Saturday, 10 June 2017

Second Wind–Third Part

The completion of the project. I don’t think I’ve ever completed a project so quickly!

01 Front Cover

Yesterday I made the cover and did the binding.

These are the materials – originally I thought I might use some of the inked kitchen paper but in the end decided against it. The patterned papers are from my stash, both from Tim Holtz paper stacks; the purple one is the back of a printed sheet that I knew I would never use. If I hadn’t had this, I would have inked some paper myself, but I thought this was a good opportunity to start using up some of my stash that’s been hanging around for several years! For the cover boards, I used cereal packet card.

36 Materials for Cover

I also found a sheet from a paper stack I was given ages ago, which again I thought I’d probably never get around to using – the design on it reminded me of raindrops so I thought that would do for the back! I forgot to photograph it with the above, but you will see it in a minute.

To help me cut the world map sheet where I wanted it, I made a frame out of scrap paper. The hole is the size of the finished cover, and the surround being the amount needed to fold around to the back. I chose an area on the map where hurricanes are prevalent.

37 Frame for Choosing Correct Area of Paper

The papers cut to size.

38 Papers Cut for Cover

I stuck the papers down onto the card using a glue stick, and then turned them over, cut off the corners, and stuck the folds over using double sided tape.

39 Covering the Cover Boards

The finished cover boards.

40 Cover Boards

I used the purple paper for the end papers. I stuck these inside the boards with double sided tape. I am pleased with this choice of paper because it really brings out the touches of purple on the pages.

41 End Papers Cut

The covers ready for binding.

42 End Papers on Covers

The beginning of the binding process, with the boards and pages marked and pierced ready for the waxed linen thread I used.

43 Marking for Binding

After this I forgot to photograph the binding process. This was my first attempt at a Coptic binding and it was great fun to do. The advantage of this binding is that the pages will fold absolutely flat as you open the book, making it ideal for art journals etc. You can also add as many pages/signatures as you like. Because there is no cover over the spine, the stitching is visible, and can be made very attractive. As it was my first attempt I decided to keep it simple, but there are all sorts of fancy variations you can do, to make a decorative stitched spine. There are plenty of images online.

I followed along with a brilliant Youtube tutorial and once I got into the swing of it, it was really easy.

After the binding was completed, I added the title on the front of the book, using my Uniball Signo white marker pen, and outlined the letters with a medium sepia archival pen.

44 Adding Text to Cover

Here is a view of the stitched spine of the Coptic binding.

45 Coptic Binding

The back of the book, with my blog details.

46 Back Cover with Text

To finish the cover, I added some shading under the title to make it stand out better, using my Derwent Graphitint in Warm Grey, and blended it with a fine wet brush. I went around the edges of both front and back covers with Black Soot Distress Ink, using a hand-made blending tool.

47 Adding Shading to Front Cover

48 Distressing the Edges of Back Cover

Here is the flip-through of the whole completed book.

01 Front Cover

02 Inside Front Cover

03 Page 1

04 Page 2

05 Page 3

06 Page 4

07 Page 5

08 Page 6

09 Page 7

10 Page 8

11 Page 9

12 Pages 10 & 11

13 Page 12

14 Page 13

15 Page 14

16 Page 15

17 Page 16

18 Page 17

19 Page 18

20 Page 19

21 Page 20

22 Inside Back Cover

23 Back Cover

24 Coptic Binding

As a recap on the thoughts behind this project, I am pasting in what I wrote at the end of the first part.

I have been thinking about “second wind” in the context of my own life. It’s funny how while its primary meaning is something destructive and terrifying, this expression usually means something quite positive when used in a metaphorical sense. Since my cancer, which necessitated the removal of my entire colon which was already diseased with ulcerative colitis, I have definitely come into my “second wind” in a positive sense, and am enjoying many activities I thought were lost to me, and many new ones besides. The negative aspect of my second wind struck me early this year when I had a blockage and was admitted to hospital for emergency surgery. The eye of the storm was the whole of 2016 when I was pretty well, and I thought that was the end of it, not realising that the second wind was just around the corner.

Cancer very often leaves a swathe of destruction in its path, both physical and emotional, and yes, there has been destruction in my case, but what remains has enabled me to rebuild my life from the ruins, and what I now have is very much better than what I had before. While I was going through the thick of it, somehow, at the centre, I always had my own personal “eye of the storm” where I had peace and joy, and remained positive. I hope my little album in some way depicts this journey, as well as illustrating the terrible beauty of one of the most destructive weather events on earth.

I hope you have enjoyed this little project. I am really keen to do more books in the future – in the meantime I have my Infusions mini-album to finish!


  1. Fantastic finished piece! I loved seeing the binding. I'm going to visit the video. I haven't tried that kind of binding before - it does look a little difficult! It certainly does look beautiful though. I didn't say on my last comment but I remember the hurricane. I was living there at the time. Mum and I woke up and spent half the night downstairs. My brother slept right through it. I remember going out in the morning and seeing the devastation.

    I loved the end part to your post. I'm so glad you're out the other side of that storm. Mum's cancer was certainly a wake-up call for me. Before that I had sort of taken for granted that she would always be around. She was always so lively and busy I didn't think of her being in her late seventies. It has certainly made me appreciate her more and the time I do get to spend with her. It made me realise just how swiftly life and circumstances can change and I took a look at my own life and made some changes.

    Have a great weekend!

  2. WOW Shoshi!! The finished project is just so wonderful and inspiring!I love how you made the cover and bound it all together - just fabulous! You've really inspired me...

  3. This is fabulous - it really tells a story! I love your binding - it's something I've been meaning to have a go at but never got round to, yours is very attractive although it looks a little tricky to do. Isn't Youtube amazing for tutorials - so much better than trying to follow written instructions - I shall definitely follow up your link, thank you for that. You've certainly had a few years of stormy weather but I'm glad you are through it now and back in calm waters - long may it last.
    Diana x

  4. This looks amazing Shoshi! I've never even attempted coptic binding - it just looks too much hassle to me, but I love the way it looks. I prefer bodging things, LOL - just no patience for the nitty gritty. You did a superb job of it - very neat and regular!


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