Thank you, Martha :)

Good news! I received notification that my large 'Book of Memories' wedding guestbook will be in the Spring issue of Martha Stewart Weddings magazine - out on Feb. 28th! I'm so excited to see it! :)

At 9" high and 12" wide, the Book of Memories is the largest book that I make. There are 264 handtorn pages (front & back) of off-white 50lb. drawing paper. The binding is hand-stitched, as all my books are, in a medieval style binding - it's very sturdy and allows the book to open flat. As for the leather, while I generally make my journals in earth tones, which I feel best expresses the 'tone' of my work, the guestbook that was requested for the wedding featured in the magazine was in black pebble-grain. This was to match the colour scheme of the wedding.

I've never read one of Martha's wedding magazines before, but I will be sent a copy that my guestbook is featured in. I'm really looking forward to seeing it!

Someone suggested I start working on a bunch of the guestbooks, due to the fact that demand will definitely rise once this magazine hits the stands. (Seeing as I don't have another one yet in stock, I guess I better get crackin'!)

new quote edition journals

I'm afraid I've been a bit remiss in posting lately. My apologies! Health problems and other important duties have prevented any updates of late. In the meantime, I've been busy binding. I've also added a few new quote journals to inspire...

One of my new quote journals features an excerpt from a favourite Wordsworth poem, Tintern Abbey (1798) coupled with a print of one of my original photographs of a sunset taken here on the Atlantic coast of beautiful in Nova Scotia, Canada. Perfect for the nature lover!

And I have felt a presence that disturbs me 
With the joy of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air...

- excerpt from Tintern Abbey (1798), William Wordsworth

I've also resurrected an old favourite - an excerpt from Alfred Lord Tennyson's The Lady of Shalott (1833), featuring a print of John Williams Waterhouse's Lady of Shalott painted in 1888.

And down the river's dim expanse
Like some bold seer in a trance,
Seeing all his own mischance --
With a glassy countenance
Did she look to Camelot.
And at the closing of the day
She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,
The Lady of Shalott. 

Lying, robed in snowy white
That loosely flew to left and right --
The leaves upon her falling light --
Thro' the noises of the night,
She floated down to Camelot:
And as the boat-head wound along
The willowy hills and fields among,
They heard her singing her last song,
The Lady of Shalott

- excerpt from The Lady of Shalott, Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

My Friend's "100th Post Giveaway"

My good friend Arlene over at My Casa Bella is hosting a giveaway to celebrate her 100th blog post.

Enter the giveaway here on her blog!

Autumn Challenge Winner! :)

Thanks to all of you who participated and voted, my handbound journal won the Autumn Memories Challenge hosted by the Trans-Canada Etsy Team! YAY! You can see all of the lovely entries here.

The Trans-Canada Etsy Team envisions an online, global market where Canadian artisans are successful, respected, and competitive. Their aim to support each other by establishing professional relationships, sharing knowledge and participating in collective marketing opportunities. Visit the TransCanada Etsy shop for unique handcrafted items.

Autumn Memories Challenge

Fall is in the air! And the TransCanada Etsy Team members have created special items to reflect the challenge theme: "Autumn Memories."

My entry is the Autumn Memories leather handbound journal, which is freehand-engraved with an oak leaf, using a burning tool. The journal currently for sale in my Etsy shop. Stop by the TransCanada Etsy Team Blog and cast a vote for me, if you think it's the best out of the bunch.

A special place to squirrel away all your autumn memories! Autumn is my favourite time of year and of course it deserved its own journal. The leather is a beautiful antiqued buttery tan, with a wrap around flap. I've hand-engraved an oak leaf with a burning too, on the cover. A brown cord wraps around the journal, keeping the book securely closed.

This journal measures approx. 5½" x 4¼" and 1½" thick.

It boasts 320-pages (both sides) of good quality white unlined 28 lb./105 gsm writing paper with handtorn edges - it's acid free, archival, and 3rd party certified to the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council (high quality paper with a conscience!). The journal opens flat so you can write all the way into the margins. The page sections have been hand-stitched to the leather cover with beeswaxed Irish linen thread, which is visible on the spine - it's a very sturdy and attractive binding.

Come and vote for your favourite item. (Voting will continue for one week, closing on Oct 7th.)


I always love it when customers write to let me know about their reactions to their journals, when they arrive, and what they are going to be using their books for. It is a real treat! I love what I do, and being able to share "handbound love" with others, and see the joy it brings, really makes my day.

