Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy Halloween!

This year I haven't been able to indulge in making any Halloween-themed books myself; but, I always like to look around and see what other people are doing to bring books and Halloween together. So, I thought I would share some of the things I found.

Great idea number 1, making a super cool bat book. This is by "Bookfolding" on Etsy. There are other Halloween books in this shop too, pumpkins and ghosts, also wonderful.

And number 2, a classy Halloween journal from Baghy, on Etsy.

Number 3 is this awesome leather hardcover journal by TheSelkiesSkin, on Etsy.

Number 4 is this pumpkin book, with tutorial:

And number 5, is this trompe-l'oeil skull print by DogEarPrints, also on Etsy.

And lastly, and super amazing, are Tracy Chong's Halloween pop-up cards. Also on Etsy. This is just one example of Tracy's many awesome pop-ups that I saw during my search.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Halifax Pop Expo on Saturday!

If you in, or near, Halifax this weekend, then you need to check out the Pop Explosion that's been underway this week. On Saturday, it culminates with a "Record - Zine - Craft & Art" Fair at the World Trade and Convention Centre. I will be there, with my journals, please stop by and say Hi!

Thursday, October 03, 2013

"Page Design - It's an Open Book" at PBI

With the help of many guest bloggers, I've been able to share a bit about each of the classes that were offered at PBI in May. There is only one class left to discuss, and I can tell you about this one myself. The class was called "Page Design - It's an Open Book" and it was taught by Paula Jull.

So, when someone applies to attend PBI, one has to rank the classes in order of preference and if you are accepted, they try to get you into your top choices. Of course, all the classes are great so ranking them can be very hard. I tend to rank the bookbinding classes first, then slot in the other areas like letterpress and papermaking etc, because they are outside my comfort zone. Also, there is usually some kind of artsy concept class that I try to stay away from, since those are WAY outside my comfort zone. I have been very lucky and usually I get the classes that I rank highest. This year, however, I found myself in Paula Jull's class, which was one of those artsy concept classes...oh dear.

Of course, it was a good class and I learned a lot from Paula. This just reinforced my belief that there are no bad classes and it is actually very useful to be outside one's comfort zone from time to time.

Everything we did in this class was related to a book's content. Since I spend so much time making blank books, it is hard to switch gears and think about the page with content. But I did. We discussed and experimented with classic page layout options, the golden rectangle, and the Villard de Honnecourt diagrams, as well as some layout options that were less common. We considered different book formats and structures and how that related to content. We explored patterning and repetition, borders, titles, and consideration of the spread. We worked with type and lettering as critical page elements. We made rubbings and worked with found compositions, and talked about using randomly selected words to inspire new ideas.

No comfort zone there.

The objectives of this class did not necessarily include any finished book art objects. I did, though, put together a couple small books using some of the things we were discussing.


Trees is an accordion book and the page size was determined by a musical interval (diminished 5th). The position of the text box was determined by the application of Villard de Honnecourt's diagram across each spread. The first letter of each text area are found images, and the other text is all handwritten. It is a list of the trees of Michigan (since I was in Michigan at the time), using their latin names. The trees are hand-drawn, branching out from the valley folds.

I also made a small pamphlet where I focused on the use of text and found compositions, Empty Spaces Created Through White Spaces & Black Places. I started by selecting some images from books. I took those images and put them on a window with another paper over them, and then I traced the most dominant lines that came through. Those dominant lines were my found compositions. I put the found compositions together with the original images in this pamphlet and added a bit of text to each of my line drawings. It was an interesting experiment although the end result is an odd mixture of things, I certainly felt that some of the exercises might be further developed in future projects.

Title Page

Empty Spaces

We also made these cool folders to contain all the bits of work we produced in this class; it all came together very nicely in the end. So, thank you, Paula, for introducing me to these things. It was all very new to me, and even though it was outside of the zone, I was happy to be there and pleased with the work I produced!