Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Vegan and Upcycled

Periodically I get inquiries from people who like the appearance of my leather books and want to know if I can make something similar without using leather. I have done this a few times by request thus accumulating some pleather, vinyl materials and now I've decided to start offering them in my Etsy shop as well. So, I just added a couple to my shop recently. These books are both vegan and upcycled, since the cover materials are repurposed used clothing.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Dawson Print Shop

The first bookbinding course that I took, was at the Dawson Printshop. At that time, it was located in the Killam Library at Dalhousie University. There was a bindery room set up for classes, but primarily it was full of antique printing equipment with over 1000 cases of wood and metal type.

I was reminded of my time at the Dawson Print Shop recently becuase I am running low on hard drive space. I suppose I should explain that a bit better.

While I was at Dalhousie and taking bookbinding classes at night, I was more officially a student at the School of Information Management. One of the projects I worked on as a graduate research assistant, was the History of the Book in Canada project. Specifically, I was the computer nerd making the databases work for the HBIC Electronic Resources component of the project. (And just having visited the website, it appears the database search interface isn't working...is it possible that Lasso is not compatible with new browsers? what a shock!) So, anything computer-related or website-related was handed to me. During the development of the project website, I was given a key to the Dawson Printshop and sent off to take photographs of the equipment so that we might use them on the website. So, I was alone in the print shop with a camera, poking around taking pictures!

This is a replica of a 17th century Plantin-Moretus common press.

So recently when my C drive complained about being low on free space, I went through some old folders looking for stuff I could delete since I tend to save everything. One of the things I found, was a folder containing some of the photographs that I took that afternoon.

The Dawson Printshop has been moved to the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. I have been to visit since the move and the new space is much more vibrant compared to the no-window zone of the Killam Library. I discovered some photos of the new Dawson Room, on Nik's blog, who has been fortunate to work and study there.

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Local Sale

I'm not sure if I have many local readers, but if there is one, you can pop over to visit at this Spring Stop & Shop. There will be about 30 different vendors with quite a wide range of products, based on what I've heard. I'll be there with my books all day Saturday April 26th.

Post-sale update: So, I didn't sell out. I sold some stuff, but not the stuff that I really expected to sell. These craft markets and fairs are so unpredictable!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

World Book Day Etsy Sale

I am having a BOGO sale in my shop from Apr 23rd to 26th! Buy any book and get a second book at 25% off.

This is part of a group sale organized by the Bookbinding Etsy Street Team. Several members of the team are participating in this World Book Day sale from April 23rd to 26th. Each participating shop has its own special offer. Visit the BEST blog for the complete list of participating shops.

BEST also issued a challenge to all members, to create a book for World Book Day. There were several fabulous books created for this, and they can be seen on the BEST blog.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day

The Trans Canada Etsy Team has done a series of articles on their blog to feature individual eco-conscious Etsy sellers in recognition of Earth Day. All are fabulous Canadian artists and crafters and I'm honoured to be included here with them. You can read the individual articles here:
  • Minouette
  • MyHandboundBooks
  • Colleen Baran
  • FiveForty
  • RikRak
  • TanisAlexis

Thank you Morgen, for preparing these articles. Morgen is also very eco-conscious and has two Etsy shops: InkySpider and KootSac.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Not quite so little

More little books; but, not quite so small as the earring books. Just some fun little leather books on keyrings to draw in the crowds at my upcoming craft fair.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tying Knots, limited edition

My first limited edition artist's book: Tying Knots. I created the illustrations and wrote the instructions for eight different knots, and used them to make this book. Actually I made two of these books, a very limited edition of two. The pages are eska board covered with laser printed parchment paper. The covers have woodgrain printed fabric backed with mulberry paper. Brass findings on the front cover are used to attach two ropes. The ropes can be removed and used to practice the knots, of course. The binding is a Coptic-type chain stitch. One of these books spent some time at Another Room in Alameda, California.

