Sunday, March 3, 2013

I love hearing how my books work out

I was speaking with a friend / fellow artisan Kathie about the craft shows she has been involved with lately. Kathie makes the most beautifully painted pillows that are quite special. Her sister Carol is an exquisite painter.

Kathie mentioned that her sister was using the custom portfolio that I made for Carol to display her work, and I was so happy to hear that this book had fufilled its destiny.

The cover paper that Carol chose has a lovely Baroque feel to it, it is lush in its metallic sheen and pieces of maroon peeking through to reveal the gentle details. The book was bound using a coptic stitch which allows for the book to lay open flat and display every image. The black pages have a slight texture to them, chosen through the inspiration of the textures of the paint used.

Thank you Carol for using something I made to display your work.
Thank you to Kathie for taking the time to take these photos of the book being in use.

To find Carol, please visit her HERE

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Spring cleaning should be left for the spring.

I have a whole lot of organizing to do around here. The studio. My mail. My closet. There must be more but I literally shudder at the thought of it all. I know that by organizing stuff and business things, I myself will be more organized. Not organized as much as at peace.

Someone wise said that, in more organically smooth language that rolled off their tongue, which was proof of their being so wise. I sometimes wonder what Maya Angelou is up to and if she would come hang out for a bit. Either Dr Angelou or Oprah.  That shouldn't be a problem I'm sure. What do they have to do? Of course, I kid. As long as it isn't Dr. Phil. No thank you to him.

The dreary winter has pulled me down a bit. Not enough sun means I get less done. I wonder if those natural light lamps work. That could be nice. Don't get me wrong, lazy days spent watching movies at home are great. That is how I have spent the weekend. The Sessions, Silver linings Playbook, This is 40, and then we went to see Identity Thief at the theatre last night. They were all good by the way, a few of them were really brilliant.

It is getting to the point that I have something scheduled every day. Every. Day. I am going to be forced to be on everyone else's time. I'm yawning right now at the idea of it.

I received a message from a great friend concerning a custom order I made for her business partner / sister. I am hoping to post about that soon.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

oh computers

The screen of the laptop died and its taken almost two weeks.  Its baaaaaaak!

Monday, January 14, 2013

With my last post, 101 things in 1001 days, the numbers mentioned have been in my head.

Turns out, the binary code for 101 in 1001 days..or to simplify 1011001, = y

Y. Interesting. Its an answer and also  a question. Why the heck did it concern  me about what the numbers meant in binary. Now I know.

Monday, December 31, 2012

I have been away....

but I have had the busiest time; seeing doctors, going to physio and now the holidays. Ive written this post because I was inspired by Shirly at The Orange Windmill's blog. It turns out, through research, that 101 in 1001 is somewhat popular. That being said, I still thank Shirley for the inspiration.

without further ado and just on time...

101 Things in 1001 days
I have compiled a list of goals or things I wish to accomplish in the next 1001 days.

starting date January 1, 2013
finish date Sept 28, 2015
in progress will be noted  (2/10) etc

1. Complete this list
2. Do not put anything on list that you have already done just so its crossed off as done, which is hard to do for me 

3. make sample book pages for Sue for work
4. email brother in law to try to mend our relationship
5. collect a hand written recipe from aunt Joanne
6. collect a hand written recipe from Lu
7. collect a hand written recipe from Joy and Nancy
8. write randomly timed love letters to those I love
9. plan wedding shower for here
10. have coffee out with just Megan
11. have coffee out alone with mom
12. have coffee out alone with dad
13. collect recipes for a cookbook
14. use facebook to re-connect with 3 family members

15. write out a daily schedule of what to do each day for 2 weeks (2 days successful...)
16. send in para transit form and set that up (mailed in form, just waiting now)
17. work on hand stretches and exercises every second day
18. use the para transit and go to the mall 4 times
19. visit the AGO for the Freda Kahlo exhibit by JAN 20
20. telephone Denise at new home
21. see LeeAnn C more often (currently setting out time to hangout) 
22. find a pen pal
23. make sure I do some sort of physio each day (days missed:1)
24. stand up 3 times a week
25. clean up email folders
26. read Mitochondria book entirely to learn
27. organize my file folder

28. read Joni given by Judy M
29. finish reading A New Earth by Eckart Tolle
30. finish reading My Story by Mark Stewart
31. meditate, breathe consciously
32. write gratitude in journal
33. read book on Islam
34. read book on Hinduism
35. pray in thanks  ongoing
36. re-read The Little Prince

