Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I had a fantasic christmas. A great day with my family, which included a Skype session with my brother's family in the States, sitting in our respective living rooms opening presents in front of a TV eqipped with a webcam - it worked surprisingly well :)

I received lots of gorgeous thoughtful presents from my boy, and from my folks I received the classic Breville Wizz that almost everybody's mum had whilst growing up and which has barely changed in design over the last 20 years (i see that as a good sign). We made pasta dough with it and used our pasta maker for the first time. Home made pasta is oh my god ... sooooo, so good! I think I will be getting right into it and this could become a pasta making blog, hehe.

I am now also the proud owner of lots of great craft/melbourne/design books, including Handmade in Melbourne, and guess who I found inside! What a nice surprise and now I can put faces to the names - congrats girls!!

Back tomorrow-ish with more - hope you're all having a great break!! :)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

This is why I love Christmas:

Yeah I know, I'm supposed to say that I love Christmas for all the family togetherness and sharing (which I do) but what I really, really love is the look of a pile of presents all wrapped up pretty and under the tree. I love gift wrapping. I love buying lots of little things for people as an excuse to wrap them all up individually. So much fun.

Shannon has a great post on her blog where she sums up all her achievments from 2006. It's such a good thing to do - to look back over the year and see how far you've come.

I'm not usually one to be very realistic about my own achievments, but when I look back myself I can see a massive difference between the Lara today and the Lara one year ago. A year ago, I had very little confidence in myself and my work. A year ago, I didn't draw. I didn't make & sell jewellery, and didn't even make patterns. Oh, and I didn't have a Gocco, either! Earlier this year I was really struggling to work from home on my own, emotionally. It's still hard, but heaps easier than it used to be.

And here's the part that I'm hearing echoed all over blogland at the moment - I'd like to send out a huge thankyou to all of you who have been reading and supporting and inspiring me along the way. It's really made a world of difference. I don't think I would have pursued any of it (esp. jewellery design and pattern making) if it wasn't for all your encouragement.

Have a fantastic Christmas everybody and see you in 2007.

Friday, December 22, 2006

printing woes and joys

Although I've done some weird and wonderful things with my Gocco, i've never actually done a plain old proper run of cards. So I decided to Gocco print my xmas cards this year, but they were a bit of a disaster colour wise.

The problem all started when I absent mindedly squeezed out too much blue ink onto the mixing palette. Not wanting to waste it I tried to make a green out of it anyway by adding not-enough-yellow. The end result being that really gross middle-green colour that looks completely boring coupled with plain old red. See below left:

The project was partly rescued by scraping off all the ink, mixing it together to form a muddled greeny brown colour, and printing the design 1 colour:

Oh, it's supposed to be a partidge in a pear tree... if it's not obvious :)

As the title of this post suggests, not all my printing experienced this week have been woeful. Sometimes it's better to leave things to the professionals, like my favourite printers ImageScience, who specialise in high quality inkjet prints onto lovely archival cotton papers and canvas (
and happen to be across the road!).

I had a bit of leftover canvas real-estate from another job with which I printed these:

I'm thinking of putting them up on Etsy and seeing how they go. I have no idea how much I'd try to sell them for though. They're 11cm x 16cm plus the white border. Any suggestions welcome!!

Well, that's all from me for now. Hope everyone is on top of their xmas shopping and not too stressed out, and I hope you all have a fantastic christmas and new year!! I'll be back in the new year hopefully with some new patterns and projects and fun stuffs! xo

Friday, December 15, 2006

It's been awhile between posts! I feel somehow weird writing here if I don't have any pictures to show. But it's not like nothing has been happening. There's been some ups and downs, mainly me getting all excited about potential opportunities to do stuff with my patterns, and then getting all let down and feeling flat when those people suck at returning emails and following through.

So it was with very good timing that I received a particular email from the Naked & Angry team. Remember all those months ago that I was getting people to vote for my patterns in a comp? It was that long ago that i'd basically given up hope and forgotten about it. But you can imagine my excitement when I saw the email subject line "Selected By Naked & Angry!!!".They've chosen my Endless Trees design for their next product series - patterned handbags :) I'm over the moon about it. And the pay aint half bad either :)

(A print of the pattern they chose).