So there, I finally did it. An artist's book. (Well, at least it is the closest I've come to something that might be considered an artist's book.) This might mean I'll have to reconsider my reluctance to call myself an artist... I've got some plans and ideas for other artist's book that i want to develop - but they are very slow to come together compared to the basic journals that I normally make! The biggest factor being the content, of course. Off I go, down a new road looking for content...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Complete Wiki Shakespeare

The Bookbinding Etsy Street Team is having a challenge to create a book for World Book Day. One of the things marked by this day is the anniversary of Shakespeare's death. So my book for this challenge is all about him. I intended to do something using a list of all his plays. So I visited Wikipedia, selected the complete list of plays that I wanted and attempted to "print selection..." but I fumbled and just sent the entire document to the printer. So, unintentionally having 22 pages of Shakespeare content in front of me, I changed my direction and made this little black book of Shakespeare Wiki Content.

This is a small hardcover book, with black book cloth on the covers. I cut a circle in the cloth and put a photoshoped image of Shakespeare under the cloth peeking through. I used the ream of accidentally-printed paper to create the pages for this book. I cut them up to make a book that is 4¼" x 4¼" (11cm x 11cm). So all the pages have text and images printed on one side.

After completing the black book, I still had some of the paper left, so I also made the three little notebooks shown here. The covers are heavy white cardstock, and they are sewn with black linen thread. The covers are decorated with bits of text and images cut from some of the scrap page.

World Book Day is April 23rd, so there will hopefully be other BEST members creating books for this challenge as well. They have been compiled with photos and descriptions on the BEST blog.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Atwood Flag

Sadly, a local independent bookstore has gone out-of-business. Happily, they had 80% off the last couple weeks and there was some stuff they were just giving away. So I am now the proud owner of this large Oryx and Crake promotional flag. I am an Atwood fan, and I remember hubby buying this book for me on his way home from work, the first day it was available (and possibly he got it from this same bookstore since he worked nearby at that time). Anyway, here it is, my Atwood flag. So what to do with almost 10 square feet of Atwood flag? It's just hanging in the basement right now - since it even came with a nice dowel for hanging. But of course I'm trying to decide how I might use it to make books...

Monday, April 07, 2008

My own stash of Nag Hammadi codices

Here is the most common photo of the Nag Hammadi books; I have linked this back to Wikipedia since its copyright is in dispute so anyone who is interested can go there to read about it. The books were just discovered in 1945, so the photograph is not so old. The books, though, are very old, dating from the 3rd or 4th century.

There aren't many photos of these books, because they were dismantled for preservation, I believe. The content of the books is the primary point of interest for most historians... I, on the other hand, just get annoyed when I google this topic and all I can find is the content! Nothing about the structure!

Ah, but I was very fortunate to attend a great workshop where I learned how they were made and have since created my own nice stash.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

So many little books

So, um, since the initial triad, the number of itty bitty books around here has just exploded.

I am preparing for a spring sale locally, at the end of April, so now I have a cute little display of teeny weeny books and a bunch of book-earrings all set to go. When I made the books for the earrings, I reinforced the spine on the inside of the cover, and punched a little hole to feed through a loop that could be attached to the ear wires. I got these great handmade sterling silver ear wires on Etsy (of course) from a shop called CanadianRockies.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Asymmetrical Favorites

I just spent much of my evening looking at Deckled Edge Bindery's books on Etsy and Flickr so I decided to share a few of my favorites.

These are all gorgeous. And I did have the opportunity to see one of Jen's books up close and in my hands, although just temporarily, and it certainly was fabulous, so pretty, and just wonderfully made! I already have enough trouble with 90 degree angles, attempting some of these styles would send me spinning! Check out her stuff at Decklededgebindery.Etsy.com

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Edible Books

Starting in 2000, the International Edible Book Festival has been happening around the globe and it is typically held on April 1st. The first year, there were festivals held at various locations in France, Australia, and throughout the USA. Since then, it has spread widely and has included participants in as many as 15 countries.

Some great entries from previous years that I've seen around the web:

My First Book of Shapes by Katherine Ng

Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern Are Bread by Aimee Meyer

Tail of Peter Rabbit by Judy Baily

Passover Haggadah by Gene Epstein

Pages of Peas by H. Mc Pherson

I have never attended a festival for this event; but, this year Tulibri invited others to submit photos for a virtual gathering. I almost missed it - which means I gave myself only a single afternoon to think of something and execute it! Two very chintzy concepts were realized. So for lunch, my little boy and I created Dr Toastus with a chunky exposed-spine chain stitch binding.

Later, I documented Life of Pie.