The most fun I ever had in a book binding workshop was several years ago. I had a really full schedule and could only participate in half of the workshop. We made raggedy little pamphlets lavishly collaged over with lots of little snippits of this and that and many other things, too. Books with a sense of humor and whimsy that didn't take themselves seriously. Not even a little bit.
"Little Swatches" was what Kelly Kilmer named them. I left several hours early with a couple of gallon zip lock bags full of stuff. I had to be at a ballet in two hours. I took the ziplocks along and glued in the car during the 20 minute intermission. Seriously. I did that. I made tons of these books, then tons more.
Kelly doesn't teach that workshop in person anymore, but she has just revised and updated it, is calling it "Swatches", and is offering it as an online class. It starts officially in April, but there's a discount if you sign up early.
I'm doing a bit of a spin on the original concept. My first book for Swatches revisited will have three signatures with paper torn from a variety of worn-out books. All of them library discards.
What you see above is deceiving. That neatly cut piece of file folder with the fancy cut strip of wallpaper down the middle, edged with pink masking tape and rounded corners is just for reinforcement. My cover will have to take a beating, and then some. Trust me. It won't look like this for long. And the signatures which appear to be the same neatly trimmed size--well, you can see only the outer folio. Inside is a hodge-podge of sizes and torn edges, ripped from the books that weren't really containing them to begin with. And you won't be seeing them much longer. Along with the cover, they are due to be transformed into a whimsical delight which you won't recognize from this pic, no matter how hard you squint. More fun to look at, and squee with delight! No serious sophistication here. Just pure pleasure!
Now I'm off to pierce the holes and stitch the little things into their cover. I'll be doing this with whimsy too, as someone walked off with my tried and true bookbinding awl. The real ones, the good ones are not easy to come by, so while I wait for a new one, I'm using the next best thing. The needle end of a compass I have in my stash of materials is extra long and less than a mm wide. Wish me luck with it. I think it will work. Ice picks, carpenter's awls (even the small ones), and bead reamers may all seem like they should work, but trust me, they won't. At least not happily and successfully.
So while I'm stitching the book, why not sign up for Swatches? It's so much more fun when lots of people play along. Time to put the serious stuff away for a bit and enjoy some pure fun!