I don't know if I've empasised this enough, but starting up this blog and receiving all the lovely, supportive comments from the crafty people out there has really improved my life a lot. It's improved my confidence in my work tenfold, and has really helped to ease the loneliness of working alone. So a big, big thankyou. It's funny how something so 'virtual' can have such a strong real world impact.

Speaking of, I caught up with the very talented Kristen Doran of Cheeky Beaks this week when she was down in Melb from Sydney. that's the first time I've met another 'blogger' in the real world. We moseyed around Brunswick Street and Gertrude Street, and I picked up this crazy little box of 'latch needles' for $2 from a shop called Industria. What the hell is a latch needle, and why does it come in such a gorgeous little box?


Saturday, December 09, 2006

Wendy June :)

Today greeted us with 38 degree (100 F) heat and a smoky haze over everything from all the bushfires raging around the state.

Despite this, I started to get stir crazy about 2pm from being indoors all day. I think it's because I work from home, and there's a certain amount of being at home that one can handle before becoming desperate to get out.

So I braved the heat and headed down to Fitzroy - I'd run out of bead making supplies again (I never buy enough, out of lack of conviction that my necklaces will sell as well as they have). I also wanted to pop by the Rose Street Artist's Market to look for a Christmas present for Pete and to check out Wendy June's stall full of handmade toys and other gorgeous things. Her husband is doing a bit of programming for me but i'd never met Wendy before, and both she and her stall were really, really lovely!!

Some button badges that she was selling :)

I don't think she has an online shop yet but her toys are for sale at

At least we can shop online without having to brave the elements. Yay the internet!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I just drank a blackberry beer I found at the Vic Market. So yummy, and so good after a sweltering market shop tugging my rickety trolley full of vegies around. I feel like a real Aussie now. However it has rendered me unable to work (coding flash stuff, supposedly) so I'll write here instead :)

Last weekend was super productive. I found myself awake and up just after 7am on Saturday (!!) and made use of the time producing more jewellery pieces for the Modamuse shop. I mailed this lot off yesterday:

(best viewed full size)

I hope they sell as quickly as the last lot and I haven't missed whatever it was that caused all the others to sell like hotcakes! But there's some new designs of the blue dot necklace (which really needs a better name) and some matching earrings too, so fingers crossed :)

Also, I finally got to meet my screenprinter and have a chat about printing patterns. His prices were very reasonable and should be able to print the fabric in 50cm x 65cm pieces, which is definately big enough for people to work with. So that should be happening over the next week or so, hopefully :)

Also, thanks to those who gave feedback on the pattern size. I'm going to go with my gut feeling and scale the patterns up a bit, suitable for bags and pillows and lamps and dresses and all sorts of things. Very exciting :)

Hope you're all surviving the heat/bushfires/snow wherever you are in the world :)

Friday, December 01, 2006

Positive forward movement :)

Madness. The modamuse shop opened this week, and has already sold three of my blue dot necklaces. I can't believe it. It's so very flattering and confidence inspiring. Thankyou to those who bought them!! I will get on to making more this weekend, and might try a few different designs :)

Meanwhile I've been inspired to really get going with printing my patterns onto fabric. Some people have been giving me some really nice feedback and prompting me to do so, so I will dilly dally no longer :)

Buuuut, first I need some advice from all you crafty people out there. What scale should I print them at??? It's a tough decision: either print them with small, tight repeats, suitable for small patchwork and craft work, or scale them up a bit so that they're suitable for bags/dresses/lamps etc.
I'm also not 100% sure which ones to print in the first place. I've chosen the fairly simple 1-2 colours ones for now, but I'm not sure if they're the most appealing. Any advice/suggestions would be much appreciated. The full selection is viewable here.

I did a few test prints onto A4 to try and figure out the scale. Here's what I came up with (Ignore the colours for now):

What do you think? Too small? Too large? I will have a large area to play with, around 50cm x 80cm per print which is pretty expansive, so ... I could turn them into funky large scale repeats instead. As you can tell, I'm at a loss! Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Wow, I got a huge amount of comments on the moo cards, thanks so much! Sounds like heaps of people are going to get some made too, which is awesome! Please send me a link if you do!

I had a productive and somewhat uncharacteristically 'girly' weekend - bought a yellow summer dress, took Pete's mum and aunt out to the city (managed to get a table upstairs at the decadent Koko Black - yum!) and then somehow found myself at the Shisuiedo counter of David Jones being one of 'those' women - seated in front of a mirror having a professional well spoken lady apply stripes of foundation to my face to find the perfect colour match.

