Wednesday, February 16, 2011

a year in the making

"brandie's book" from handmade home

"brandie's book" from handmade home

"brandie's book" from handmade home

"brandie's book" from handmade home

"brandie's book" from handmade home

This fun little project is "Brandie's Book" from Handmade Home. There is no way this should have been a year in the making, but I started cutting pages for this, and then it sat, sat, and sat in my studio for months. I think the big delay was that I was intending to cut more pages for it, and also I wasn't sure how the binding process would go. The book says to take it to your local copy shop and ask for a coil binding, but I had no experience with asking for such a thing.

The concept of this project is that you gather and collect all kinds of random papers-- blank, lined, colored, images from magazines and catalogs, mailers, file folders or what have you--and bind them together into a fanciful journal. I immediately loved the idea. It was so fun gathering the papers. I bought a simple paper cutter at Michael's and that was fun to use too.

Finally a couple days ago I braved the local copy shop. It is really small and they are very friendly. I told myself walking in, "this will probably go way more smoothly than I suspect. This will probably be easy."

No. I wasn't anticipating that they'd have to take the whole thing apart. The guy asked me to come behind the counter and assist him because he did not get the concept at all and didn't see how the papers were supposed to go. In the end, he reversed a section of the book, which is now bound upside down (not shown in the above pictures!).

I wonder if I should have gone to a big Kinko's? Would they have a machine that can bind the book in one piece?

I do like the result and I think it would be super fun to make these for my friends as gifts. Something to think about for Christmas giving next year . . .


Laura said...

I absolutely love this idea! It would be so nice to have such a personalized journal.
It's a shame the man at the store didn't understand the concept. At least you tried to give the smaller store your business. That's a big issue here - the bigger stores are moving in, so I always try to shop "local" as much as I can. I would definitely try a "big" store next time & see how they do.

Luisa said...

Love the ideas from Handmade Home. I'm collecting paper and waiting to see what becomes of it hopefully a journal. If not a journal they will be something.
Hopefully you'll have better luck next time.

Heather said...

I also loved this idea when I saw it. I think it looks great, but I know how disappointed you must be that it didn't turn out the way you'd envisioned. Just don't give up! I used to have a lot of things printed and bound for work, and this really should not have been challenging at all (for you or the copy shop!)I suggest trying another shop or one of the bigger stores (Kinkos or Staples should be able to handle it no problem. Good luck!

Erin said...

your journal is beautiful. thanks for sharing.

Andrea said...

How sweet! What a great idea. When I first started making a zine I was so nervous/terrified of taking to get it printed at a local copy shop (would they think I was a weirdo?), but they have been great to work with, and last Christmas when I brought them an even weirder project (a flip book of all the people in my family's faces), they were very helpful in figuring out the right binding and they loved the funny pictures it made. Maybe now that you've gone to the local shop once, next time it will go smoother!

Shelley said...

I love this idea from Handmade Home and your's is perfect! I too have wanted to make one. Where did you find the pictures you have here? Are they from magazines, old calendars??? I worry about the quality of the paper from some sources so I was wondering how it works in the book?

Mary Beth said...

Shelley--I used a variety of paper sources, including an old Nikki McClure calendar, pages cut from old Anthropologie catalogs and other catalogs, and a Lotta Jansdotter card I received when I placed an order one time (I was so happy to find a use for that). Anything goes, which is why this is such a fun project. Even with the guy hand punching this, I didn't experience any problem with the papers being too thin.

Jenna said...

I did this same project from Handmade Home two years ago. I thought I'd take all the kids' scrap paper that they bring home (with three kids I get three copies of things like school menus, etc...and I never throw any of that away, just rip into quarters and save for scrap). I used the dust covers from some favorite childrens books and found some same sized cardboard and clipped the whole section to bind. I used one of the big box office stores and they didn't bat an eye. It was, however, quite expensive for what it was...essentially scrap paper with the addition of a plastic binder. Too much for a handmade gift as I'm not sure the receiver would appreciate it as much as something else homemade. But I LOVE rethinking the idea for a special book! I just recently bought two Nikki McClure journal/record books and next time I think I could make one of my own.
Sorry for the long comment--I love your spin on the idea!!!

Michele dJ said...

What a great idea! It looks lovely! But I can imagine your disappointment that some pages are upside down and being that they are already hole punched they can't be fixed without cutting off all the holes and resizing the book. I have had spiral books made before but usually from photocopied sketches and really the copy shop should have been able to do it easily themselves without any confusion. Its a normal service. You can also sometimes select from different types of spirals they have: thin thick metal plastic small big ... although the thickness of the book sets parameters. I'm sorry they let you down! Just to be sure next time I would tell them this story and make sure someone with experience does it, perhaps at a larger shop. Are all the pages the same size, cause that would be the only thing that i'd think you'd need. I see the cover is different but i guess they managed that.

ensoularts said...

It is a beautiful journal! Let us know if you find greater ease with another copy center. I too love Nikki Mcclure's work.