Friday, December 31, 2010

I dont know why

that last post seemed like the surgery and trip wasnt the best thing Ive ever done in my life. Perhaps it was a bad day.It honestly was the best thing Ive ever done and I am SO greatful for all of the donations and support I received, it means the world to me.

Ok back to books :)

Ive just posted a few that I made pre-Costa Rica:

Green suede, japanese punch stitch, 24 pages of recycled paper.

Flocked paper, nice and soft, coptic stitched black paged album.

Japanese paper, black paged album, coptic stitch,

Florentine paper cover, address book, 520 entry spaces,

Right now I am working double dute: 13 books to send to Costa Rica as a thank you to those I worked with and a few books for a fellow artisan. I love being busy with orders!
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I have returned from Costa Rica after my surgery with results that aren't OPTIMAL but they are for me. Who needs to run a marathon right now? There is always later!

My stores are back open, I have some thank you books to make and ship to San Jose but I will be adding to my stores as soon as possible.

Ok so I didnt come back to just sunshine, there is snow snow everywhere, but Christmas is a few days away so Ill let it slide this time :)

On to making my thank you books!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Aint no sushine when she's gone

but there will be sunshine for me when I come back!
(I had to throw a Bill Withers lyric in there, forgive me)

I will be away and my stores will be closed until approx. Dec 13th. I will still be checking email from time to time, so if you need something, let me know and Ill do my best!

Happy Holidays everyone!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I just want to say

THANK YOU to all those men and women who have served in the armed forces, whatever level or job they had, who have given their lives for their countries. Whether they have lived to tell their stories or not, pieces of them will be forever lost because of what they went through.

For this I thank them all. Their sacrifices are unimaginable.

This weekend was a great weekend for sales

This weekend was great for sales. This is a good thing, but with the Brocante Lux show coming up, I have to make even more items to take with just cant win hahha

I was contacted by a wonderful woman in Kentucky who wanted to buy this painting. I was excited just to know that it was going to be hung in her house, she seemed so wonderful! The idea of someone wanting to hang some abstract I made while in an experimental mood on their wall and have in their home, means so much more to me than a financial gain.

This album was bought and it threw me for a loop, I hadn't heard of this etsian, but that was beccause advertising on facebook was helping. Im glad I gave it a shot and was able to share these albums with others. This teal album is covered in paper from Nepal. I love the golden mums on the cover, and the endpages have a burst of colour to them. It is bound with a coptic stitch, I love how decorative it is but I also love that the stitch allows the book to open flat.

This book is covered in paper brought back from Paris. I love its texture and the depth to it. Again, this is bound with a coptic stitch, in a golden irish linen thread, allowing the album to open flat.

This album was purchased as a gift for their mothers birthday, they were going to start putting photos in it and present it on the big day! Im so pleased that my work is being shared and going to be a part of a special day!
Listening to Ordinary Man by the Kinks

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Todays feature Etsian: Mooscraftcreations

Need gorgeous cards? invitations? save the date cards? Take a moment to visit mooscraftcreations !

Classic handmade table numbers add that special touch to your wedding.The listing is for an already made set of table numbers 20 in total. The table numbers measure 7 inches by 5 inches. Table numbers are made with purple, black and white cardstock and bordered with a black damask image.

Our paper products are made using 80 lbs cardstock. Colors of paper can be customized to suit your color pallet, message us for details. Custom table numbers can be ordered and can be customized to suit your needs, if you have a specific idea in mind please let us know!

The listing is for a sample invitation. Price includes a folded 5 inch by 7 inch metallic gate fold invitation with 3 layers of cardstock and with a belly band detail, a response card, a white A2 and A7 envelope. Invitations can be completely customized to suit your needs, if you have specific wording in mind please let us know!~~ Don't hesitate to contact us for a quote for a specific quantity. ~~Optional upgrades are available, including but are not limited to different envelope colors, outer envelopes, envelope liners, additional inserts, and embellishments.

This fun and cute card set suits any occasion.Each card measures 4 1/4 by 5 1/2 inches and is made from thick white linen cardstock with a damask side bar graphic and the words "thank you" As well as your names and wedding date - can be customized or omitted.Inside of the card is left blank for your imagination.