If you know me at all you'll know that this is a very un-Lara thing to do. Firstly I hate the cosmetics section of DJ's, with all it's glitz and glam and painful fluoro lights. And secondly I haven't bought foundation or any 'real' make-up in hmmm, about 8 years. But ... I admit it was nice to be pampered like that, even though I walked away with much lighter pockets :\

Anyway, onto more superficial-but-in-a-different-way things. Time this weekend not spent emptying my pockets was spent on the couch making stuffs. I'm starting to feel a bit weird posting pictures here - I have to remind myself that I'm not a show-off-ee person, but that this is just a record for myself to keep which people happen to visit - does anyone else have to do that?

Earrings made by binding glass beads onto thicker wire, using thin brass wire. I thought they looked a bit empty in the middle so drew this peacock onto polyprop and suspended it in the middle. It looks okay in the photo but was a bit too full on, plus the 'permanent' marker wasn't so permanent.

So this was the alternative, a bit more subtle.

Sunday's doodling on the couch produced these little drops, and I immediately though - ooh potential pattern! Anyway my first attempt at making them into a pattern wasn't quite right - I basically filled up the whole space with drops. But then realised that opening it up a bit and leaving random gaps looks much nicer and more organic.

to pete for coming up with the colourway above :)

The end. What a rant!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Oh my god, have you guys discovered Moo cards yet?? Mine just arrived today and I'm very, very happy with them. The good ol' Andrew over at bundle made me aware of them and I ordered my cards in a flurry without a second thought.

This is how it works:
1) Choose up to 100 different photos from your flickr photostream

2) Choose the crop area for each image (moo cards are a panoramic shape)
3) Come up with some text for the back (I chose business card text but you could put anything, or nothing)

4) Pay $25 US dollars to have 100 little cards delivered to your door, anywhere in the world.

I always wanted business cards with patterns on the back, and was going to Gocco print them... but damn this was so much easier!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Facts for the day:

If you're in Melbourne and looking for a filing cabinet, go past those outrageously priced office furniture stores and straight to Dallas Trading on Macaulay Rd, North Melb. We got an awesome solid metal ex-office one for only $80,and she aint half bad looking either. And she has wheels!

They have some other antiquey furniture numbers too, like these cute little nested tables we scored for $80 also!

Craft: magazine is awesome - arrived in the mail yesterday! I'm not sure if i'll actually make anything from this issue (although they do have a good screenprinting tute) ... but somehow just having it makes me feel more connected to this otherwise intangible online world.

Bad skin? Flaxseed oil! Well it's certainly working for me. I started taking it a few weeks ago and I can definately see differences. A smoother complexion and no little breakouts. I went through roaccutane crap-ness back in my teenage years so this. is. sooo. nice.

Meanwhile, keeping sane under work pressure with a bit more drawing practice. Nothing too speccy but it's fun to play around:

Sunday, November 19, 2006


Well I think I'm over my little slump. I blame the weather. I know, a bit of rain is supposed to be a good thing, but I'm a warm weather creature.

Thanks for the nice comments on the little pics - glad nobody else thought they were as unoriginal as I did. But then again who's going to post a comment saying "yeah you're right, these suck". I quite enjoyed drawing the maple leaves though - it's fun when you learn to draw a new thing, so I had the idea for the painting below. It didn't turn out quite right - it's a little obscure I'm thinking and missing the details that make it immediately obvious that she's lying on the ground covered with leaves.

I had a bit of a breakthrough with my drawing this weekend (at least I think so). I've always found drawing people a little difficult - mine are always lack character and the proportions are all wrong. But this time I tried something a little different - drawing them in their underwear first :) This made things so much easier. I could focus on the body shapes and positions first, and then add clothes later ... or not at all. Who needs clothes when it's a warm spring day and you have apple print undies?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

oh oh, in the midst of being a sad-sack i forgot to mention something - some recent talented people I have a-stumbled upon who you should check out:

Julie Knoblock - very talented illustrator and all round crafty person, based in Melbourne too - yay! And she's apparently just bought an acre of dirt. I'm jealous! (seriously).

Dawn Irvine - new talented pattern designer on the blogk (sorry, lame play on words there). She seems to always be churning out very cool designs. Looking forward to seeing them applied to stuff.

