Monday, June 29, 2009

Miniature Book Pendants: Small Things, Great Love

As the school year drew to a close, my mom, a kindergarten teacher, began to think about how she might show her appreciation for all of her wonderful classroom volunteers. I may have had a part in helping her think of her final plan! She teaches in a Catholic parish where she and my dad also attend mass (It is also the church where Josh and I were married). Mother Teresa's quote, as seen in the photo above, is one that the parish priest quotes from time to time, and one that my mom has taken to heart.

There was another solution for the men who volunteered, but for the ladies, I made these miniature book pendants to be used on a chain or charm bracelet. I printed the quote, "Do small things with great love," on vellum paper. Each book has a few extra vellum pages and colored endsheets to complement the pattern on its cover. I made a total of fifteen, twelve of which are pictured above. These books are the same size as the miniature book earrings I make, 3/4"x 1/2".

A gift isn't complete without some sort of packaging, so I made envelopes out of a sheet of decorative paper that goes with the school colors. The envelopes are just big enough to fit a business card and one of the pendants. I left them open when I sent them off to my mom, so she could decide who got which pattern and seal them herself. All she had to do was peel off the backing of the double stick tape that I had adhered to the envelope flap. Once sealed she wrote a tiny note or a to/from on the little tab of paper that I secured to the front side.

Talk about small and great! Aside from describing my mom very accurately, that also describes this photo of the two of us. It was taken a year ago with her stellar camera timer skills. We were having fun in the lovely and grand Worcester Train Station in Massachusetts.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

B.E.S.T. Contribution: The Bonefolder

Today is my first day as a contributing member to the Etsy Bookbinding Team blog.

Thursday is my day to post, and my plan is to document and chat about the tools of the bookbinding trade. I'm limiting the tools to those that I find in my own bindery. I've yet to do the count, but I think this will take me through quite a few Thursdays.

Luckily, I have a little helper who will help me choose what to post about, & more importantly what to play with.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Small Flatback Travel Journals

Earlier this month I sent this set of eight small travel journals to my friend Stacy. She has a great group a friends, seven of whom recently traveled to New York with her to celebrate two of the friends' engagements. This isn't the first trip of this nature, they've had four previous engagement trips which led them to Las Vegas, New Orleans, Miami, and San Fransisco. After each of those trips the gals got together and made a scrapbook for the bride.

Planning ahead, Stacy wanted to give simple travel books to her friends so they could keep track of their itinerary and have a good place for safe keeping of souvenirs and memories.

The best way to include simple pockets was to use #6 envelopes that I had on hand. I cut the flaps off of the envelopes and cut the rest of the folios and end sheets to match that size. Each book includes two envelopes for a total of four pockets.

Paste was used to secure/align the sewn endsheets to the rest of the book block.

The books were lined with super and a matching paper lining. Endbands were made with the same bookcloth used on the covers.

Each book block was the same size, so I was able to make all of the covers in production fashion.

To keep costs low, I only used materials that I had on hand. The turquoise blue cloth is the prettiest I have in stock, and it was a good choice to pair with the pastel endsheets.

I was pleased to find a different decorative paper to complement each color pairing. Stacy was able to give a unique book to each of her friends. I hope they have fun when it comes to scrapbook time!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Folded Star Book Tutorial

Pictured above are an assortment of folded star books. From left to right; pages made from colored construction paper & covers made from Chili's coasters, printer paper pages with covers using decorative paper and a turquoise bead embellishment, a typography journal made with printer and decorative papers, a gift from my friend Erin - made by Jen Swearington of Jenny Threads with ketchup artwork for the covers, and finally the little book featured in my last post.

The following is a tutorial for making these fun books. They can be made in any size, but if you use the dimensions that I provide, a basic printer paper can be used for the pages. Have fun, and please let me know if you have any questions!

Creating the Basic Structure
Using a sharp blade such as an Xacto or an Olfa utility knife, cut out two 4¼ x 4¼ inch squares from a piece of board (binders board, cereal box, any board will work). Be aware of what is underneath the board while you cut. If available use a cutting board or self healing mat. These two pieces will be your covers.