This store has amazing products, a very talented and VERY kind creator! Custom tweeks and orders are available!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I love sandpaper!

The last time I cut my finger (pretty severely too) was when the two pieces of davey board that I needed to be exactly the same size weren't and I used my ruler and xacto to try and trim the one.


You can very easily sand the pieces so they are the same. The slimmer the difference, the more dangerous it is to try to trim with an xacto and the easier it is to sand your problem away!

Tell your finger tips that you won't cut now, that I say you're welcome! :)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Photography and fibre paper

Yes, I still use film. Digital certainly has its place, I use my digital point and shoot to document many things but for my art photography, I still use film.

I also love fibre paper. Yes, fibre paper.

Some of the photos I have in my store are fibre prints, but with the digital age around us, I don't think people know what fibre prints even are. I like to shoot with film still and print in a darkroom, myself so my hands can control the outcome of the prints.

Fibre paper is 100% paper where RC (resin coated) paper or paper from a photo lab is coated in plastic. There is quite a difference between printing the two.

Fibre paper dries darker than you think when you develop it in the darkroom. You go through the general developer, water, fixer, wash, then more washes like usual but when drying the prints, you have to lay them image down on a screen shelf over night.

Once they are totally dried, they curl a bit and you must take them to the finishing room and use a hot press to flatten them.

Fibre paper comes in different finishes or temperatures: cold, neutral and warm. Cold paper tends to have a more bluish tint, a cold look to it, hence the name. Neutral paper is just that, neutral. Warm paper has a slight sepia tint to it for lack of a better explanation. Of course all of these papers can be manipulated by which developer and time you choose and if you in fact use a sepia finish or not. So much can be done by hand in the labs and darkroom.

Why use fibre paper? Well its gallery quality and it has a special handmade quality to it as it is never absolutely 100% flat yet lays in a frame well. They do not make this paper anymore, because of the whole digital age, it is less popular and used less. This makes it even more special to me. It is archival quality where prints from the average photo lab fade over time (length of time depends on lab or paper used).

Don't get me wrong, there are so many gorgeous prints out there that have different origins. I just wanted to give the 411 on the paper I use.

Just my rant for today :)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Very exciting times!!

In less thank 2 months I will be travelling with my dad to Costa Rica for the Liberation Treatment and working hard at getting me out of this wheelchair.

Don't get me wrong, its been a good wheelchair. Its adjustable. The covers come off to wash whenever I spill paint or glue on them from working on books etc. Its made things easier for me for the past year and a bit,

But I would like a break from it. Not the Ross and Rachel kind of break. I would like to break up with the chair, for my own good. Its what is best.

Will I never depend on the chair again? I most likely will need it now and then. So when I break it off, we will stay friends ;)

Ive been working on more inventory, at times distracted by a custom order or two for those who have been helpful with the trip. With all this work I have rediscovered something...

I LOVE SANDPAPER! Sure the dust makes me sneeze but Id rather a sneeze or two than trying to use my xacto to trim the tiniest sliver of davey board off one piece to make it match its counterpart. Don't risk cutting a finger while fussing with a sliver of board that needs to come off ( like I did in the spring)...just sand it until its even!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Like a worker bee

Ive been hard at work trying to add to my inventory to a) strengthen my store b) have more to bring to art shows and sales and c) to use the new and awesome paper I just received from Israel.

Here is a link for a vido from and about etsy. It reminds us how important it is to keep the handmade market alive!


Monday, September 6, 2010

Levi-Strauss Project

Here are some photos of the two journals I was commissioned to make by the Levi-Strauss. They approached just 8 bookbinders out of many and asked us to create 2 journals, minimum size of 10x10 inches and 72 pages. The journals will be given to women around the world who have changed their or others lives in a dramatic way, basically celebrating the power of women! Of course I was thrilled to participate!
The black and white journal is covered in japanese paper with a bright pink lotka paper from Nepal inside. I loved not only the play with the black and white vs. colour but using two different papers from two different places in the world. Both beautiful but both different.
The green journal is covered in a satin embroidered fabric from India, the back cover is black. I liked the simplicity but I wanted to let the cover really shine.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fellow Etsian Interview: Flauxers

Today I've decided to interview one of my favorite artisans, Tanya from Flauxers !

