May 6, 2012

The Sunday Salon – Bookmarks Galore

The Sunday
As those of you who have been with me for a few years might remember, I collect bookmarks. I also used to make my own: what better way, after all, to inexpensively add to your collection? I used to make them for friends and fellow bloggers too, and giveaways of homemade bookmarks were a regular feature of this blog a few years ago. In fact, I strongly suspect that most of the people who have been blogging friends with me for over three years have had bookmarks forced on them at some point or another. The reasons why I stopped making them amount to becoming busier, to having had to leave my craft supplies in storage for a long period, and to a steady waning of the kind of confidence required to believe other people could be interested in something you have made with your own hands (and to think you’re supposed to grow less self-conscious as you age).

Anyway, in case you’re curious, here’s what some of my homemade bookmarks looked like:

fabric homemade bookmarks

felt homemade bookmarks

misc homemade bookmarks

misc homemade bookmarks

(Apologies for the terrible quality of the photos, by the way – this was all prior to my getting a semi-decent camera.)

The actual goal of this post is to show you some of the latest additions to my collection, much like I did with postcards a few weeks ago. Let’s start with the cat-themed ones (as always, click to enlarge):

cat bookmarks

The first one on the left is a print of “Cat in the cottage window” by Ralph Hedley, and I picked it up at the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle last year. The fabric one beside it came from a craft fair I stumbled upon randomly in York. The following three were all gifts from lovely people: the ribbon one from Renay, the giant clip from M’s mother, and the blue one from Amy. The last two were sent to me by the very nice folks at Pomegranate, along with a copy of Edward Gorey’s The Lost Lions as part of the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.

owl, vintage, Shakespeare and stamps bookmarks

The one on the left in this picture is actually the only bookmark I made myself in the past two years or so. It was inspired by my fellow blogger Marieke, and I’m actually quite happy with how it turned out. I wouldn’t quite say I collect stamps, but whenever I receive a package or letter with nice ones I tend to save them, and as a result I have gathered some really beautiful ones from all around the world over the years. It was great to finally have something to do with them. The following two were presents from M (the owl one is made from wood shavings that would otherwise go to waste, which makes me even fonder of it), the vintage one was a thrift store find, and the bottom right one was a gift from Jodie. It’s a Much Ado About Nothing bookmark, and it makes me happy because it reminds me of the very fun day when we saw it performed at The Globe along with Meghan and Ana.

free Foyles and Persephone bookmarks

Here we have two from Foyle’s in London, followed by three that came with the Persephone Biannually (always such a pleasure to receive it). I have a few other Persephone bookmarks, but when I actually own the book they match I tend to keep them inside it. The two on the right are from Manchester Metropolitan University’s Library Special Collections. Who said free bookmarks couldn’t be awesome?

Book Depository free bookmarks

Lastly, here are a few more awesome free bookmarks: one of one of my favourite novels of last year; one from the amazing British Library science fiction exhibition I saw last September (speaking of which, I really wish I had blogged about it, but this was around the time when I was finishing my dissertation), and four limited edition ones from The Book Depository. These aren’t even the only Book Depository ones I managed to collect, which suggests alarming things about the amount of books I used to order from them three years or so ago.

Do you collect bookmarks yourself? If so, what are some of your favourites?


  1. I did not realize you were one of these crafty people! I have no talent whatsoever in that department, unfortunately for my kids and their crazy school projects. I DO collect bookmarks though. I have ones I've purchased and ones people have given me...a whole drawer full. One of these days I need to dig through them to find my favorites.

  2. Sandy, I guess I haven't shown that side of me in a long while :P You should do a post about your favourites! I'd so love to see them.

  3. Ana, I LOVE LOVE LOVE that stamp bookmark!!!! I am so stealing that idea. :D

    I can't get over just how many incredible gorgeous bookmarks you have! I don't deliberately collect them (as in I don't think I've ever bought one for myself). But I have a very special collection none-the-less thanks to the wonderful people in my life. My favorites are the cat one you made me (and always use in the books I'm reading to Max :D ), a woven from yarn one that Gray made me, and this positively beautiful silver one you made (not sure if you remember that one or not, but it is positively one of the most gorgeous bookmarks I've *ever* seen).

