Beautiful Books by Bari Zaki

UPPERCASE reader Bari Zaki makes these gorgeous books using traditional European and Japanese techniques. In addition to blank books, box-making, she also binds photography portfolios and photo albums.

Bari writes:

I have been a hand-bookbinder for 25 years and so your recent newsletters had a particular resonance with me. My career began with a simple yet intense curiosity; I saw a blank book that was made by hand and it sent my heart into a pitter-patter of delight… How do you do that, I wondered?!  I went in search. Since then I have made literally hundreds of books and have several stacks of them in my home, which have become permanent fixtures.

"Many people say to me that they love my books but they are too special to write in… I hear that a lot in fact. I thought about scribbling on the first page as an ode to making the first mess, so to speak." Whether they are left blank to be admired for their integral beauty of form and construction, or filled with sketches and notes, Bari's books live up to the ultimate goal of any book: to inspire.

Visit Bari's shop to see more. 

Calling Card: The Paper Flea Market

Trina Lucido is an artist and paper enthusiast. "I can't resist beautiful paper, old or new, and see potential in every piece I find," she says. "These papers find their way into my artwork which includes greeting cards, art journals, mixed media pieces and home decor." As her collection of papers and haberdashery grew, Trina decided to open up shop as The Paper Flea Market to share her finds with other paper and vintage lovers. 

She has scrapbookers' cuts of vintage wallpaper, lovely old hat labels, vintage buttons on cards (I can't resist a good old button!) and so much more... like any good flea, there's lots to discover!

The Paper Flea Market is the first official Calling Card that will appear in the fall issue of UPPERCASE. In addition to the ad appearing in lovely ink on paper in 10,000 copies of the magazine, a Calling Card ad will reside on the UPPERCASE blog sidebar for the duration of the forthcoming issue. I'll also share the ad with my Twitter followers and do a blog post, such as this one, to offer as much value as I possibly can to your $400 investment. The next issue goes to print after the Labour Day weekend, so there's still time to get your Calling Card if you get in touch soon. I look forward to sharing more Calling Card profiles here in the blog over the next weeks. Please click the Calling Cards already on the sidebar to discover more.

To make your Calling Card, choose an image that best represents you, your product or service (squarish image 3 inches wide at 300dpi ), then click here to upload it and get your Calling Card ad designed by me and shared with the UPPERCASE community. You'll be supporting UPPERCASE content creation, boosting your profile, be immortalized in print and be serving the community with your creative offerings.

Thank you to The Paper Flea Market!

Lesley Barnes' Post-it Notes!

Surface Pattern Design Guide and Work/Life 3 participant Lesley Barnes was asked by 3M, the makers of the famous Post-it note pad collection, to work on some designs for their Signature SERIES. Lesley's Lavish Elegance and Eclectic Chic collections are available for purchase here


a little something extra

We're celebrating Janine's birthday tomorrow with a gift for you: purchase a two-year subscription and receive a free everyday notebook set!

* Sale ends Sunday, April 20. Shipping costs not included with notebook offer.This offer cannot be applied retroactively. 



Catarina Vaz is a Lisbon-based designer who makes beautiful notebooks. She describes her company, Grafolita, as "a small universe where paper, ink and colour rule." 100% crafted by hand, Catarina's notebooks are letterpress-printed and bound one by one. 

"Grafolita is about one person who self teaches doing what she needs in order to do what she wants: Special handmade notebooks, through traditional techniques, that are reinterpreted and used in a new design approach, in the care for finishings and materials."

photos by Rui Abreu

photos by Rui Abreu

Polkka Jam cards and calendars


Here are some graphic and simple cards from Finland's Polkka Jam.

"Polkka Jam is the family company of Kristiina Haapalainen and Sami Vähä-Aho. Our studio is located in Kemiö, archipelago of Finland where we distribute Polkka Jam collection to dozens of boutiques across Finland and abroad. Our production is focused on the imagery that we design and create together. Our products bring beauty and joy to every day life. High-quality materials, domestic production and the timeless imagery of our designs help ensure our products stand the test of time. Our designs are inspired by nature and everyday life, and they embrace soft values. We are dedicated to our work and passionate about design and illustration."

Their shop also features some sweet totes, whimsical children's bedding and some pretty fabulous serving trays. I'm so tempted to start a collection of illustrated birch serving trays...


happy red fish


I've featured Hagar's work on the blog and in the pages of the magazine and I'm always intrigued by what she'll do next. Her latest explorations involve house plants and recurring triangle threaded motifs added to old house photographs.


Prints and originals are for sale in her shop. Details about a holiday sale are in her newsletter.

UPPERCASE everyday notebooks are here!

Everything looks so good together!

Everything looks so good together!

The pattern I designed for issue #19 is one of my favourites. It is inspired by Icelandic knitwear and mineral crystal shapes.

The pattern I designed for issue #19 is one of my favourites. It is inspired by Icelandic knitwear and mineral crystal shapes.

A set of two, warm colours.

A set of two, warm colours.

Each set comes with a black hex pencil.

Each set comes with a black hex pencil.

The notebooks are completed and look and feel wonderful! I was so excited I took these Instagram videos and shots as I opened up the packages. All the details came together so nicely, even the crystal clear bag that keeps everything secure is the perfect fit.

UPPERCASE everyday notebooks are available in our shop now! Just in time for holiday list-making and gift-giving.