Rags to Riches is designed especially to share handmade books, journals and paper art. The objects on this blog are made totally of recycled materials or discared paper, and cardboard. Please feel free to comment on any of my postings. I would love to hear from you.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


In the article 'Around the traps' from the Library Staff Bulletin was the article about our Handmade books didplay with some photos from the open day. I have attached the article below: Click on the article to see the large image.

Books and more books

Saturday, April 18, 2009


If you love paper and working in a library you are in paper heaven. I didn't know how to make books when I started working in the library 4 years ago. Because I love using recycled materials and re-purposing stuff I was constantly thinking of ways to use all the envelopes, cardboard, and dust jackets. I started making handmade books in early 2008 with my dear friend Tricia. She generously gave a few of us a beginner's workshop in book binding. I was hooked like a poor fish! Not long after that, my colleagues (who were librarians) saw my handmade books and asked me to teach them book making. We started meeting one hour a week during the lunch break. The result from our meetings is now in the display cabinet at Monash University library until the end of April 2009.

This cute cat book is made from internal mail envelopes torn in half and stitched on to the covers. The yellow handmade paper I bought in Nepal many years ago. The cat picture came from a painting. I made this book as a gift for my daughter Kit. She loves cats.

This is my favorite envelope; it came from a Beijing rare book publishing company. The picture is printed on the outside of an envelope and it comes in A4 size and standard envelope size. This book is bound with Coptic stitch using twine.

Books for life.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Here are some more of my handmade books in the Display at Monash University Library at the moment. The Display will be on until the end of April. The Display is well received by the library staff and students. Today we rearranged it just to give it a fresher look. We had extra books stacked at the side supported by book ends. Today we brought them forward and swapped them around.

I found the front cover of this combo book from the YMCA sale in Canberra a few months ago. It must have been designed at a key plate. The plate has 2 holes for screws to hold it in place and a large rectangular hole for a key. For signatures I am using handmade papers, soft brown papers and papers from used envelopes. I have not finished it yet, I wanted to keep adding more signatures to it to see how it will end.

The Journal of a Quilter is designed to be a journal of my complete quilts. I have not entered anything in it yet. I can't seem to mix my two crafts together at the moment.

This red concertina book is a travel journal. It has pockets for brochures and memorabilia from my travels. The fabric came from an upholstery sample. I embroidered over it with hand dyed threads and added beads to give the lines a lift.

This brown concertina book is a travel journal. It has pockets for brochures and memorabilia from my travels. The fabric came from an upholstery sample. I embroidered over it with hand dyed threads and added beads to give the lines a lift. I used this book for teaching sample to my students. They have now made some of their own.

Practice make perfect

Saturday, April 4, 2009


I am a member of the Paper Makers of Victoria I am not a very active member and I don't make paper (not yet anyway). I have only been to their meetings a few times. I went today to take the brochure of the book display 'Rags to Riches' for them to publish in their next newsletter. They are very supportive of our display and a few said they would go and see the display.

Today the guest speaker was Amanda Degener the paper artist from the USA. She spoke to the group and showed the slides of her work. I was very impressed with her process. Amanda's paper is called CAVE PAPER. She had some paper with her for sale as well. I bought one called Walnut Red and another one called Green Crackle. They are beautiful and I don't know if I would be able to cut into them...! Amanda is such a nice lady. She is very friendly and down to earth. I asked if I could have a photo taken with her for my blog. She was very happy for me to do that.

I also took a whole bunch of dust jackets to share with the members of POV. They were very happy sifting through them and took want they wanted. I hope they will make something with them.