new bookage

I've been busy filling some more custom orders that have come in - including some going to stores all over. I've also got a few new leathers that I'm excited to try.

Here are two more new journals to add to my etsy shop:

I've also been experimenting with a few new types of closures. While I love the leather ties, I thought I'd try my hand at something different for a change. I really like this one, with an elastic cord and button closure - and I think it's fast becoming a favorite. It makes the book very easy to open without fumbling for a leather tie, which makes it great for those on the go!

a 'lilliput' book

Well...not entirely a "mini" book, but mini compared to what I'm used to making, and definitely mini compared to the wedding album I made (shown in last post).

Last night I was going through some of my leather pieces and noticed that some were large enough to make mini journals. So I made one out of a lovely piece of that nutmeg oilskin cowhide that is my favourite. Its approx. 4"x3.75x0.75". It's adorable! Despite it's small size, it still boasts 240 unlined pages, if you count both sides of the page. I used hemp cord this time to stitch the binding, just to see what it would look like - it's actually very nice and sturdy, and I will definitely be using it again in my it a nice organic look. I've listed it on my esty shop.

I think I may make two of these mini books for myself -- one to keep in my purse, and another for the glove compartment of our car when I need to jot down my business-related mileage for income tax purposes. They can come in very handy! And they're CUTE! :D

another custom order

Things have been hoppin' here at La Paperie & Cozy bindery. I'm mailing out about six custom journals tomorrow to customers across the globe. It's hard to keep my own little shop filled with journals as they are quickly being diminished.

I recently finished a book for a customer in the US who wanted a wedding guestbook, which they'll also be using as a scrapbook. It was the first "bigger" book that I've made. Wow, it was a lot of work as the pages are heavier, and the size and weight makes it a bit awkward when stitching the binding. But it turned out really nice! I also like the tie being on the side, for a change - it gives it a more 'formal' look and also adds more support to the larger pages. It's going out tomorrow in the mail. I hope they'll like it!

Dimensions: 8"x8"x1.5"
50 lb. drawing paper handtorn, 320 pages
beautiful tan oilskin cowhide

I've also been busy helping a dear friend set up an etsy shop of her own. She makes lovely handmade jewelry. I just finished the banner and icon for her, and listed some of her work today (she currently doesn't have a computer). Please feel free to visit her shop and 'heart' her if you have an account on etsy: Effie's Creations. She currently works a break-neck schedule as a nurses aid, and we're hoping that she can cut down on her hours there, if her jewelry sells relatively well online. Her health isn't the greatest either, so it would really help her out if she could bring in a bit of income from Etsy. Please spread the word for her!

Book Swap goodness!

kiley2.jpgkiley1.jpgI'm happy to announce that, as a participant of my first B.E.S.T. Book Swap, I was the fortunate recipient of KupoKiley's lovely little book made of vibrant green clover paper. It's vegan friendly (no glue, wax, or any other animal product) and the binding is a unique running chain stitch, embellished with pretty beads. I love it - thanks Kiley!

My contribution to the book swap was sent all the way to Ali of Jellygnite in Australia. I hope she enjoys it as much as I had fun making it! :)

7 random/weird facts

I was tagged by Jennifer at Jeng Shop to share 7 random/weird facts about myself. Here we go:

1. The effervescent smell of spit in the air after someone sneezes makes me want to hurl.
2. I refuse to walk barefoot on floors, no matter how clean they are, as I hate the idea of getting anything on my feet.
3. I don’t like chocolate.
4. I could dissect a corpse without cringing, and yet I cannot bear to watch a needle going into flesh.
5. I require Vicks Vapo-Rub placed on my lips and also in my nostrils, at night, to attain an advanced echelon of sleep.
6. I loathe talking on the phone - if it rings I will let someone else get it or let it go to voicemail.
7. I correct other people’s grammar in their emails before replying to them. (Only for my peace of mind.)

I won't tag anyone, but feel free to join in the fun! :)

Interview -- Jengs Shop

Name: Jennifer Eng
Shop Name: Jengs Shop

We would love to know a bit more about the woman behind "Jengs Shop" (name, age, background, etc.):
Hello! My name in Jennifer and I'm proud to say that I just turned 30 (I hear that 30's is suppose to be an amazing time in one's life). I'm a native New Yorker with a Chinese background and lived in Queens my entire life. I attended Parsons School of Design for 3 years studying Illustration, got scared of the idea of not being able to find a job (the stereotype of an "artist") What did I know? I transferred out and studied something extremely practical, Computer Science at CUNY Queens College, which consisted of learning computer languages, doing lots of math and physics. Eew right? Completely the opposite, I know! I actually didn't enjoy it at all; but I couldn't disappoint my parents and I knew I had to finish no matter what. So, I graduated with a computer science degree and now I'm back to doing art. The only amazing thing that turned out from that time of my life was the fact that I meet my boyfriend of 5 years there, same school, same major.

