Monday, December 15, 2008

Long Scary Day

For those keeping track of my life today I took my GRE, my scores were not close to where I would have liked them to be but in a strange twist my math score was higher than my verbal. That means all the cramming I did over the last week paid off in the math, but seemed to have harmed my verbal score I scored significantly lower than I had on previous practice exams I had taken.

Today was a rare day here in the Southern Willamette Valley- We got snow- lot's of it. Overnight we had more than 4 inches fall, which means what I wanted to be doing was make a snowman or at least play in the snow! However I got up at 5:40, showered, ate some quick toast and trekked down the icy hill we live and trudged over a mile to catch a bus to get to my GRE appointment. Why not drive you ask? Well you see as it is rare day here when it snows the people who grew up here or have lived here for a long time have no idea how to drive in the snow, and I love my car too much to take it out. I was also worried about my car having the guts to make it back up the hill to our little apartment. I'm glad I left the car at home as the hill was a solid sheet of ice by the time I returned home this afternoon. That would have meant leaving my car at the bottom of the hill, which brings images of this video to mind.... which proves my point that Western Oregonians don't have a clue how to drive in the snow and ice.

In more grad school admission news I decided to go with the covers from the previous post. I made the inside covers the same purple paper but plain. The inside of the book will be white with metallic purple tapes screened at different angles on the bottom right corner at the begining of each section. I promise that I'll add images when I have it finished. I did some of the screening for it today but messed up a few of the pages I had here so I need to go buy more paper and do more screening before I can start sewing it all together. I really love those covers, it could because I'm child of the 80's... or it could be because I made them... either way I hope they to just the trick.

This will probably be my last post until after the new year. I head to Germany this weekend for 2 weeks in a winter wonderland that will include a visit to a German gummy factory, Prague, and many other unknown wonders. I'm looking forward to a wonderful vacation and getting away from the concerns of life here for a few weeks. I'll be working on my essay for grad school and then hopefully when I get home I can mail everything away and get back to life as normal- which means I might get a chance to restock my poor store. I also have a book swap deadline coming up soon for the book arts forum so hopefully that will get me back into the swing of things for binding.

Cheers and Happy Holidays to All!

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I need to start this post with a little hurray! Last week I received the Kreativ Blogger Award from Billie! I'm going to cheat by accepting the award without doing any of the work in passing it along... But she keeps a fantastic blog with some neat paper and wood creations so go check her out!

As I'm sure you can guess by my absence that I've been busy. This week was finals week, luckily I had both mine on Monday morning and got that over with quickly. I came home from my finals and dug into my application for grad school and my GRE's which are on Monday. The application process is where I'm asking for some opinions, I've started working on my book for submission as well and I've already tossed out the pages that I spent time working on Monday- they were way to busy with the covers and would be way way to busy with an exposed spine stitching.

However the covers I can't decide on. It's hard to tell under all the ink but the paper is a royal purple with a white pattern screened on and a neon orange tape on the side (click the pictures, they get bigger). I think I like the covers- just not sure if I like them for the purpose they were intended for. The submission of our 3-D object is to show our manual dexerity so I started off by thinking I wanted to have as much of the project as possible done by my little fingers. Now I'm starting to chicken out a bit and am thinking I should go with something a little more conservative. So I ask all of you who still stop by- what do you think? Do you like them, love them, hate them?
I don't have anything on the inside of the covers yet because a- I haven't decided if I am going to use them or not, and b- haven't deicided if I do use them what color paper the inside pages will be. If I do use them I'm leaning torwards the same purple and white pattern for the inside cover with white paper and a purple tape at the begining of each section all sewn up in a celtic weave.

Now that I've shared some of the neurocies that I've been having I need to get to work and get payroll processed. Hopefully a few of you will leave some feed back!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Rapid Movement

I seem to be in a constant state of motion when I am not asleep. I get up go to school, go to work, the gym, do homework and repeat. Sometimes I spend a few minutes working on my grad school application or making a small piece of a book as my schedule allows. I'm not as far along as I would like to be for my grad school application but this is dead week- which isn't dead at all 3 papers, 1 "mid-term", and my final portfolio all happen this week and then finals next! After finals it's full speed ahead with my GRE's, making my book for submission, and cranking out my essay- phew.

I was hoping to be better prepared for the holiday season on Etsy but I'll make due with what I have. This weekend was good for me and I hit a milestone of 70 sales! I did managed to get 2 new journals completed and listed this weekend, one already has a new home and the other is a lovely burgundy recycled leather journal.

