vessels for recording a life

Sometimes it takes me a year to fill a journal, sometimes a month. My month in Split, Croatia, made my handwriting tinier and tinier and still made my last journal spill over a bit. Split stole my heart, expanded my lungs, and surrounded me with new a new kind of poetry.

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I already know this is a place I will return to, time and time again. Sometimes you simply feel at home. And sometimes you feel like you’ve found paradise. When the two coincide, it’s not half bad.

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I recorded my life from 9.3.2017 to 13.6.2019 on the pages of these books, with a varying intensity. The greater the urgency, the smaller the letters & more words, I guess. I had fooled myself to think there was still one more blank book waiting for me, but no, no more blank pages were to be found in my signature size and style, so I had to direct a different kind of urgency to binding myself a new stack of journals. Last night I glued the final endpaper and today I can start putting down words I had to hold back.

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If you’d like to have something similar, there’s still some notebooks with bunny endpapers available in my shop! If you’re into bigger blank pages, there’s a couple of larger ones, too! I also have a few new books in the works, so maybe soon I can share some gold+linen beauties with you. Still finding my bearings and balancing bookbinder life with inspired poet life, so do be patient with me my dears. I’ve missed you and I’m glad to say this quick hello after a long quiet period.

joy + joy + some more

Sometimes life simply refuses to go as expected. This week my book Koko meren laajuus won probably the biggest literature award a poetry book can win in this country (some awards are for novels only). The Kalevi Jäntti award has been handed out annually (since 1942!) to the best young authors - this year four authors were awarded and I’m so honoured to be in some amazingly talented company. I’ve never even dared to dream of achieving things like this even though I take writing very seriously, but all of a sudden all that hard work has been noticed and awarded and it’ll take me a little while to wrap my head around it. For the time being I just focus on being happy and extremely grateful to everyone who has ever supported me (in everything I do).

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This week has been a week of wrapping things up in many ways. I finished the last books for the holiday season - most likely I’ll focus on mixed media and artists’ book project for the rest of the month. Today is the last day for North American customers to place their holiday orders, European customers have until the 13th, Finns until the 18th, so take a look at the Paperiaarre shop and see if you could give someone something made by hand with lots and lots of love. Something like a notebook with vintage bunnies, perhaps? I made another lot in new colours after the first ones were almost sold out in a day.

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Now I’m off to think new papery poetry things to do.

Love,
K

lovely bunnies + office hours today

I was caught by surprise when three out of four of these bunny books were sold within 24 hours. Now there’s still one darling pink one left for one lucky customer! The adorable bunny endpapers are an edited reproduction of a vintage endpaper pattern I fell in love with. I hope to make some more of these bunny books in new colour combinations, but there’s still a few other things on my to-do list before I can get to those.

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Just a quick reminder today’s the day when you can ask me all sorts of questions about bookbinding - see my latest Instagram post and ask your questions in the comments section. Later I’ll put together a blog post with all the questions and aswers, so even people who don’t do social media can benefit and all the info is easily found in one blog post. Please see the roundup post of previously asked and answered questions - you may find your question already answered!

landscape

The past week has gone not like I planned. Canceled performances, meetings and trips, but also a lot of work I hadn’t expected to get done in weeks to come. I wish all colds were like this - a high fever followed by days of feeling not quite right but so bored out of your mind, you turn into a paper folding machine, and have stacks and stacks of books ready for the next steps. I had been so worried about not having enough books in my shop for the holiday season so quickly approaching, but after the last few days I’m confident I’ll get great things done in the following weeks. Taking most of the year off bookbinding - or at least neglecting it - in favour of poetry was something I needed to do, but now bookbinding can be my priority once again. I hope you’ve been patiently waiting for my return to this focus and will continue to support me, especially when you’re picking out presents this year…

This week I’m presenting you with some unique - as always - notebooks. These large landscape format books were made using the sewn boards binding technique, which results in covers that remain flexible despite their thickness. Here I’ve used board that’s a bit stiffer than the one I usually use for this technique, as the last thing you want with a landscape format notebook is covers that don’t provide enough support for writing or sketching in situations where there isn’t a table in front of you. The end product is still really nice and light to handle. If this piques your interest, you can find these two in the Paperiaarre shop.

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Apart from folding paper like one happy robot, I’ve been working on my entry for this month’s #areyoubookenough challenge. The theme is ‘Found’ and I’m focusing on some really common domestic items that seem to be going missing all the time. I have actually finished my triptych, but I’m letting the ideas for an enclosure take their time while I work on some bullet journals and watercolour/mixed media sketchbooks. The next steps on those involve a lot of cutting and elbow grease, so I think I need to give myself a few more days to recover before I grab my knife and plough, and work up a sweat. Yeah, bookbinding isn’t always simple and easy and light. Sometimes when you don’t have a lot of big equipment, you use what you’ve got - and I’ve got some sad, neglected muscles and some sharp blades.

See you next week when this thing should be no longer in pieces!

a small trio with print endpapers

As promised, more new books this week! I’m finishing up on some sewn boards bindings I started in the summer months and have been itching to see in the flesh ever since the idea of them came to me. The first lot is this trio of small notebooks with beautiful print endpapers. You can now find them in the shop.

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Picking matching endpapers and linen fabric is a particularly enjoyable part of the bookbinding process for me. Once I know what materials I’m using, I can already see the finished book in my mind’s eye. After that it’s just about recreating that vision with my hands, and I know what I need to do in order to make it happen. As soon as I have that vision, the book becomes an individual instead of simply a thing to tick off the to-do list.

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This month the #areyoubookenough bookbinding community challenge has the theme ‘Found’ and I’m actually struggling a bit. Found items and random collections play such a big part in my everyday life and in my own art, it’s difficult to choose where to start! I have picked some items that could form the core of my artists’ book, but just as well I could go down an entirely different path. Structures and practicalities are all still wholly undetermined, and while I do enjoy this moment where everything is in the air and there’s no rush, soon I’ll be running out of time like I always am. The end of the month will be dedicated to Helsinki Book Fair business as a poet, so I really should try and finish my project well on time this time around! Before it’s time to focus on ‘Found’, I’m going to finish some more books that have been waiting ever so patiently for my return from poetry.