His Name Was Slim

My grandmother was a big horse lover, and her favorite was a white gelding named Slim.

Hard cover hand bound journal with horse skull
His Name Was Slim, original hand bound journal by Jilene Schafers 8″x 9″x 2.5″ 

I wanted this book to be a bit more personal, and since I was never lucky enough to own a horse, I decided to give that honor to my Oma’s beloved four-legged friend, Slim. Morbid? Maybe, but that’s just how I roll sometimes.

Ironically enough, despite the name, this journal is anything but slim! At 336 hand cut and stitched pages, the text block (bookbinders term for the sections of paper) is a heavy 2 inches thick, my biggest journal yet. 

Once I had finished sewing the text block, shaping the spine and cutting the cover boards to size, I drew out the design for the cover. It took many painted layers to get the background on the covers just right, playing with different rustic hues that I felt went well with the image. Once I was satisfied with that, I transferred the drawing onto the front cover and continued to work it until I was satisfied with the how it looked. 

Horse skull drawing
Slim, Pencil on paper, 8.5″x 11″ by Jilene Schafers

I attached the painted covers to the text block, and carefully adhered the strip of leather to the rounded spine. After attaching the end papers to the cover I added some finishing details. The beaded page marking ribbon, and the quote printed on distressed paper wrapped it all up quite nicely.

Inside cover of His Name Was Slim, Quote by Trish McCagh

All in all, this beast took me over 40 hours to create. I lost track of time somewhere in the middle of the process, but learned a lot along the way. I’m really pleased with how this journal turned out. I just find there’s something so special & satisfying about hand made books, and once they’re filled? That’s some real magic right there!

spine and back cover of His Name Was Slim Journal
Back cover & open spine of His Name Was Slim, Hand Bound Journal by Jilene Schafers