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.
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.
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.
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.
The first kettle stitch is sewn backward from the second into the first signature, before moving ahead to the third signature.
Thus the kettle stitch establishes a kind of bridge between every other signature, giving a greater stability to the sewn structure.
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.
Here is an inside view of the strap construction. For a tutorial on how to make this kind of closure go here.
The journal is bound and wrapped, ready to go.
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.
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.
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.