Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Hafliax Crafters Spring Market April 5 & 6

Preparing a few new things for the local Spring Market this weekend. Although, since it is snowing today, it doesn't feel much like Spring yet. I'm confident that this is the end of the winter weather!

Come visit me this weekend if you have a chance. The Halifax Crafters Spring Market is at the Olympic Community Centre, 2304 Hunter St, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Saturday and Sunday, 10-5. Check out the full list of vendors. Here is a sneak peak at my wares for the weekend.

Cityscape Notebooks, hard-carved and hand-printed

Itty bitty books in itty bitty bottles.

Portfolios featuring my own hand-marbled paper, designed to hold a standard lined paper pad.

Classy Leather Journals.

Japanese Yotsume toji notebooks.

Fun little library card notebooks.

Colourful chopstick notebooks

See you at the market!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Unfinished Project #4 (Marbled Fore-edges)

There are always a few unfinished projects on the shelf. Usually, these unfinished projects are personal projects which get shelved when custom orders and other paid projects come along. I do, though, try to go back to the shelf of unfinished projects periodically, and finish things.

This particular project was started in May 2011. At that time, I was taking a class at PBI and for the work we were doing in that class, we had a bookbinding plough at our disposal. I don't have a plough at home, so I decided to take advantage of this temporary access. A plough is used to trim the edges of a text block, to create very smooth even edges. It is necessary for certain bindings and it is necessary for fore-edge decoration. I decided to create a couple of textblocks and plough the edges so that I could bring them home and marble them.

These two ploughed textblocks sat on the shelf of unfinished projects for almost two years, until February 2013. At that time, I blew off the dust, and finally marbled the edges of those two text blocks. I had never done fore-edge marbling before, but it worked pretty well. Once I had a marble pattern that I liked, I dipped the textblock and made a matching sheet of paper to be used later on the covers.

I quickly moved the dipped textblock into a press.

I did that with both textblocks and left them in the press until they were dry. Then the textblocks went back onto the shelf. Fast-forward to February 2014, and I finally found the time to turn the text blocks into books, with their matching marbled paper covers.

Now, another month later, I finally photographed the finished books and shared the whole story here. A very satisfying finished project, for sure, even if it did take me three years.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

New batch of paste papers

I like to make a batch of paste papers from time to time. It is nice to be able to create my own decorative papers. Although I really enjoy marbling and traditional marbled papers are certainly some of the best decorative papers, imo, I also like the more informal look of paste papers. And they are much simpler and quicker than marbling!

Just a few from this morning to show. I tend to prefer simple patterns, low contrast. I find that I am much more likely to actually use the papers, if they are subtle, or not too busy. I'm also just not very good at the busy crazy patterns that some people do so well. So I stick with what works for me, although I did experiment a bit. In addition to the ones shown here, I actually did several others that are just basic brush strokes, back and forth, no extra patterning. (There are more photos on my Facebook page.)

I used cornstarch paste, mixed with acrylic paint, and I used a 98lb Canson mixed media paper.

Friday, February 21, 2014

May Workshops at The Morgan Conservatory

The Morgan Conservatory in Cleveland, Ohio has just announced their Spring and Summer workshops for 2014. It is an incredible lineup, I think there are 28 different workshops this time around! You can check out the entire list on their website:

I'm excited to be part of the fun. I'm going to be in Cleveland in May, checking out the Morgan Conservatory in person. Then I'm going to teach a couple workshops for them! The first one is May 24th, 2014. I'll be doing a workshop on the Secret Belgian Binding. Details and registration information here: morganconservatory.org/event/secret-belgian-binding/.

Then on May 25th, I'll be teaching a Japanese Bookbinding workshop where we will cover two lesser-known Japanese structures. Details and registration info here: http://morganconservatory.org/event/japanese-bookbinding/

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

It's all in the details

I have known this for a long time. When I'm making books, I love the little details. I love them independently of the finished book. I think that is why I have always been drawn to structure, more than content. In fact, when I first started showing books that I had made and people asked what the book was for, I was baffled by the question. I didn't think about the book's future purpose when I was making it. I was only interested in the structural details. During the past decade, though, I have forced myself to be more aware of the book's future purpose.

