Handmade is imperfect, uneven, individual and full of soul.. Like a home made bread taken out from the oven. Nothing compares with that. 
Handmade also connects people from all over the world that share the same vision, it is so nice to know someone from far far away made an unique object just for you, with passion and skills.
Anca the Bookbinder

I don’t really know when my first interaction with crafting took place – maybe it was when I realised lead can be melted at home – I created some killer jewelry from lead back then :)
All the schools I’ve been to had art profiles, from piano to sculpture, to painting and photography.
I’ve always kept in my heart the nostalgia of working with clay so when I found out about this fabulous medium, polymer clay, I quickly bought a lot of supplies from overseas (in Romania, where I live, shops didn’t sell it yet). I bought hand-blown glass eyes and wool to make dolls. I love making them in a Victorian style, as I have a sweet tooth for past eras, especial for the Victorian one - you can see three of them in my  Forgottendolls  shop.

The bookbinding adventure started in a similar way, emerging from my need of creating 3D objects, that one can look at from different angles. My sister (teostudio) and I have always kept diaries, which made us hunt each other’s diaries when we were kids. So when I saw her actually creating journals from scratch, I had to make my own too. Then, I couldn’t stop; I made a travel notebook for my best friend, a sketchbook for my dad and so on. Now I am hooked, hopelessly addicted to bookbinding.
I am passionate of all crafty things, I tried everything, from crocheting to jewelry making – my secret hunch is that each new hobby is an excuse to buy more supplies! Yes, I am a handmade supplies hoarder. I know I have to part with some of the goodies I’ve been stashing so I opened a vintage shop (artstock) to let them go… it’s so hard! I can only take comfort in the thought that I am making room for new supplies!

But I think I found the perfect passion for me – bookbinding. I love the process - dying the paper – if it’s a vintage style leather journal for my MedievalJourney shop, adding a vintage beauty on it… or, making a polymer clay button for my journals at Baghy, engraving or painting the design. It is a complete craft that kind of puts all my hobbies to a good use. When I create a journal, I usually have a good idea of it in my mind, sometimes I draw sketches of the design… then I chose the leather (from my big stash of leather) torn large sheets of paper, decide for the color of the thread, the closing style… sometimes I add vintage stamps on some of the pages (did I mentioned my vintage stamps collection?), or a page of vintage ephemera… or add a design that matches the concept of the leather cover.

I love making journals and always think I am very lucky to be able to earn my living out of it – I am not rich, but when I think of my supplies, I think I am the king of the world! Making a hobby into a profession is tricky. Yes, it feels like I am in vacation each day, as I do what I love to do, but that doesn’t mean I don’t work non stop. This is very important when you are your own boss – you gotta be a demanding boss, and always try to improve all aspects of your craft. I do hope I will be able to continue doing this for a long time, as I truly enjoy making each journal from the concept to the book, from the sketch to an useful artsy object, that someone will cherish and entrust it with his/her dreams, creative ideas or secrets.

* * *

I love to read stories of passionate people, don't you?
And I love to see what they are creating using their skills and talents.
Especially when they are creating such unusual things as Anca's journals and dolls. I just adore the dolls...

You are welcome to visit Anca's blog (and I strongly suggest that you do, there are quite some awesome things to be found on there) and check out her Facebook profile.

You are also very welcome to come back here next Tuesday, for more of Anca's pieces.



Eliptic - black and copper abstract oval sculpture

Gotham - clay architectural sculpture

Cluster - silver wooden box

Thoughtful - Matisse inspired home decor

Intangible - conceptual clay rock zen box

Infiltrate - black and white miniature vase with roses

These pieces are looking quite different from the jewelry you could see in my previous posts on Shelley Koscielniak, don't they?
They are the result of a collaboration between Shelley and another very talented jewelry artist, April Wind.
Together they are coming up with remarkable conceptual pieces of sculpture, decor and jewelry.

You can see more pieces from Shelley and April in their two etsy shops: mkwSALON and mkwATELIER.




Ring by Shelley Koscielniak
'Cascade' - Bronze and aqua resin riveted ring

Ring by Shelley Koscielniak
'Invigoration' - Silver and brass riveted shield ring

Ring by Shelley Koscielniak
'Poise' - Copper & black recycled resin hexagon ring


Earrings by Shelley Koscielniak
'Succulent' - Silver and copper riveted organic earwear

Earrings by Shelley Koscielniak
'Compliant' - Silver and brass riveted organic earwear


Brooch by Shelley Koscielniak
'Congruity' - Silver, copper and black resin riveted brooch

Brooch by Shelley Koscielniak
'Fluid' - Silver, copper and black resin riveted brooch

Today I have picked some of the smaller pieces from Shelley.
They are absolutely fabulous, yes?
I love all those tiny details and the texture Shelley gives to the metal.... To tell the truth, I love everything about these pieces.

If you are interested in Shelley's story, you will find it in this post, and in this one you can see her necklaces and necklaces.
More of her jewelry can be seen on her website, you can also buy Shelley's pieces in her Etsy shop
And in a week you are welcome to pass by to see Shelley's pieces that are a little bit different.



After the past few weeks that have been completely mad for me, it's time to calm down.
For today I have picked some of my favorites in olive green - to me it is a perfect color to have around when you need to calm down and relax.
Now I only hope my next few weeks are going to be more quiet...
1. Cotton crocheted earrings by Aliquid
2. Small leather journal from Conduit Press
3. Soap sticks from Prunella Soap
4. Bracelet from Vera Creations
5. Necklace by Pia Barile
6. Glass ring from Color Fiesta
7. Leather bag from Jenny N. Design
8. Scarf from Sea & Stone



'Finesse' - silver and copper riveted pendant neckware

'Instigate - 'sterling silver and black resin riveted pendant

'Obscure' - sterling silver and rosewood riveted pendant neckware

'Explicit' - silver, bronze and black resin riveted pendant neckware


'Indulge' - sterling silver architectural wrist cuff

'Intrinsic' - sterling silver and black resin riveted bangle

'Intuition' - sterling silver organic link armwear

'Implicate' - sterling silver, brass and leather bracelet

After an unplanned brake I had to take from the blog it is great to be back with some outstanding pieces.
Like the necklaces and bracelets from Shelley, for instance.

If you are interested in Shelley's story, you will find it in this post.
More of her jewelry can be seen on her website, you can also buy Shelley's pieces in her Etsy shop.