I met Tanya through etsy and fell in love with her work, buying one one her pieces myself!

Hi Tanya, let's start off with the basics. How did you come up with the name Flauxers? and what inspires you to work with the materials that you use?

Faux+Flowers=Flauxers (pronounced "Flowers"). I love flowers but haven't had the best of luck keeping them alive very long. As a result, I decided to use artificial flowers. When I first started out, I was only doing arrangements, but as time has gone by, I've been inspired to create other designs as well. The jewelry idea came to me last summer, while sitting on my deck with my husband. The rest just flowed from there.

(I have to mention what a kind heart Tanya has. Money from each sale of the above flower goes to the MS Society. You may or may not know but I have MS so this is particularly special to me.)

What is your favorite piece or pieces? and why?

I have a few pieces that I've recreated for myself. The first was my Daisy Necklace, then followed by the miniature sunflower earrings, and a few barrettes and a hydrangea ring. They're great additions to many outfits and it brings a bit of warmth to my look - even on a cool day.

Do you mainly sell your creations online? Is this your full time job?

I currently only sell online. I have 3 shops - etsy, artfire and my own website. All items are made in my home, with love, and then sent to my customers. Many of the items are created after they have been sold, allowing me to create them, with you in mind. In addition to Flauxers, I have a part time job as a Web Administrator. This allows me to let my inner geek shine while still allowing me to focus on Flauxers.

What tool or item can you NOT live without when it comes to making your creations?

hmmmmm - I use the obvious items - wire cutters and needle-nose pliers, floral tape and other tools. But, I also have an item that's a little less popular, and that gets used in nearly every one of my items - clear thread. This allows me to both sew and glue my products together, allowing them to last even longer than with glue alone. This was a trick I learned from my grandma and mom, while creating barrettes with them growing up.

As we are both artists here, I'm going to ask you a tough question here. Personally I feel that choosing a favorite colour is like asking a parent to choose a favorite child...but what is your favorite colour to work with?

My favorite color is orange. But I also like yellows and purples and greens - the brighter the color the better. I enjoy working with many different colors, and combining multiple colors to create arrangements/designs.

And finally, do you come out with seasonal items, for holidays or seasons?

I do create seasonal items, but try to have them available all year long. You never know when an occasion will arise that will require something that is "out of season". For example, I created ornaments last winter and have had inquiries and sales of them since. I was pleased to see that even though I got my inspiration to do holiday ornaments, they're more versatile and can be used all year long.

Thank you for taking time to speak with me today Tanya!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Levi-Strauss Project

I am so proud to be working closely with Levi-Strauss on this project!

ProjectBackgroundLevi’s® is accessing it’s roots in craft, authenticity and self expression in a new project to discover how young women around the world are shaping the future–and who inspired them to be who they’ve become.

Eight professional book-binders, all members of ETSY, have created a total of 16 amazingly beautiful journalsand boxes that are being adored and adorned by creative young women around the world who have made a difference for themselves, their community or for the world only.

Each women who inscribes the book will provide a 4-6 page story, written and or illustrated, about who or what made a differencein their lives and what advice they have for other young women who will follow in their footsteps. Each women has one week to complete their assignment. A donation to a global women’s charity will be made in their name.

Levi’s® is one of 8 global sponsors of TED’s first Women’s conference, which takes place in Washington DC, December 7-8, 2010 –emphasizing our dedication to connecting with women.

A short filmwill be produced in November to tell the story of the books and the ideas that emerged. Some of the women who inscribed the books will be featured in the film. The film will be premiered at the first TED Women’s event, December 7-8 in Washington DC. The books and excerpts from their contents will be displayed and shared at a gallery event.

Contents of the book will also be shared with Levi’s Global Women’s Community.

Book Foreword for Those Who Inscribe
When we create, when we work for the new or push ourselves ahead insearch of fulfillment and change, we do so in a collective progress. Then, we step into the unknown together, ready to shape what’s coming.

Innovators, change-agents, artists, creative thinkers and progressives are the culmination of so many influential and inspiring people who have come beforeand opened our eyes to other worlds of thought.We look to our mentors, teachers, and peers who continually build us into citizens of the planet.

We walk with their energy and then add our own.

