Thank you, Everything
My sixth wedding anniversary is this month, and I wanted to give my wife something extra-special. I'd been racking my brain about it for a couple of months. My budget is fairly limited, especially with Christmas in the same month. Finally, while softlink surfing through the site, I came upon bookbinding.
I've always thought the art was fairly interesting, so I started reading through the related nodes. With each node, I came more and more to the realization that I could do this. I could make a book with my own hands. My wife does like journal writing, so a blank book is always a good gift for her. And one I made myself is special indeed.
So, for the past several weeks, working exclusively in the late night and early morning hours when I am sure she'll be asleep, I did it. Since I wasn't sure how well it would work, I mostly used materials I already had, such as plain white inkjet paper for the signatures and heavy-duty button thread to kettlestitch them together. I surgically removed the cardboard from a three-ring binder to cut the boards for the front and back covers. I bought a couple sheets of pretty, pale blue scrapbook paper for the endpapers, and a sheet of heavy, dark blue art paper to cover it.
I was amazed at how well it turned out. I had only minor problems when I put it together. Some of the signatures weren't perfectly aligned, and I didn't manage to exactly center the book block vertically inside the covers, but everything still looks pretty good. After I'd covered the case, I discovered that I'd mismeasured, and the spine was too wide, so I added a few more signatures to the book block before I attached it to the case. I had a lot of fun at it too, and can't wait to start on one for myself.
Tonight, with the present all wrapped and waiting until our anniversary (which is at the end of the month), I finally couldn't wait any longer. I gave it to my wife early to see her reaction. She was happy to receive a new journal, but puzzled as to why I'd chosen to buy one with such a plain cover. Her whole face lit up when I told her I hadn't bought it, that I'd made it. She told me it was the best present I'd ever given her, except for her engagement ring.
So I just wanted to write up a huge thank you to all the noders who unknowingly helped to make me a hero (in no particular order): evilrooster, cbustapeck, Jongleur, Pseudo_Intellectual. I apologize if I left any names off. You guys all rock.