This Friday the company I work for will be hosting an opening for a show of a friend and coworker of mine Percy Appau. He's been working on an exhibit of Dogon Fusion African Art work. If you live in Eugene the reception will be this Friday the 5th from 5pm-9pm at the 5th Street Market on the upper level at Swahili. Percy will be on hand to answer any questions you might have and we will be serving African Wines and Teas. Click on the flier for more information if you are interested in joining us for a good evening!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sweet Music

Music is the theme for my local bookarts exchange this month and as I've always wanted to learn to make a piano hinge book, so I did! My first attempt is the top book with the music notes on the cover, that one is going to the exchange, the bottom I'm not sure what I'll do with. I'm still not happy with the cover attachment on either book. For the first I looped a skewer through just the cover and for the second I folded in the extra sections. I don't love either but can't seem to find a work around that I like- I'm also not sure which I like better at this point either.
Anyone out there have experience with these and care to chime in with advice?

In other book happenings I got another pair of my book earrings photographed and listed in my Etsy store. For some reason they are an absolute bear to photograph. Even with my macro lens they aren't in focus or comeout over exposed and washed out. The black backdrop seems to help some with the over exposing but as you can see from the little pic here it still happens pretty bad. It's on the agenda of things to find a work around for later this week. I've got to make it through midterms this week first!

I've got reaction mechanisims to get back to, I just wanted to share my piano hinge books despite the cover issues I really like them!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It's like Sunday....

For those of you not in the US it's Veterans Day here, which means for me a day off from school! Which makes it almost like a Sunday as I have to go back tomorrow, which makes this almost like my Sunday update!
I finally finished up a cute little leather journal I had been working on for ages and got it listed on Etsy today. I think it's blue, my husband thinks it's more a green color. The first one that I sold at Bringfest the man who bought it also said it was green- maybe it's a male/female color issue. Either way I really like this journal. This particular remnant has stitch holes across the top flap and a small pen mark on the inside right flap. I think it gives it a nice recycled feel.
Next week is the tools of the trade sale at the UO Bookstore if you are local, it's 25% off anything in the basement (the art section) and they have lot's of vendors on the ground level doing activities and demonstrations. It's a fun time, so stop by Wendesday or Thursday if you are in the area.
In unrelated news I just got a phone call that I'm going to be an Aunt! That means that 2 of my good friends will be parents in the next year... I am in no rush at all but it does make me feel a bit old none the less.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Small Interuption in Regular Programming

Sorry to interrupt the regular programming on this blog but I'm just too excited to let this slide. I would like to send my warmest welcome to the newest President of the United States- Barack Obama!
I've had my two official campaign buttons for ages and I made myself some other unofficial buttons with my awesome button maker. The company I work for hosted an Obama party at our store and everyone I know has been a strong supporter of this campaign for change.

It's past my bed time here, but I'm still too excited for bed & I had to share my excitement with someone- or the world! It's just my husband and I here and we popped the champagne as soon as it was official and are both pouring over the interwebs to excited to sleep.
Hopefully I haven't scared off any readers....
I promise books next time!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday Girl

It seems that Sunday seems to be the day I'm finding myself having some breathing room to do the things I need to be doing that aren't school realted and some of the things I actually enjoy doing! The lovely new book to the right is one of those things I enjoy doing! This book is a wonderful treat for the fingers as the fabric is silky and soft, but as it's embroidered (not by me) it also has a wonderful texture.

I also cleaned my bathroom (yes I'm human after all) and spent a good portion of time today tearing my hair out trying to reconstruct and dust off my resume- It needed a good dusting, I had one version that had been updated to a .doc file but all the rest of my resume related files, job histories, references, and the like were all in .wps files. I also lost another patch of hair on trying to start my statement of purpose.

This frantic spur of work was brought on by a wonderful symposium I attended yesterday on the University of Oregon campus at the Jordan Schnitzer Art Museum. It was the Conservation Symposium Northwest 2008. I sat in for the first three sessions and had lunch with some bookarts friends. I was totally engrossed in the discussions of the ethical and moral dilema's presented in treatments and the treatments themselves. It was a moment of, Yes! I am really excited about this!

After that I called my Mom and worked on finishing up some covers for the folded brag books. They need to be reinforced and I need to match ribbon to them but I really like a lot of the paper and mat board choices I made :D
I also listed another mini frame album earlier in the week, this one is purple and out of no where I had a flash back to childhood tv shows and named this book "The Purple Pie Man". I'm trying to be more creative in the naming of my books and stop giving them descriptions for titles. We'll see how long it lasts....