  4. I tried to make one based on instructions on Oprah Winfrey's site. But my effort didn't get a glorious end. You have a very artistic hand. :) . I like em all.

  5. I tried to make one based on instructions on Oprah Winfrey's site. But my effort didn't get a glorious end. You have a very artistic hand. :) . I like em all.

  6. I have one of your book marks!

    I think they are beautiful Ana. xx

  7. I found this wonderful little bookstore in Placerville, California, up in the Sierra foothills, with a bathroom completely covered in bookmarks from bookstores, plastered all over every wall and the ceiling.

    So, if you're ever in Calfironia....

  8. I'm not a bookmark collector, but after seeing some here, I'm envious. Maybe I should start collecting them.

    How wonderful that you make them to share with friends and family. I think your handmade one's are lovely. I too seem to get more self-conscious as I get older about similar things. I would imagine that many people love handmade items. I know I do. It takes so much more thought than something store bought and to me, means that much more.

  9. Impressive! I love the one with the autumn leaves, and the black and white from the Manchester Metropolitan University's Library Special Collections. Lovely!

    I typically use an interesting postcard as a bookmark. For Christmas, I gave my mom a copy of "Les Miserables" (she's doing my chunkster challenge!) with a homemade bookmark for each month. I put a short poem/saying on the back of each one that seemed appropriate for the month.

  10. Lovely bookmarks! I'm so happy to have been the recipient of two of such bookmarks :)

    Have a great week, Ana!

  11. I used to have huge collection of bookmarks but none as exquisite and beautiful as you have here! it could be a business idea that will fly!

  12. Such cute bookmarks! I used to draw my own special bookmarks for certain books on index note cards and color them with crayons and colored pencils. I should do that again. I also get some free bookmarks from my friend Small Review.

  13. they're so cute! and beautiful! I like the one with the cat snd spider. I'm funny about bookmarks- I admire the designs, and like looking at them, and making them, but i never use any. I always want just a blank paper to jot notes on, so I use scrap paper for marking my spot instead.

  14. It makes me sad to think anyone would ever think a handmade gift was...unacceptable? I like them best, because I love having a piece of someone so to say. So hopefully one day you'll return to making bookmarks, friend!

    You have so many lovely ones. :)

  15. This post totally made me smile, as I won some of your bookmarks in a giveaway a few years ago -- in fact, I saw them in the pictures :-) I still use them and have greatly enjoyed them. I wish I was craftier and more creative when it comes to this sort of thing. I think they make wonderful gifts!

  16. I am the happy owner of an Ana-Bookmark! :) These are some really lovely bookmarks.

  17. Your home-made bookmarks are really lovely. I like the ones in autumnal colours and the one with the leaves on it. I am always losing the few bookmarks I have and usually end up using receipts and old train tickets! So I wish I had a great collection like you - I especially like the cat ones!

  18. I spy a bookmark of yours that I have. ;-)

    Also, I loved the cat looking upside down at the spider book mark. Too cute!

  19. They're all so pretty! I love looking at bookmarks...not to mention owning them too. :)

  20. I'm actually very sorry I missed the days when you would still make bookmarks- they're wonderful.
    I especially like the stamp one! I might try to do one too :)
    The cat bookmarks are all adorable (I do love cats, though).
    I had an accidental bookmark collection, but I think I gave some away a couple years ago... I have some ticked away in drawers somewhere in my room though...

  21. I love the cat bookmarks and the little owl one! There's nothing better than reading a book and having the PERFECT bookmark for it.

