One of our regular readers and commenters, Anne Cranky Cat Lady, makes journals by hand and she has kindly shared her latest project with us. Every journal is unique and Anne has chosen a lively and interesting range of papers so that each one is sure to please its recipient. Thanks for sharing, Anne. Your work is inspiring and I’m sure that everyone on your list will be thrilled to receive such a beautiful gift. I’ll let Anne introduce them.

This year’s crop of gift journals are finshed. Done, done, cleaned up after, done! 

All but three which I made a few years ago were put together either last Friday or today. So you can see that they’re pretty quick. They’re made with Books by Hand kits or refill sets of boards and page blocks, assorted papers and ribbons, and, of course, lots of glue. The dimensions are small 4×4″, medium 5×7″, and large 4×8¼”.
The wood-grain one is going to Paul for our anniversary, the rest will be Christmas gifts or get stashed for later giving.


Small journal, open to show accordion page structure, ©Anne, Cranky Cat Lady, all rights reserved


Group 1 Small and Medium, ©Anne, Cranky Cat Lady, all rights reserved

Group 2 Medium and Large, ©Anne, Cranky Cat Lady, all rights reserved


  1. kestrel says

    Hey, that’s pretty cool! Do you cut the one side of the accordion to give more pages? Those are beautiful and must make a most wonderful gift.

    I used to work for a phone directories company, way back in the day. You know all those little pictures in the yellow pages? I used to draw them… nowadays they use clip art. We did have it back then but it was very limited, and it seems everyone who has a business wants a drawing of their truck in their ad. I drew a *lot* of trucks. Also, quite interesting: the pages were folded in **FOUR**! Those were bound to make 8 pages, and they would bind together particular groups for a given book. That was called a signature and it was always a multiple of 8. Gosh, this has brought back memories! Thank you!

  2. says

    Thank you!

    Kestrel, if you cut the accordion pages the whole thing falls apart, so no. There are other kinds of bindings that are better for many pages -- stab-bound and traditional signatures.

  3. rq says

    These are beautiful. I love their individuality and personality. Lovely work, Anne!!
    And thank you for sharing your story, kestrel. How things have changed!

  4. says

    They are lovely, Anne.
    One of the fun things of being a writer here is that I get to see many pictures before they are posted and then I get to speculate…

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