Sunday, June 29, 2008

Try to win a book and all this other stuff!

I have included a small Coptic-bound journal as part of the prize pack for the Trans Canada Etsy Team treasure hunt. The full prize pack is shown here - lots of goodies! And all are handmade from Canadian Etsy sellers.

To get a chance to win this whole package, just visit the TCET blog and check out the list of questions listed there. Find the answers to 10 of those questions (all the answers can be found by visiting the list of participating shops shown there) and then submit your answers to the contest coordinator, by sending her a message through her Etsy shop, PiggyTailsStationary.

So just hop over to the TCET blog and all the instructions and questions are available there for you! Have fun treasure hunting!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Books on display

Two of my books have been accepted into an exhbition at the Cuesta College Art Gallery! I am a bit late posting about this, the exhibit has been ongoing for a couple weeks already; however, better late than never, no time like the present, etc. My books are part of the exhibit, "Artists' Books 2008" which runs until July 10th.

One of the books they have, is my book called "Tying Knots" which I've shown here before. It is a Coptic stitched board book with instructions for making several different knots. There are ropes attached to the front cover that can be used for practicing the various knots.

Also in the exhibit, is one of these little Nova Scotia books, which I made as a small edition. It has the official Nova Scotia tartan fabric on the covers, a bit of text on the first page just stating the provincial name in Latin, English, Gaelic, French, and Mi'kmaw. The remaining pages are a collection of my photographs of wonderful Nova Scotia scenery.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Chopstick Notebook Flickr Group

There have been lots of people making great choptick notebooks based on the tutorial that I published here on my blog last year. So I'm hoping some of you will share photos of your books with me. I set up a Flickr Group where you can share your photos if you're interested. Hopefully we'll get a fun mix of all the different things that are being done with this pamphlet structure.

The Chopstick Notebook tutorial was also featured on and it was published in a newsletter for the North Redwoods Book Arts Guild. So if you have seen this tutorial in any of those places and used it to make some notebooks, I'd love to see your work.

View the original tutorial and make your own, then share with me!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I should get a Yink, I think

This one, I think, is called a Yink.
He likes to wink, he likes to drink.

He likes to drink, and drink, and drink.
The thing he likes to drink is ink.
The ink he likes to drink is pink.
He likes to wink and drink pink ink.

SO... if you have a lot of ink,
then you should get a Yink, I think.
- Dr. Suess

So I utilized my newly acquired printmaking skills to do some more carving and printing. So I printed some gold flowers on the covers of these pink chopstick notebooks.

I'm still learning here. I noticed that my Speedball inks dry a lot faster than the Daniel Smith inks. My prints made with Daniel Smith ink seem to be smoother, though. The prints I made using the speedball inks seem to have a grainy texture. Maybe it's just the difference with paper absorbency. Or is there a hierarchy in the world of printing inks? Which is better? Or is it all just personal preference in these situations?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Scrap paper solution

Ok, after much deliberation about what to do with my excessive quantities of scrap paper, I decided to turn it into...paper. So I began by obsessively dividing it by colour. And so far I have just worked with the greens and the yellows-oranges.

I used these scrap papers to make tubs of pulp.

Then made myself some new paper.

I got about fifty sheets of each colour. Now rather than a big box of paper scraps that I hadn't been able to find any use for, I now have almost 100 sheets of handmade paper that is quite usable. I still have piles of red, blue, brown-black, and white paper scraps with which I'd like to do the same thing; however, the process is so time, space, and labour intensive that I might not get it done for a while. But the results are quite satisfying.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

My travel journal

Lots of people take blank journals when they are traveling or on vacation so that they can write about their adventures, maybe do some sketches, add collected papers, maps, tickets, etc. This sort of book is of course, commonly known as the Travel Journal.

I, however, have a different approach to the travel journal for my own travels. Rather than taking a book with me and adding content while traveling, I collect the papers and bring them home and use them to make a book after the trip is over. Here is my travel journal made from materials collected while I was in Tennessee attending PBI.

When I first arrived at PBI, they gave me a green folder with various introductory and informative papers inside. The folder was nicely printed with "Paper & Book Intensive 2008" on the front so I used that folder on the covers of my book.

I used parts of tourist travel maps to make a few pocket pages for the book. These are bound in the center of some of the signatures so that I have a place to tuck the smaller items that I want to save.

I acquired a number of business cards and a couple notes from other PBI participants and instructors, so they are all included in the book.

The remaining pages are all the paperwork related to my application to PBI, my travel itinerary, tourism brochures and maps, some paper shopping bags, and even my airplane boarding passes are in there (along with the paperwork from the airline when I was "voluntarily" denied boarding on my way home and was forced to stay overnight in Newark).

So there it is, the bookbinder's travel journal. All my travel memories are bound together in this one neat little book.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Eco Box Board Books

I made a bunch of these for a local craft sale that I did a while ago and they were rather popular that day. The few that were leftover, have been added to my Etsy shop, which lead to an order for 10 of them last week (shown above). There are quite quick and fun to make - and they are made with entirely recycled & repurposed materials. The covers are obviously made from the boxes left from our various snacks around here. It could be a commentary on our buying and eating habits...but try not to analyze it too much! The pages are also a mixture of papers from discarded notebooks, excess printer paper, some coloured paper cutoffs from larger projects, and then filled up with some new white paper that is 100% recycled. These ones will be in my Etsy shop:

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The other classes at PBI

Sadly, one cannot attend all the classes offered during PBI. One has to settle for three. But one does have the opportunity to fondle and drool over the work done in those other classes. Although excessive drooling is frowned upon.

There was a wide range of classes offered. People were folding papers, studying pigments, making pastels, making paper, marbling, making conservation boxes, paring leather, sewing endbands, sanding and drilling, and just generally being very creative.

First coveted class, was Hedi Kyle's paper folding. A few samples from the class:

Luckily, the people who did take this class were very generous to share some of their new folding skills afterwards so I did pick up a few new tricks.

Another coveted class, Shanna Leino's Armenian binding. Delicious samples:

She also shared some info with the rest of us who were unable to be in her class, so I have some notes on this binding...must try it soon.

And holy papermaking! Andrea Peterson's papermaking class did such amazing things with pulp!

And in the end, I think everyone wishes they had been in Dolph Smith's class. They produced fabulous works of art in this class - the books were difficult to photograph because they were very sculptural and multi-dimensional, but here's a couple:

Obviously, a good time was had by all!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Etsy Virtual Trunk Show

The Bookbinding Etsy Street Team will be hosting an online trunk show at the Etsy Virtual Labs on Monday, June 2nd at 9:00pm EST.

We will be showcasing some handpicked creations through images and maybe even via webcam so you can get a closer and more personal look at our books on Etsy. You will have the opportunity to meet with the participants and ask questions in a session after the showcase. There will also be some sales and giveaways, so this is definitely an event you don't want to miss!

Participating members: