Thanks for all the feedback on my last post. I think a lot of you are noticing the same things I am. More people read blogs on a reader, and it's harder to comment; Instagram and Facebook are a quick alternative to blogging; and some people have simply lost interest in the time it takes to blog. My conclusion, mentioned by many of you: blogging changes and evolves just like everything else.
My love for vintage office supplies, Dennison in particular is something I've mentioned a time or two before. In my ongoing project of cleaning and condensing my craft room, I put all my little red edged labels in one box, which left me with some empty boxes.
I love old boxes, too- and just couldn't throw away a Dennison box, so using inspiration from a project I saw here, I made a mini journal.
Note: The steps may seem long, but after you make one book, you'll be able to make a second in less time than it takes to read these directions.
1. Measure your box to figure out what size to cut paper for your pages.
The height of your pages will be the height of your box less about a 1/4". So if your box is 3" tall, your pages will be 2 3/4" tall.
The width of your paper will be twice the width of your box less 1/4". If your box is 2" wide, your paper will be 4" minus 1/4" = 3 3/4".
3. Cut eight pieces of paper of the size you calculated in step 2. I used a light weight cardstock, but you could use just about any paper that is sturdy enough to be folded.
Fold each piece of paper in half so the short sides meet. I used a bone folder to get a sharp crease on my fold, but you can use the back of a spoon or a ruler. (or you can skip this step, a really SHARP crease isn't necessary, I just like it.)
Nestle four folded pages inside each other like the group on the bottom of the picture above.
Do this with all eight pieces of paper, so you have two groups of four pieces of paper. ( Each group is called a signature.)
4. Mark the holes that you'll use for sewing the book together. I usually make them about a fourth of the length of the total book from the top and bottom.
In other words, if your page is 8" long, I'd mark the holes 2" from the bottom and 2" from the top. (The math on that is 8" x 1/4" = 2").
But if you hate math and measuring, just eyeball it.
5. Using an awl, a Japanese screw punch or just a skewer from your barbeque grill, poke the holes all the way through all four sheets of paper.
A trick I learned from Mary Ann Moss is to use the center of a large telephone book to cradle your paper. It's best if you open the yellow pages to the home security or plumbing sections.
(I just made that up to see if you were paying attention. It doesn't matter what page the book is open to.)
Do this with both signatures (sets of four pages). After you punch the first group, use a page from the first group to use as a guide to punch the second group, so your holes match up.
6. Cut the box open. I admit, it was hard for me to cut a perfectly good Dennison box, but when I convinced myself that I was actually saving it, it made the cut easier.
7. Using one of the pages you already poked as a guide, make two sets of hole on the spine of your box.
We'll be sewing each signature (group of four pieces of paper) through a set of vertical holes.
8. The next step is sewing your pages together. There are many kinds of special thread that are made just for book binding, but I've mostly used baker's twine or dental floss (if I want a minty fresh book).
Line up your signature with one of the sets of holes and pull the threaded needle through all of the pages and the spine of the book.
9. Don't pull the thread all the way through, live a "tail" long enough to tie when the thread comes through the other side.
10. From the back (or outside) of the book, bring the needle through the second hole. You'll be bringing the needle back to the inside of the book.
11. Tie the two threads together and your first signature is in the book. Repeat with the second signature, and you've got a mini- book.
There are endless variations on this. You can add more signatures, use a different kind of box (Pop-Tarts or Animal Crackers, maybe).
I'm using my mini book to write up my daily "to do" list. Since the book is so small, I can't fit a lot on a page, so I've been much more selective about what I have to do, and much more successful with completing that list!
I was sitting in front of the computer this morning, reading blogs; something I hardly ever do anymore, I'm much more likely to read them sitting in my easy chair on my Ipad. That got me started thinking about how blogs and blogging have changed since I first started in Feb 2007.
(When I say "blogs", I mean blogs I consider to be a similiar vein as mine- about antiquing and crafting. I have no idea if my observations also apply to tech blogs, business blogs or political blogs, but I'm guessing probably not, although I'd guess they've gone through their own evolution.)
Back then, hardly anyone had ads on their blogs. Or if they we advertising, it was their own shop or website. Today, blogs are full of advertising. For the most part, I think it's great. If you can make blog interesting enough that its generates enough traffic to make advertising revenue for you, more power to you.
On the other hand, there are some blogs (and websites) that have so much going on, with blinking ads, pop-ups and headers on every picture that I've stopped reading them.
Remember blog parties? A host would come up with a theme, announce it ahead of time, maybe even make a blog button. And we didn't just "link and run". I think most readers tried to visit all the blogs and leave a comment.
I'd try to put together a really good postfor those parties, knowing that the party would probably generate traffic to my blog and hope that maybe I'd be able to get some of those readers to come back.
Because back then, for me, it was all about the numbers. I really did check to see how many visitors I had after I posted, and my mood could go up or down depending on the results.
Blog parties are still around, but more and more I see posts linked to multiple parties. For example the bottom of a post will say "Linking to Make it Monday, Treasures for Tuesday, What I Made Wednesday". Bloggers are linking one post to multiple parties. It's probably a great way to network but it seems that some of the "small party" intimacy is gone.
