Cover by Selina Fenech

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October 2010

October - Bards



  • Behind the Art:
    Bard of a Different Feather
  • Artist Spotlight:
    Interview with Bernice Gordon
  • EMG News:
    News for October
  • Wombat Droppings:
    Break Out the Colored Pencils
  • Ask an Artist:


  • Busking in Cyberland Part One: A Personal Retrospective
  • The Bard's Pocket-book
  • Bardic Instruments


  • Fiction: The Sad King
  • Fiction: Redemption

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  • The Bard's Pocket-book
    by Lisa Cree

    Every bard in bloom needs a place to keep his ideas, or to jot down a few sentences of prose when he sees something which inspires him! Well, here is a technique to make one yourself.

    If you'd like to follow me in this tutorial, I will show you how to make a little hardback pocket-sized book that you can take anywhere.

    You will need:

    10 Pieces of paper for the inside of the book. These should measure 13 x 9cm.

    Two 10x7cm pieces of cardboard

    1 "spine" 0.5 x 10cm also in cardboard.

    The cover -- either a piece of medium thickness material, or a piece of sturdy paper, like wallpaper or scrapbooking paper. 2 pieces of 11.5 x 8.5cm.

    The spine cover. A piece of material which will complement your cover material 4 x 16cm.

    The binding. A piece of sturdy material which you will sew your pages onto. The paper I used had cotton woven into it, so didn't break when sewn. 9 x 6cm.

    The inside cover. A piece of paper 9 x 16cm.

    Some strong (but quite thin) thread and a a large needle.

    PVA or wood glue.

    Take one of the 10x7 pieces of cardboard. Stick it to the wrong side of one of your cover pieces.

    Cut the four corners of the cover piece at a 45 degree angle to the cardboard. This prevents there from being any bulky material left over when you stick it.

    Glue the cover on the two longest sides and wrap them around the cardboard.

    Push the corners down with a knife, so that when you fold the bottom and top parts, they will nicely tuck in.

    As with the sides, glue the bottom and top covers to the cardboard.

    Do the same with the second piece of cardboard. Put these aside for the moment.

    Take the spine cover and glue the cardboard spine lengthways exactly into the middle. Draw yourself some guidelines if necessary as it is very important to get this right.

    Stick the two cardboard covers on either side of the spine. The space you leave between them and the spine depends on the thickness of the paper that you will be using to fill your book. The thicker the paper, the more space you need to leave.

    Now bring the spine cover back on itself and stick it to the middle of your cardboard cover. To ensure that you will end up with a smooth result, close and open the book while you are doing this and smooth out any buckles that appear.

    We've nearly finished the cover.

    To improve the flexibility of your book, and for a more professional finish, make a pleat next to the spine.

    Lie the book on it's back. Bring the two covers together a little over the spine so as to preserve the pleat. Now cover the lining with glue and stick it to the inside of your covers.

    Now take your 10 pieces of paper for the interior of the book and fold them in half one by one. Make sure that you do this accurately.

    Place these two by two one inside the other as demonstrated.

    Take a piece of scrap paper the same height as your folded papers and fold it in two. This will act as a pattern for the holes that you must punch.

    Fold your piece of scrap paper in half and then half again to measure four equal parts.

    Holding the scrap piece of paper as a guide, poke three even holes in the middle of your pages.

    At the end, each page should look like this.

    Take your binding and draw five equal lines in the middle. These lines will correspond to the position of your pages when sewed to the binding. Again, this depends on the thickness of your pages. Spread them out equally, but remember that from end to end your stitching should not be any wider than the distance between your two covers otherwise your book will not shut.

    Using your scrap guide, make three holes on each of these lines.

    Sew the pages two by two onto the binding making sure to keep the thread taught the whole time. As you can see from the diagram, we make a simple in-out pattern with the thread up and down the binding, taking the thread over the top of the page when we reach the final hole.

    I tied the ends of the thread with a simple square knot then glued the odd thread to the back of the binding.

    Glue the binding to the inside of the book, making sure that the pages are centered.

    There you have it, a little book. The blank pages are for you to fill!

    Lisa Cree

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