Making the Covers
Cover these two board pieces with paper or fabric. Use an adhesive appropriate to your cover material. Mix (PVA & Methyl Cellulose), Paste, Glue Stick, and HeatnBond are all acceptable. I like to brush Mix onto the paper and then place the paper onto the board. Use a bone folder to smooth cover material onto boards.

Adding Embellishments
You may add a decorative element to one of the boards to create a distinction between the front and back covers. Use contrasting paper, beads, or found objects to create this sense of a cover.

Folding Paper
Fold an 8½ x 8½ inch piece of paper three times. From one corner to the opposite corner create a diagonal fold. Flip the paper over and then continue from the left side to the right side creating a vertical fold, and from the top to the bottom creating a horizontal fold. A bone folder will help create crisp folds.

Creating the Book BlockPlace your pages in front of you so that your diagonal fold is vertical. Next, flip every other piece onto the opposite side. Adhere the folded pages one to another in an alternating manner. A glue stick may be used for this, a thin even coat of adhesive is desired. When all of the pages are connected, this is called a book block.

This construction paper version is a good example of how the pages should be attached.

Completing Your Book
One at a time, adhere the front and back covers to the endpapers of the book block. Be careful to align the covers evenly. The book should be able to stand on its own when dry. A glue stick or the PVA and Methyl Cellulose mixture may be used for this.

After you finish your book, if you find that you need more pages, no problem! Just fold another page and glue it in -- as I did in my typography journal (above).

Thursday, June 11, 2009

First Handmade Winner: Pink Folded Star Book

DjStoreRoom was the first name pulled from my virtual hat, when I selected winners for my handmade drawing. Armed with the knowledge that she loves pink, I kept an eye open for rosy combinations.

I found some strips of lovely pink paper that I thought would make great square pieces. From there, I decided that a folded star structure would work, and found the rest of the pieces. The boards of the book are graced with one of my favorite papers from Chena River Marblers. The front cover displays a thin coating of gesso followed by a pink hot iron transferred flower. A sweet size, the book measures 1 5/8 " square and about 1/2" thick.

DjStoreRoom is owned by a woman named Diana, living in Singapore, who makes and sells delightfully patterned pouches on Artfire and Etsy. Visit one of her stores, check out her blog, become a fan on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Reusing Household Containers

Last week it was time to make new batches of paste and methyl cellulose and I was pleased to discover a couple of containers from my stash that were the perfect sizes and match beautifully! Aside from patiently waiting for their new use, they have something in common -- olive oil! The paste container was a Fleishmann's olive oil spread container, and the quart jar was for Kraft Mayo with olive oil.

After my olive green excitement, I took inventory of how my container saving habits have come in handy. This is our cinnamon sugar shaker, formerly of Parmesan cheese fame.

I'm pretty sure this was originally a tomato can. I hang my pva brushes, bristle down, from the edge of my bench, but this tin snugly holds the rest of my brushes. I like how the ridges on the tin are similar to the crimped ferrules of the paint brushes. I didn't quite know how to describe the silver part on the brushes, so "crimped ferrules" is the result of googling "paint brush anatomy".

The crimped ferrule look alike is all covered up on this old soup can.

An empty Puffs box was turned into tape central.

Some paste paper covers my jar'o'pens.

We live in a place that doesn't offer recycling services, so until we find a plant, a stack of jars and cans is growing under our sink! We are focusing on the second part of the recycling mantra -- Reuse! I also have a healthy pile of flattened household cardboard boxes that I use for packaging all of my sold items from Etsy and Ebay. Rhonda Miller's Earth Day post provided a link for the Trans-Canada Etsy team's blog on which Laura Bucci shares a post about making mailers from cereal boxes. I usually make mine a little differently, using the box continuously and hiding the tabs on the inside of the package. Next time you need to send something, I highly reccommend this, it's very satisfying!