We, in turn, become mediums of what’s possible.

In sharing the expressions of your talents, experiences and the difference you’ve made within these pages, by describing who has influenced you and pushed you to be who you are, you also tell us who we are.

And thus, you inspire in us the passion to take action, have impact, find responsibility, help others, and move forward in the mutual endeavor of shaping what’s to come.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The boxes are almost gone!

The condo actually looks like a condo hahah. Ive even had guests over!

Ive been featured in another Etsy Treasury!!

thanks so much bubbletub from etsy!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ah, the smell of dust, cardboard boxes and packing tape.

I will definitely not miss the sound of packing tape being pulled across a box. You know, that sound, the sound I don't want to hear for a very long time.

We are about to move so there is not much movement with books as of late, but my seperation from my studio is pulling at me. Pulling so strongly that once I have my new studio up and running, I will once again be a book making machine.

So before I pause from the online world for awhile, I leave you with this.

It is the flyer of sorts that Feed the Children Canada sent to me along with the thank you note for donating a book to them, thus making enough money for 60 school lunches in Ethiopia.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Back to basics

Perhaps I should have begun this blog with a post concerning exactly why I make books and how I do just that.

The 'why'
Well, why not? I really love books. Not only for what they say but just books themselves. I like the smell of an old book borrowed from the library. I know this may sound odd. I love checking a book out and thinking about all the others who have borrowed this book before me. I love the feel of a brand new book, I hate opening the book up all the way and making that crease in the spine of a soft cover. I even have a hard time finishing a book, I find it sad, almost like breaking up with someone. I know, dont judge me.

Back to making books. I love knowing that Ive spent the time choosing the paper for the pages, choosing what stitch to use, choosing the cover paper, the end papers, any embellishments, all to end up in someone elses hands. That I am passing on part of me to them whether they know it or not.

The 'how'
I actually sew all of the pages together to make each book. I hand cut the pages to the desired size, I hand measure and cut the end pages, clamp the signatures with the endpages and glue them. I cut pieces of headbands and glue them to the spine, and sometimes I add a ribbon for a book mark before adding the headbands. I spread the archival glue along the cover paper with my glue spreader (thats the offical name), I fold the paper around the corners of the davey board. I take the bulk of the book and attach it to the cover, clamp it again and let it dry.

Ive just sat for hours working on a book and was tired of doing so, but typing this all out just gave me my second wind. Ill forget this tomorrow after sitting in my studio, after the 3rd hour, I lose the passion for it and ache to just sit in front of the tv and waste time on a comfy couch.

Its late and I have one, actually hopefully three books to finish by Friday night.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

What if the hokey-pokey IS what its all about?

Nah, it can't be.

For the past few days I have been working on two photo boards to hang up for a family reunion. Trying to make sure I've included everyone, making sure I could manage to sneak in a few of my personal favorite photos. I had trimmed the photos smaller than they originally were in order to fit them all and then realized I could space them and fit even more!

Then came the typing of the labels: names of those in the photos. But the worst part was cutting out the tiny little labels. My hands shrunk in after all the work. You see, if I had a label maker I would not have this problem. But then Id be the weirdo labelling EVERYTHING I own lol.

So that is done and I can get back to BOOKS! I am about half way through a 9 book custom order. Im really enjoying this order. Although I dont know those who will receive the books, I feel connected to them some how. I cannot wait to see not only the expression of the person who ordered the books, but to hear the reaction of those who the books were made for.

I like knowing that Im sharing a piece of me with others.

A friend of mine moved literally half way across the world to an area that is quite different than here in Canada or the US for that matter. Her plan is to make sure she nails the language and then teach there. Before she left she bought two books of mine, one for herself and one to give to a future student. Knowing that someone on the other side of the planet will own and use something that I lovinly made..well its the coolest feeling ever!

PLUS I found out that the book I donated to Canada Feed the Children raised enough money for 60 school lunches in Ethiopia! I was so happy to find this out!

SO this good feeling you get when sharing a part of your self or donating something so small to you but so important somewhere else, THATS what its all about.

Listening to: K'naan Waving Flag (how cheesily appropriate, but true)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Roundtheworldin80pgs is adding inventory soon!

