Fear No Art ~ A new Handbound Sketchbook

Tuesday, August 19, 2008 at 5:04 PM
Last October I found myself in Florence with my family on a month long vacation in Europe.  While in this most inspiring city I met up with fellow blogger and EDMer Robyn from Have Dogs Will Travel  I had asked her to take me to two places I most wanted to visit:  The old art store and La Farmacia.  After a nice lunch we headed to the art store only to find it closed for the day.  I was disappointed since it wouldn't re-open till Monday and we were leaving on Sunday!  Another time perhaps.

But to help with my disappointment, while on our way to the Farmacia St. Maria Novella, Robyn took me to a wonderful little shop where they sold hand tooled leather books and other lovely things.  She warned me that we were just going to look because everything was way too expensive.  But I fell in love with this beautiful leather sketchbook/journal which had the book seperate from the leather cover.  The clerk told me I could always order more inserts.  So I dished out many euros for it and have loved it ever since!
I am almost done with the insert which has paper that is not very good for sketching.  So today I made a new handbound sketchbook with nice Fabriano Artistico 90lb hot pressed paper, covered it with Canson pastel paper in bright orange-yellow and decorated it with an ATC on the cover.  I added a ribbon as a place holder and it's now ready for next month's adventure to a far away land..............

Leather book cover Open Leather book cover with insert
Leather Bookcover                                Sketchbook/Journal insert
Leather book cover and insert
Insert easily removed from bookcover
Handbound Sketchbook/Journal
My new handbound sketchbook/journal


  1. shirley Says:

    What a wonderful book! You will be able to enjoy it for many years as you make lots of inserts.

  2. or "Art, not Fear"
    I hope to make a foldable watercolor accordion tomorrow or the next day.

  3. Ai Says:

    This is so cool Marta. Could you please show us the basics of book binding sometime? Thanks.

  4. mARTa Says:

    Thanks everyone! Yes Shirley, I can see my selves lines with colorful (completed) sketchbooks!
    Knitting Painter Woman: my full wc sheet is out also and ready to be folded for a gift for a dear friend. Those are fun to do also.
    Ai; Go to Martha's TrumpetVines Travels where she has great bookbinding instructions. I also have books that I refer too. Maybe one day I'll do a youtube video of the whole process!

  5. Quilt Knit Says:

    Fantastic! Which bookbinding method did you use! Just have to know!

    Sherrie Roberts
    ((( Circle of Travel Hugs)))

    Hey! Check out those store dates..

  6. mARTa Says:

    Hi Sherrie, I used a coptic binding so my pages will lay flat when open.

  7. Quilt Knit Says:

    Thank-you! Marta. Love the La Senorita Pastel de Roja! I hope that is not to bad for my Highschool Spanish memory.

    ((( Circle of Hugs)))

    Sherrie Roberts

  8. I know what you mean about the attraction of handmade leather books. I live just south of Florence and the local town (citta di castello) had a medieval festival. All the residents dress up and make local food and drinks etc. Well I came upon a stall selling handmade books and just couldn't resist buying one. Now I need to fill it up.


  9. Sandy Says:

    Simply fabulous, inside and out! Can't wait to see what happens on the pages.

  10. Robyn Says:

    Dear Marta, Since I have been such a Bad Blogger recently I missed this lovely memory of our day together in Florence. I never return to Florence without 'seeing' you as I turn a familiar corner.

    Glad you still love that little book and very impressed with your refills. xoxo

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