Magic Jelly / Karena - South Australian based illustrator printmaking chicky with way too many gooco inks for her own good.

There are many many more but I'm just going to limit myself to three for now :)

Rainy days & unoriginal artworks

hey. it seems that i've taken a bit of an unexpected blogging break. just haven't been in the space for it, which is sad. last week i started feeling down, and thought it'd go away, but haven't been able to shake it, and still can't figure out what the problem is. I think it might be routine. Routine is awesome and is often my bestest friend, but it seems to have turned on me now that it involves scripting these two flash websites ever day for a couple of months. Where's the creativity in that? I think it's killing me.

I've been keeping myself vaguely sane by painting mini artworks on the back of little Laminate swatches that I pilfered from Bunnings. I saw an artist on Flickr (I forget who, sorry!) doing something similar and thought it was a great idea. And being so tiny they're not intimidating to paint on at all.

They're a bit unoriginal and illustrator-ish in my opinion, but practice and inspiration should fix that :)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Ye Olde North Melb

Well, I didn't stick to posting every day, but that's ok - quality over quantity I always say. Ooh that rhymes.

This morning I climbed out of bed and saw the coolest thing trotting past my window - yes trotting. It was one of the old fashioned horse drawn carts that clip clop around the city, which I suspect are stabled nearby. I always feel sorry for the horses' hooves, but they DO make the coolest noise and make me think of ye olde North Melbourne.

Speaking of, my dad recently found this picture amongst the archives of an old Ballarat newspaper. I love the typesetting and the old fashioned wording! Any guesses from the locals which building it is? (It's grandiousity is a wee bit exaggerated - look how small the tram is!)

Also, a bit of pattern design WIP:

Sunday, November 05, 2006

I was reading Loobylu the other day and she mentioned that November is National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) - where for the whole of this month you post something every day. I woke up this morning and realised that I have inadvertently done just that. Problem is, I don't think I can keep it up. The fact of the matter is that I'm just not a good writer, and am painfully self concious of this fact at times. I'm also quite crap at coming up with names for things like blog posts, pattern designs and my jewellery. I read other blogs full of smooth, witty lines that make their day to day activites much more engaging, but when I write about mine, they just sound mundane. That said, not be self defeatist I'm going to make an effort.

I spent most of yesterday making birthday presents for one of my closest friends. When looking for wrapping paper I found one of my patterns printed on a sheet of A3 that I got Pete to sneakily run off at work.

I'm starting to learn the lesson that a mockup speaks a thousand pictures :) The pattern looks so much better in context rather than as a flat graphic.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

visitor :)

We had a visitor today - one of these fellas:

It was such a nice surprise. One of the few things I've missed from moving to the inner city is a bit of wildlife - especially of such a colourful variety. Anyway he didn't stick around long. I dashed up to grab him something to eat but he flew to a neighbouring tree. I thought I could tempt him back with some vita wheats (do birds even eat vita wheats? i don't know but it's all we had) but he and his little mate soon flew away. I hope he comes back.

Tempted to buy a hanging seed thingy to see what it brings.

Hope everyone's having a lovely (long?) weekend. I love the way that Melbourne + horse racing = public holiday :)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Unable to focus on my work (Friday) and taking advantage of beautiful morning sun in our living room (mmm, November), I've finally photographed and put a few more items in my Etsy shop!

Speaking of, I got an email from Etsy the other day saying V2 is about to be launched. Ooh how exciting. I hope they finally do the simple, intelligent thing of stipulating US dollars next to prices rather than assuming everyone knows. Or better yet let us choose currency! Then again, beggars can't be choosers.

Oh, and last night I had a go making my blue dot necklace with white wire instead of red. It worked well. I thought the white wouldn't show up enough on skin, but I tried it on and it looked fine - yay! Looks a bit more refined/mature than the bright red.

