Hello everyone,

Since it is Wednesday, I am sharing some photos of what’s on my desk this morning with the WOYWW gang over at the Stamping Ground.

We had some dodgy weather over the weekend, heavy rain and thunderstorm weather warnings were announced but we didn’t really have that much rain and absolutely no thunderstorms.  We had battened down the hatches and unplugged the internet just in case, because we have been struck by lightning, not once, not twice, not even three times, but four times, so not taking any chances.  Anyway, rain meant no time in the garden so cleaned the kitchen instead, not as much fun but necessary.  Then the sun came back and the kitties commenced the sunbathing!  It’s funny how moving a cat tree/bed to a different location suddenly makes it more appealing!  It’s basically been ignored since last year but now, they are on it every day.  There’s a few photos in this post, more than a few actually, so I have added them as thumbnails.  Just click them to see full size 🙂

Sunbathing kitties

Head in, bum out!  Just look at those cute little beans!


The benefits of having multiple sleeping options at the top of the cat tree = no fighting!


Miss Lily,she’s just the right size for these small beds…

Mr G is definitely not the right size, he’s overlapping on all sides but doesn’t seem to mind.  I love how he has his arms folded, it was this pose that made me grab the camera.

My desk this morning

Here is how my desk looked this morning when I went in there before breakfast… Lily looks shocked at this early start and is wondering just when she might be getting her breakfast!

Nothing very exciting going on, just a whole lot of detritus leftover from making stuff, mostly the latest batch of ICADs.  At least there is a space in the middle that is available for working on, but I still have not finished relocating everything after my room switch in April.  I also keep thinking that there must be a better way of arranging the furniture so that is why the big wooden folding ruler is still on the desk and somewhere underneath other stuff, there is still a 5m retractable tape measure.  What seems to be happening at the moment, is that I go into this room, sit down to do some arting, then start looking around and wondering if I swapped this with that, or moved that slightly to the left or or or… and then the tape measure comes out.  I feel a little irritated by the coombed ceilings in this room – if I had four square walls I would have a lot more wall space, furniture arranging is limited by what can fit under the sloping walls – but I do appreciate the space I have, I just need to make it work better than it is currently or maybe just hide the tape measure so I’m not tempted to move anything to a new position.

Early morning productivity

So here’s what I was working on this morning before breakfast…

It was time to make some more art journals and also to finish off the one that I had been using but was now full and needed a cover.  I took that big block of watercolour paper and started folding the pages in half and creasing them with a bone folder.  This is how I make all my journals now for the last couple of years.  I used to use really big journals, like I felt that I needed more room, and couldn’t work in a smaller size (I always make really big cards too!) but then I started using this paper which is 12.5 x 9.5 inches and turns out I really like working at this size and I don’t feel like I need more space..

Folded up about thirty pages to make my signatures.

Just for a bit of variety, I stapled some of the signatures together using my long arm stapler.  Stapling is not my preferred method though, but it is quick.

I also had an interested observer, she was very intrigued by the big stapler!

I also made a few signatures that were stitched together using strong linen thread.  This is also fairly quick to do, but also not my preferred method!  I find though, if I make them for other people, they do expect them to be hand stitched, since it is a handmade book.  The problem with both these methods is that if you use a lot of wet media on the pages, it will seep through to other pages.  Some people don’t mind that, some people do, some people might even welcome it lol but it’s not something I necessarily want to happen, especially if using watercolour.

Here are all the signatures I made this morning.  I have six stapled signatures and two hand stitched signatures.  I don’t like staples because they can catch on things like your fingers and I don’t want to bleed all over my journal lol.  The staples will get hidden when the signatures are bound into the finished book so I just have to be careful when I am working in them but not afterwards.  Both the stapled and the stitched have holes where wet media can escape onto other pages, plus huge gaps between the stitches/staples where it can just run free!  So these are not for watercolour!

I ended up using three pages for each one, two was too few and four to was too many!

To finish off my current journal, I have this lovely selection of amazon envelopes – who knew they offered such an array of kraft colours to choice from!  To cut the amazon envelopes down to size I had to use a guillotine and I can’t recommend this guillotine to anyone!  Unfortunately I’ve had it for a couple of years now so it’s way too late to return it but I think it’s the worse guillotine I’ve ever used. I’m not really sure what the problem is, apart from bad design, but I feel like it’s not balanced or not heavy enough for the weight of blade.  I think the smaller version is probably OK but not this bigger version.  It’s janky, doesn’t cut straight, and worse of all is the ruler at the top!  Really not designed for accuracy!  The measurement I needed was right that gap!  Bah!

Anyway, moving on, this is my current journal that I’ve been working on for a few months.  I’ve decided that it’s thick enough now and I don’t want to add any more pages to it, so time to add some covers.  This is my preferred method of working.  I use masking tape to attach the pages to each other, that way each one is sealed and no leakage!  As I need a new page, I just add it on, and when I think there’s been enough pages added, I stop and then add the covers.