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Mmmm Studio Time

I finally got some studio time in the other day and just finally gave my Etsy store a little life. I just listed the first in a new line of mini photo albums.
I don't know why but I just have a thing for anything in miniature form.
These little books are 3.25" tall and have 4 little frames inside to hold photos. I was feeling rather bright and chipper so the one with the cherry ribbon got listed first. I have 3 more completed and even photographed. I just need to finish getting everything ready for Etsy's image requirements and they will be going live.

This morning also brought completion to a leather journal I had started ages ago. I still need to photograph it before it will go live. Now that I've had my fun I need to crack down and get to the homework. Just wanted to share my excitement in my new line of photo albums!

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Fitting that post #101 should be brought to you by the highway with the same number. Today was a wonderful solo trip to the coast with my camera and tripod in hand. I'm learning the limitations on my camera and that a road trip by yourself isn't as depressing as you think it's going be as you kiss your husband goodbye for the day.

The shadowy figure on the bench is me, and while you can't really tell I'm rocking my favorite pair of baby blue headphones with the new Oakenfold release playing on my ipod. I'm sporting my black and green poofy vest- I love my poofy vest, it's down with a hood, and about the most comfortable thing I've ever owned.

I love the coast and found today to be just what I needed to get over some serious anxiety over my impending midterm on Friday. There is nothing like some salty air and crashing waves to put a girl a peace. I'm feeling rested despite all the driving I did today. I only had my ipod on for a few of the stops that were still close to the highway or had other people chatting and intruding on my serenity.

I'm off to bed, just wanted to share a glimpse of my day and how awesomely unproductive it was.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

My Life in Film

Photography has been taking all of my free time. I got the first assignment done and now I'm buried in work for our second assignment. The bulk of the assignment is a series of self portraits that show who we are and what's important to us.

I started with my first few photo's in my studio. Being a binder is a large part of who I am and I hadn't had a chance to take any photo's of my birthday present to myself. My lovely finishing press!
The second photo is the beginnings of a book. My jar of tools, a weight, my 3 most used tools on the book block, some thread, 2 curved needles, a block of bee's wax, and my favorite center finding ruler- all on my cutting board.

Hopefully one of these days I'll be able to bind the book in the second photo. I'll be teaching Tuesday at our monthly bookarts meeting. I'll be teaching a small double needle coptic like Rhonda at My Handbound Books posted about last week, which is funny because we planned the meeting two months ago. I've been using her photo's to try to explain to some of our newer members what we are going to be doing. I'm excited about the meeting as it will allow me some time to bind. I've got my first "midterm" Friday as well as the self portrait assignment due so maybe next weekend I'll have some time to spend in the studio without my camera and with my tools in my hand....

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Photography not made simple

As those of you who are close to me know and the rest of you may have figured out I'm a perfectionist. A total perfectionist- which is why I was so happy when I got my first digital camera! No more shooting and developing an entire roll to find out you hate every photo.
I'm taking photo 1 this term to reacquaint myself with how to use my camera. To relearn what an fstop, shutter speed controls, etc and in general to become a better photographer. We got our first assignment last week and so far I think I've shot around 100 photo's and I have 1 I like- the picture included in this post. My teacher assigns projects in 24 images so that students who are shooting film cameras fill an entire roll for one assignment. If I only had 1 roll to work with I would go crazy!
It's hard to see in the itty bitty thumbnail here but the picture rocks! With the light coming in from behind you can see the outline of the back leaf on the leaf wrapping around.

I've been burried in homework so far this term, spending hours shooting photographs and relearning how to name organic molecules. I've been wanting to get into the studio and get some binding done but it seems that something else always seems to come up. I've got a custom order that needs to be finished this weekend so it's on the front burner tomorrow morning while the fog burns off so I can go shoot more pictures to finish this first assignment tomorrow. In the last week I also became the proud owner of an old leather couch that I'm going to strip down for the leather as it's no good as a couch anymore. It's a dark green leather that has great wear and age marks on it. When I get it done and some pieces to lay out I'll try to show you- it's gonna add some great depth to the journals.
For now I'm off to bed while visons of spaghetti monsters dance in my head.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Lost in Thought

This week has been very busy and I've been doing lots of thinking. School has started and my brain is in full speed ahead in all the wrong places.

The thing I can't seem to stop thinking is about how my classes went. I think they went well, and my students had fun- but I feel like I failed as a teacher. I spent a good amount of time talking about paper grain and why it's so important. Then for the second workshop a woman showed up with a journal she made with computer paper folded in half and I cringed and explained again in great detail that paper grain is really important. Somehow I feel like them seeing that it's actually possible to make a journal with bad paper grain and it all went down hill from there. I'm not really sure why I can't seem forget it and move on but it's really bothering me.

