News from Looseleaf

The Christmas season was a blast here at Looseleaf.  Thank you so much to everyone who placed orders!  I had a ton of great phrases and quiz answers to create from, and enjoyed every sentence of it.

There’s a new presentation format available now:  a softcover handbound with a Japanese stab binding.  These booklets are 5″ by 7″, and are available on Looseleaf’s etsy site.  The covers are handmade, recycled paper and the inside pages are the same 100% cotton paper that I use for framed Looseleaf stories.

One of my New Year’s projects is to update the official Looseleaf site, and I want to include an FAQ.  Please let me know if you have any questions about Looseleaf or about ordering Looseleaf stories.  Thank you in advance for your help!

First Attempt at Japanese Four-Hole Binding, and a Book Review

Today I made my very first attempt at a Japanese four-hole stab binding, and it worked!  Okay, so it’s not rocket science – but it’s nice when something works on the first try!

This was still a very rough draft.  I want to clean up and tighten the lines of the stitches, and get a bigger awl (for punching those holes):  The one I have was quite a bit too small.  I improvised with a nail, which worked but resulted in the cover getting a little beat up.

Once I’m satisfied with the results, I’ll offer this binding over at Looseleaf Handcrafted Stories, using handmade paper for the covers.  I’m planning on adding some fancier stab bindings as I get more comfortable with them.  Meanwhile, I’m playing around with the text layout:  I’m thinking of using a portrait layout, with the bound edge at the top.

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The page you see beneath my “rough draft” in the photo above is from Erin Zamrzla’s At Home with Handmade Books: 28 Extraordinary Bookbinding Projects Made from Ordinary and Repurposed Materials.  Like pretty much everything Shambhala Publications puts out, this book is a joy just to hold and page through.  The photographs are beautiful:  They’re artistic but also let you clearly see the project pictured.  The text is clear and friendly, and the instructions for Japanese stab bindings are stellar.  Illustrations help break down the steps for these bindings, making them clear and accessible.

I love how imaginative Zamrzla’s projects are, and what a wide range of materials she includes.  My only complaint when it comes to my own personal use is that some of the projects are a little…Martha Stewart-esque.  I’m just never going to make a “my favorite cleaning recipes” book with a sponge for a cover. an unfolding flower note, or a sewing notions pincushion book.  Still, while many of her specific projects aren’t for me, they do inspire me to consider what crazy, creative types of books could be made out of repurposed materials.

The verdict?  I’m psyched to have this book.  I’m actively enjoying it, and it has a long-term home on my shelf.

And the Winner is…

Congratulations, Nydia!  I’ll email you the submission form for your five phrases.  So far, the Five Phrases Stories are my favorites to write, so I’m particularly excited to create this one :D

Thank you so much to everyone who entered for your feedback and for sharing your fave fairy tales!  There were a few I don’t know, and they’re definitely going on my reading list.

I hope everyone had a spectacular Halloween!


…to all who have found their way here from Mrs. B’s!  I’d like to invite you to scroll down to Thursday’s post, Halloween Hauntings and Giveaway, where I introduced myself as part of the Haunted Blog Tour and offered my own Halloween giveaway of a Looseleaf Handcrafted Five Phrases Story (you pick five phrases, I fit them into a one-page hand-bound story) set on Halloween.  I hope you’ll enter that giveaway too!

I started Looseleaf Handcrafted Stories just this fall,  because while I’m fascinated by the mainstream publishing industry, by what makes a book into the next Harry Potter or The Help, I would also like for there to be a lot more sense of community between writers and readers – much like there is with blogs.  I’ve always loved getting snail-mail letters and I thought, how cool would it be to send stories to real, live individuals instead of to publications.  If you like, you can check out some sample stories by clicking here (you’ll find them on the right sidebar), and I’m always open to suggestions for new types of stories!

And to those of you who’ve arrived from elsewhere in the ether, if you have any love for Halloween, you must check out the Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom 31 Days of Halloween for a month-long celebration including tons of treats!