I adhered the covers using PVA glue and left it sitting with something heavy on top while I had breakfast.   I have not yet added cloth binding to the spine so even at this point I can still take it apart or add or remove pages.  Making them this way also ensures that every page opens flat.

What’s on my desk now

Here’s what was on my desk when I was done.  Two of my older journals for size comparison.  These were cut to A4 size and then folded to give an A5 size journal, I don’t know why I did that but it seemed like a good idea at the time lol.  Compare them to my latest journal which is just a bit taller and a teeny bit wider and definitely a nicer size for me to work in.

It is quite a beast though lol

Here’s a look at the spines – from left to right:  new journal, still unbound, the blue journal bound with linen cloth tape, the kraft journal spine left uncovered to see the stitching. I see they seem to be getting progressively thicker hmmm… I might just be creating more in a given time period…

Also on my desk are these current journals which are all in use for different things – for example, the one in the middle is for Wanderlust, you can just make out “WL Jan-” in pencil on the front page, so I remember to use the right book!

And of course all my new stitched and stapled signatures are waiting to be used.

Oh and if you were wondering what I used before making my own journals or sometimes still use if I feel like something different, I have quite the assortment…

And now it looks like time for lunch!  Let me know what you think in the comments.  Tomorrow has a tutorial for ATC Coins, so if you like working with the coin format, check back then.  As always, thanks for reading!


watercolour paper, amazon boxes, PVA, staples, linen thread, needle etc


WOYWW – #631What’s on my desk (I’m number #24 in the linkup)  Happy WOYWW!

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26 Awesome Comments (btw comment moderation is on)
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July 13, 2021 3:29 am

I am so totally beyond impressed you are binding your own books Elle ~Stacy #27

Diana Taylor
July 12, 2021 9:50 am

Sorry I’m so late this week. I love the kitty pics – they are such beautiful cats and look so regal on their cat tree! Book binding is a lovely craft isn’t it – I have dabbled a little bit in the past but have to admit I’m not so keen on making the signatures, so mine are always about half the thickness I was wanting them!
Have a good rest of the week (what little is left!)
Diana xx #17

Susan Renshaw
Susan Renshaw
July 12, 2021 6:31 am

I am afraid I am very late this week but hope to get around everyone…

Thank you for your instructions of how to make the journals! Something else for me to try when I have the chance!

Thanks for your visit to me – I think I saw velveteen stamping on Hero Arts too. I have practised it quite a lot now and have worked out which backgrounds work best…

Happy WOYWW!
Susan #20
<a href=”http://susanrenshaw0404.blogspot.co.uk/ “>Calling All Crafters! – My Blog!</a>

Carolyn Staton
Carolyn Staton
July 9, 2021 7:41 pm

Sorry I’m running very late this week. So fascinating to see your journal making process – so impressive! Happy belated WOYWW. Take care and stay safe. With love & God Bless, Caro xxx (#15).

Cindy Ashplant
Cindy Ashplant
July 9, 2021 5:52 pm

Lovely to see your bookmaking process – they look great. Nice selection of kitty pics too. I can easily spend a whole day farting about thinking about moving things round to make my room more efficient – usually the thought of actually doing it puts me off so that’s another day wasted!! Happy WOYWW Cindy # 23xx

July 9, 2021 4:05 pm

I loved the walkthrough of your journal making! How clever to do the cover last! Your beautiful cats are amazing. I do have one fully black cat, and one Tuxedo, who often sits with her legs crossed like that! So cute! The Tuxedo (Mittsy) has finally decided to sleep in her new bed, but the new scratcher has been ignored. I would love to see the insides of your journals, maybe I will take a trip through your blog! Thanks for your visit, Lindart #28

July 8, 2021 5:22 pm

Beautiful pictures of the kitties and great walkthrough of your journal books. I will have to come back and read it properly because I was singing along to the Greatest Showman. I didn’t quite get the bit about masking tape for each page. Do you mean after using the first few, you add a page each time you work? are you using the masking tape as a hinge? Have a great weekend Angela #3

mary anne
July 8, 2021 2:53 pm

Loving all the journal info (bookbinding makes me happy) and the ICADS are fab – I shy away from painting faces cause I SUCK at it 🙂 Yours are lovely. Have fun. And the cats – in a word, adorable.

So very late this week!
Mary Anne (5)

Sylvia/little treasures
July 8, 2021 11:29 am

Thanks for the visit, we took 2 days away, so I am playing catch up. Never enough time in a day to get all my head ideas finished. Great post on book binding, and fun photos of your beautiful cats. Bailey here loves his cat post/several layers of ins and outs. I’ll be off to see your ATC posts.( My fav) Have a great weekend.

July 8, 2021 9:15 am

Hi Elle, I loved reading about your bookbinding, it’s a lovely craft.
Your cats are gorgeous. Lily does look shocked at your early start! Interesting that a cat tree becomes interesting when you move it. Yours are certainly enjoying it.
Take care, and have a good week
Lynnecrafts 10

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