20+ Uses for a 5 Year Book

I am a sucker for any kind of planner/diary. The Hobonichi is no exception. The Tomoe River paper alone is enough to make me swoon. It takes a variety of media without bleeding and when you use it the crinkles when you turn the pages just get me in the feels. 🙂 (I purchased an A6.)

Y’all they offer a 5 Year diary.

I know, right?

Although I am a bookbinder I have to say that I adore their planners and diaries. The paper and the Japanese asthetic are my jam. And so I caved and bought their 5 year book. So here are some ways that you can use a 5 year book.

  1. Daily drawing. Self explanatory.
  2. Weather every day. If you are a weather geek, this is your jam.
  3. Gratitude journal. We all need to practice an attitude of gratitude.
  4. Poem a Day. You can write your own or copy the masters.
  5. Thought of the day/saying of the day.
  6. Day summarized in 1 sentence. It’s fun to look back and see what’s happened.
  7. Kid diary (quotes, etc.). This is a wonderful way to chronicle kid life.
  8. Health/symptom log. If you have a chronic illness this is a great way to track symptoms, meds, etc. over the years.
  9. Scripture a day. You can memorize or just write them down.
  10. Food diary. If you struggle with food, a yearly food journal can help your long-term goals.
  11. Household diary/log. You can document repairs, maintenance and a host of other long term household related things.
  12. Dream journal. Writing down dreams can be very insightful.
  13. This day in history. Write the thing you feel is mot important each day.
  14. Plant/garden log to track you progress long term.
  15. Word of the day (especially second language)
  16. Pet log. Vet visits, behaviors, etc can help you better care for your furry friend.
  17. Work Diary.
  18. Personal log. Log things personal to you–exercise, tech time, etc.
  19. Workout log. Partition days to track distance, weight lifted (or lost) and anything else you need to know so you can monitor progress.
  20. Metal health/Mood.
  21. Habits of all kinds. If you are trying to kick a habit or starting a new one, this can help you with your long term tracking/goals

What do you use your 5 year book for?

10 podcasts for creatives that you don’t want to miss

I love podcasts (REALLY!) and listen often when doing other things. (I try to learn something new each time I am in my car on my day job.) Here are some of my go-to’s when I am in need of a podcast fix.

  1. Creative Pep Talk. A jolt of adrenaline for your creative endeavors. Part creative inspiration and part business building insight, one episode and you’ll be 100% jazzed.
  2. The Creative Empire. All about building a creative business.
  3. Art Marketing. Weekly Action tips to market your creative business.
  4. Bookbinding Now. Discussing all things bookbinding and artist books.
  5. TED Talks Art. You had me at TED talks. And art.
  6. The Purposeful Creative. Put feet to your creative aspirations.
  7. The Productivity Show. The guys at Asian Efficiency are full of ideas to make your life better in every way. I always learn something.
  8. The Goal Digger. Jenna Kutcher challenges and inspires us to reach our goals.
  9. Scrap Paper. Creative biz owners share their joys and struggles and help us all navigate entrepreneurship with humor and insight.
  10. How I Built This. NPR hosts this inspirational series of business moguls from all sectors and they detail how they built their business.

G is for… gilt

Ooooh adding gold or silver to your book makes even the simplest tome a treasure to hold. Gilding is the process of adding precious metals to leather or paper bindings. There are gilding supplies available for anyone interested in apprenticing or taking a class.

gilded and enamel covers

beautiful detail on a gilded prayer book from Etsy

Red cover with gold gilding from 1700’s France

Etsy sample of a handmade book with beautiful gilided Art Nouveau cover

Great tutorial of creating a gilt spine here.

A is for… adhesives

So the first letter in our book binding alphabet is for adhesives. There are many choices for sticky things to keep your book together.

  • Rice paste is easy and inexpensive to make at home. Recipe here or all over the Net.
  • wheat paste can be made from scratch but bugs like it so long-term it can be a problem. Recipe here or on the Web.
  • PVA–polyvinyl acetate, standard adhesive for bookbinders. Strong and long-lasting glue for porous materials like paper and wood. can be a bit pricey, depending on your source. Also it cannot be shipped in winter.
  • glue sticks–available everywhere
  • archival glues used for scrapbooking available ant any scrapbook supplier adequate for gluing down papers but not for hinges and corners such as boxes.
  • tapes come on tape guns and handheld applicators. They are quick and easy to use with little mess.
  • white glue like Elmer’s in not a good choice for most projects.

There’s a perfect adhesive for any job you have. If you decide to make a book that you want to last, it pays to do your due diligence and investigate the best adhesive for your project.

Questions? Did I leave an adhesive out? Leave a comment!

You can judge a book by its cover

The cover of a book, especially an antique, determines its value. A great volume with an intact spine and flyleaves is sought-after by collectors the world over.


When you make a book, keep in mind that the cover is not an afterthought. It is not simply a holder for the title or something to keep the pages inside from getting ruined. Yes it is all that too but it’s more.


It’s like the front door. It’s the readers first interaction with your work. It’s the thing they hold and manipulate to get to the “good stuff.” It’s the first stop on a journey through your work. Why not make it really count?


An article to enjoy is this one on an exhibit of the Morgan Library and Museum. A limited collection of their books spanning 1400 years displays the exquisite detail of the covers. You almost hate to open them up for fear the text won’t live up.


When you maker your next book I hope you will take the opportunity to make the cover a work unto itself.

What is Bristol?

My almost 11 yo daughter was flipping through the latest Dick Blick catalog, eyeing the tempera paints and charcoal pencils and gum erasers. When she got to the paper section she asked me question I had no answer for: what is Bristol paper? I have bought it many times for my text blocks when I wanted a toothy medium weight paper that was good for several different media, but wasn’t really sure what made it distinctive. Wikipedia had the answer:

Bristol board (also referred to as Bristol paper) is a heavyweight paper used for technical drawing, illustration, and other two-dimensional art forms. Its basic size is 22.5″ × 28.5″ (572 × 724 mm) and its bulk thickness is .006 inches (0.15 mm) or higher[1]. Bristol board is rated by the number of plies it contains.

The original bristol board was made in Bristol, England and was a pasted board made of paper containing rags.

Bristol board provides two working surfaces, front and back. This quality separates it from illustration board, which has only a front working surface. The surface texture can vary for different applications, including a smooth plate finish and a medium vellum. Artists working with friction-based media, such as crayon, chalks, or charcoal would use a rougher texture. Smooth finishes are generally more suited to other types of media, such as inks.

Bristol paper is also used for paperback book or catalog covers, file folders, tags, and tickets. Engravers or Wedding bristol paper may be used for formal engraved wedding invitations.

So now that you know you can choose the paper for your next project more carefully. Sometimes it really does matter what paper you use. Mixed media artists love the freedom of working with most anything but sometimes you need the right paper for the right job.

Some of my favorite art sites

Don’t you just love window shopping? I love to visit the sites of other artists and craftspeople. It’s inspiring, challenging and refreshing to my artistic sensibilities. Here are some places I like to go:

Oh my goodness I could go on and on. Feel free to leave a comment with your link or a link to an artist you enjoy.