Retro Library Look: Patricia McDonough’s Portrait Portfolio


Note: words defined in the glossary are in light blue the first time they appear

Patricia McDonough developed a love of book design and utilitarian buckram when she worked as a librarian. She wanted her portfolio to resemble the hard cover case bound style covers that libraries have made when they are rebinding books. TODA  synthesized her desires and deigned an overall pattern made out of cut up Bodoni letters which was silk screened on buckram fabric in dark grey.


Retro features included rounded corners on the cover and jade decorative paper used on the Inside Front Cover and Inside Back/Pocket Cover (IFC/IBC/Pocket).


To make the portfolio more book like in appearance we chose an Internal Screw-Post Mechanism style binding.


CREDITS  Design: TODA;  Rep: Pink Staff; Fabric: Ash Grey Roxite Buckram; Interior Decorative Paper: Jade Permalin; Paper for Interior Leaves: Moab Lasal Matte; Silk Screening: Woman’s Studio Workshop.

To view more of Patricia McDonough’s photographs:

© Dweller By The Stream Inc.


Chronicling with Alice Garik

Brooke Forrest Reide July 23 2009 copy

Brooke Reide with goats copy 1


Alice Garik still shoots real film and hand prints on real paper. She doesn’t own a digital camera. I asked her to take some quick snapshots with mine the other day and reticently she acquiesced. This sent her rushing back to Brooklyn
to make these stunning Palla-
diums. Thank the goddess she cut me off at the pass before my impatience drove me to use those instant images. There’s a lesson here to be heeded.

I am honored to have Alice documenting my life for over 15 years. This collection of photographs combines Alice’s passion for photographing animals and capturing intimate moments.

Top Triptych: July 23, 2009, Brooke & Kids. Above: July 23, 2009, Brooke & Kids. Below Diptych: May 2008, Pinto Pregnant; Newborn in Wrap.

Reide & goat copy

albums-sewn 2 copyAlice was one of my first wedding photographer clients, in the early 1990’s, back in my Park Slope Brooklyn days. When I moved upstate in 1999, I brought about 15 wedding photographers with me as clients. Alice is the last one remaining from that original group. The others fell off one by one,  as newly weds began wanting to see photos on their blackberries while honeymooning and buying canned albums on line. There’s that impatience thing rearing its ugly head again. Look at what they are missing. Fortunately, Alice’s clients know how to savour the moment and respect the time and care that go in to the crafting of their images and albums.

a clam shell box with palladiums copy 2Alice’s ultimate talent lies in chronicling life. Her wedding work is often just the first event she captures as a couple embarks on their journey together. She is a Scorpio, like me, and can handle the dichotomies of life, birth and death, all in the same breath or click of the shutter. 

Forrest copyAbove Right: Flat-Back Sewn Parent Album. Above Left: Clamshell Box with Matted Prints. Left: Alice won an honorable mention in the French 2008 Px3 with this Spring 2007 picture
“The Goat Boy”.








To see more of her work visit Alice’s website, designed by yours truly, and  her blog:
For more pictures in this series see my new! personal blog:
Credits: Hats by Anna Shoub:
© Dweller By The Stream Inc.

Putting The Wrap On Scott Frances


Note: words defined in the glossary are in light blue the first time they appear

FrancesPhotoCover&Spine72_500IMG_0903The original Design concept was to have the entire cover of the portfolio be an uninterrupted photo (see photo at left). Cool idea. I devised techniques to make the paper photos survive repeated use. It looked great but was rejected  because the image was permanent and would not allow for updates. Hence the idea of the removable dust jacket (top & below left photos show three of the five images used as dust jackets).

FrancesDustMuseum72_500IMG_1459The dust jackets are giant wrap around images which I had dry mounted with an archival UV protecting matte laminate for durability. I tailored the dust jacket to wrap around the cover snugly so it does not fall off when the portfolio is opened and being viewed. The chocolate brown fabric portfolio has an Internal Screw-Post Mechanism  with sky blue paper IFC/IBC & Pocket. Scott Frances’s logotype was foil stamped on the front cover and spine in matching blue foil.


Please visit Scott’s new website to view his exquisite architectural and interior photographs:

CREDITS  Fabric: Chocolate Iris; Interior Decorative Paper: Sky Blue Permalin; Paper for Interior Leaves: Legion’s Moab Enhanced Matte;  Stamping: Crown Matte Blue Foil. 

© Dweller By The Stream Inc.

