Monday, 3 March 2014


Ottawa is known for the Rideau Canal, now a Heritage site.  In the summer it is boating, kayaking, canoeing and in the winter, its skating.  You can see the Chateau Laurier at the end of the canal and beyond that is the beautiful Ottawa river.  As Old Man Winter continues to pummel us with his cold weather, the skaters are enjoying a very long season of skating.  


The handwriting samples are slowly coming in and as they do I have been challenged to create new ways of binding them.  The challenge really is about binding a small number of pages.  I am having fun with it. 

Week 3 - A Book within a Book in a Bag 

This is a fun book to make; one I teach in my classes.  One of my students brought me this bag from a popular coffee shop.  I really like the graphics on the bag and there is one written word among all the printed letters.    

This is the modern day version of the portable girdle book.  It no longer hangs from the girdle, yet it can be carried wherever you go and is always ready to be read.  


Madeleine Rousseau, Ottawa, Ontario
Patty Dorion, Plainville, Connecticut 
James Owens, Cortaro, Arizona -
Marie Anzai, Ottawa, Ontario 
Kathryn Jetté, Ottawa, Ontario - 
Jinny Slyfield, Ottawa, Ontario -
Catina Noble, Ottawa, Ontario - 


This book was challenging because some of the hand written samples I received were on post cards.  I had to design the pages in such a way that the viewer could see both sides.  I laminated each sample and using silver thread, stitched them into the pages so they were suspended.  I mixed up the paper, using Strathmore water colour paper and St. Armand flax paper.  

I am a very curious person;  always wanting to know how things are made and how they work.  I took apart an old computer keyboard and found the most interesting things inside.  The cover of this book is one of the sheets of connectors which I cut in half and had laminated.  

I am still having a little love affair with this book.  It was such fun to make and I am very happy with the end result. 

Photographing this book was a challenge.  The white paper and glass topped table created very interesting reflections on the cover and the flash reflected back its light.  I found a black background helped reduce most of the glare.

This is the back side of the post card.  The handwritten side is the first thing to be seen when the book is opened up.  

This is the back side of the other post card and the hand written poem, which is relevant to picture, is on the other side.  


Sanzi, Baltimore, Maryland - 
Robin Tokmakian, Pacific Grove, California 
Paulette Roades, Sebring, Ohio 
Marcia Watt, Mountain, Georgia 
Irene Emig, Almonte, Ontario 
Roberta McRae, Ottawa, Ontario 
Barbara Maloutas, Los Angeles, California 


This book is horizontal rather than vertical.  The cover is hand decorated canvas and I lined it with beige decorative paper.  The binding is long stitch and I used enlarged photographs to back the handwritten samples. 

I mounted each sample on Strathmore water colour paper which is nice to work with, has a beautiful deckled edge and provides substantial pages for small books. 


Alice Vaughn, Albany, New York - Hudson River Bindery 
Clarissa Jakobsons, Aurora, Ohio 
Priscilla Hill, Black Mountain, North Carolina - Hand Made Paper by Priscilla 
Margaret Suchland - 
Kay Byrne, Dublin, Ireland 
Mary Brown, Santa Barbara, California 
Anne Lockwood, Hoboken, New Jersey


I would like to say a big THANK YOU to all of you who have contributed to my project.  Each letter has been a precious little gift.  I get very excited when I receive one in the mail, not knowing what little treasure I will find inside. I also appreciate your little notes and the e-mail communications we have once I have received the sample.  So once again THANK YOU.  

If you know of anyone who may be interested in participating in this project, please have them contact me at:  

Wishing you all a happy week.  

Mary :>)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mary, Someone told me I should send you a handwriting example. We are Americans living in Ukraine. I would be happy to do that if you give me an address. You can find me on Facebook as Coleen Franks Ukraine to get the right one.