Golden Summer Flowers Journal, B5 size (7.48 x 9.84 inches)
I created this gorgeous journal because I believe your words are worth it!
The covers for this B5 hand bound journal were made using original wet cyanotype prints.
Both front and back covers feature wildflowers, which I gathered from the hedgerows around my lovely Wiltshire home during the long summer months. Best bit about summer … all the wildflowers!! There are Wild Field Poppies, Wild Mallows, and Ox-Eye Daisies, and some teeny tiny flowers that I think might be some kind of Cranesbill. I love the Ox-Eye daisies that grow in such abundance around here! They’re the jolliest of flowers!
To create the cover prints, I used Fabriano Tiziano art paper in a lovely pale blue shade called Brina. It has a lovely fleck running through it. This Fabriano art paper is the perfect weight for creating the covers for my journals. It’s strong enough to withstand the cyanotype chemicals and the dyes and inks I use in the development process; it can also stand up to the washing at the end of the process! I’m becoming a bit of a fan! I used my gorgeous Ferris Wheel Press ink … “jardin turquoise” … in the print. It’s got a very subtle golden fleck to it. I also used some of the sparkly Winsor and Newton gold ink, which is a firm favourite of mine, in the wet cyanotype developing process.
The inside covers are made using handmade Nepalese Lokta paper, in a gorgeous turquoise colour.
The book is stitched together with Teal coloured Irish Linen waxed thread. This is the best kind of thread to use for bookbinding, I find, because it doesn’t stretch. This means that the book stays firmly bound, no matter how often you open and close it … I know this for a fact … I use my journal every single day!
I used Coptic stitching to bind the book together. Coptic binding means that the book will lie completely flat when opened, which makes it perfect for journaling or sketching.
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Coptic binding was a method of bookbinding employed by early Christians in Egypt, the Copts, and used from as early as the 2nd century AD to the 11th century.
Coptic bindings are characterized by sections of paper sewn through their folds and attached to each other with chain stitch linkings across the spine of the book. The book artist who taught me Coptic binding told me that traditionally, hand bound books would have seven signatures, or sections, and that is how many I use.
Seven has a long history and has meaning in so many cultures. The number 7 is often considered lucky, and it has a definite mystique, perhaps because it is a prime number.
The origin of seven’s power lies in the lunar cycle. The moon has four phases lasting about seven days.
With this new series of journals in this new size for me … B5 … I have decided that I am going to expand on the “theme of seven” … each of the 7 signatures has 7 sheets and there are 7 stitch holes to bind them together. (And I have always finished my stitching off with 7 tiny knots!). Which I think is pretty cool! I love a bit of consistency!
This journal is part of a new collection of B5 journals. I have been a journal keeper for over twenty years, and the books I create for myself are always A4.
You see, A5 is too small for someone who writes as much as I do and whose handwriting is, frankly, a bit on the big side!!
But I do know that sometimes a blank page that big (A4) is a bit scary! So, I am creating a line of journals in B5 size, halfway between the two – 7.48 x 9.84 inches! These journals also fit into your bag so much more easily.
For this journal I have used cyanotype print spine wraps, which look beautiful when your book is standing on a shelf. This is not just a journal, it’s a work of art.
All of the cartridge paper for the pages is recycled, mostly from old paper cups, and it’s all hand torn or cut to size. The paper is 140gsm and because it is recycled, it has a slight texture, which makes it perfect for journaling or sketching. I always write with a fountain pen and the paper is wonderful for that.
The grey-board used for the covers is also, wherever possible, made from recycled materials.
This book is unique and made entirely by hand.
What is a journal?
It’s your story, your history, your present moment.
It’s a gateway into who you really are and how you really feel.
It’s a place to play and a place to get down to some serious work.
Keeping a journal, whether you do it every day, once a week, or only in moments of strong emotions, (good or bad), can be so many of these things, and so much more. Keeping a journal is meditation, it’s a place where you can open up a dialogue with your inner self, or your inner child, or your inner crazy-person-who-just-needs-to-rant!
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