In other news I finally finished the last of my bicycle books. This one is a concertina made with a thick print making paper. After a long debate I decided to part with it and you can find it in my Etsy shop.
I think I've also decided to keep the apple page as I really like the set up and now that school has started I don't really want to put the effort into purchasing a domain name and finding a hosting service. Yes- O-Chem is that hard already.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Small Update, Big Week

Where has the time gone? September slipped in and out faster than I think it has in years. I guess I have been very busy this month but I think I could use another week before school starts to get some things finished up.

While my camera and I still seem to be at odds with my mini earrings, I did get this lovely book to the right photographed and in the Etsy store for sale. I love the fabric it's made from and have been thinking about going back to get more to make a skirt out of, but I don't think it will hang right it's kind of a stiff fabric.... but I'm still thinking about it.

School starts Monday and I'm starting to get the first day of school jitters! Tuesday will end my current series of classes at M.E.C.C.A, which has been a great experience for me. I am thinking about offering the introduction class again as well as class on the ribbon hinge books. I need to get a hold of my school schedule first and see how often my exams are spaced out.

I've also started to work on my Portfolio for grad school application. They have changed the application criteria since I've last looked, you only get to submit 1 object and then build an image showcase of your work. You can either send a CD with images or a website- I've started work on an online gallery. I'm trying to decide if I want to keep it hosted with Mac or try to buy a domain and pay for a hosting service. The good news is I have a month or so decide before my trial with Mac is up.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Smoke & Aces

Well mostly smoke and not a lot of aces around here. We have two major fires burning in the Southern Willamette Valley and unfortunately I'm very sensitive to smoke- killer headaches and super nausea has been the story of my week. It's rather amazing in the 8 years that I've been here I've never seen anything like this, every morning I get up and brush a layer of ash off my windshields.

I feel like a total slacker but all I've gotten done lately is a few pair of earrings and for the life of me I can't seem to get any good photo's of them. I'm blaming the smoke, maybe the camera....

I got my ATC's off this week for the Book Arts Forum Swap this week, they are titled
"A Tale of Two Fishes" I will share pictures once I get my packages back as I don't want to spoil the surprise for those of you who also participated. ATC's were an interesting challenge for me, as a bookbinder I don't consider my self an artist. I struggled for awhile but finally came up with something I was proud enough to send off.
I've also been working on some new silk screen designs. I have one design with flowers I sketched up in illustrator that I'll be burning as soon as we get some sunlight again. I haven't decided if it's going to be books, bags, or both!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


My first class was a smashing success! We had more people than we had spots for so I think it's safe to say that I will be running the intro class again. I have the two night leather class coming up on the 23rd and 30th and I think there are just a few spots left!
After I get my school schedule I plan on running an advanced ribbon hinge class which will have the intro class as a pre-requisite. Either way I am extremely excited.

In other exciting news my birthday is this weekend! I still don't have any solid plans, just excited! I already have my first present- and I opened it- because I knew what it was... My mom has this thing of making us pick out our presents now... I got volume 5 in the Keith Smith series Quick Leather Bindings. That leaves me needing volume 4 only, which I am actually quite interested in as I will be taking photography this term and will need a way to bind all those single sheets.

As some of you may have devised from the comments a few posts ago I have been having problems with my carpal tunnel and sadly it's kept me from doing any work in my studio or much of anything at all. The good news is that it's getting better and hopefully I'll be back to work with in the next week or so!

Saturday, September 6, 2008


I know I said it was time to slow down in my last post... and I did as far as blogging and binding were concerned but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy!
Last week was spent getting my husbands classroom ready for school. We built and installed new whiteboards and built him a new podium and worked on decorating his room a bit too. He was a roving teacher last year so the classroom is very exciting.

I've also been busy gearing up to start teaching! Eek! I start Tuesday and last week there were a sad 2 people signed up for my first class and no one signed up for my second. Last night was the First Friday Art Walk in downtown Eugene and where I will be teaching was right in the middle. We decided very last minute (Thursday afternoon) that to drum up some enrollment I should come down and show.
We might have been a bit too successful and are looking at having to schedule a second introduction class!

Fall has had quick entry in to town this year, the mornings are crisp and we have had a few mornings where the fog was settling gently on the hill around us. The leaves are just starting to turn color and it's a wonderful time of year. It's a hard time of year to be inside working as you know the last of the sunny days are limited and that the rain is not far off.

