Eco Books

Lark Books has recently come out with a new book called Eco Books: Inventive Projects from the Recycling Bin put together by Terry Taylor.  It’s totally great, simple as that.  Each project is by a different book artist, many of which are local to Western North Carolina (I happen to be one of them, but I prooooomise I’m not saying any of this because I’m biased in any way).  You’ll find projects made of everything from egg cartons to cassette tapes.

Eco Books 9781600593949L1Eco Books

Here are a few images of the book I made for Eco Books:

IMG_4132 Annie-Fain-1 Annie-Fain-2

I took two hand embroidered pieces I had found in a thrift store (I had to peel them away from the backing that held them in their tacky wooden frames) and hand-stitched with black thread around the bunches of lemons and oranges to make the images “pop” more.  Then I made  book board for my covers by laminating layers of recycled cereal boxes that I then encased with my altered, vintage fabrics.

Annie-Fain-3 Annie-Fain-4

I decided to make the book a dos-a-dos (two books that share the same back cover) because I had two fabric pieces.  I used 100% recycled Classic Laid text paper, stained the edges with walnut dye I made myself and bound the book with multi-needle Coptic Binding.

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I made twine (with two contrasting colors so that it would look striped) to be wrapped around a vintage button each to create closures for the front and back of the book.

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Check it out at your local independent bookstore (that would be good ol’  Malaprops here in Asheville).

My Inspiration Book List #1

Good books are incredibly inspiring to me and are a great resource for when you’re feeling stuck. I’m always on the lookout for not too cheesy books about bookbinding, craft business, journaling and living the creative life.  I created a handout to give my students at the close of a class and I’d like to share it with you in segments.

Segment #1: BOOK ARTS

Happy Reading (or just looking at pictures)!

Penland Book of Handmade Books by Lark Books
Penland Book of Handmade Books

500 Handmade Books by Lark Books

500 Handmade Books

A Degree of Mastery: A Journey through Book Arts Apprenticeship by Annie Wilcox

Degree of Mastery

Making Memory Books and Journals By Hand by Kristina Feliciano, Jo Lethaby, and Jason Thompson

Makind Memory Books By Hand

Bookworks by Sue Doggett


Books, Boxes and Wraps by Webberly and Forsyth

Books Boxes and Wraps

Cover to Cover by LaPlantz

Cover to Cover

Any books by Keith Smith

Books By Keith SmithBooks By Keith SmithBooks By Keith Smith

Once Upon a Time…

Cover of Artful Storybooks, Published by Lark BooksCover of Artful Storybooks, Published by Lark BooksCover of Artful Storybooks, Published by Lark BooksCover of Artful Storybooks, Published by Lark Books

Once upon a time storybooks held a special place in our lives, filling our hearts with wonder. Thanks to this extraordinary crafting anthology we can experience that magic again in a marvelous new way by recreating and reinterpreting the picture book. An overview outlines a variety of structures and techniques, from simple collage to gluing. But above all, these highly visual pages offer ideas and inspiration, with talented artists presenting lovingly designed story spreads and covers. Take a fantasy vacation via a travel booklet fashioned from vintage, nostalgic postcards. Follow The Queen of Tarts in a story that unfolds in a miniature puppet theater motif. And two different artists offer their revised versions of a classic: The Princess and the Pea. ”


Old Hickory CoverOld Hickory OpenedDetail of one of Susan's Lino Prints

Susan McBride and I collaborated on a hand-made storybook which is featured in a new book titled: ArtfulStorybooks: Mixed-Media Artists Create Handmade Tales, published by Lark Books July 2008.  Simply put, I made the book and she filled it.  Its called Old Hickory and is a commemoration to happy childhood vacations spent by Susan McBride and her good friends at a cabin in the Allegheny mountains of western Pennsylvania.

Susan gave me a sort of “care package” of memorabilia that reminded her of that time in her childhood and the cabin itself, my favorite being two wonderful old book covers.  She wanted a house, or rather cabin, shaped book and after some brainstorming I decided on a multi-needle, Coptic stitched, gatefold book structure with two salvaged buttons as a book closure reminiscent of door handles.

We had a great time with this collaboration and, feeling that our work looked good together, ended up doing a joint show in December 2007.  After the publication of Artful Storybooks we were asked to teach a Mixed Media Storybooks class at Asheville Bookworks in the Spring of 2009 inspired by this piece.  (The class description is below.)  Its wonderful when one thing leads to another so smoothly; particularly in the collaborative art world.

Thanks to Susan for including me in her creative endeavors and to Lark Books for supporting regional artists and crafters through quality publication.


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Asheville Bookworks
Tuesdays, 6-9pm
April 28, May 5, 12, 19, 26 & June 2 2009

In 2007 Asheville artists, Susan McBride and Annie Fain Liden, collaborated on a book making and story telling project that was recently featured in The Artful Storybook: Mixed-Media Artists Create Handmade Tales published by Lark Books 2008.  Their collaboration also inspired this workshop.  They will share their combined skills in mixed media illustration, story development and book construction to guide students through the exciting process of developing their own story book.  Students will choose from 3 interactive book structures, make the book from scratch, learn to use a storyboard method to plan the tale and use linoleum block printing, painting, drawing, collage and simple book closures to illustrate and embellish their own unique storybook.