  22. I have a framed picture of the same cat in the window that you do! My kids love the picture also.

    What a marvelous collection you have, Ana! I have some, but nothing like you do. I have the ones you sent me, and some my kids made me over the years at school and daycare, and like your commentators say, they are my favourite, because they are made. My daughter particularly likes yours, also. She is very crafty like you are :-)

    I like to collect bookmarks from various places, not as much as postcards, though. You have me planning a post about my postcards, just because I might have enough now to make it a tiny collection! I loved both of your posts here :-)

    Oh - I love the Persephone book marks too, aren't they lovely? I have several now, and I love the patterns they use.

  23. PS my daughter keeps picking yours up and asking who made them. Only I get to use them! lol they are from you, and so extra-special, that's what I meant to say.

  24. Pretty bookmarks! The ones from Book Depository are so cute, they look better than the ones that they have now. It saddens me whenever I get a package from them and it doesn't have a bookmark in it.

  25. Debi: I do remember that one, and it makes me happy to hear it's a favourite of yours :) Sad story: I used to have a crafts folder on my computer with pictures of not only free templates and inspirations I found online, but also every finished bookmark I ever made and gave away. But when I was looking for it to draft this post the other day, I realised it was completely gone :( I have no idea what happened; probably I forgot to back it up when doing a clean instal after my last laptop meltdown, even though I really thought I had everything. So all I have now are the pictures I posted here, which survived because I included them in previous posts.

    Alpha: You're too kind!

    Vivienne: Aw, thank you so much :)

    C.B. James: I will definitely have to visit if I'm ever in the area!

    Kristi: Never too late to start! And yes, I love receiving handmade items for those very reasons, but when I look at my efforts later all I see are the imperfections. Not a very productive way of thinking, I know :P

    Kate: That's such a lovely gift idea!

    Lightheaded: Aw :) The Discworld one you gave me is one of my very favourites.

    JoV: I've considered going the Etsy route in the past, but I always worry my efforts are too clumsy and full of small imperfections. I'd also need new craft supplies and wonder if that initial investment would be worth it. Still, it's something to consider while I wait around for that elusive "real" job.

    Bookish Hobbit: It's always so nice to get bookmarks from friends. No matter how many I have, they're the kind of gift I always appreciate.

    Jeane: It is funny that you never use them, especially because you make such great ones! I love the animal ones I won from you :)

    Amy: I feel the exact same way when it come from other people, but as per usual I have trouble applying the same standards to myself :P But thank you so much. I know my current mindset is not permanent and hopefully one day I'll feel comfortable with making things again.

    Melissa: I wondered how many of the ones in the pictures would be recognised :D So glad to hear you've been enjoying them.

    Lu: Aw, thank you Lu!

  26. I always thought I had quite an extensive collection of bookmarks but compared to you mine is miniscule! As much as I like all my bookmarks I do find myself drawn back to one in particular which I made myself as child with some flowers I had dried and pressed. My mom added a simple inscription in her beautiful italic writing of my name and the year it was made. I find something very comforting about using this bookmark.

  27. I don't collect bookmarks, but I will buy unusual ones on occassion. I have one of Henry VIII, it's made of silk and suited me because of my love of the Tudor dynasty. And I have another that's of a pale green material with jewels on it. I love it, but it's quite thick and can make a dent in the pages so I don't use it. From having used pieces of paper quite often, having a bookmark is like a luxury that confirms to you that your reading is a true hobby!

  28. So I'm wondering if you pair your bookmark with the book that you're reading? I do this sometimes.

    I don't have as many bookmarks as you do but some of my favorites are the ones that you've sent to me. I accidentally left one of them in the front pocket of my airplane seat and had to rush back onto the plane to retrieve it! ;)

  29. I loved seeing your collection! These are so great. It's funny that I recognized some of those Persephone's :)

    I especially love your stamp bookmark. That is such a great idea.

  30. I forgot you collected bookmarks! There is a cool bunch at a store near here. I am thinking you will be getting one provided they still have some. :)

    And, really, I love my bookmark from you.... Why word that so negatively. :p

  31. Sarah: Those are some of my favourite designs too! And it's never too late to start your own collection.

    Christina: :D And yes, that's a great one, isn't it?

