Summer Journal, for Turning the Wheel

Journal signatures and cover paper

This year’s journal has arrived in summer, now opposite from the beginning of the calendar year. But since I observe time in a circular way, any day on the wheel of the year is the first day of the year that will follow.

Journal - emergent pages and inclusions

As usual I begin working on the pages long before they are bound into a book. I like carrying the nascent journal around for a month or two, before joining it to the remaining blank signatures in an actual book.

Journal signatures and punched spine holes

I choose a longstitch binding, one I learned many years ago from Carol Pallesen. Usually I use soft leather, but a dive into the flat files unearths this strip of Arches hot press watercolor paper, paste painted a vivid blue. It is exactly the height of the pages, apparently meant for just this journal.

Journal - longstitch binding sewing holes jig

The jig for sewing stations is made by careful measuring, equidistant marking, and consideration of all the bits I stuff between the pages every year, so not too tight. I make the holes with a Japanese push drill and a 1 mm bit.

Journal - long stitch binding with kettle stitch

The first kettle stitch  is sewn backward from the second into the first signature, before moving ahead to the third signature.

Journal - sewing the kettle stitch

Thus the kettle stitch establishes a kind of bridge between every other signature, giving a greater stability to the sewn structure.

Journal wraparound paper with leather strap closure

The strap is best threaded through the scored side of the long back cover; allowing the wraparound to either overlap the front cover, or tuck underneath it.

Journal - leather strap knotted

Here is an inside view  of the strap construction.  For a tutorial on how to make this kind of closure go here.

Journal -  leather strap wrap closure

The journal is bound and wrapped, ready to go.

Journal - open pages

Most of the signatures are wrapped with a decorative paper, allowing for folds and pockets. The writing paper is a Zerkall text weight with a lovely velvety vellum finish.  It takes pen calligraphy beautifully, as well as some of the wetter media that I like. A paper towel on the still-damp paper and a light weight help relax the pages flat again.

Journal - sideways writing on gatefold page

Exploring the meaning of revision by radically revising my original entry, I block it out with dark Intense pencils, and add a list of synonyms with a gold gel pen.

Journal desk

The desk at Lammastide brings out journals old and new. A tarot reading for the workspace: 4 of Swords, for my time of retreat and rest; 8 of Pentacles, for my ever present craft; Knight of Wands, for the the restless creative urge. I’m quite fond of my summery journal, blue and white. It is a kind of refuge, a private place for catching stray bits of meditations, dreams, and ponderings.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Kathy LaPorte 07/25/2016, 11:58 am

    Beautiful book! Thanks for posting!

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