37. go to a bookstore and leave a note in five random books for their new owners
38. get a manicure - 2 times (manicure #1 done!) 
39. go to the movies at least once a month (3/33) 
40. go to the movies alone every 2 or 3 months
41. go to Chapters alone 2 times
42. have coffee alone at Second Cup 2 times
43. get ears re-pierced
44. visit with Mark Stewart in Brampton
45. visit Longos to see Vida and Silvana
46. have coffee with Janice T
47. go to an MS society social event 2 times
48. go to big local Bingo 1 time 

FOR THE HOUSE OR COTTAGE - when physically able
49. straighten up older bookshelves
50. straighten up square bookshelves
51. organize closet
52. donate items I don't want or need anymore
53. choose paint for my bedroom walls
54. try to re-organize how furniture goes in my room for optimal ease of use
55. make the tree stump art I wanted to make for new living room at cottage
56. redo photographs in bedroom
57. reorganize the cupboards in the bathroom
58. patch or fix the scrapes etc on the walls from my wheelchair

ROUND THE WORLD IN 80 PGS - when physically able
59. clean and re-organize studio desk
60. organize paper in drawer
61. organize rolls of paper
62. organize room and shelf for optimal use of area with lights, being able to reach
63. write out list of types of books to make
64. work each weekday for a minimum of one hour (1) per day
65. write up yearly schedule for when to start for holidays to have to sell on time
66. go in to Unique Creations more to check in
67. blog once a week (on going)
68. add to FB page once a week (on going)
69. purchase a corner punch on sale
70. find leather supplier that sells great colours
71. fill out pricing pages for each book / figure out pricing again for types,sizes
72. sell at 3 craft shows
73. get to 100 twitter followers
74. get to 300 facebook likes
75. get to 30 listings in my etsy shop at one time
76. try 4 new bookbinding techniques from instructional books
77. re-organize book photos and folders saved on the computer
78. work with the grain all the time
79. make someone a cookbook
80. make a book press

81. use the Bob Ross video and make a painting trying things
82. use the Bob Ross video to make a painting
83. take a month off to work on doll house and finish decorating
84. complete a sketch or doodle every week for 2 months
85. make one small dry wall carving, sitting outside in warm weather
86. make greeting cards
87. borrow Sue's cri-cuit machine

88. send out 5 cards of kindness to random strangers
89. volunteer with the MS society 3 times
90. visit with an older neighbour 2 times
91. ask library about idea of showing art made by those that live here
92. spend more time in home library too see others
93. help out as much as I can with events in the building
94. try to organize a collection of clothing etc to donate from building

95. make dinner for everyone once a month (2/33)
96. make the microwave chocolate cake from email
97. make my own smoothies (ongoing)
98. gain 15 lbs from 94.5lbs to 110lbs
99. buy coconut oil
100. try a new local restaurant 5 times
101. try a new food Ive never had

**for any not completed on time, I will donate $2 for each one to a charity. For every day I don't do a daily item, I will donate $2 as well. 
Happy New Year and all the best in 2013!!!

Monday, August 27, 2012

A long overdue update.

To be honest, I haven't made a book in almost 3 months. I worked and worked to be ready for a show at the beginning of June but that day and being in a wheelchair did not work out at all and discouraged me a bit. So  no new books.

Then we found out that my mother has to go for open heart surgery this week. We have known for a bit but its coming up soon so we are all going around tired and not thinking straight. Besides the aortic valve needing to be replaced, she is in great shape. Its going to be a long journey of recovery but she is strong so she is going to be great. With this on my mind, no new books.

Ive had a bit of a rough patch with having multiple sclerosis. Migraines, aches etc etc (I wont bore or possibly depress you lol) and feeling like there is a serious lack of sleep. Again, no new books.

I am looking forward to the day coming soon where I can wheel into the studio and get something done. I'm looking forward to feeling inspired.

For now, no new books. They are coming soon though! I have two custom orders and then if all goes well I'm back :)

I just wanted to make it known that I'm still here, just in a rough patch.

Friday, June 29, 2012

New listings!

I have finally made it and photographed the books I made and are keeping for myself to sell. As per usual I wanted to photograph the books I sent to the Unique Creations Artisan Outlet in Niagara Falls. Yes, my books are there but it really is a great place to find great gifts. Im honoured to be a part of a store that has such great items!

You can find these and more in my etsy store!

