Egyptian leather art journal

When my granddad was in the RAF during WW2 he was stationed in the Middle East and on his travels bought a handbag for my Nan. I think it’s made of Egyptian leather and there are beautiful hand tooled designs on the exterior. It’s not very practical as a handbag though as the inside is stiff and the very opposite of capacious. It’s been stashed in a cupboard for over 20 years, since I was given it after Nan’s death. The inside zipper was rusted, the silvering on the mirror was gone and I suspect that Nan hadn’t used it for years herself because it still had some very old photos of my Granddad and Mum inside. So what to do? I took a deep breath, a very sharp craft knife and cut out the inside! I bound a stack of pages together with my Zutter (different quality sketchbook pages plus some manilla folders). and attached the bound pages to the cover by making three holes in the ‘spine’ of the handbag and threading leather cord up the binding wires and out through the holes. I’m so pleased with it.. it will finally get some use and it feels lovely and soft now the stiff interior has been removed. I’m going to write about the story of the bag and tuck it into one of the pockets. And when I’ve used up the journal I can remove the leather cord and add another. A perpetual art journal!


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