Monday, March 23, 2009

Come and Get it!

I recently responded to a note on Facebook written by my friend, Erin Simpson. She is an artist whose blog can be found here, and whose artwork can be purchased here. We met and were roommates at SCAD, and she was the person who introduced me to bookbinding. Again, thanks for that, Erin!

So, back to this note! Here is an excerpt from what she wrote:
For the first SIX people who reply to this note, I will make and send you something. You never know what you might get, it could be a doodle, a painting, a t-shirt, a little creature made of clay... It could be pretty much anything, but it will be something creative and something that I will make especially for you.
My version of this varies slightly. I will use the True Random Number Service from to select six people from however many have responded (in the form of a post comment) by March 31st. The other variation is that, while you never know what you might get, you can bet that it will be some variation on the theme of paper, board, thread, and glue!

When your numbers are chosen, on April 1st, I will send you a message to let you know that you were selected to receive a "delightfully handcrafted object" from me, and I will request your address. Time will do the telling, and I will send you something at some point in the future! My guess is that you'll get your treat after the rest of our wedding thank-yous have all been sent!

Part II of the note is as follows:
The rules, as I have learned them, are that if you reply to this note, you then have to post a note like this yourself and make things for the people who reply, thus continuing the chain of creativity, giving, sharing, and awesomeness.
And not to worry if making things is not your particular cup of tea. You can participate by thinking of other ways to pass along the creativity, like writing awesome messages for people, baking, or just sending a cool thingamajig that you found in your closet or under your bed.
My variation on part II is that you should make a similar posting if your post comment is selected, no pressure if your comment isn't selected!

The photos in the post are a mix of some Japanese Stab bindings that I made around the time I was living with Erin (center image) and thank-you books that I made for my Swedish friends before I had to leave them and return to the states this past summer. The thank-you books (top and bottom image) are decorated with Swedish papers and imagery from places and events that we attended together. Inside is a recipe for a snack bar that I made to share whilst there, a special note, and my contact information.

So, make a comment and I'll make something for (6 of) you in return!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

March Madness

It has been a busy few weeks and I have a few photos of my recent projects to share. Above is a Japanese stab portfolio that I made for Josh. He needed a portfolio that would look professional, and could be made quickly. Japanese 4-hole bindings are a good fit for that criteria. The only downside to these books is that they don't open as well as some other bindings. To compensate for that, I suggested that he use a very large gutter. As can be seen in the image above, thanks to that large gutter, all of J's artwork can be seen without forcing the book to lie flat.

Speaking of Japanese bindings, my friends, Hannah and Clint came to visit recently and were up for a little how-to lesson in the bindery!
Here they are posing with their joint creation. They did a great job from start to finish! I showed them how to use Heat'n'Bond to iron fabric onto the light weight cover boards. Then we experimented with some screen printing for the front cover using one of Josh's screens. That part was especially fun because it was my first try with the technique. I was a little bit worried about the ink sticking to the screen. We made several prints in rapid succession and then raced to the tub to wash the ink out! It all came out and the screen is ready to use again! Han and Clint took turns punching holes in the covers and the pages and then Han sewed the book together. Job well done.

I'm teaming up with fellow NBSS alum, Wendy Withrow of Windy Weather Bindery, for a production project. My dad, who is currently the president of a professional association (to be named later!), is the client. As he is nearing the end of his presidency he would like to offer a book as a token of thanks to the members of the board. Lined pages were the preference, so, instead of trying to line pages myself, I ordered pre-sewn text blocks from Hollander's. That little step ended up saving time and money.

Last week I made all of the covers for the books. The USPS got them up to Michigan in record time. Wendy will be working on stamping the names of the members as well as the association name onto the covers. When she's done, she'll send them back, I'll case them in, and then send them to Texas where an annual conference is taking place.

Spring into Handmade was the name of the arts and craft market that Cottage Industry, of Orlando, hosted this past weekend. I shared a table (photo above) with my friends, Sarah and Lisa, from Orange Blossom Ink. Visit their website here to read more about our experience at the market and here to read about a field trip they took to Cottage Industry last year.

The three of us decided that we should collaborate on an item to sell at our table and settled on boxed card sets. Orange Blossom Ink designed cards and lined envelopes with decorative paper that Lisa found at Paper Source on a recent trip to Chicago. I used the same decorative paper along with some Japanese Asahi cloth to make the boxes. We made two sets for the show. Here is a photo of the other set. Each box houses eight cards with four different prints. I imagine that we will collaborate again in the future and that a person might be able to find one or two of these sets listed in our respective Etsy shops!

Below are a number of my miniature book earrings in progress. They turned out to be my number one seller at the market. Definitely fun to make! They are all pamphlet bound, and just as much work went into each tiny book as would go into a larger pamphlet binding. It was satisfying finding just the right size papers in my collection of smaller pieces.

So now, the March madness continues! I have an interesting and complicated box project to work on today, as well as some book repairs that are nearly complete. The two books I'm repairing are eager to return to their home in Massachusetts! I've been updating my Boombox Bindery Facebook Page with photos of the new work I'm adding to Etsy. I have a few more things in the store and will continue to add to it, little by little.