One of my customers, Rosina, was kind enough to write about  my books on her lovely blog Rosy~Posy.

The entry is here:

new journals

For the shop....

Some new custom books for my clients....


I've just finished designing my new "link to" banner for my Etsy shop. (And oui, my favorite artist is Rene Magritte, besides M.C. Escher, if you haven't already guessed. heh!)

So if you would like to link to my shop, please use this image. Do not link directly to it, but save it to your own computer. Thanks so much! :)

I will be putting it permanently on my sidebar --->

new quotes

I've been busy adding a few new journals to my literary quote series.

I apologize for the blurriness of some of this pics. If you click on them you can see a larger more clearer version. Here are a few more 'quoted journals' that I've added to my shop...

Noticing that I didn't have any travel-related quote journals, I thought I would add two new quotes - and personal favourites of mine - that would inspire the traveler in us all.

Martha, Martha, Martha!

All of my custom orders are special to me.

But I have to admit that I was especially excited when I recently received a custom order from none other than the Martha Stewart Wedding Magazine in New York! *gasp!*

They ordered one of my 9"x12" Book of Memories in black leather. It shipped today.

The editorial coordinator (the one who I'm in contact with) said the article will most likely run some time next year. She will keep me posted and will be sending me a magazine when it comes out! How thrilling!

front page

I'm sorry I've been a bit remiss with my posting lately. It's been rather hectic so it's difficult to keep on top of 'virtual' things when I'm busy with the tangible. I can't complain though. I must say I enjoy 'busy'.

And a little hooray today, as my handbound William Blake leather journal with mother-of-pearl shell closure made it to the first page of Etsy this afternoon. I was with good company, as it was a lovely collection. :) I especially *heart* those eco-chic ballet flats!


My friend Tasi is featuring a giveaway at her lovely shop, TasiFashion.
To enter it go to What's Up Paper Cup! Giveaway ends April 30th.

I *heart* Craft Cult

Sometimes it's difficult to keep up with Etsy features. For do you know if you've been featured in Etsy's Storque or a gift guide, or if you even made it to the front page. If you're not on Etsy 24/7, it is easy to miss.

That's why I'm loving Craft's truly brilliant and such a helpful tool for us sellers on Etsy. Simply plug in your shop name and it tracks your hearts, and any time you are featured, amongst other things.

For instance, my scarlet deer suede "Shakespeare in Love" journal was recently featured in the Storque. I missed it, of course. But upon searching Craft Cult, there it was!

Use'll LOVE it!

"What greater gift than the love of a cat." -Charles Dickens.

Those of you who know me well, know all too well that I'm always eager to discuss the colourful antics and personalities of my three indoor cats: Libby, Bebe, and Pookey. And when I read the recent post over at the rik rak studio, all about our feline friends, I was more than happy to contribute a blog post about my girls.

Without further ado, let me introduce you to my "little helpers"...

I’m Libby, a spayed female tortoise-shell/tabby mix (what they call "torbie"). I’m smarter than you. And your brother. I kill plants, and my paws smell like popcorn. I’m a street-wise world traveler extraordinaire. I’m small for my age, but I’ve been told that good things come in small packages, and I am of the same opinion. I’ve lived in Calgary, Alberta (where Mom adopted me at the SPCA in March 2001 when I was a year old) and The Netherlands (that crazy little country in Europe), and now I’m in Nova Scotia…fickle humans! I understand Dutch, especially the food-related words. I make my humans call me for supper via a very quaint Dutch nursery rhyme for cats. I can carry a conversation if I have to, but I prefer to chirp like a deranged pigeon to amuse my humans. Besides plotting to take over the world, and grooming myself meticulously, I like slapping Baby around, curling up into my “kitty lotus” position for a good nap, and hunting bugs. I love sleeping under the covers with my humans at night, and can even weather “Dutch ovens” with grace. I need to be in the middle of everything, because I am the center of your universe. I can get just about anything I want by lying on my back with my paws folded like a stupid canine (I’ve learned it makes my humans go “awww” and hand over the goods). I am very neat, precise, and elegant — yet I can adjust to just about any situation I find myself in. I have an innate need to sleep in odd places, and the top of the closet is “my zone”, meaning it is off bounds to everyone, including my annoying little sister Baby (excluding for myself, of course, hahah). I can tell if you don’t like cats. Also, I am your worst nightmare. PHOBIAS: That horrid stuff called H20. The sound of plastic bags. Being replaced. NICKNAMES: Lib. Wibby. Libbo. Libster.

