Friday, July 31, 2009

Hot Dog! It's a Virtual Barbecue!

If you ask me, summer time calls for barbecues, and barbecues call for hot dogs! Last summer when my friend Amy and I were in Sweden, the obligatory summer hot dog was far from our minds, but never far from our hearts. Little did we know that there are all sorts of interesting hot dogs in Sweden! As luck would have it, whilst in Gamla Stan, we happened to find the best variation ever: French Hot Dogs! These were extremely long hot dogs that slid into the ketchup & mustard drizzled hollow of a piece of baguette. That's a shot of the clever & delicious dog over to the left.

I hope all of this hot dog talk has you hungry! On behalf of the Bookbinding Etsy Street Team, I'd like to invite you to our virtual BBQ! Now this is no ordinary barbecue, aside from the fact that it's a three day event, it is also a scavenger hunt! Head over to our team blog for the easy details on how you can be the lucky winner of the B.E.S.T. $30 gift certificate! While you're there, take a look at my recent Tools of the Trade post about awls.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Christmas in July Craft Show in Valrico

This past Saturday I had the pleasure of meeting some fine folks down in Valrico, Florida. Josh and I drove down to Horizon Christian Church early in the morning so I could set up shop for the day at their Christmas in July Craft Fair. It was a really neat church, and boy was it packed with vendors!

I found out about the event through my new friend, Michelle, of Bad Day Ben. She and I both belong to FEST, the Florida Etsy Street Team. It was so neat to connect with her in real life! She makes handy jotters that are bound with a ring and have her original illustrations for covers.

It was really enjoyable chatting with members of the community as they passed by my table. My very favorite passerby was a young girl who I would guess was in about fifth grade. From the get-go she had a nice smile and polite response to my, "Hello, how are you today?" She was wearing a sweet cotton dress with a little front pocket that held a tiny pink coin purse. As this was a Christmas in July event, this girl had a mission to buy something for everyone on her list! Although she was on this mission, and there were over forty vendors to visit, she took the time to pick up just about every item on my table and ask questions about them. She was really curious about how everything was made. When I told her about the paper, thread, board, glue, and time that went into each of my items, this little gal really listened!

I'm reading a book, Big Russ & Me by Tim Russert, that has me yearning for a yesteryear that I wasn't even around for. Days like Saturday complete with a welcoming community, social children, and handmade goods make it feel like that yesteryear is either still here, or it will come around again!

It was a great day that was made complete when Josh's Grandma and Nana drove up from Tampa to say hello. After I packed up my books & boxes, and Josh put his sketchbook away, they took us out for a lunch full of stories and laughter.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Through The Viewfinder: Kodak Duaflex

Amidst a week of custom jobs, quotes for new projects, and building my inventory for this weekend's craft fair, I've been having fun playing assistant to my husband for his photography endeavors. Our friends Lisa and Sarah, designers and owners of Orange Blossom Ink, are in need of some photos for their website and promo materials, so they turned to Josh to get the job done. We scouted out a few locations this weekend, and yesterday was our photo session.

My self assigned job was to carry equipment and props, as well as to provide entertainment and pose our lovely models. I'm sure the photos will be featured soon enough on either Josh's or OBI's blog, so I just thought I'd share these images of a fun piece of equipment that Josh used.

Josh has quite a collection of older cameras and has been toying with the idea of trying Through the Viewfinder, or TTV photography. He did some research, and I'll leave the technical bits to him, but voilà! he made that contraption to fit over his Kodak Duaflex! I helped a little bit by making the portion on top so his digital camera rests safely and snugly on the box while the lens maintains the proper distance from the Duaflex screen. I used a ruler, bone folder, and an Olfa, which goes to show that I try to use my bookbinding skills as much as possible!

These photos, taken with my point and shoot camera, were from the mouth of the cereal box contraption. One with flash and one without, to show what it actually looks like inside, and give an example of the affect achieved through the Duaflex lens. Pretty neat, huh?

Friday, July 10, 2009

B.E.S.T. Contribution: Olfa Blades

I've added my second "Tools of the Trade" post over on the Bookbinding Team blog. If you'd like to learn about a couple of my favorite knives, head on over and check it out!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Gift Envelope Tutorial

A fun and simple way to dress up a small gift or sweet note, the envelopes above were featured in my last post. I made them in both a vertical & horizontal format with the sealing flap on either a short or long end of the envelope. The images below depict the making of the vertical variety.

Cut a strip of decorative paper that will be long enough to envelop your gift, and wide enough to include a strip of adhesive on either side. Make sure to leave enough overlap in the length to allow for adhesive on the flap, in my case a strip of thin double stick tape. Fold the paper as shown above.

Lay strips of double sided tape along the edges of the the fold opposite the flap. I prefer 3m #415. It comes in a variety of thicknesses, I find 1/4" to be very useful. One of great things about this tape is that it comes with a backing. This backing adds an extra thickness to the tape, against which a straight edge can be positioned, as in the image above. Cut a strip away as indicated by the gray dotted line. Do this on both sides.

Your paper should look like this. Fold the taped strips under and then form the envelope by peeling off the backing and folding the sides together.

Rounding the corners of the flap is a nice touch. Either trace around a coin and cut the corner off, or use a corner punch for a nice swift job! Add another strip of adhesive to the edge of the flap.

The final touch is to add a tag to the front of the envelope. Slip a hole puncher through the opening of the envelope and punch through both the tag and the decorative paper. Secure the tag to the envelope with thread or thin ribbon.