Here are a small sample of the items in Roundtheworldin80pgs !
I've been working hard on a 9 piece custom order and am really
proud of how its to be posted. Ive ordered even
more Japanese paper, including a black and red lacquered paper.
I will have a short pause on adding to the store as I am moving at
the end of this month, but although I won't be online, I will be in my
studio as much as possible!!
Dont forget to get some reading done!
Listening to: I've got a woman by Ray Charles

Friday, June 18, 2010

Paperback Writer

Hear Sir or Madam will you read my book? It took me years to write, will you take a look?
~The Bealtles

We have been storing things away to sell the house, which means that my studio which was in the kitchen was all tucked away *frown* but now that we have sold, I can take everything again! Just in time for 9 custom orders from a client, 5 address books from another and then 2 journals for my best friend!

This all means I dont have time to be sitting here writing, but procrastination is my middle name!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Im just a book machine, and I dont work for nobody but you

Great! Now that I've gone and titled this post as such, I have that song in my head. Ah well, it beats the Law and Order theme music thats been stuck in there for days and I don't even really watch the show. But I digress....

I've been working in the studio a lot this week and have managed to get a lot of work done that I have listed in my store .

This is an album / scrapbook with black pages (which really make the photograph's colours POP). The cover paper is from Paris and has the lovliest texture to it. It was bound with a coptic stitch in a coordinating Irish linen thread.

This is a lined notebook covered in sililar paper to the item above but in a gorgeous blue. This textured papaer from Paris is so stunning in person! Click on the image to see the entire collection of images.

This notebook is covered in handmade paper by a fellow OCAD student here in Toronto. I purposely left the raw edge of the blue paper along the leatherette spine to add to the organic feel of the handmade paper and the bird theme.

I made this box out of davey board and it is secured with PVA glue (very strong). The blue with stars paper was also handmade by an OCAD student here in Toronto. The silver of the stars is wax, used to ensure that the black and blue dyes wouldnt run. The box has a pen loop so you always have a pen handy for the things you put in the box.

This is my newest listing in Roundtheworldin80pgs . The cover paper is from Japan, to read more on it, please click the image that will take you to a write up on the paper. I have included black book cloth along the spine and then a black satin ribbon running parallel to the book cloth. This is a lined journal with 140 pages.
I have just received (moments ago) my shipment of papers from Japan and I cannot wait to use them! Look for them soon!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

New listings on Around the World in 80 Pages

I have recently completed and listed this album. It has 40 black pages for your photos and or scrabooking. It is coptically stitched with Irish Linen thread which allows the book to lay open flat. Please check out my store for more photographs of this book.

Please visit me at Roundtheworldin80pgs!

Monday, May 31, 2010

As promised...

Here are a few of my non-book art projects Ive done in the past.

This is a line of wine glasses I designed as a gift for my sister. I sandblasted the barcode inspired design on the glass itself.

Because I am so stubbornly against working digitally, this is from the one and only digital class I took in university. This image was the center piece of the series, with single images of her walking away were on either side, in 8x10 then 5x7 to give the feel of her walking away into the distance. This particular image was 11x14.
It didnt project here as well as the print itself looked.

This image is one of my ultimate favorites. Im not sure if I appreciate that its a long exposure image with a medium format camera or if I really appreciate it because it was a total experiment that turned out well.
I had just gotten my first medium format camera, a Yashica A, a very old camera that doesn't take a single battery. Its completely manual and I love it.

This next series was completed in my second year. The print quality wasn't as strong as I had been able to achieve later on and the scanning quality was lacking but I am so proud of this piece on Gender Roles in the Domestic Space.

Through my years studying photography, one of my favorite places to shoot was at a local cemetary, one that was the subject of many highschool stories of where to stay away from at night. I found such beauty in some of the statues and the juxtaposition of life and death in one gated place.

She was one of my favorite statues, although this image doesn't showcase why. Her arm was broken off just below where the image crops off. She had such a tragic beauty behind her, she was broken but still so strong. I thought she was beautiful.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Around the world in 80 Pages is on its way!

I have begun listing items in my new store Aroundtheworldin80pages ! I am proud of the books in this store and cannot wait to send them out into the world!

Ive decided to showcase some of my non-book art, so as soon as the crazyness of the new store settles, Ill be posting some of that!