I take all my photos on the 30x40cm top of one of Pete's speakers, because they have nice wood. It's such a small space but you can't tell ;)

Aaanyway hope everyone has a great weekend!! I wonder what Melbourne weather has in store for us this time -_-

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Evelyn Tarunadjaja

We did the artsy thing last night and went to the opening night of Pete's friend Eveline's exhibition. It was really quite good. A small space, and hot inside because of all the people, but her little artworks looked great scattered on the wall over the top of my favourite thing - trees!

originally uploaded by love pad

If you're handy to the city, get down there and check it out - Level 1, 12 Waratah Place (hers are upstairs at the back). Her illustrations are really beatiful, emotive, fine detailed pieces of work. They're selling for up to $200 each which I figure is pretty good for an original. I just bought a postcard set though to keep me happy :)

originally uploaded by love pad

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

to do:

I have to-do's coming out of my ears at the moment:

- Go to the dentist (first time in 6 years)

- Take the car to get tuned
- Go see an allergist (I'm sneezing and have a runny nose every day)

- Make more jewellery for Etsy and Modamuse

- Send jewellery and bio off to Modamuse

- Find a financial advisor

- Do my BAS

- Go see accountant and do tax return
- Get some patterns screen printed

- Make a "how to do pattern repeat" tutorial

All whist juggling two huge web jobs due at the start of December! I did however manage to knock one big thing off my list, which was the pattern design submission to Rag & Bone. I ended up going all out and spent Sunday 'making mockups' - by which i mean photoshopping the patterns onto photos of my notebooks. They turned out pretty alright I think!

That said, the fairly brief reply I got this morn makes me think a) they're overwhelmed with submissions and/or b) it didn't really knock their socks off at all. They said they're meeting to decide next Wednesday, so fingers crossed for Shannon (who also submitted some lovely stuff) and I.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Fondness for Japanese things

Today I caught the tram into the city and found myself sitting opposite a sweet looking japanese girl who appeared to be in Melbourne on holidays. She was clutching a map of the CBD in her hands and she was teary. The poor girl - I couldn't pull my attention away. The guy beside me must have been giving her directions because he showed her where we were on the map one last time before he got off. For a little while I wondered what to do - all I could think about was why she might be crying and wishing I could reach out and ask her if she was ok.

In the end I just asked her where she was heading and helped her get to Bourke Street. I asked her where she was from - Tokyo. I said I'd love to visit Japan and that it's very beautiful, and she replied in limited English - yes ... but Japanese people are so ... busy, and Australian people (she paused and searched for words) "...their hearts are very peaceful".

What a beautiful Japanese way to say it.

And in keeping with my fondness for all things from that country, a pattern inspired by a Japanese pine forest illustration:

Still trying to figure out the right colours for it though.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

some more serious stuff

Hola! A couple of interesting things I've come across recently.

Firstly, if you're interested in taking action re climate change, sign this petition at They're after 250,000 signatures 'to show our elected representatives we're serious'. By signing it you're simply saying "I want my government to take sweeping action to dramatically cut greenhouse pollution, shift to clean energy and solve the climate crisis now." It looks good. Do it. It takes two seconds.

Secondly, I've been doing a bit of rummaging around the Forums and Guidelines of Flickr, and there's some interesting rules that you might not be aware of:

1) "...Flickr is for photos. With some exceptions, it's OK to post other images, but if the majority of your photostream contains content other than photographs (like illustrations, screenshots, diagrams, etc.) it's very likely that your account will be marked Not in Public Site Areas (NIPSA). NIPSA means your photos won't show up in photo searches, but they will still be visible in your pages, your groups and contacts."

I did a bit more research into this, and found that even taking photographs of your art/craft isn't deemed proper use either, and could also cause your site to be marked NIPSA.

2) "
Flickr is for personal use only. If you sell products, services or yourself through your photostream, we will terminate your account."

This seemed like a bit of a vague umbrella statement, so I did some more research into this also. Turns out it's okay to link to your shop in your profile, but it's not ok to have links to your shop within the CAPTION of your photos. I couldn't get an 100% straight answer on this one, but I'd recommend not even mentioning your shop in the caption. Saying "available in my shop" is going to look very much like you're using Flickr as a sort of catalogue, especially if lots of your photos say this.

Interested to hear if anybody else has a different take on these, or know of some more subtle "no-no's".

Monday, October 23, 2006

I sold something!

Yaaaay, I sold my first thing on etsy today!! One of the blue dot necklaces to the lovely Marnie of Felt Up Design. Thanks again Marnie:)

I've been dilly dallying over whether or not to submit some patterns to Rag & Bone Bindery's call for submissions. I read what they're after and it seems they want patterns that have 'no obvious repeats' when covering a book. Which, looking back over all of my patterns, is a requirement that very few of mine suit.

