Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Some Answers...

Thank you for your interest in my little "chocolate" book. I had a few comments along the lines of "How did you do that?" and "Tutorial please?"

Whilst I consider myself fairly obliging I have had to turn away such requests and feel the need to explain...

First of all... I didn't learn how to do this overnight. I have been on courses and have been taught by people far more experienced at bookmaking than I. An on-line tutorial isn't really a substitute for being taught properly.

Secondly, writing a tutorial for something like this takes a long time... getting the instructions clear and all the photographs taken is a lengthy process (I've done it so I know... see below) and I really don't have that sort of time at the moment

And last of all, I teach for my living... and although it would be lovely to offer free tutorials on the internet... it wouldn't pay my bills. I know this is tough if you are unable to come to my classes but a girl's gotta eat! (even if it is only cake and chocolate)

There are many project style books available with instructions for making little books like these, with pretty stitching or peep-hole covers...
Some with leather covers...

or fancy concertina style spines...

With their own special box...

But I'd like to recommend a couple of other options. If you get a chance, do a course with Heather Power. Heather is a printmaker who learned how to make books as a way of displaying her prints. She makes the most wonderful books and boxes and I learned how to make most of the books here with Heather.

You could have a try at a tutorial I posted here a year or so ago for the postcard book pictured below...

And if all else fails could I recommend "Cover to Cover" by Shereen La Plantz (Lark Books) which is what I turn to time and time again when making books.

I hope that answers some of your requests!


  1. beautiful! love them all. I have a book on bookbinding .. I haven't made anything from it yet but I fully intend to..eventually. where did you get the lovely paper? I have bought some thick recycled rag paper from Paperchase to turn into cards.. its my favourite paper to work with but somewhat expensive and you can only buy a few packs at a time. I haven't found anywhere online that supplies raggedy paper... I may not have looked that hard though as I don't do that many paper crafts to be in the know. I'm rambling aren't I? too much coffee. *twitch*

  2. Your books are truly beautiful and must have taken a huge amount of time and skill. Perhaps one day......

  3. Those were great answers Gina! And an added bonus -- we got to see more of your beautiful books!

  4. I love your books they are so beautiful.

  5. thanks for showing all those beautiful books - inspirational - you truly are multi talented Gina!

    and thanks for the tips too...

  6. It is such a lovely skill and I can definitely understand your reasons for not doing a tutorial.

    I love the little book you made me - it's gorgeous. x

  7. I remember doing a day course with Heather at Missenden Abbey years ago, a freebie during the exhibition weekend for C&G. We learnt japanese stab binding and I still have the cards we stitched for reference. I'd love to do a longer course with her, if it means I could make books like yours!

  8. Your books are wonderful and so beautifully made. Bookbinding is a skill I envy and admire and one day I will pluck up the courage to have a go myself.

  9. I treasure the little book you made for me a couple of years ago. I can fully understand your reluctance to do a tutorial!

  10. Since I was a tutorial beggar, I feel that I must publicly apologize. I certainly did not intend to minimize the value of either your creative output, or your professional status as a teacher.
    I think the chocolate wrapper element just went to my head there for a minute, and I posted my comment instantly...I now realize that this probably came across as a sense of entitlement. Very sorry, Gina!

  11. Just a thimbleful...

    You are already so generous in sharing your thoughts, ideas, projects and processes that no-one could possibly object to your reluctance on this issue. We are all just so pleased to be allowed a little peek into your cake eating textile world !

  12. Well if you ever need anyone to eat chocolate so you can use the wrappers to make more gorgeous books you know you can call on me :-)

  13. Your books are all gorgeous Gina and like the above commenter, I'm always happy to help out with the chocolate wrappers! :)
    Vivienne x

  14. The books are all super - if eating chocolate gives you so much inspiration I am off out to buy a very large box!!

  15. What a wonderful tutorial you shared on that previous post, v generous. I just borrowed '500 Handmade Books', a treasure of beautiful images & 'Hand Bookbinding, a Manual of Instruction' very technical, a good combination. I'll have to give them back soon tho....

    I'm lucky enough to own a small Heather Power, it's beautiful, a gift from my mother (who lives near Oxford) who knows my love of Honesty.

  16. I have just listed my tutorial on etsy for the very same reasons. I feel a bit mean charging for it but just like you said, a living has to be made. (Small as it is)
    Lovely books.

  17. I know you teach for a living but if you ever start selling these gorgeous notebooks, I'll be first in line to come and buy one. The one with the hearts on it is so sweet!


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