorials are crazy good so you can't go wrong even without me as a teacher.

Thursday, 8 November 2012


This one went to the same address as the previous one. V dislikes all the things I gild but it doesn't matter as long as I'm happy with the result. I'm not into shiny things in general but surely I can make an exception for a book or two.

I'm off to see some Vermeers (not Italian but awesome still) and Burris and Guttusos and Giacomettis and many other things. See you next Friday!

Monday, 5 November 2012


long-stitch binding with woven spine and cover details, spine material Finnish reindeer vellum
Finnish reindeer leather covers with debossed hexagon pattern

Yet again I'm treating my mental health issues the expensive way (the only way that seems to work), so later this week we're running away to Rome for a quick fix of culture and warmer weather. If you have any recommendations on what to do there, I'd be terribly happy to hear from you. 

I wish I were already there.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Shop update

Me, my poor little cameras and the daylight didn't play well together this time, but I decided to go ahead with the shop update anyway and hope for a better light in the coming days and replace the photos. So, the above little notebooks (that you can paint to suit your mood and style) and a good bunch of coptic journals are in the shop.

Please stop by tomorrow morning to see the first matchbox of this year's non-Christmassy advent calendar. I still have over half of the calendar to do so I'd better get offline now and make some art matchboxes.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

lighter - long stitch binding with vellum

Another large one. The straps are Finnish reindeer vellum, the cover is handmade paper. The sewing on the inside cover reminds me how I often forget how tally marks work. It's too hard to remember to make only four lines before diagonal one.

Monday, 18 April 2011

White (and all other shades of colourlessness)

This, and many more, on Etsy, at last. All the matchboxes from my calendar are finally there too. I know it's April, but my wall calendar is STILL in November. My life, and all the other excuses. I haven't even tried making anything colourful art-wise; neutral is what I need&want.

Thank you all for your sweet response to my last post. I felt silly writing it, so I'm glad it was worth feeling a bit silly.

PS. a bark sailboat like you've never seen before. the text is unfortunately only in Finnish, but maybe Google can help you translate it. a guy and a boat and a trip from Finland to Estonia, across the sea.

Thursday, 17 March 2011


packed thong binding 
handmade paper, reindeer vellum, paper, board, two shades of linen thread
20,7x15,2x3,4cm (8.1"x6"x1.3"), 112 heavy white pages

It's been ages since I've last made books that weren't coptic bindings. Last autumn I made the gocco printed notebooks and this winter it was time to make something entirely different for a change and so his other lover was born. Both were projects I truly enjoyed and they were a breath of fresh air on a time that really hasn't been all that creative. Now I've decided to mix things up a bit a bring more variety to my craft projects. It's definitely beginning to be the season for wedding guestbooks etc., so I'm making a stack of books in light but natural shades with a bit more romance* than my usual work. There will be coptic bound books as well, I doubt I'll ever give up my favourite style, don't you worry.

The feeling of having spring just around the corner (hey, we still have plenty of snow up here!!) has definitely cheered up my spirits and inspired me to make art happen. Bit by bit. I wish I had fresh flowers in my home.

*Please remind me to tell you a story about a very special ring some day soon! It's not what you think, but it has made me overly emotional today nonetheless.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

His Other Lover

long stitch binding, 11x14x1,5cm + approx. 65cm
the covers are laminated paper, the spine is made of Finnish reindeer parchment, the inside pages are vellum paper, the hair is made from French-Finnish dictionary pages, sewn with waxed linen thread

I've never had so many sleepless nights in my life as I have this year, and it's still January. I can count the nights I have slept well or even relatively well with the fingers of one hand, hence my prolonged absence here. Ghostwalking for weeks. On one of those sleepless nights this idea was born. His Other Lover. I have always shared the ones I care for with literature and the yearning for words and stories. Both my ex and V are poets. (I am too.) I can't remember a time when literature wasn't somehow sneaking into my relationships. I weaved the strips of dictionary pages into a loose braid, like literature wove itself into my love life. Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair. She's a sweet seductress I'm willing to welcome.

Due to the unusual form of this book-object, I won't be listing it to Etsy as I haven't yet figured out the best way to ship it. If you are interested in purchasing this, please don't hesitate to contact me privately and I'll work something out.

I have a little something different up my sleeve too, but it may have to wait a week or two. I'm super excited even in this exhausted state of mind of mine. I'll let you know as soon as I have some official news to share.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Gocco printed longstitch notebooks


I listed these on Etsy ages ago, but never found the time to blog about these more than a sneak peek's worth.
The covers are recycled kraft cardboard and the antique illustrations of lips and of Myrmeleon libelloides (some kind of antlion! what? I never knew antlions were insects. well, I don't know if I knew antlions existed until I found this illustration.) are gocco printed with dark brown ink. Both kinds of books have 72 white pages and they're sewn with waxed natural linen thread.


These make me happy. I hope they do the same to you.