My Leather Novel Journals (Melissa Robbins)

       When Penny mentioned ways to store and keep track of all the materials and information, I thought, “Aha!”  I’ve wanted to show these to the WARA members, my leather novel journals.  Binders that keep track of all the material I amass on WW2 and my characters fill my shelves and are useful and practical, BUT not very pretty.  I wanted something I could use to combine notes, sketches, and photographs.  Something my characters could very well carry around themselves.  Yes, I could go out a buy a leather journal, but there was something about creating my own from scratch. 

               I got on YouTube and figured out how to bind books.  I now know what those bumps are on the spines of old leather books.  I picked up the real leather, embroidery floss, and drawing paper at the craft store (on sale).  The hardest part was making sure all the holes lined up correctly, but the process is relatively easy.  If you can sew with a needle and thread, you can bind a book.  

                The fun part was selecting all the embellishments that reflected my main characters.  Steampunk elements were perfect for one hero and I created the wings from various jewelry parts.  That book stays closed with a purse snap.  My second book reflects my hero and heroine.  The pocket watch compass and gold heart-shaped locket are items near and dear to their hearts. 

  Here is a page out of one of them.  I used the photo corners my grandmother used for her albums to hold a photograph of Veronica Lake who my heroine resembles.  I also included information about her, a sketch of her in her nursing outfit, and a list of all the parts of her service dress as well.  Summer and winter dress were different.  Don’t want to mix them up. 

               The book also contains copies of pilot logbooks and combat reports, pictures of pilots working and at leisure, scene ideas, and pretty much anything related to my stories.  


Joan Vincent said...

How cool, Melissa! They look wonderful and "period" to boot. You tube is wonderful for how to's but I would never have thought of learning book binding on it. You are a multi-talented lady. Thanks for sharing.

Melissa Robbins said...


There are all kinds of videos for book binding, including one by an Italian binder doing it very old school.

Pat Davids said...

Melissa, you have a unique way of storing story idea that matches your unique voice as a writer. Write ON.

Rox Delaney said...

Beautiful, Melissa! And obviously quite useful. Who could ask for more?

Penny Rader said...

Awesome, Melissa! I'm so, well, in awe of your talent. I hope you bring these to a meeting. :D

I heard that YouTube is the second most popular search engine.