Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It's that time of year again: Edible Books!

Once again, on April 1st, people all over the globe will be celebrating books by participating in Edible Book Festivals! If you have always wanted to be part of one of these events but do not have a local Edible Book festival to attend, you can be part of the BEST Virtual Edible Book Festival this year. All you have to do, is make your edible book(s), snap a few photos, and upload those photos to the BEST Edible Books Flickr group before 9pm (EDT) on April 1st. You can join the Flickr group and upload your photos here: You can read all the details about the event on the BEST blog. Photos will also be posted to the BEST blog and a small panel of judges will pick their favorites!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Marbled Papers

A few more examples of my marbled papers from my last marbling session. I did get past the stones a few times. Starting at the top, these are a "diagonal stripe" with antique spots and a Spanish wave, then the "cathedral" pattern, some sort of "feather" pattern, a "nonpareil" pattern, and a "Gothic" pattern. These patterns may have other names, but these are the names with which I am familiar.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Repurposing materials for patchwork journals

I have finished another batch of journals made from repurposed and reclaimed materials. This time, the materials are the scraps and discards that I create when I make books. The catalyst for this project being the mountain of scrap leather on my floor last week.

So, the covers of these journals are made with small scraps of leather that have been matched and colour coordinated, adhered to a larger piece of leather, trimmed to fit a prepared textblock, then stitched.

The paper used for the pages has all come from the paper recycling bin beside my work table. That includes whatever I found in there, like papers from the computer printer, envelopes, sketchbook covers, paper leftover from other projects, etc. The result is an interesting mix of papers in each book, suitable for art journals or any writer who likes to get creative while journaling. Closures on these journals are made from either strips of leather found in the scrap pile and/or reclaimed buttons. I made eight of these books last week, and sadly, there has been no discernible difference in the size of Leatherscrap Mountain.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Naked Book: Expose Yourself to Journaling

"The Naked Book honors the technical beauty of book construction with an exhibition of blank, handmade books suitable for use as journals, sketchbooks or other creative gestures. 35 artists from the US, Canada, and even Italy show their books in all their naked glory. Don’t be fooled, though—these blank books are gorgeous and beautifully crafted. All books are available to take home immediately so you can get started adding your own special touches or thoughts to the pages. These books also stand on their own as wonderful pieces of art and craftsmanship."

If you happen to be in Portland, OR be sure to check out 23 Sandy Gallery and The Naked Book exhibit! An online catalogue for this exhibit is available on their website.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Old time recycling

I try to recycle a lot of materials when I'm making books. It's a common trend now, really. As we all know, there were a few decades of excess leading up to the current Reduce, Reuse, Recycle generation. What happened before those decades of excess? Ah, I see, of course they recycled too! Obvious when you think about how the quilts and rugs and such were made. Apparently also true regarding scrapbooks and diaries. My mother works with a local historical society and has transcribed some old dairies and is now digitizing old scrapbooks. She mentioned that some of the diaries were homemade, using brown paper that was stitched together to make a book. These scrapbooks, which belonged to Mrs Burnett, are also very homemade.

This first photo shows a scrapbook made from wallpaper. Large sheets of wallpaper were folded in half and sewn together with string to make a book. These newspaper clippings were collected during the 1940s and 50s so they are aging pretty well. The wallpaper was likely much better quality paper than the newspaper clippings, so that has probably helped.

Before Mrs Burnett made that handy scrapbook from wallpaper, she also used Eaton's catalogues for her newspaper clippings. One of these scrapbook catalogues is from 1925, also aging very well. Check out the price of those full-grain leather workboots - shipping included!

Wallpaper books and Eaton's catalogues, filled to overflowing with newspaper clippings. How's that for some recycling genius?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

New marbled papers

I did some marbling last week. Each time that I pull out my marbling gear, I try a wide range of patterns and techniques, but also I will focus on a couple techniques or patterns in an attempt to improve them by doing them over and over. As you can see from the first few pictures here, I did a bunch of free-form curls on stone patterns - with and without antique spots. (Looks simple, but in fact, I find the antique spots very difficult to apply well.) Actually, these are all basically stone patterns - the black one is the Italian Vein variation, and the last one is stones with a spanish wave.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Collecting the mail

I've been collecting used mailing envelopes from a few different sources and recently realized that the collection had grown almost out-of-control. I save the envelopes to make journals, where the envelopes are used as the pages. With my current supply, I was able to make seven journals, with some envelopes left over. So I started with stacks and stacks of these: And finished with these: The covers are decorated with various bits and pieces saved from old mailing materials, like this one which uses a green security pattern for the decorative paper embellished with some clipped postal marks and stamps from Japan. Or in some cases, the embellishments are printed directly onto the envelopes, like this junk mail sweepstakes example. And all of them have envelopes for pages, with all the security patterns, plastic windows, and stamps in tact to make for a very interesting journal-keeping adventure.