Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Tell-Tale Heart - and they lived happily ever after. The End.

All right folks, tell all your rich, American Lit loving friends. It's finally, totally, absolutely finished! It's destined for the Hotel Sask next week, but I'm putting it up on Etsy for the time being, so hurry and buy it right away!

I'm very ridiculously pleased with the cover. (This is a scan before I attached it so that you can see the whole thing). It's made of some nice thin recycled leather (bet this furniture scrap never anticipated its future life), embroidered with silk in the same shape as the inside title page, cut-out to exposed the binding, and then the front and back have plenty of raised designs under the leather to make it interesting.

I got the idea for the raised designs from this tutorial on Karleigh Jae's blog. I just took it a little further. I made it really really complicated with the amount of detail, the positive and negative shapes (some are embossed, some in relief), and then I put a few shapes on a second layer to top it all off.

This is the spine with open binding. Well, open binding is maybe not the right term, because I actually hid the binding. Originally I was going to have it exposed, which is why I made holes in the leather. However, I decided that the book was simply too small, it would be extremely crowded, and just a detail too much, so I hid it instead.

Another view of the cover. The 'E. A. Poe' was a bit of a last minute addition.

The inside pages. Looks great when they're all together!

The front and back endpages, in that terrific paper I found in blood-red that looks like it had veins running through it. Perfect! I really enjoyed doing these cut outs because I've gotten quite good at them, and because they are glued down I could add so much extra detail with some pieces floating unattached to the larger paper.

Another detail, and the one that caused me the most grief. I've been trying to find some nice, thin, black paper for a couple of months now, ever since I started, and nothing! Then I was at work (well, volunteering actually) at Ten Thousand Villages when I found a gift bag in black paper made of recycled silk. It was printed on, but there was enough blank spots in between to let me make a few little shapes and add them between the pages. Most of them are smaller than this one. It was really difficult to cut the paper and almost impossible to see what I was doing.

The binding I did with the same silk thread as the cover embroidery. In keeping with the feel of the entire book it's uneven and is in a different pattern in each signature.

The End.


  1. This is stunning! Awesome detail!

  2. Amazing work! Congratulations on finishing it!

  3. Wow. What a project!

    Thank you for creating such a lovely space : )

    I’d like to invite you to win a piece of my fine art through a giveaway on my blog.

    I wish you all my best.


  4. Jennifer, I've just sat here for ages, looking and looking at your photos, saying stuff like "Wow" and "Well, look at that..." and "amazing" and "love the raised and embossed detail on the cover" and "amazing endpapers" and "cool" and .... well I just think the whole project has turned out fabulous and wonderful! The cover is great, with its designs and embroidery with cut-outs, it's good to get those little peeks at the signatures underneath - suits the whole cut-out, quirkiness of the book.
    I have so enjoyed reading your posts over the last couple of months, with progress reports, problems, successes and detail of your work. The overall book is a triumph! It deserves to be displayed in an all-round glass case in a gallery, so people can see it and go "Wow look at that amazing book".
    If I was rich, I would buy it - for sure! Sadly, I don't have any rich book-collecting friends either, but should I meet anyone in the next couple of weeks, I know just where to send them!
    Well Done - I think it is really fabulous (and I really think you are rather clever!).

  5. Beautiful piece Jennifer, a wonderful artwork. Congrats on the hotel exposure, and hopefully it will get snapped up or translate into commissions for you!

  6. Wow, what a wonderful book. I love your typography and the incredibly detailed cutouts. Those endsheets are amazing.

  7. Truly a triumph. You must be so proud and pretty glad to be done, I'd guess! Congratuations!

  8. What a fantastic piece! I am inspired by it . . . and looking forward to looking at your other pieces! Did you hand letter/paint/create all of the pages? How long did it take from start to finish? I am new to this blog so maybe I'll find the answers in another post :)

    Thank you for posting this!

  9. Thank you! Yes, everything was by hand, and took almost two months, working almost everyday for anywhere from 1-4 hours, to finish.

  10. Your book is so beautiful! Is it going to the hotel permanently or is it in a show? I would have a really hard time letting it go.

  11. It didn't end up in the hotel unfortunately. They didn't have insurance to cover it, so it's just at home. I need to find somewhere to display it, though!