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Little books that fit in an envelope

>> Monday, March 12, 2012

PrariePeasant handmade book

As I was preparing for the current Bookbinding Etsy Street Team book swap, I realized that I never shared photos from the last swap, probably because it occurred just as I was getting ready to move to Nashville. Despite the delay, the book I received from Laura of PrariePeasent is just too beautiful not to share. 

The pages of this lotus fold book were made from an old illustrated children's book about a clever mother bird protecting her children. Laura used her own handmade paper, which includes little bits of daffodil petals, for the covers. I love the sweet illustrations of the little birds, and how the ribbon that wraps around the book is reminiscent of a bird's nest. 

PrariePeasant handmade book swap

Interestingly enough, the book that I sent off for the swap to Katie, a bookbinder and graphic designer from Indianapolis, was made using the same origami-like construction as the book I received from Laura. The theme for this swap was to send something that "fits in an envelope,"so perhaps we both thought that these little folded books would be a good option.

Vintage maps book

The little book I made for the swap was part of a series of books made from vintage maps.  About a year ago my husband picked up a 1966 Britannica Wold Atlas for free on a trip to Baltimore. There's a place called Book Thing of Baltimore that gives away used books. But there's one catch: you can only take 150,000 free books per day, per person.

The atlas was packed with outdated, quirky data colorfully displayed on dozens of political and topographical maps from around the world. I decided to repurpose the pages of the atlas into a series of sculptural books featuring the vibrant map imagery (find them in my shop here). The books unfold in a malleable array of pages to reveal a random assortment of maps and graphics. When closed, the folds return to an orderly stack. 

Vintage maps books


Kathryn McElroy March 15, 2012 at 1:44 PM  

I absolutely love my little accordion book from the swap! The colors and the maps are beautiful, and I loved the variety of locations you included.

Kimberly Jones March 16, 2012 at 7:25 PM  

What a lovely book! I use maps in my bookmaking too, and have a stack of old atlases that I bought at a used bookstore. What a fun swap idea!

Katie March 17, 2012 at 3:54 PM  

Thanks! I'm so glad to hear that you like the book I sent you in the swap! I'm looking forward to seeing all of the books that were sent out in this most recent swap on the BEST blog in the upcoming weeks.

And Kimberly, I love using maps in my work too. I'm always on the lookout for interesting maps and other items to incorporate into my books. One of my favorite map finds was a really old map of Minneapolis (where my husband and I lived for a short time after college) that I found in a Virginia thrift store. It was red, grey, and pink and had little handwritten notes from the previous owner in the margins.

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