Covers and Content

Bookbinding, writings, general creativity

Archive for the month “July, 2012”

The smallest book I’ve ever made

If you’ve said A, you have to say B. In Sweden, at least. It’s a saying, I mean… okay, what I really mean is that I cant go talking about the smallest book I’ve ever made without showing a picture of it. As a bonus, you get a picture of Stéphanie, the friend that I mentioned in my last post.

Okay, so that’s actually the biggest book I’ve ever made, or helped to make. It was the guestbook for our exhibition Kometen Kommer, and we wanted it to be impressive. But look closer, down in the left corner of the big book…


There it is! 4mm high (or not-so-high). Stiched with a strand of my own hair, because I didn’t have any thread that was fine enough. This is the only time my fingers have felt too big when bookbinding. I did almost everything with the point of a needle.

The cover paper wraps around the front edges of the cover to become a pasted-in endpaper (there’s a word for that, I know it). I had to thin it out with sand paper to make it flexible enough to use. The bookblock is of very thin japanese paper.

I think I could make something smaller…


Something in the mail

Work today was… not nice. I amused myself by planning to post pictures of the smallest book I’ve ever made. Yes, it’s smaller than this.

But that’ll have to wait for another day, because all unhappy feelings completely evaporated when I opened my family’s mailbox. There were letters! For me! Even one that I had to go and get at the post office.

One was a postcard from my bookbinding friend Stéphanie (who is in a lot of the parchment pictures – which reminds me, I have to write the final post on that!). Two was from swap-bot swaps. And then… do you see what’s under the letters? Yes, that’s another letter. Here, let me give you a better view:


This penpal and I have a bit of a competition going on, about who can write the strangest letters. I was honestly impressed this time. But my response will win me the victory, I just know it…


When I was seven years old, I used to draw squirrels. Sometimes in bridal dresses. (I was a weird kid)

For a while, I was in love with geometrics. Stuff like this star (drawn by me age fifteen… and how did that suddenly get to be so long ago?), that I drew or sew. I had a flash of nostalgia recently when I saw a birthday card with this pattern in the kitchen of one of my mother’s friends. She had saved it for about ten years.
In high school, I wrote an embarrassing amount of names in the margins of my notebooks, over and over again. (It’s useful, now, I can date how old my notes/stories are by which name is written beside it…) Sometimes I drew a big heart and filled it with the names of all people that made me go warm and happy inside. Friends and crushes mixed with fictional characters from stories I’ve read or from my own head.

I also learned Tengwar, one set of Tolkiens elvish runes. That was good for when I wanted to be extra secret about the names or things I wrote. I was also very afraid of the one other person in my acquaintance who knew Tengwar.

Nowadays, my doodles have settled on the common theme of swirls. Swirls and leaves and small, small pictures. Like this:

This all makes me wonder what your doodles looks like. The things you draw when you’re really thinking about something else.

Take it as a challenge.


Remember that thing I said about marbling?



Because I do. All the time and everywhere, I said.

Every night for the past week when I’ve been preparing for bed, I’ve thought about how the striped toothpaste might possibly… and then I start brushing my teeth, because when you rise at 04:30 in the morning, you’re too tired for that sort of things.

But yesterday I got fed up with just thinking about it. I used a toothpick to make some kind of fan pattern (on the left) and some sort of double comb pattern (on the right).

And then I brushed my teeth and went to bed (one and a half hour too late).


Marbled ice cream cake

Marbling, like all other things in life, have a proper time and place. Namely, all the time and everywhere. Especially when you’re baking. This is a marbled ice cream cake. It’s the yummiest cake I know, and when done right, it’s the prettiest too.

The last picture is one of my marbled papers. It’s done in a fan pattern, which is the pattern I’ve described how to make on the cake.

If anybody wants to make the cake, and can’t find Daim chocolate, tell me and I’ll send it to you. It’s actually the chocolate I work with making, so…

Another book

I love books with open backs. Not using them – they’re far to flimsy for me – but making them. There’s just so much you can do with them.

This one has some sort of jewelry theme. A figure with a hanging necklace on the front, a necklace clasp as fastening, and made with oriental stitching with glass beads and velvet ribbon.

I have lost all sense of proportion

(I know I said something about writing part two of last blog post, but I haven’t had time to take the pictures that can properly illustrate why LARPing is a horrible idea. So instead…)

There’s a store at the chocolate factory where I work. They sell chocolate. Cheap chocolate. To start with, most of the factory’s production at reduced prices, but the best part is the chocolate that went wrong in some way. Wrong sell by-date, wrong language on the packaging, strawberry flavour where no strawberry flavour should be – stuff they can’t sell in stores. They sell it there instead. Really cheap. Three kronor each for the dark chocolate bars that usually costs around 20 kronor. Forty kronor for a box with twenty-four bags of daim pieces.

And the thing is, since I handle about six to ten tons of chocolate very day, my sense of proportion is completely wrecked. This looks like scarily little chocolate. Will it really be enough, now that the store has closed for four weeks? (No, I’m not going to eat it all myself, but I try to always have candy with me, to all of my friends, all the time, because… I don’t know, to show them why they’re my friends. Even my poor penpals don’t go safe…)


24 bags of Daim pieces. 24 bars of Digestive crumb chocolate (with accidental strawberry flavouring). 23 bars of dark chocolate. 3 bars of almond/seasalt light chocolate. Two boxes of pralines. Three bags of assorted filled chocolates. 16 assorted small chocolate bars.

Till the day I die – the good parts

The LARP was amazing. The people in my group were fantastic both in game and as themselves. We had care of about fifteen other refugees (since the whole story was about fleeing from a magic war), so we cooked food for about 221 people every day on a small wood-fired stove. Maybe it was the way everything tastes better outdoors, but the food really was great. I had brought lots and lots of chocolate for when we set up camp, and lots and lots of homemade toffee for when we were in game, so everybody liked me…

It’s hard to describe what happened in game without it sounding really weird, but I’ll try to give you an idea of it.

I, as my character Novice Ermin, have talked to a hero, talked back to a living saint, had a vision of a dead saint, banished a demon, given water to a tired and thirsty knight, sung songs that I’ve written myself, cried, laughed and even made some new friends.

This was the good parts. Tomorrow, or whenever I get the time, I’ll tell you about the horrible parts. For now, have a picture of Sara making the butter that we ate there.

Also, here’s another appearance of the marble sent to me by D.A. Bancroft. For those who don’t know, he’s got some sort of weird project that consists of placing a marble in every country in the world. This is the one he sent to me in Sweden, and of course I couldn’t pass up the chance of doing something slightly impossible and taking a picture of it I’m a fictional country. So this, dear D.A. is your marble in the country of Nedan in the world Kastaria.

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