Friday, July 18, 2014

New Journal and Small Tutorial

 It's always an adventure to finish a book and make a new one.  This time I had an empty paella rice bag at the ready!  It is the easiest book I've ever made, and you can make your own in a few minutes, no kidding.

Step 1:  Flatten the empty cloth bag from Mafiz Valenciano paella rice and turn it horizontally.  Cut or tear 25 sheets of drawing paper from an inexpensive Strathmore drawing pad so that they each measure about 4 1/2" high by 7 or 8" wide.  Fold each sheet in half to make little folios that you will then nest inside of each other, 5 folios to a signature (or gathering or booklet).

Step 2.  If you want a hard back to your book, slide a piece of light cardboard into the bag, and push it all the way to the bottom.  When turned horizontally, the cardboard part of the bag will be to your right.  Before doing anything else, sew a seam down the center of that end of the book to keep the cardboard from scooting around.
Step 3:  Open out the middle signature to its center page and sew a seam through the center fold and also through the center of the bag.  You can sew by hand or with a sewing machine.  I use a treadle machine, but it you have a heavy duty electric machine, that should work.  After sewing the center signature, sew the other four or however many you have, alternating left and right to keep the spacing right.

 As you can see here, the open end of the bag is to the left when the book is open.  You can leave it like this to use as a pocket for holding pens, small watercolor brushes and small mint tins of watercolor or money or keys or whatever else you want to keep inside the front cover pocket.  Or you could slip a second sheet of cardboard in there to make a hard cover.

I left my cover open to use as a pocket.  To close everything up, I fold the left side under and slip an old produce rubber band around the book.  These paintings are all of stuff I picked from the square foot garden this afternoon and used in the paella tonight.  You can see how deformed the okra is.  I don't think it's getting enough heat and light.  Put the four new plants in today while it was raining.


  1. OK, this might be my favorite one EVER. After the "first, eat the chocolate" one ;-)

  2. Ha! The implied first step here is eat all the paella!

  3. For this one- first you eat the whole bag of paella rice---

  4. ACK! No!! Luckily I think we have a leftover bag of different rice so my DH doesn't have to go shopping again! You're posts are dangerous! ;) ♥

  5. gwen, thank you for this! i didn't have a rice bag, but i had a stathmore pad i wasn't using... i made a cover with muslin that i painted so it had a little body.

    i really WANT one of those rice bags now, though!!

  6. this is a nifty use for a bag--think of htose lead shot bags, etc. admittedly the graphics on this one are great, though!

  7. ANY cloth bag will do! The rice bag is just such a good size. Like your idea of painting the muslin Lynne!