Gifts and giveaways used to be a big part of blog life, too. People would put together nice packages of craft supplies, or something they'd made or a book or magazine they had an extra copy of. A giveaway was how I got my first package of vintage wallpaper...and look at what that started! All you had to do to enter was leave a comment.
Today, many of the giveaways that require comments, Facebooks posts, "likes", tweets and shouting from the mountain tops. I understand the concept of a giveaway as a marketing device, but I entered a lot more contests when all I had to do was leave a comment.
When I started reading blogs, almost all of the blogs I looked at had a column (sidebar) on the right or left side of the main post.
You could find "blog buttons" for partcipation in things like swaps or attending events like Silver Bella. Sometimes buttons would be "awards" from other bloggers for being a "good blogger" or a "friendly blogger", and then eventually I started to see a lot of buttons that said "Award-free" blog. In other words, don't give me another button to put in my sidebar.
A lot of blogs also had a sidebar list of links to other blogs. That was a fun way to find new blogs. If you were reading a blog you liked, check out the links on that blogs and you'll probably find more blogs you like.
I don't see very many of those lists anymore. I had one on my blog for several years, but it was hard to keep up. Blogs would disappear, or move and I didn't want to send anyone reading my blog to a dead link, so I just got rid of it.
Those links were fun, though. I can remember how excited I'd be when I saw a link to my blog on a blog I was reading. It was one of those Sally Fields moments "You like me, you really like me!".
I've heard a lot of bloggers make the comment "there are so many more blogs now than when I started blogging". I'm not sure what the basis of that is because I have no idea how many blogs there were in 2007 or how many blogs there are now.
I do know that a lot of blogs that I've read and enjoyed over the past few years have disappeared or gone dormant. I'd guess the reason for this is those bloggers got out of blogging what they were looking for. They had a business to promote, a talent to share, or were looking for like minded souls to connect with. For some, blogging has been a platform to new jobs, new careers or allowed them to turn a hobby into a vocation.
Blogging isn't for everyone, it's a time commitment, and there are days when I hit "post" and I wonder if I've just said something really stupid. There are other days when I wonder if anyone is reading what I say. But as long as my Mom, mother-in-law, niece and Louise still have internet access, I know someone is out there.
Thanks for indulging me with musings about how blogs have changed. I could do a whole separate post, probably several posts on how blogging has changed my life.
event way back in May, and I'm just now finishing it.
Even though it's a fabric book, I didn't do any sewing in it. The tricky thing with a fabric book that you sew in is that you really have to finish the pages before you put the book together.
If you stitch something to an premade book, the stitching will show through on the other side of the page. So this is all glue.
This page LOOKS like its been stitched together, but I actually did the stitching on the fabric and then I glued it into the book.
This page has one of my favorite little bits on it.
This old button with a cupid. I asked my friend Tami the button expert about it, and she said that it's a lithograph that originally had a celluloid cover. If it still had the cover, I'd probably think it was too nice to use in the book!
I tried to keep my collage elements in the Downton era- give or take 50 years.
But the last page in the book really doesn't really fit.
It's a piece of floral stationary that someone glued little tiny bits of tatting to the center of the flowers. I think it's sweet and I didn't want to lose it.
If you have little bits and pieces like this that you'd like to add to a journal, check out Karla's journal page swap Nature's Blessings.
You make journal pages, send them to Karla, and she'll swap them out with other people's pages, and turn it into a hardcover bound journal. The cover features her original artwork, vintage ribbons and millinary.
And the price is only $30. That is a steal of a price for an original handmade journal. I may sound like a late night TV commercial, but I said "Karla, that's crazy, you can't sell a handmade journal that cheap".
If you've thought about making or keeping a journal, so you have a place to doodle, write, keep your secrets or just save pretty little bits and pieces, this is a great opportunity to start.
And if you're already journaling, you know this is a great chance to get a real keepsake book.
(I was not compenstated for this endorsment, I just think this will be a great swap.)
I have a bunch of different books that I play in- cutting, pasting, doodling, drawing and writing.
This is one I've had for a long time-it was a gift. It's actually a small size lined notebook that had a leather slipcover. It was very handsome, but I never used it...until I took the leather slip cover off, tore a bunch of pages out and starting gluing stuff in it.
I call it a "glue book" but technically, a glue book is put together with just scissors, paper and glue. I've done some doodling, lettering and outlining in this.
When you look at the images I've used it, maybe I should call it my bird book. It's a place where I "save" those little scraps of paper that are too pretty or too special to throw away.
The book is so full that pages have started to fall out. I've thought about taping them back in, but I kind of like the idea that I've used my book so much that I've almost worn it out.
Another journal I'm working on is my Remains of the Day journal. I made the cover a couple of years ago but it's taken me some time to sew the pages together.
The pages are finally made, but I still want to sew some more "extras" on the pages.
like the bit of ledger paper on the left and the bookmark on the edge of the page on the right.
A third book I've been having fun with is "Art Doodle Love" by Dawn DeVries Sokol.
It's a paperback book designed to be doodled in. The paper is nice and heavy, and the pages are full of fun backgrounds and prompts for what to doodle.
The book is small enough (and my purse is big enough) that I can put the book and a few pens and pencils in a plastic bag and bring it with me anywhere I might have a few spare minutes to fill.