Tell us a bit about your business and how you got started:
Jengs Shop is basically my design studio for simple and fun paper goods. I try to incorporate the things that I love and the things I find beautiful with useful everyday items like a plain notebook or just a white piece of paper. To tell you the truth, I don't know how it all got started. I've been working with my hands, drawing, taking photographs and doing all sorts of crafts for as long as I can remember, from sewing, knitting, soap and candle making, bookbinding, photography and I even dabbled in some carpentry for a bit. After all that, I guess I found Etsy. All I knew was that I wanted something of my own. A business? A brand? I didn't really know what or how. I just wanted something I was able put ALL of myself into.

How long have you been doing your craft?
Bookbinding – I started 8 years ago
Photography – High School
Incorporating the two (my notebooks & cards) – Less than a year

Apart from art, what are your other interests?
I enjoy period films. Eating onion rings. Mmm! Honestly, I'm a very simple and easy going gal. Besides spending time with my family, my man and really close friends, all my other time is put into Jengs Shop. Sort of boring eh? I've just been consistently working and saving money for a house.

What inspires you?
Pretty much everything in nature; shapes, patterns and color. Whatever fancies me at the moment I guess. Definitely carefree drawing.

Is there a certain piece of yours that is your favourite, or epitomizes everything you love about what you do?
I actually don't have a specific favorite. I've come to love everything that I've created and produced. I believe that putting your true self in everything, heart and soul, is all that matters.

What handmade possession do you most cherish?
I have these two aluminum figurines that I made in 6th grade shop class, one's a ballerina and the other is an old fashioned car. It was the first time I worked with an unfamiliar material (never worked with metals) and of course tools.

Name your top 5 books, movies, songs/musical groups, and websites:
Books: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky, The Trial by Kafka, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See, Camille by Alexandre Dumas
Movies: Pride and Prejudice (BBC mini series), Back to the Future 1 2 & 3, Amadeus
Music: Changes with the seasons but right now it's Tom Petty, Chopin (Piano Sonatas), Love Saves the Day, All American Rejects (pretty much anything in that emo punk rock genre – it just reminds me of highschool), and anything from the 50's, 60's and 80's.
Websites: Etsy (of course), Google, flickR, book by its cover, print and pattern

Name some Etsy shops that are your personal favourites:

Thanks for letting us feature your great work, Jennifer! :)

lovely lines!

The lines are here! I've made a journal with 400 lovely lined pages. It's got a Jane Austen quote from Pride & Prejudice on the front page, and the rest of its pages are bright white with bearly-there faint blue lines to aid in your writing. It's always much easier to write with lines! I'm going to be making more of stay tuned.

I've just listed it on my etsy's the last of that lovely terra cotta antique goatskin that I've been saving.

It looks pink in some of the photos but it's not - it's a gorgeous antiqued terra cotta shade. In fact, I was tempted to keep this one myself, seeing it's the last piece of this leather that I have! So it's very special. Here's a close up look, where the colour is more accurately depicted:


And I just finished this one this afternoon, which I'll be listing tomorrow. The cover is a gorgeous antique deep cherry red cowhide - one of my favorite leathers so far. The first page of the journal has a portrait of William Shakespeare captioned with an excerpt of one of his most loved sonnets - Sonnet #116:

"Love is not love which alters
when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests
and is never shaken"

line, line, line everywhere a line...

Understandably I've gotten many request for lined pages in my journals, and so I'm working on a way of making this come about. More on this later!

Still busy filling new custom orders. Just got another one yesterday - a dozen books, wholesale for another store. Wow! It's going well. :)


Wow, I've been featured at Tha Hotness! Get thee to her fab site at:

happy DayAfterLeapYear Day!

Well that's what it is, isn't it? :) Time is marching on. I'm encapsuled in an electric blanket with three purring cats this morning, coddling a sore throat. They're calling for 10-15 centimeters of snow, and it's already started. I love the snow, but I don't like the rain they're calling for after the snow. What a mess. The temps have been yo-yo'ing like this all winter. It's enough to drive one mad. It's the perfect kind of day to stay inside and make books, and sort through my BBC period-drama collection!

It's been a mad house around here. I've been inundated with custom journal orders lately...twelve to be exact! I'm certainly not complaining - it's a good thing, and I always have fun making that one-of-a-kind book for someone. I just find it odd that they almost always all come at the same time. hehe! Never ceases to amaze me!

I'm also preparing a few more journals to be sent away to be sold at a lovely little online boutique: La Vie En Rose Boutique. The owner is a lovely person...I'm really looking forward to working with her.

I've started to use some heavy-duty brown oilskin...I really like it's thickness (very durable) and it's weathered look. This one's blank for someone who prefers a journal with no quote page. It's available at my etsy shop.

Last week I also made some new soaps...another batch of my best seller, Lavender & Oatmeal, but also a new scent combination: Lime & Ginger (which is now my favourite!) as well Citrus with Lemon Peel for extra exfoliation. Really nice bars. After a lot of trial and error, I've finally settled on one recipe that I will be using for ALL of my soaps. I just LOVE it - it's so creamy, rich and moisturizing, and the lather is just right!