Leather Pocket Journal

[Updated 2/18] There are currently 5 seats left.

I'll be teaching my first class at SFCB on March 18.

Registration is available through the Center: https://sfcb.org/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=2560


So very many wonderful boxes: We will make all the boxes

Made. Of. Awesome.

The Strahov Philosophical Library in Prague is the subject of the "world's largest indoor photograph" at 40 Gigapixels. How detailed is it? The photo is taken in the center of the room. Zoom to the vellum bound book by the door. You can see the grain of the skin. It looks like the history of binding is contained in this room.


Old Tool bagTime to retire an old friend. My trusty little red computer bag ($1.50 from Daiso) that I picked up when I had one bone folder and a snap knife has been getting a little overstuffed lately. With almost two years of acquiring new tools and toys, and it was time for a change.

Tools Unpacking, that's the ruler case, mull, brushes, triangles, punch, fabric scissors, needles, sandpaper, primary tool case, bone folders, burnisher, tape, screw punch, glue, and sewing kit (plus miscellaneous loose tools).

New tool bagMy new tool bag with 26 pockets and a shoulder strap. The open mouth will also hold additional materials beyond the "standard" set up, and I can pull the smaller containers to travel light.


I made only one resolution this year, and that was to finish some projects before I start on others. Happy to say, it's actually working. Currently completing some overdue gifts, so pictures later.

Ray Bradbury and Me

RIP Ray Bradbury, August 22, 1920 - June 5, 2010.

Funny how certain themes repeat through your life. I went to the Friends of the San Francisco Library Book Sale a few weeks ago (rather by accident, I was just heading for the Friend's shop down at Fort Mason). This was the last day of the big sale, so every book was $1.00. I'd gone with the idea of picking up a few paperbacks to recase into hardbacks with leather spines to practice my paring (and hopefully turn over easily at conventions).

I hit the jackpot and walked out with two complete LOTR trilogies, The Hobbit, and The Silmarillion. And The Martian Chronicles.

It was a Time trade paperback edition with an ugly cover and lovely interior layout. I could see the spine was incredibly unevenly glued, but I thought it might have been in signatures. Nope, just badly perfect bound. The cover shattered when I opened it (literally, it was some sort of strange plasticized paper). I've been disassembling it for a while now (I probably should have just chopped the glue off instead of trying to separate each page).

Bradbury's writing deals so strongly with memory, and I'm recalling the thread of his presence in my life getting my hands into this book and seeing flashes of text I still remember from first reading it years ago.

Reading the shorts in an anthology,Vintage Bradbury, as a young teen. Starting stage directing with Kaleidoscope as an undergraduate (the cover illustration from Vintage Bradbury was from that story). Modeling my short fiction on his, including the interconnected thread style of The Martian Chronicles that runs through the my psi soldier stories. Rereading and more deeply understanding Bradbury as an adult. Now getting ready to take this text block and do something I haven't learned yet with it.

The plan of attack is to make up some endpapers, consolidate the textblock and then whip stitch it. Once it's stable, I'll trim it as little as I can get away with to even it up and figure out an edge treatment (red's the natural choice, but that may be too obvious and literal). I'm leaning toward a one third leather cover with corners an perhaps some tooling. I'm making it up as I'm going.

Bradbury does that to me. Makes me learn new stuff and do the stuff I know better.

And live in the hope that inside me there's something as good as "There Will Come Soft Rains" that makes it out someday.

Thank you, Mr. Bradbury.

"It's too pretty to write in..."

This makes my teeth hurt.

Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy you like your book, but it's not meant to sit around untouched until it turns to dust (that's a few centuries with proper storage, but it's what will happen to any book over time).

Your book was made to be used. Use doesn't diminish it. Writing in your blank journal fulfills its reason for existing.

Please, write in you book early and often.