Category Archives: Bookmaking

Introducing Bird Fly Good

… the magazine.

My lovely readers –

For a few short months I’ve been writing primarily about Austin, food, my poodle, and being crafty. Bird Fly Good has been a fun avenue for expressing how much I love this great city and writing in general.

As previously mentioned in recent blog posts, I’ve started a small press and magazine called Bird Fly Good in which I hope to publish small runs of poetry. The inspiration behind the project is, again, Austin and making books.

Bird Fly Good will continue to exist in small press form and I encourage and ask you all to continue following and reading the new blog where I will be solely focused on writing about poetry and the small press realm.

I will eventually start another personal blog where I will document, report on, and obsess over things, much like what has happened here over the last few months.

Thanks, again. Bird Fly Good promises to continue loving you from elsewhere.

xo,

Jennifer

@birdflygood

&

birdflygood [dot] com

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Filed under Bookmaking, Poetry, Writing

Obsessed with Type and Jessica Hische’s Daily Drop Caps

I wish I was more artistic. More creative. I wish I had the ability to make stuff like my own clothes or household knick-knacks, or even the talent to paint a decent picture.

I use words instead. Words and paper.

According to 2010 New Year’s Resolution No. 1, I’m going to be making a fat collection of words on paper with the first issue of Bird Fly Good, a new journal of poetry with work from some of my favorite poets from Austin and elsewhere. I’ll be putting some of my snazzy new bookbinding skills to the test, and my dear friend and talented designer Katie Daly will be busting out the design for the cover. Continue reading

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Resolutions: Because Everyone Else Is Doing It

Where has my blogging life been? Nonexistent. I’ve been swamped with other duties including holiday dinners, transitioning to a somewhat-vegan diet, and figuring out what 2010 is going to be all about. I’ve also been trying to figure out how to stay warm. Texans aren’t used to such wind chills and 37 degree highs. I’ll be damned if I move to any cold weather climate and have to stay there.

I’d become a marshmallow. This is me on a wintery day in Austin with a snow flake, circa 2007:

Onto the resolutions:

In the past, I’ve simply made the resolutions, completely forgotten about them, and spent the month of December trying to remember what the old resolutions were before I attempt to set new ones for the following year. It’s a vicious cycle. Continue reading

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Bookmaking with The WonderCraft Part 3/3: Book Binding

Our final class in The WonderCraft bookmaking series was all about bookbinding and different spine stitches. We focused on the Japanese side stitch and coptic binding, which sounds really fancy because it’s really difficult at first.

The Japanese side stitch, also called “stab binding,” is very simple and can be modified to make really elaborate and intricate spine patterns. I’m not going to write out the instructions because diagrams are usually more helpful. Check out this wonderful wikibook for detailed instructions. All you need for this style of binding is a needle, thread, and something to punch holes with.

The Japanese side stitch is very sturdy, but prevents the book from opening too far. This makes it difficult to write or draw on the pages after the spine has already been stitched.

binding

bookbinding

Coptic binding was a lot more difficult because the stitching process was slightly more complex, but it gets easier with more practice and repetition. You have to sew on each signature, which is just each section of paper, individually to the covers. For coptic binding you just need your covers, paper, thread, a curved needle, and a 1/8” hole punch. Here is a remarkable tutorial on coptic binding, or the “single needle chain stitch.”

I really like this style of stitching because it allows the book to lay down flat, making it easier to write or draw on the pages.

coptic stitch

coptic binding

Sign up for the next round of bookmaking classes or learn about other wonderful classes offered by The WonderCraft.

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Texas Book Festival (10/31 and 11/1) – Bird Fly Good Recommends Panels, Exhibitors, and Music

I’m all about books these days, especially making them. But I also love reading them. I’m the kind of reader and book lover that falls head over heels for an author just because I’ve fallen in love with his or her writing.

Every year the Texas Book Festival brings hundreds of authors to the state capitol so that book lovers and book people can oogle and go ga-ga over some of their favorite authors. I’ll be at the festival as a volunteer at the Harry Ransom Center exhibitor booth. Stop by if you want to learn all about our current and future projects, or grab a snazzy Edgar Allan Poe button in honor of our current exhibition. Continue reading

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Bookmaking with The WonderCraft Part 2/3: The Flag Book

This week in Part 2 of The WonderCraft bookmaking series we made flag books. These gorgeous art books serve as wonderful centerpieces for a coffee table or an interesting wall hanging. I especially love making these books because it’s a great way to make use of old art cards or greeting cards. Continue reading

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Bookmaking with The WonderCraft Part 1/3: The Accordion

I think I’m lucky to live in such a crafty town. Austin is jam-packed with musicians, writers, designers, and artists of all trades. I’ve  been especially fascinated by the art of bookmaking ever since Scott Pierce of Effing Press, a local and private printing press downtown, came to one of my poetry classes to speak about small presses and short-run publishing. He emphasized that bookmaking is hard, especially when you only have two hands. But I’m still a big fan of the beauty and craftsmanship that comes with a handmade book or journal.

So in order to enhance my bookmaking skills, I enrolled in a three-part class hosted and taught by The WonderCraft, an Austin-based mobile craft studio that offers an extreme variety of classes and crafting parties. You can also find these ladies at events around Austin where they demo “make and take” projects like at the Austin HandmadeBeard Folks” event last weekend.

Accordion Book

Accordion Book

Continue reading

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