However, I think I'm gunna give it a go. I might be able to scale some of them up, and i'll add this newbie into the mix:

Saturday, October 21, 2006

New Friends, and where to put them

This week our apartment has some new friends! Firstly the three Ashley G prints, which I managed to frame nicely for a grand total of $10 all up - yay for dodgy little $2 shops on Smith St! Yeah I know, they deserve a bit more attention than that, but it's an effective short term solution until one day we have some better wall space.

Our second new friend is a living one! Don't get too excited, this little friend only needs to be fed once every month. It's the cutest little Golden Jade tree, and I confess, I'm a little overly obsessed with it at the moment. I picked it up from the Vic Market today after spotting it when doing the groceries last week.

We'd been talking about getting a Jade tree for awhile, and when I saw it I knew it was perfect. It's so bonsai-ish and seriously looks like a quirky illustrated version of a tree! Yay! Although unfortunately, when I brought it home it wasn't what Pete had pictured in his mind at all. Turns out we were thinking about two quite different plants. I blame Google image search :)

Look at that stumpy little trunk!

sorry for all the pics. I couldn't seem to adequately capture it's cuteness in a single photo.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

etsy shop finally open!!

The moment has finally arrived - I've put some items up in my etsy shop!! I was motivated in part by Jessica Lim of
Modamuse, who has offered to have some of my items up in the upcoming Modamuse shop. How exciting!!

So I had to take that final, scary step and decide on some prices. It's hard! Very reminiscent of trying to decide on my hourly rate for web design back when I was a newbie. I really don't want to charge too much, but don't want to undersell myself either. Each of the pieces takes at least an hour to put together including the printed packaging, so I tried to base it on that. I asked around and got a few suggestions, and sort of averaged them out. But at the end of the day I'm still charging more than a lot of people of etsy, which is a worry.

Anyway any feedback or suggestions would be much appreciated. Note that all prices on Etsy are in US dollars but they don't actually stipulate that (which is a concern amongst lots of non US sellers).

the shop is here! -->

stuff for sale so far :)

Monday, October 16, 2006

back to work

hmmm, I've got that post-holidays back-at-work blues. It's times like these that I'm markedly aware of the sort-of 'wrongness' of working from home alone, all day every day. I know i'll get back into the swing of things and before long it'll just feel like normal again... but is that really a good thing? to get used to something that's not-quite-right? Anyway not to worry, after my big client jobs are finished I'm going to start actively contacting studios for some part time/contract work.

In good news, my Ashley G prints arrived and they look great. I just need to find some of those simple borderless clippy frames to frame them. Does anyone know where I could find them??

No crafty photos today, so here's some shots of a cute, lichen covered birdbath at Pete's parents' place in Ballarat :)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Bookbinding with a sea view

Back in Melbourne today! Pete and I just got back from a short trip to Ballarat (to visit his folks) and then on to Fairhaven near the beach where we stayed a few nights and did bookbinding.

And what crazy weather we had. The first two evenings in Fairhaven were spent huddled round a roaring fire heater, and I could barely sleep for the cold. Then the next two days the temperature hit 30 and 36 C (86 and 97 F). 'Hottest October day in 90 years' they said on the news. We tried to cool down with a swim at the beach, but there was a very strong wind that whipped sand on our legs and the water was still freezing from winter which made our feet numb. We had fun anyway.

Anyway, our bookbinding project was a complete success! Photos and more details below:

My first book :)

I stuck a little envelope on the back enpaper for storing little bits and pieces (and to cover up a bubble, hehe).

I made three books all up - one A6 size and the other two about A7 - tiny but so fun to construct! And they only need about 5 sheets of A3 paper to make :)

Pete found a whole bunch of great tutorials online about how to do bookbinding. The ones that I followed (kind of mish-mashed their processes together) are:

Dave's bookbinding tutorial - easy to follow, good pictures
'Binding books' - lots of details photos

'How to make a simple hardcover book' - good diagram on binding signatures together
The Evilrooster Bookweb - heaps of info on different techniques and handy equipment you can make

The Evilrooster site had instructions on how to make a book press and stitching frame in one unit. You don't really need either of these, but they make life heaps easier. Here's the one we made, with me half way through stitiching my signatures together (note: the 'sea view' is in the background - it got washed out in the photo but it's there, honest!)

Signatures all stitched together, aka the 'book block'.

Petey stitching his signatures together by lamplight :)