This cover paper is from Iceland.

Japan Chartreuse.

Floral from Florence, Italy.

Address Book with paper from Iceland and eggplant bookcloth.

Silver, grey and white paper from France.

Coptic stitch book with gorgeous paper from Nepal.

Japanese covered Address book.

Paris book with elastic closure and rounded spine.

Coptic stitched book with a hint of Nepal, take a look inside!

I will post more when I have more photographs. Special thanks to Tracy at the store of all of her help and support.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My personal policy

 While discussing the books I make with a visitor to the First Sunday Stroll
event, the motivation and focus of the books I bind came to me. I make
books the way I make any art, I focus on the piece and only the piece I'm
working on. Each book is it's own piece of art.

I don't plan that I need to make X number of this kind of book, same size,
same binding technque. I just find inspiration from the paper I have to cover the book. The size of the book and the number of pages aren't really planned.
I find that with books that aren't custom orders, I just sit in the studio and one thing leads to another and a book is made.

I am lucky enough to have friends that travel and send me papers they found through their journies, I also lucky to be able to get my hands on such great papers.

 Whenever I order paper or receive paper from someone, I purchase only one sheet of each design. I do this so even though I may use the one sheet of paper with more than one book, there isn't enough paper to make more than one of the same sized or style of book.

I like that each of my books are one of a kind, just like the experience I had making the book. From the size, type of page paper, what style of sewing and binding, to the choice of whether the book calls for a bookmark or bookends, I go with the flow and just create.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Product Review...of sorts

I've decided to do a product review of sorts. This is't a review of a particular brand, but of a general round curved needle.

I've had a package of needles that I found in my mom's stuff but the only needle I had used from the pack was the "bookbinding" needle, because its eye was larger than the needle I was using. The package as you can see is old. The store Towers doesn'y exist anymore, nor has it existed in quite a long time here in Ontario Canads

I asked another bookbinder/friend if she used these needles and she loves working with a rounded needle. I have only used the needle for a coptic stitch journal, I don't even know if it is a needle I would use with any other stitch.

Now, as I've mentioned, I have MS. My hands have taken a toll, so when I'm using them for too long (whatever that means on any given day) they want to curl up. There are stretches the physiotherapist mentioned but I don't feel they work. Having said that, I still do them.

I found the round needle to be great for the two coptic stitch books I've bound with it. However, I found it hard to hold without it turning around when between my fingers. As the sewing went on, it became more difficult, but that was because of my hands, not the needle itself.

I chose to work on a series or collection of journals, coptically bound, covered in book cloth with a small sample of the featured paper. Here I used a burgundy (for lack of a more eloquent colour name) bookcloth, and a Baroque style golden paper that I originally ordered for a custom order portfolio.

I now see that when I took this photograph, one of the cover loops was loose. Luckily I did spot this post photo but pre completion of the book. *phew*

I found the needle allowed super easy kettle stitches (looping around stitch in previous signature), a nice in and out, and I found that the needle went smoothly between the signatures and I didn't catch any pages with the needle (big huge annoying pet peeve)

Now the fact that the signatures do not perfectly and neatly meet up at either end of the book. Each page is hand torn so therefore each page, and in turn each signature is a slightly different size. Part of me hates this, part of me likes it. I found the binding was stronger than books I have sewn in this fashion in the past. Which reminds me to re-sew a book I felt was too loosely bound.

This is a photo of the finished product. The sample pattern of the gold paper adorns the front as a hint of what is to come, both end papers (inside of the cover) have the same paper. The first one I  made didn't sit super well with me as a favorite book of mine, but as I add to the collection or series I'm loving the idea.

My hands are decent today, I think I will go into the studio and finish the book I had started and left the bookcloth in the press to flatten. I say they are decent now but I've been typing all this. You are damned if you do, damned if you don't. What can ya do but smile?

Listening to: The only living boy in New York by Simon & Garfunkel

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I feel like a bit of a jerk

I started off a post proclaiming my love for books and taking the one book a day challege. I gave it a go but it didnt last. Booo

Then I had to think and re-evaluate things. I have MS. I cant do everything, everyday. Thats ok. Just means that my books are more precious (ha ha ha, nice try I know).

So its not going to be a bo0k a day. Some days will be two books, and other will be none. Thats ok. I have to stop stressing out about hurrying up.

Like I say: Life gets in the way of life sometimes
I should listen to myself more.

Peace and love

Listening to: Ordinary Man by the kinks