Friday, April 20, 2012

Handmade Leather Journals and Jen Stones

A couple of weeks ago I took a leather journal workshop in Carmel Indiana with a few of my good calligraphy friends. (See earlier post.)

Last Saturday two friends came to my studio where we made another journal. This Saturday I am traveling to Nashville TN to take a long-awaited workshop with the fabulous calligrapher, Carl Rohrs - someone I've wanted to study with for many years, and next Saturday my friends are returning to my studio to make another leather bound journal. These art-filled Saturdays are beginning to be a nice habit!

Here are photos of the journals I made these past couple of weeks.

From the top:

This is an inner pocket page and the liner page in the rust colored journal, created from a yard sale suede skirt. The rust one was made to incorporate a seam in the skirt.

This photo shows the 'long stitch in slotted spine' detail of both journals. The blue one also has decorative leather pieces on the spine.

The blue journal I made in Carmel has a pencil slot. I deleted that from the newer one because the liner ripped a little around the slots.

While searching for these photos I ran across one of my favorite handmade books, created following an Annie Cicale workshop. It is made with watercolor paper, all hand painted and hand lettered with friendship quotes with a bit of collage on the cover. It was a favorite with judges at the Kentucky State Fair one year too - it won the blue ribbon!

Jen Grove was one of the friends who participated in both leather journal workshops. She came bearing gifts of her lovely painted glass stones, which I have dubbed "Jen Stones". Simply beautiful!

I will hopefully have some brush lettering from the Nashville workshop to post next week (and then maybe yet another leather journal.) I am scouring thrift shops for discarded leather garments! If you plan to clean out your closet and discard any leather or suede, please give me a call. : )


  1. I am drooling over those journals, a winning combo in my books, leather and watercolour paper! The stitching on the spine is so beautiful. Sounds like you are having a busy and fun time creating.

  2. I have just discovered your blog from Bren's--your journals are gorgeous!! I'm going to look around at your other posts now. Happy weekend

  3. Beautiful journals, Jan! (and I love Jen's Stones!!) I admire your dedication to put into action what you've learned.