Andrea, from northeastern Ohio. I met her at the Handmade Artists Forum, which I've written about here several times. Andrea herself is an amazingly talented bookbinder who has a shop, Blue Highways.
I've been coveting her hand bound books for quite a while now, and I finally own one! She was creative and generous enough to start a contest at HAF, involving the Handmade Highlights, with one of her own books as the prize! I created a Highlight based on my favorite song, Castle Walls by Styx, and had the most commenters, so I won my choice of one of her gorgeous mini journals.
I got it on Saturday and was so enamoured with it that I had to share. First, her packaging is terrific; each book is wrapped in vintage newspaper with twine. The newspaper around my book was from 1963 and very interesting to read.
Also included with the book was a pretty notecard with a message to me and a book thong, also made by Andrea. It was blue cord with blue glass beads, my favorite color! I knew that Andrea included a complimentary book thong with every book she sold, but had no idea I'd be getting one with a book I'd won. I thought that was just really sweet.
Once I unwrapped the book, I got to see the fabric I'd chosen in person, these awesome batik sea turtles, of course in blue.
The book's closure is a blue ribbon with dark blue beads on the ends. The flyleaf is fun and also sea-themed, with pictures of urchins and shells.
The binding, though, is what boggles my mind the most. The book is hand-threaded in this lovely pattern of thread, that I think is the most beautiful thing.
The care and expertise she puts into these books is evident from front to back. I'm so glad I got it, and know I'll be buying more in the future.