It was an introduction to Japanese bookbinding that really captured me, way back when, and which I have explored in great depth over the years. Having recently been making some samples of various traditional Japanese techniques has reminded me about some of those little details that I fell in love with when I first started making books. Here are a few details that I noticed on my worktable this week and had to snap photos...

Like these twisted paper tackets and the texture of Japanese paper...

And perfect turn-ins and corners, or close enough!

And the best square knots ever, made with flat paper cords...

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Japanese Bookbinding Course

I have just finished up some samples of the books we're planning to make in my upcoming Japanese Bookbinding course. I'm teaching this through the Nova Scotia Centre for Craft and Design, starting Feb 17th (every Monday night 6-9, for five weeks). We'll be making as many of these structures as we can, maybe more, depending on the group's working pace. We will be doing everything as authentically as possible, using the formal binding techniques for each style and using lots of authentic materials, beautiful Japanese papers, etc.

Course description and registration info here:

Book structures that we'll be covering, shown in the photo, starting top left:
A Japanese multi-section binding called retchōsō;
A handscroll (kansubon);
And, shown below the scroll, Yamato style notebooks;
In the top corner, a traditional ledger binidng, daifuku chō,
And along the bottom, the four variations of the traditional Japanese stab bindings.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Halifax Crafters TIBS Market - Feb 8th

On February 8th, I'll be participating in the Halifax Crafters pop-up market at Two If By Sea Cafe, in Dartmouth, NS. Visit the Halifax Crafters website to see a full list of vendors. It's going to be a great show, just before Valentine's Day!

Two If By Sea Cafe, in Dartmouth NS, has a lovely space for this pop-up market and the vendor line-up is impressive. Be SURE to come visit us on Feb 8th, between 8am and 5pm. You can pick up some amazing handmade treasures AND get yummy baked goods and fancy coffee, all in one stop. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Happy New Year & Congratulations!

So, Happy New Year to all my blog readers!

Yesterday, I selected two winners to receive 2014 Desk calendars. From the 53 entries here on my blog, I used Random.Org to pick a number and it selected 46, which is commenter "sarah sar", also known as Sarah Khan. So congratulation to Sarah your calendar is in the mail! Also, from the 32 entries on my Facebook page, I used Random.Org to pick another number and it picked comment #10, which is Yasmeen Khan. Congratulations to Yasmeen, your calendar is in the mail too! (I think it's amazing that both winners have the same surname!)

Monday, December 30, 2013

2014 Desk Calendar Giveaway!!

I designed a very cool desk calendar this year. It features 12 of my own marbled papers, one for each month, and perfect for sitting on my desk! I had a bunch printed, though, so I can share. There are a few available for purchase through MyMarbledPapers Etsy shop. AND I'm going to give one of them away, for free! All you have to do, is leave a comment for me and I'll include your name when I make a random draw for the winner. I'll also be collecting entries from my Facebook page (you can enter there too, for two chances to win)!

Leave your comment sometime this week - before midnight on January 5th. Make sure your comment includes some information or a link so that I can contact you, if you are the winner. I'll pick the winner on January 6th. I'll accept entries from anywhere in the world and ship it to you for free.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Chritmas 2013!

It's that time of year again. Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates it, and wonderful wishes to everyone who celebrates anything!

In lieu of a Christmas book, this year I found myself folding paper ornaments instead. I came upon these downloadable PDF documents which can be printed, cut, and folded to make various things. The website is TheToyMaker.com.

So, these are the two projects that I decided to try. The Elf Ball and the Polar Bear Sled.

And I printed a few "blanks" for the kids to decorate, we added string to hang them, and wah-la!

That was our little Christmas paper project this year. Easy-peasy. Have a fantastical, whimsical, happy holiday!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

2014 Planners are ready!

I have some new colours of leather for the Weekly Planners this year. Perfect for keeping yourself organized in 2014! I can also do monthly format if you prefer. You can check out the various colours currently available now in my Etsy shop.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Preparing for the Halifax Crafters market

Halifax Crafters Holiday Market is Nov 30 & Dec 1. You can get the details and a list of all the vendors on the Halifax Crafters website. See you soon!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Festive Craft Market this weekend

This weekend, I'll be at the 25th Annual Festive Craft Market, Saturday and Sunday, in Bible Hill, NS. There is always a fabulous group of sellers at this market so it is a great place to do some holiday shopping!