BEST book swap

One of the things I was most excited about upon joining the Bookbinding Etsy Street Team was participating in book swaps. A few months before I set up my Etsy shop, I stumbled upon the BEST blog and saw photos of the books submitted for a previous swap. I couldn't wait for the next one to roll around so I could be a part of it.

Each book swap participant is assigned a member to send a book to, and then each one will receive a book from a different member. I was thrilled when my book arrived in the mail. Along with a handwritten note describing the materials and process used to make it, my package contained this burlap-covered sketchbook from Katya of minusplusminus.

The book is sewn on raised double cords with sewn endbands. The wooden covers are covered in burlap which has been embellished with embroidery. The text block is handmade paper which she made from a variety of recycled materials, such as flax fiber, beaten jeans and newspaper. I was especially delighted about the leather and metal clasp that keeps the book shut. What a clever idea!

Since receiving and admiring my new book, I took a closer look at Katya's work online and I am a huge fan. She is originally from Ukraine and is now in grad school in Indiana. (Since I'm from the Illinois, I always excited to hear about people living in the Midwest.) I love the tactile quality of so much of her work and the unexpected pops of color, like the rosy pages in my new book. I'm especially attracted to her "Dirt Book" and her "Long Secret Book." She uses a few binding styles that I've never tried before, which I now feel inspired to learn. Please be sure to check out more of her work.


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And while the burlap book was making its way to my mailbox from Indiana, I shipped this orange album off to Canada. The recipient of the book was Rhonda of myhandboundbooks. It's a Japanese stab bound book, covered with patterned paper and bookcloth and bound with matching ribbon. The album is the perfect size for 4x6 pictures with room left on the pages for captions. I've really been enjoying this bright, cheerful paper lately. It reminds me a little bit of sliced tropical fruit, which seems like the perfect summertime treat.