    Melody: Same here! You should post some of yours :)

    Mariana: Maybe I'll go back to making them one day - and if so, I promise to send some your way!

    Tasha: Yes, exactly! I love it when they match.

    Susan: Aw - I can't tell you how happy that made me :D And I can't wait to see your postcards post.

    Chachic: I don't order from them as often these days, but yes, it makes me sad when they don't include one too! The last few I got were part of the measurements/conversions series - not as pretty but definitely handy :P

    Jessica: You should post your collection! And that's so lovely that you still have the one you and your mother made together.

    Charlie: Haha, yes! And the ones you describe sound lovely - too bad about the dents.

    Trish: Yes I do! I always try to pick one that fits the general mood of the book. And awww :D I'm glad you were able to get it back!

    Iliana: Isn't it? I still have plenty of stamps left over so one of these days I'll try to make some more. Excellent idea for a blog giveaway, actually.

    Kelly: Sorry, sorry... I know my mindset lately isn't helpful :P

  32. They're super-pretty! You make me want to make my own bookmarks, too. I had one a few years ago that I really loved; it came from the Italian edition of The Strange Case of the Dog Killed at Nighttime and it was all red with a picture of the dog. It was so cute. Then my brother scribbled over it as a joke and the bookmark was ruined :(

    What do you cover then with? Gift wrapping paper?

  33. I've used gift wrapping paper with pretty patterns on occasion, but when that's the case I cover it with a layer of decoupage glue, which works as a kind of varnish and makes the bookmarks more sturdy (I also did this with the stamps one). But mostly I use fabric scraps, which can be really inexpensive if you look in bargain baskets at any random fabric shop. Once I also ordered Japanese fabric scraps on Etsy, and those are some of my favourite patterns (though much pricier than finding something locally). Felt is also an excellent material, though not as easy to work with. Also, you can find really gorgeous fancy paper at craft supply stores - that's what the silver, purple and burgundy ones in the last picture are made of. I hope this helps! And I'm sorry to hear about your dog bookmark :(

  34. You're homemade bookmarks are lovely! I don't collect bookmarks myself, but I do hold on to the pretty ones :)

  35. one word wonderful ,all the best stu

  36. Oh, I love bookmarks! I love to pick a bookmark that "fits" whatever book I'm reading. I don't have a very large collection, and I snagged most of them free somewhere (usually a bookstore). One of my favorite free bookmarks is one from a bookstore in London that I found in a used book. I love imagining how it made it over here :)

    I love your bookmarks! Don't feel self-conscious about them. Half of their beauty comes from the fact that you made them yourself.

  37. I have six bookmarks I made, featuring six of my favorite-ever characters...and then I choose which bookmark to use based on which fits the book I'm reading!

  38. Hey, aren't some of these in my house now?;P I use the brown felt one you sent loads because it's better for when I cram books into handbags than any of my paper marks are. Really like your stamps idea - may also want to steal it.

  39. I'm going to TRY to not sound like the biggest freaking sap in the world, but this post made me teary eyed, Ana. It just threw me back a couple of years ago. I have a couple of these bookmarks that you showed here and they are among some of my very favorite most special possessions because they're handmade by you :) I really loved this post!

  40. I love bookmarks too yet I still end up using train tickets, museum tickets, receipts, photos and whatever else is in reach. I love that too though because I'm carrying around memories!

    My favourite bookmarks in this post are ALL of the cat ones. (I love cats too...)

  41. Hi Nymeth :)
    It has been a long time, I use your book marks you send me a few years ago when ever I read a book.

    Enjoy your time in Paris, my home. Paris will always be my home even so I am in the States now...I miss this beautiful city.

  42. You have so many lovely book marks. I used to collect them but have slowed down a bit as of late. My favorites are some that I purchased from my library's used book store. They are made out of old and interesting post cards. The best part is that they were very inexpensive and all proceeds went to the library.

  43. Hi there,
    I came across your post when I googled bookmark. I started collecting bookmarks since I was in secondary school. The one I love most? a collection of 12 bookmarks that will form a very famous painting in China.


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