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). While 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.
While 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 voila...my 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.
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: http://lapaperie.ca