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Live & Learn: Real Life Journals: Designing & Using Handmade Books (AARP)

The second in AARP’s Live & Learn series celebrates making and keeping journals.
A custom-made journal can enrich a person’s life, and this new entry in the Live & Learn series helps readers design journals that enhance the experiences they’re chronicling. The unique format features an envelope attached to the inside front cover that contains a small book called Choose Your Own Bookbinding Adventure so readers can select the perfect journal for their purpose. Imagine a reader wants a travel journal that is portable and has both lined pages and blank ones to paint on. The booklet directs him or her to the instructions in the main book that explain how to make that specific design. There are instructions and beautiful illustrations for 16 kinds of books and 10 cover styles. A removable foldout found on the inside back cover explains essential bookmaking basics. People who had personalized journals made for them by the author share their process and their pages, and beautiful photos and profiles of journal keepers inspire readers to make their own and start writing and drawing.

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2 comments to Live & Learn: Real Life Journals: Designing & Using Handmade Books (AARP)

  • Susan Bleiweiss "Sue b"

    a beautiful and invaluable journal making guide If you haven’t yet made the leap into making your own books and journals to write, sketch or doodle in then thisbook will serve as an invaluable guide to getting started. There is so much information packed into this latestbook by Gwen Diehn that no matter what your experience level with journaling or book making you’re sure tofind something to inspire you.This is not just a how to make a journal book. Using the central premise of designing your book from the inside out the author guides the reader through a series of questions about what the intended use of the book is going to be before it’s created. Questions such as what size book, will you use paints, pens or pencils on the pages, do you want it to lay flat, have removable or replaceable pages and others are used to help guide the reader through what Gwen calls the “design inventory”. This inventory is then translated into an appropriate book design for the binding and cover using the “choose your own bookbinding adventure booklet” found in a pocket on the inside front cover of the book. Once that decision is made you’ll turn to chapter 4 of the book where you’ll find illustrated directions on a variety of book binding styles such as pamphlets, spiral, piano hinge, longstitch, concertina, coptic and others. Chapter 5 of the book covers a range of book cover instructions such as flexible, hardcover, glued in cover, laced in covers and others.For those not familiar with the basic tools and skills needed for book binding the pull out bookbinding essentials foldout that comes in an envelope in the back cover of the book will be a handy tool to keep on their work table. This pull out guide covers the basics of cutting and folding paper, types of folds, covering boards, how to cut book board and sewing tips. Chapter 3 of the book goes into greater details on bookbinding tools, making headbands, page building techniques, pockets and cover options.The last chapter of this book includes profiles of some famous journal keepers such as da Vinci, Bluemer along side some contemporary artists of today. This chapter is rich with some beautiful images of journal pages insightinto some of the history of journal keeping.This is a beautifully done book and is sure to become an invaluable reference for anyone wanting to create theirown journals and books be it a simple flexible notebook to tuck in a back pack or travel bag to a hard cover bookfilled with watercolor paper for drawing on or a scrapbook to commemorate a special occasion or milestone.

  • D. Purser "Art13"

    Great Journaling book for all levels! I have other books by this author and when I found she was coming out with another book on Journaling, I was eager to get it. I was not dissapointed at all with the instructions where you can “interact” with creating your journal specific to your needs and wants. I journal quite a bit and have ventured out to make my own with a variety of pages to use with different mediums such as watercolor. I am however not a book maker and was not really interested in learning at this time complicated ways to make a art journal. What I do like about this book is that you can start out with very simple book making techniques making the journal the way you want. I like that. Looking at the other bookmaking techniques and the very clear instructions given that I will be trying out some of the other ways to make journals such as using a existing book cover with maybe a coptic stitch. It is like having a bunch of bookmaking classes wrapped up in this one book. I did enjoy the stories of folks in the book that shared there stories of what they journal and what kind of journal works for them. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in journaling and bookmaking!!!

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