Hi, my name’s Bebe…but you can call me Bebe. (I also answer to “Mooo!” for reasons you’ll find out later.) I’m a one-year-old spayed Calico female. My IQ is, in all probability, equivalent to a turnip, but I make up for it in being awfully cute and genteel-like. I have a lot of junk in my trunk, and yet I eat the least of us three, and am always wandering (my folks call me "the wanderer"). I’m a klutz. When we were fed dry food, I liked to push and chase my dry food around the dining room, before I ate it. I have a pink jiggly belly which could pass for an udder — I’m rather shameless about it, and will show it to just about anyone. My humans make fun of it, jiggle it with their hands, and call me a cow. Hobbies include: making grunting noises, running into door frames and table legs, falling off windowsills, hanging out around the bathtub trying to look cool, carrying assorted items around in my mouth while trying to meow (especially facecloths and towels) and laying them artistically throughout the house, picking futile fights with Libby when I’m bored, and stretching against walls. My humans say my purr resembles the trademark rumble of a Harley Davidson. I don’t fancy being picked up, but I like to cozy up in the bathroom with my humans, especially when they can’t chase me and are incapacitated on the toilet. When I sleep - which is rare - I look like I’m in "hog heaven". I have an affinity for H20; if you sprinkle it on me gently, it makes me happy. Just don’t dunk me - I will scratch. I'm *obsessed* with the bathroom and sleep there most days. I spent most of my early months in a cage at the shelter, so that at least gives me a good excuse for my ‘spare tire’ and lack of co-ordination. My humans brought me home from the SHAID Tree on Jan. 26, 2006 (I was so scared on the way home, I peed myself in their cat carry-on. Oh my cow, how embarrassing.) I can't help it - I'm jealous of Mommy's favorite, Pookey... so I slap her around a lot.PHOBIAS: Losing favor with alpha cat Libby. The vacuum. The sound of feet walking towards me, and any other sound. NICKNAMES: Babes. Bibi. BayBay.

Oh hai! I'm Pookey Kiwi - "Pookey" is what my humans call me, and it seems to suit me well for some odd reason. I'm a sweet, gentle, and spunky little seal-point Siamese girl, brought home from my Tatamagouche breeder on Nov. 25, 2006 (they say I was born Sept. 1st but I have no recollection to confirm that date). I'm not a big doubt the runt of the litter, and am used to being pushed around by my two big sisters; although Libby treats me like a mommy cat most days and lets me snuggle up to her when I sleep. Baby is jealous of me! I'm timid and shy, but very loving. I'm as gentle as can be, and have never used my claws or teeth against my humans. Oddly enough my nose is always cold and wet, and I love to shock my folks by sniffing them with it. Although my first two days at my new home were spent avoiding all contact while hiding under bed linen, I now can't seem to get enough of being around my humans and sister cats. I'm still nervous of other people besides Mom and Dad, and have been dubbed the "phantom cat", as others seem to doubt my existence (I'm always hiding under the couch when visitors drop in). Baby and I like to play a lot - but she gets jealous of me easily! Libby will take care of me when I'm sleepy, and we often nap together. Pasttimes include eating like a pig, impromptu belly rubs, hunting socks, rubbing against feet, cuddling and "nose-kissing" my humans, sleeping on laps, and dropping my favorite toys in the water bowl. I am skilled at playing fetch with paper balls and twist ties, and I love sleeping on Mom's lap. I'm also quite the avid conversationalist.PHOBIAS: Phobias? Everyone and anything other than Mommy! Dad's big feet. Sudden movements of any kind. NICKNAMES: De Pook. Pooko. Little Thing. Pook-Pook. Pook. Pookster. KreukPook.

We like to help mom, as much as we can....

 We wake up at the crack of dawn to help her get an early start

We help fold the paper...

Work on the website...

And organize the books when they're all finished...

We've put our heads together often enough, to brainstorm business stratagem...

We even help her with her knitting, now and then...

Tea or coffee, Mom?

See? We do quite a bit. What would you do without us, Mommy?

Happy World Book Day!

Somehow it's March. March! It just crept up on me, instead of marching in. Spring is supposed to be just around the corner; but just as our snow had melted, we have a new fresh fall today.

And today also happens to be World Book Day (in the UK, that is) and I thought why not celebrate it today, and again when Canada celebrates it in April? A celebration of books and the beautiful gift of reading deserves more than one day, after all!

