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Archive for May 2013

LinedJournal01.jpgMy most recent event was the making of two A6-sized lined journals with a slight difference. The difference is that each page had a translation in Japanese and English of a bunch of random words. The words came in two or three categories. First, such words as most learners of English will come across in their studies such as 'food' and 'study'. Second, confusing words the learner of English will probably see sooner or later such as 'book' which means both 'something people used to read in the 21st century' and 'make a reservation.' Third, fun words such as 'bamboozle' and 'booze.'

LinedJournal04.jpgThere are eleven signatures of four sheets each which translates into about 176 pages (both sides, of course. I've decided to count pages like normal people do.) They are A6 in size (41/4" by about 6" for my American friends). The procedure was as follows:

First, think of the words, write them down, and get them translated. As much as possible, I tried to pair words together that reflected something that both words shared: pronunciation in either Japanese or English, meaning, or rhymes. For example, "I" in English is a homophone for "eye". And 愛 (pronounced 'I') means 'love' in Japanese. So 'I,' ' 愛,' 'eye,' and 目 (pronounced 'may') are clustered together. 目 means 'eye' in Japanese

LinedJournal02.jpgSecond, put everything: lines, words, logo on a new file in InDesign and spend a few seemingly hundred hours tweaking it. Third, hope your printer can print out all the pages without eating a few in the process. Fortunately for me, this time, my happy Epson printer was mostly up to the job.

After printing out two copies of the book, I folded, sewed, and glued the spine, mull, and spine reinforcing paper. I then put the two naked, lined, wordy journals on the ever-growing pile on my desk of unfinished books. This gives me five books I must case in in the next week or so.

Most of the time was spent on getting the words and translations. However, the Binder.jpgsecond most time-consuming process was printing. Being careful to print the right pages in the right order; being sure the printer didn't skip a page; making sure it had ink. Fortunately for me, I use a program called Cheap Impostor that does the imposition but between the preferences for Cheap Impostor and the Epson, sometimes I manage to print things out of order. Sometimes? Often. I'm practicing, though, so someday I hope to be as smart as my machines.

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Episode 106: Islamic Notebooks

Islamic4.jpgHere's the thing: Islamic bindings have a flap that folds over the front of the book. In the right hands, they are exquisitely decorated. The flap serves at least two functions. First, it protects the fore edge of the book. Second, it can serve as a bookmark as your plow through the content, if any.

I made these two lined notebooks simultaneously for two reasons. First, if you're going to print out a bunch of pages for a notebook, you might as well do a couple. Second, the first book is a learning experience while the second book benefits from mistakes and insights of the first book.

Islamic3.jpgThe process for these books was:

1) Print out 40 sheets of lined and numbered pages, then fold them. Each book got 20 pages, for 80 numbered pages total. I printed them on a Epson printer, not a hand printer like Gutenberg did.

2) Fold, sew, and attach the mull and extra strip of paper to the spine.

3) Measure and cut the book boards which, in this case was thick construction paper.

Islamic2.jpg4) Measure and cut the book cloth. The cloth I chose has been hanging around my desk begging to be used for at least five years. It is slightly Arabic-looking if you don't know anything about Arabic writing. Upon closer research, it looks closer to Tamil. If anyone knows what it really is, let me know.

5) Measure and cut the endpapers. There are normally two endpapers per book but because this book has that extra flap, there are four endpapers~ two for the text block and two for that extra flap.

6) Glue everything together.

7) Sew the snaps to the front cover and the extra flap. The snaps keep the book closed.

From start (printing) to finish (sewing the snaps) probably took me 2.5 ~ 3 hours.

Islamic1.jpgThese notebooks are pocket-sized A6, 80 numbered pages, five signatures of four sheets each, with a snap to keep it closed. If I were to do it again, and I'm think I will only in a larger size, I will sew the snaps before gluing the endpapers in to hide the sewing.

And, for no particular reason, on the front page is a picture of Claire Clairmont, the  lover of Lord Byron and maybe the lover of Percy Shelly, too, while he was married to Mary Shelly, author of Frankenstein. Plus, she gave birth to Byron's daughter, Allegra, not Ada who went on to invent computer programming. On the back page is a picture of Kanazawa's main train station. Again, just because I could.

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