I was so happy to hear from Lee, a bookbinder living and working in central New Jersey. She has a new collection (first two images) of hand-bound books which use simple, strong geometrics and a beautiful neutral color palette with pops of color inspired by detailed tile work and woven rug designs. Says Lee:
“You can image the entries, full of backwards letters and misspellings, and of course compelling story lines: “Today I jump roped” “I had school today” and so many more. The fact is, there is something important to me about recording my life. Even if the topics are mundane, when you look back, your handwriting, your writing style and the sense of place you communicate are so telling.
After graduating with my degree in Art History and Studio Arts concentrating in Graphic Design from Indiana University, I moved to New Jersey a newlywed. My books and journals became closer to me than ever, and when I finally made my first case bound book, I was thrilled.
My goal in bookmaking is to make a beautiful, meaningful vessel for you to fill with all your thoughts, drawings, bits and pieces that represent your current self. My books are thoughtfully made and meant to last a lifetime.”
Each of Lee’s books are hand sewn and bound with a different Coptic binding technique. They’re filled with paper from French Paper Co. in Niles, Michigan, powered by fully renewable hydroelectric generators and family owned. You can see more books in Lee’s Esty Shop, Read Write Books, or on her blog.
So Pretty! Felt by Amy Palanjian (a former editor of ReadyMade magazine) is a beautiful book with 24 simple projects including felt flowers, headbands, jewelry, garlands, and more.
One of my favorite projects from the book is this Graphic Table Runner (below) from designer Lindy Cline of Plytextiles. A big thanks to Chronicle Books for allowing us to share the project here! Just click the link below for the full step by step instructions.
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I’ve been reading like crazy lately. Among the stack of baby books I’ve been making my way through is Bringing Up Bébé and I can’t put it down. I am almost done with it, have made my husband promise to read it next, and (seriously) I plan to read it again before the baby comes in July. It’s that good.
Moms, any other baby/parenting books you loved?
Photo credit: Stephmodo
My new go-to baby shower gift – a stack of our favorite books. Some are classic (Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown), some are cute (Red Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton), and some are special because they’re local (I Live in Brooklyn by Mari Takabayashi).
What could be better to receive than baby’s first books tied up with pretty ribbon?
When I first picked up Bring the Outdoors In by Shane Powers, I was excited to dive in. The book looks simple and clean, and I’m always trying to bring the warmth and vitality of the outdoors into my home. Maybe I’m just lazy, but unfortunately this isn’t the manual I’ve been looking for. The book is designed beautifully, and the photography (oh, the Gentl & Hyers photography!) makes me wish I had the wherewithal to gild an acrylic vitrine in gold leaf, but alas, I do not.
Virtually all of the projects would require ordering supplies from several sources (to his credit, a source list is included) and perhaps a few visits to your local plant shop. Powers is obviously an extremely talented floral designer, but I couldn’t help wondering if my “Woodland World” might look less like a magical and living sculpture and more like a jar of debris. (Replacing one-quarter of the water in my aquatic garden with filtered, unchlorinated water every day is simply not going to happen… my dog is lucky to get fed every day.)
Unless you’ve got a zeal for botany and plenty of time on your hands, Bring the Outdoors In isn’t likely to get used, but man would it look pretty sitting on your coffee table. And maybe that’s enough.
Final verdict (Buy It, Borrow It, Forget It)? Borrow it.
—Melissa and Ellie
Many thanks to Chronicle Books for the review copy.