Covers and Content

Bookbinding, writings, general creativity

Archive for the tag “marbled paper”

The most beautiful Christmas Candy ever is really easy to make

Okay, let’s not talk about the fact that it’s almost one year since I last posted anything.

Let’s talk about marbling. Mmm, marbling…. and let’s talk about chocolate.

Like so:


It looks fantastic. And tastes wonderful. And is actually very easy to make.

You’ll need:

200g milk chocolate
60g coconut oil/coconut butter. (If you can’t find it, skip this part, and you’ll have marbled chocolate instead of ice chocolate)
50g white chocolate
50g dark chocolate

Melt milk chocolate and coconut oil and stir them together. Put a piece of parchment paper (that is, baking paper, not actual parchment – since this is mainly a bookbinding blog, I thought I should add that) in a large pan or a tray, anything with a flat bottom. Spread the ice chocolate on the parchment paper.

Before the chocolate hardens, melt the white and the dark chocolate, and use it to make a lot of horizontal lines across the ice chocolate. The white chocolate might be a bit hard to do fine lines with, it usually only want to come off the spoon in big clumps. That’s fine. It’ll be pretty in the end anyways.



Use the end of a match or something else (I used a large knitting needle) to draw lines across the white and dark chocolate. Draw them pretty close together. Be careful so that the needle or match doesn’t drip chocolate all over your pattern.



Draw lines from the top left to bottom right, four or five centimeters apart.  Then do the same but from the top right to bottom right. Allow me to illustrate in Paint:

solfjäderLike that. But prettier. Now you have a fan pattern! (Or you could make any other sort of pattern, of course. This is just the prettiest, if you ask me.)

Put the chocolate to cool in the fridge for at least half an hour, and you’re done! Now you just have to take a picture to show me!



Exhibition(ist) books

I just realised that I never showed you the books I made for our college’s exhibition this spring (the one that I made the paper flowers for).

The exhibition was called Nakenchock, one of those made-up-for-headlines words, translating as Naked chock (I don’t know what the headline word would be in English). I made two books for it.

With the first book, I interpreted the title literally. I made a book where the cover could be flipped back to reveal the spine. I stitched it using coptic stitch (I think) and let the chain stitching be like embroidery on the spine. So the picture of the naked woman is made just by placing the holes of the stitching right.

But we also talked about other interpretations of the theme. Nakedness in a more metaphorical sense, showing yourself as you really are. I got the picture in my head of how I tore myself open (just metaphorically, okay) and let all feelings and thoughts show, turning myself inside out. When translated into book form, it became a book where the pages consisted of traditional cover materials – leather and marbled paper – and the boards were covered with printed excerpts from my diary. I printed it in 4 points or something so that it would still look like text, but would be really hard to read. Even so, the secrets were old by then and wouldn’t make sense to anyone that weren’t there at the time, and since none of them lived in Leksand and would see the book, I felt pretty safe about exhibiting it.

Paste marbling

This is the second-best thing in the world. Or part of the best thing in the world, I haven’t decided. Anyways, the handmade papers I’ve shown you so far have all been marbled on a glue base. These are paste marbled, which is another thing entirely. It’s even easier, for one thing.

To start with, I made paste from wheat flour and water, thinner than I normally use. I mixed it with pigment powder, but any kind of paint works to mix in. I should also mention that before starting this, we had covered the whole room in plastic. Paste marbling gets messy.

I sprayed the paper with water and let it swell a while. If you don’t do this, it’s going to swell when you put the paste-paint-mix on, and get all wrinkly. I painted it with the colors I wanted. Then the fun part started.

Using all kind of tools, from a plastic thingy used when tiling walls, to pieces of string, my own nails, tape and a small toy car, I made patterns in the paint. There really are no limits to what you can do with this technique – just remember to spray the paper with water every now and then, or the paste will dry too early.

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…

Making of The Seventeenth Step

After I copied the whole body of text into Word and printed it on nice paper (after some hours of editing, such as replacis soft returns with hard returns in the entire document), I stitched the book with flax thread. When I thought about if I should wax the thread or not, then I remembered Sussex and the bees, so beeswax it was.

After stitching it, I glued the spine and… argh, I really don’t know what it’s called in English, but well, I shaped the spine. With a hammer. Then French headbands. I used silk thread, grey and blue for Holmes and Watson. There is a third thread that is just for tying the knots around, that you never see, and I made that red for hidden love, because I’m silly like that.

After gluing on the cover boards I measured the leather for spine and corners. The lovely green machine is a Shärf-fix, you use it to thin out the edges of the leather. I glued on false raised binds (direct translation from Swedish, I really need to learn some English terms), then pasted on the leather.

Then time for the paper. This, too, is silver and blue for Holmes and Watson, I made it especially for this book. (The paper on the box, which I forgot to take a good picture of before cutting it up, is made especially for this book to, with the London fog of the 1880’s as inspiration.)

Then box-making, a french box with a hollow spine. Last, I printed the title with “gold” foil.


Bookbinding: The Seventeenth Step

This summer, I had plans. I was going to sew clothes and write lots and and and… and I read Sherlock fanfiction the whole summer. I’m not that surprised, really. One author, Katie Forsythe, really had the voice of the original books perfectly down.

The thing is, since the text was so like the books, I felt that it needed to actually be a book. It would fit so well between covers of leather and marbled paper. My fingers itched for a chance to bind it. So I mustered all the courage I had (I’m kinda shy, and absolutely terrified of talking in English to people on internet, especially people I admire) and asked Katie Forsythe for permission to print and bind her works.

The format is called dos-á-dos, meaning back-to-back in French. I call it tvillingband in Swedish, twin binding. I wanted to make a box to protect the book, and ended up with a box that I’m tempted to make another box to protect… I made the cover papers especially for this project. Since the seventeenth step in the title refers to the 221b Baker Street staircase, I printed the title… well, like a staircase.

Since it’s Sherlock Holmes, I just had to make a secret compartment in the spine of the box. There should be a cocaine syringe in there, but there are limits to what I do for my art…


Paper flower

For the opening of my college’s spring exhibition this Friday, we were a bit short on money for fancy flower arrangements. Instead, I made paper flowers out of marble paper scraps and real twigs, that we handed to a florist and got these  bouquets. I’ve never heard so much praise for the flowers at an opening before.

The best thing in the world

Let me tell you: It’s marbled papers. There is nothing, nothing better than making a pattern that turns out just like you want it, or completely different but even more awesome. Let me show you true happiness:

(all of them made by me, of course)

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