Do you have a favorite treasured book? One that you keep going back to, like comfort food? I'd have to say that mine would be this old worn copy of Anne of Green Gables. It is from the early 1930's; I remember purchasing it at a quaint used bookstore as a teenager. It's in pretty rough shape, I still love reading from it. I can almost imagine Anne herself with a book like this one. It has always reminded me of my love of cuddling up in bed as a little girl and reading of the Anne-girl's adventures. :)

It seems appropriate that I should now find myself making books of my own. I wouldn't want it any other way! It’s been busy inside the house, though, despite the blustery weather. I have been busy binding and I thought I’d share some books that I've recently finished...

Cheshire Cat Journal To celebrate the release of the new adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, I thought I would create a Cheshire Cat-themed journal. This special edition journal is made with velvety dark brown sheepskin suede with smooth leather grain inside. The suede cover is embellished with hand-drawn black stripes in permanent ink – I think the Cheshire Cat would give his wide smile of approval! The above quote captions a colourful illustration by Sir John Tenniel, 19th century English illustrator and one of the original illustrators for Lewis Carroll's beloved Alice In Wonderland.

Candy Apple Red with Mother-of-Pearl shell shard
A la paperie & cozy original! I wanted to incorporate the delicacy of the organic shell with the rugged beauty of leather, and this unique design I've come up with is the result. The leather is a delicious "candy apple" red cowhide - truly mouth-watering - with a semi-glossy finish. It has a wrap around flap. The book is kept securely closed with a lovely natural coloured mother-of-pearl shell peg (securely sewn through holes in the peg), tucked into a leather loop on the cover flap — a truly beautiful, yet sturdy, closure that is really eye-catching!

Wordsworth in olive I can almost imagine Wordsworth himself writing in a journal much like this one. The first page of the journal has a portrait of the William Wordsworth himself, captioned with the above quote. The leather cover is made with a dark olive cowhide (the colour calls to mind roasted artichoke), with the raw edge of the hide on the cover. The cover of the journal is kept closed with a handy elastic and button closure, with a black elastic that catches on to a funky olive button in the front.

And the winner is...

Thank you everyone for participating! We had 27 entries in the draw. The results of the draw can be seen on the following little video. I put all the entries in a bowl and - like last time - I thought I would do the draw for the winner on camera. And the winner is...... *drumroll*

Giveaway -- Jane Austen Notecard Set

Welcome to my new blog! *

I had so much fun holding the giveaway in January I decided to do another one! This time you can win a set of my Jane Austen notecards. I think you'll find this notecard series “uniformly charming". (hehe!) This 4-card set features Jane Austen quotes paired with sepia prints. Three of the prints are of my original drawings; so you get original art prints plus functional greeting cards, all in one! Cards are blank inside. Cards/envelopes measure 4½” x 5¾“ and are non-glossy. They come prettily packaged with raffia, packed along with cardboard backing to prevent bending during shipment. Ready to use or give. (MSRP $14)

The quotes include…
“You must allow me to tell you…” (featuring Lizzy and Darcy, a sepia print of my original drawing)
“There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.” -Jane Austen (featuring 'Tea Time', a sepia print of my original drawing)
“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” -Elizabeth Bennett, Pride & Prejudice (featuring 'Lizzy', a sepia print of my original drawing)
"The grounds there are delightful" (a sepia image of a great estate used as Pemberley in the P&P film)


1. Leave a comment on this entry telling me your favorite Jane Austen novel (not movie!). Make sure you leave your name and email address, so I can contact you if you win the draw.
2. Fan my page on Facebook
3. Follow me on Networked Blogs (scroll down the right sidebar and you'll see the button "Follow this Blog")

Deadline for entries ends after Wednesday, Feb. 24 -- so any entries dated Feb. 25 will not be included in the draw. The draw will be made Thursday, Jan. 25 and the winner announced here and on Facebook. Have fun!

* Comments from my Previous Blog will be counted in the draw! :) 
For some reason Blogspot wouldn't allow me to import the comments here, 
and still allow new comments to be added. So new comments can be added here.

journals + quotes - how did it all begin?

Things have been hopping here at the bindery. New leathers are arriving all the time, and I've been thinking of new quotes - ones I have loved for years - and adding them to my ever-growing list of quotes available for my leather bound journals. I enjoy this so much!

Some of you have asked how I began making my journals. As some of you know, I started off on Etsy selling handmade cold-process soap. While I loved the end product, I never really enjoyed the actual soap-making process very much (too much like baking, which I don't enjoy either). Jane AustenWhile I still make soap from time to time, for personal use, I no longer make it to sell. For me, the entire experience didn't allow me to express myself creatively enough. And to me, creativity is very important.

