In the first Make-A-Friend Swap, I made this book for my partner, Fabric
It could be carried like a purse, or it could be a regular journal without the purse-handle too. I drilled holes in the bookboards and put metal scrapbook screw-posts through (see the metal door lock plates? They're functioning as washers...and as tiny frames for international postage stamps, less importantly
). Then I attached a ready-made purse handle to the two posts (the purse handle was also received in a swap, incidentally). It's a little clumsy for getting the book open and closed, but not difficult, and it helps keep the book secure when traveling.
A small 3-ring binder base is drilled into the spine/base. The book really was made from scratch--I didn't just cover a binder (though that might have been a smarter choice, now that I'm thinking about it
The brown cover was an adhesive-backed faux suede I found at the hardware store. It's essentially shelf-liner, but it worked great.
made this a "large" was a quote on both covers of the book that I did in needlepoint. Here's the first part:
(The tiny steampunk bits at the bottom of this side were not entirely useless -- they camouflage the screwposts to make them look like they're part of the design
Here's the 2nd part, on the other side:
Here's what it says in its entirety:"Be wicked, be brave, be drunk, be reckless, be dissolute, be despotic, be an anarchist, be a suffragette, be anything you like -- but for pity's sake be it to the top of your bent...Live fully, live passionately, live disastrously. Let's live, you and I, as none have ever lived before." - Violet Trefusis, 1918
The purse-handle idea came after I'd finished the book, so unfortunately the needlework pieces are upside down when it is carried like a purse.
The art nouveau patterns came from old books found on the Antique Pattern Library
Here is the inside of it, with the screw-posts that make the book stay shut and hold a purse handle.
The first page is a sheet of scrapbook paper folded to become a carrying pouch for loose materials.
I also decorated a couple of Altoids tins to go with the book, but didn't get photos of those; one was extra small and I attached it to the book to hold the screwposts when they're not in use. The other was full of journaling prompts on little cards. Since the book structure had a 3-ring binder, I included different "refills" like a dream journal and a list-making set that helps bring awareness of the cycles of one's life. Those refill packets were found at a second-hand art supply store, along with the metal 3-ring binder piece, and I hole-punched blank and decorated pages as well.
In retrospect (it's been seven years!
), there are things I would have done differently, but I still like the idea/concept overall. It was scary to mount the needlework in between bookboards, and then turn those bookboards into a finished book, knowing that it all had to be right on the first try. Tearing things up to start over would have ruined the needlework (which took forever), and there were swap deadlines approaching, so it had to be whatever it was going to be. The fact that it turned out okay was a huge relief!