Falcon Travelers

Dutch Design Leather, Est 2013

A while back I told you I was working on a japanese stab book. I finally finished the book this week. The book was made as part of a swap for the Hinges group at Milliande’s art community for women.

Every month there is a prompt and a theme to make a book. This month the idea was to make a japanese stab binding book with quotes. As I wanted to make a book with a japanese stab binding for some time now, I decided to join in the swap.

So I looked in awe at all sorts of beautiful binding patterns and figures, but decided to go with the simplest form of binding for my little booklet. Especially since it was for a swap. In hindsight I’m so glad I did, because binding it proved to be a bit of a challenge, as you can see in the video I made.

So here’s my little book. I didn’t make many progress pics, but i’ll try and explain what I did to make this booklet. In the video you can watch me struggle with the binding =).

I started with some gelli prints, as I shown in my previous post about making a permanent gelatin plate. I cut them to 4″-6″ and glued them back to back. I then distressed the heck out of them with brushed corduroy and walnut stain.

The distressing gave the prints depth and character. Just the way I like it.

The covers of the book were made from cereal boxes, just a little bigger than the pages of the book. This cardboard is firm, but pliable. Making the covers, in effect, a cross between a hard cover and a soft cover.

I made a fold in the top cover an inch from the side and glued a napkin to both covers. Nice and wrinkly. I then distressed the heck out of those too.

So now I had 9 pages and 2 covers, but I wasn’t sure about how to continue. I didn’t want a huge number af pages with quotes in the book, as I wasn’t writing a novel, but I didn’t want the book to be too skinny either. Furthermore, I wanted my book something you could use. So I gathered all sorts of paper, tea stained, koffie stained, book pages and lined paper and started cutting those to size.

Bound them all into my little wisdom book.

As you can see in the video, the binding didn’t go readily through the holes in the spine. Some brute force was required. I used waxed embroidery thread and made the holes fairly large. I think it turned out alright though.

The holes are placed 1/2′ from the spine and spaced each 1/2′ apart. This gave the binding a sort of symetry that I liked.

I decorated the front cover of the booklet with a tiny watercolor painting. I first cut out a piece of paper, drew on it with pencil, colored it with watercolor and then drew again with black ink. Distressed it with brushed corduroy and walnut stain and mounted it onto a bigger piece of paper. Distressed that as well. I sealed the painting with some semi matt varnish.

I think it does give the booklet a sort of japanese feeling.

The quotes I used were a mix of old and “new”. In that I used quotes from Ernst Fisher, Marcus Aurelius, those would be the old and quotes from some of my favorite Sci-Fi and Fantasy writers. Isaac Asimov, Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett.

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.
– Marcus Aurelius

In a decaying society, art, if it is truthful, must also reflect decay. And unless it wants to break faith with its social function, art must show the world as changeable. And help to change it. -Ernst Fischer

The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.
-Isaac Asimov

No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be. -Isaac Asimov

Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too? -Douglas Adams

The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it. -Terry Pratchett

The true delight is in the finding out rather than in the knowing. -Isaac Asimov

Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it. -Terry Pratchett

As machines become more and more efficient and perfect, so it will become clear that imperfection is the greatness of man. -Ernst Fischer

So there it is, my little book of wisdom.

It proved to be an interesting project, but I like how it turned out and I will certainly make more japanese stab books. In fact my husband liked it so much, that I now have to make one for him =).

Thank you all for watching and I wish you a lovely weekend.

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18 thoughts on “Japanese stab book – wisdom book

  1. Faye says:

    Such an incredible amount of work for this incredibly beautiful handmade book. Kudos!!!


  2. Valerie-Jael says:

    WOW!!!! Totally fantastic, whoever gets this is a really lucky person!
    Happy Weekend, Valerie


  3. Unknown says:

    Very nice Monique – I love the look of your book and it will be a treat for your swap partner – love the tissue treatment over you gelli print pages – keep forgetting to use the tissues this way. xxruth


  4. Karin says:

    wow wat een schitterend boekje zeg!! mooie binding en de paginas zijn prachtig van kleur en schitterend in combinatie met de mooie quotes! Goed weekend!
    Groetjes Karin


  5. craftytrog says:

    What a wonderful project! Great video, I love your Japanese book of quotes!


  6. I have wanted to make a stab book myself, but been a bit nervous about the skill involved! The video is amazing! I love the book you made and your choice of quotes – just so inspiring! I feel blessed in having discovered your blog, Monique because all you do is so inspirational! I feel I want to come back to this and make one of my own now definitely – so much wisdom and beauty in one little book, whoever swaps with you is so fortunate. This is special! Julie Ann xxx


  7. sharon says:

    Wow! This is amazing and very special. You have inspired me!


  8. denthe says:

    Wow, your little wisdombook is amazing. I love it. And the binding is beautiful … ♥


  9. what a fantastic project! Thank you so much for sharing …. I am on the way to you tube to watch..and subscribe to your channel! Yippieh!


  10. Linda says:

    a really beautiful book Monique!!


  11. butterfly says:

    An outstanding handmade book… with wonderful backgrounds and brilliant, brilliant quotes… wise indeed! A wonderful make, Monique.
    Alison x


  12. What a beautiful book, I really like the idea of constructing your own book!

    Happy PPF
    Ilona xx


  13. Beautiful book and inspirational pages:)


  14. Zena says:

    This handmade book is amazing, love the quotes. Your blog is fantastic, I am your new follower


  15. very intersting Monique.. Shaz.xx


  16. Mrs.B says:

    Hi Monique, just been catching up, and had to look at this – love all the colour and beautiful quotes.
    Avril xx


  17. Ruth says:

    Hi- what a treat to discover your blog and realize that you were a member of my Milliande Hinges group -now a group on Milliande Bookmaking which I run and try to set up a bookmaking prompt each month. We just finished a domino book and as soon as my March madness month is over ( inventory for two stores, my gallery job with as big artist show, my birthday – ) I will post a new challenge for bookmaking. Hope to see you there.


  18. Monique says:

    Thank you Ruth =) I do believe I am a member of the new group, but I haven't had the time to follow along with the new prompts =)


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