I was inherently creative as a kid. Not particularly special in any way, but always seeking to 'create' something. As the strong silent type preferring to be alone in my room, I was always preoccupied with making things on my own - usually little books with drawings, paintings, and story boards. While I have always loved drawing and painting, my ‘first love’ has always been books. It started at an early age. After reading Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl at the age of 10, I started keeping journals, which I've done every year of my life, ever since. I remember collecting and obsessing over journals as a young girl. And guess what? I’ve never quite grown out of that obsession! In order to 'feed' my habit, I taught myself bookbinding back in early 2007. After many months of my nose 'in the books' in my quest for the 'perfect' journal, I took the plunge and decided to delve into the world of book arts. In late 2007, with the support of my dear husband, I quit my day job at a local newspaper (due to health issues), and started my little online shop, which I run from home, La Paperie & Cozy.

e.e cummingsWhile there were many talented bookbinders online, I noticed that no one -at the time- was offering books with quotes on the first page. As a book lover (especially of the classics), I've always thought it would be special to add a quote from literary greats, artists, poets, and excerpts from favorite classic novels -- my way of paying homage to such a wonderful world of inspiration. And quoted journals were born. :) I can almost imagine literary greats of centuries past, writing in handmade journals like these... Jane Austen writing notes as she walked in the pretty wilderness behind her house, annotating her next great work, Pride and Prejudice. Or a young Charles Dickens reminding himself in his journal to incorporate the comic villainy of Mr. Jingle in his first novel, The Pickwick Papers. Inspired by these literary masterminds, the majority of my journals' first pages pay homage to these outstanding writers and some of their best quotes! I will sometimes incorporate prints of my own original drawings and photos in a journal, to go along with certain quotes.Charles Dickens

Every book I create is very special to me - so it is a personal experience. I spend a lot of time selecting beautiful leathers, creating original style combinations to make each journal "haute couture" -- a journal that you can't find anywhere else. I also enjoy choosing which quote to integrate into the journal’s collective “theme” because, ultimately, that literary figure will affect the overall design of the journal. To give an example, I will often pair a rugged distressed looking leather with a quote from Twain or Poe or Dickens, or a more refined camel or burgundy for Jane Austen or Charlotte Bronte quote. I enjoy imagining what kind of journal they may have written in and, in turn, try to apply that to the books I make. I also love custom orders, which often times encourage me to come up with something entirely different…thus, thinking outside of the box.

See more at my shop:

Robert Frost - The Road Not Taken

getting your needles all in a row

I just can't rave enough about my newest purchase on Etsy -- Sarah Kincheloe's Knitting Needle Organizer. Being relatively new to knitting, I was coming to realize what a chore it was to hunt down and keep track of all my knitting needles, and keep them organized in one spot. This needle organizer was exactly what I needed! And not only is it super handy and sturdily made, but it's also very easy on the eyes (look at this awesome fabric)!

At Sarah's etsy shop, you can get a variety of knitting needle organizers, crochet hook rolls, and knitting accessories. They're all made in the most gorgeous fabrics. Who would have thought something so simple, could be so satisfying! Thank you for such a great product, Sarah. I'm a very happy camper knitter!

more leather journals

I've been busy increasing the shop's inventory, since the holidays depleted most of my stock. It's taking a while but it's getting there. January has already seen quite a few snow days, which are perfect for getting caught up!

Folks have asked me how long it takes to make one journal. To be honest, I've never really made just one journal at a time. I cut enough leather for about 6-10 journals, hand tear enough paper for them, and then prep them all for binding (punching holes in the leather, piercing the paper, getting out the thread). Only then do I sit and bind them, one after the other. It may not be how a lot of binders work, but it's a process that I find works perfectly for me. So why mess with a good thing? ;)

I'm really loving the new lightbox hubby made me, as it takes a lot of time off of editing photos. Before I would really have to adjust the brightness and contrast, and now, little if anything needs to be done. lighting is concerned. Here are a few new journals I made yesterday, with photos taken in the lightbox.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you
didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover."
— Mark Twain

"Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether
that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show."

—David Copperfield (1850), Charles Dickens

"For my part I know nothing with any certainty,
but the sight of the stars makes me dream."
―Vincent Van Gogh

“To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palms of your hand, and eternity in an hour.”

— Auguries of Innocence (1863), William Blake