Silk Screen Spontaneity: Paul Costello’s Lifestyle Portfolio


Note: words defined in the glossary are in light blue the first time they appear

A late night brain storming session with his wife, a creative director, and a bottle of wine to get into the groove, resulted in the spontaneous hand-painted typography on the cover. The original image was painted in black, but was later reversed when the screen was made. Paul Costello has a magazine background, Vanity Fair to be precise, and is a hands on guy. He silk-screen the covers himself. I provided partially assembled white fabric covers and a jig to hold the covers in place while screening. Paul also covered extra white fabric with the black ink for me to use to complete construction of the covers & spine. The Inside Front and Back/Pocket Covers (IFC/IBC/Pocket) where made with the plain white fabric.


Unable to solve paper stiffness and cracking issues due to improper grain direction, Paul changed papers and we devised an new way to score & fold his interior French-Folded Leaves. Although the grain direction was still not running  head to tail, the new paper was softer and cracked less. I double-scored at the binding edge, the French-Fold was scored not with a bone folder as I usually do, but kiss cut with a scalpel to  create a crisp break at the foredge . The left hand page was trimmed back to the second score and the double stick taped shut. This allowed the leave to be bound on just one hinge increasing flexibility. Double-Page Spreads were left untrimmed. I must give Paul most of the credit for this innovation. Thanks Paul! Other clients with paper and printer constraints have benefited from this modification.

Mini Books


Beth Taubner of MercuryLab, who did Paul’s photo edit, came to me with an idea, “Can we incorporate smaller books inside the larger portfolio?”  This would expand upon the natural story-telling style of Paul’s work and be fun. How to do it? In little pockets? Bound in, if so how? Paul wanted the covers of the mini books to have the same image as the larger page they were sitting on. I devised a way to bind in little pamphlet sewn books and worked with his assistant to set up the computer files so they would line up.


In the works are smaller chunky companion books, asparagus with black type.

CREDITS  Design: Paul Costello; Mini Book Design: Dweller By The Stream; Photo Edit: Mercurylab; Rep: Sarah Laird Inc .; Fabric: Text Libris Asparagus; Paper for Interior Leaves: Legion

© Dweller By The Stream Inc.

2008 Most (Re)Productive Year To Date! Thank You!

I finished my corporate taxes for 2008 (yeah!) and discovered it was my most successful year to date. Woo! Woo!

Last June, my FedEx guy laughed as I waddled out with yet another finished project, “You’re going to work to the very end aren’t you?”  And I did.

To all of my clients… your patience was greatly appreciate as I took longer than expected to get back down to the bindery, due to post partum challenges. As you can see the results were worth waiting for.




I’d like to thank my existing clients for their business and referrals, my new clients, as well as their staff, for helping to support my dreams as a mother, homesteader and bookbinder and putting up with my “Milk of Amnesia”:  Sang An, John Blais, Morad Bouchakour, Marge Casey + Associates, Paul Costello, Scott Frances, Alice Garik, Christophe Jouany, Alan Kaplan, Caroline Knopf, Ken Kochey, Margaret Lampert, Sarah Laird , Jennifer May, Patricia McDonough, Christopher Micaud, Monica Rich Kosann, JJ Sulin, Beth Taubner, TODA, and Craig West.

© Dweller By The Stream Inc.

Orange Groves & Sunshine: Christophe Jouany’s Fashion Portfolio


Christophe Jouany’s portfolio was inspired by  his orange groves and the Florida sun. A Post-Style Album with orange leather  covers embossed with gold holographic foil, that reflects the rainbow, and yellow interior of handmade Nepalese gold brushstroke paper. Initially concerned about working long distance, he later commented on how easy the process was (see Getting Started in the page list to the right). After an initial conversation to ascertain his needs, he left me with the directive, “I like the Hermes Orange.” My Leather supplier sent a handful of orange swatches. I chose a variety of complimentary interior papers and sent these samples to Christophe.


In the interim he sent me sample interior pages to test and I gave him directions on how to set up his files (see How To Set Up Computer Files in the page list to the right). It must be said he is a decisive man and soon I was making the prototype. In the meantime he printed the first set of interior pages that I scored, French-folded, trimmed and punched. With these in hand I was able to determine the length of the posts, whether we needed spacers and the depth of the removable spine piece. We ultimately added a Title Page, Rep ID Page, and Promo Pocket on inside back cover (IBC). Note: a personal innovation- the posts are recessed into the post flap creating an elegant subtle detail.


Later a complimentary Beauty Portfolio was made using the same leather but in Peacock Blue.

CREDITS Design: collaboration Dweller & Jouany; Rep: Sarah Laird Inc.