I have been doing just a little bit of work in the shop. I got a great new recycled leather journal listed and have been struggling with how to create a book strap with a cross strap. The long strap I have plently of ideas for, its the cross strap that's throwing me for a loop. Anyone have any experience making them?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Time to Slow Down

I've been working pretty hard the last few weeks and now I finally have the pictures to prove it! The pictures in this post is part of the wholesale order I've been feverishly working away on. I love the picture of all the leather journals. The red one in the middle is by far my favorite. I didn't purposefully mean for it to be centered and the eye catcher of the picture, but it's funny how your subconscious works like that.

In other news I need to start getting ready for the classes I'll be teaching in less than 2 weeks! I have all the materials set aside at Mecca, I just need to go in and do some prep work so the covers are cut and the pages are all the right size.

It's been grey and kinda rainy since we had our heat wave and it's been kinda nice. Not to hot and surprisingly not to humid either. It's been a nice change, albeit rather strange. One of my brothers ended up in town on business yesterday and had a long lunch so we went to play some disc golf and I ended up with totally soaked shoes as the course was covered in standing water.

Now that I've completed the large order I need to go restore order to my studio and get some work done for my own store!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Another Busy Weekend

I had another weekend where I went into my studio Friday evening, blinked and it was bedtime on Sunday again.
The good news is that I've almost completed the wholesale order! An hour or so of work left and up onto Etsy it goes.

I had been working on an interview for the BEST blog slowly for the last few months and finally got it completed this week as well. You can learn my guilty pleasure.... if you dare....

I also finally decided that it's time for me to part with this lovely book I teased you with a few weeks back. I've had my fill of drooling over it and it's time to let someone else love and fill it. You can find all the details for the book here.

I'll be back in a few days with some pictures of the wholesale order!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Productive Weekend

I've had a crazy productive weekend! I have all the leather and cloth covers completed for my wholesale order, half the paper for the text blocks folded and punched, and all of the brag and chopstick books done!
I also sold the build your own kimono book listing on Friday so I got that book constructed and finished as well!
It doesn't end there...
Have you ever spent an entire weekend locked in your studio to look up and find that every surface is totally covered in stuff and absolutely none of your floor can be seen?
Well thats exactly what happened to me. So I decided to clean the studio up as well.
Should have stopped there... but I didn't. I'm working on my first set of ATC's for a swap at the Book Arts Forum and I have been wanting to try coffee staining for some time so I boiled up some water- I don't actually own a coffee pot- and threw some coffee in. I crumpled the pages hoping that the "bruised" paper would stain darker. Sadly that didn't work out as I had hoped and the pages aren't as dark as I thought. I think I'm gonna dunk them a second time tomorrow to see if I can get them darker.

Sometime in the middle of all my crafting today I also got a new book listed on Etsy! It's a lovely recycled leather sketchbook. You can see the upclose detail of the part I love above. It has this one little corner where you can see the layers what went into tanning the hide.

I'm off to see if the kimono book is dry in my press yet and hopefully get some photo's of it before I'm off to bed.

Friday, August 15, 2008


I'm feeling pretty darn good right now. I sold my first pair of earrings on Etsy!
To celebrate I listed another pair! The second pair of earrings I love just as much as the first. I almost kept this pair for myself to wear to school in the fall to match the lovely orange the tree's turn here. Then I remembered that I never actually wear the first pair I made for myself and decided that someone else would be much better off with them instead of myself.

In other crazy news for today I cut my hair off to my chin, in a little bob. No pictures yet as I had it done by a co-workers daughter while I was at work today and I can't seem to style it right. Haven't decided if I love it or hate it yet. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Home Again Home Again

I'm home from what I think is the last of my long weekend trips for the summer. I went back to where I grew up for a late wedding reception for my "second family" and all of us kids were home so it was a good weekend. Lots to eat and drink, and all were merry!

Lot's has happened on the crafty front over the weekend as well! I'm hard at work on my first wholesale order which I am very excited about- and I'm now the proud owner of a button maker! I don't have any parts to make the buttons yet, but I've got the machine and thats the first step.
I've also becoming involved in a movement to get more people excited about shopping local designers/crafters. More details on that as they become available...

I also took my first venture into the jewelry category on Etsy. The lovely earrings above have been listed as I've had requests from non-locals for them. I have several more pairs ready, I just need to finish doing the photo editing.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Bookbinding Team Sale

The Bookbinding Etsy Street Team is having a sale this weekend! As I'm leaving town for the weekend I'm a little ahead of the game and have everything already set up and on sale!
My sale for the weekend is 15% off my case bound books, which includes this lovely recent addition to the right!
I've already marked everything down so no need to wait for an adjusted invoice or a refund!

If you've been lusting after one of my case bound books this is the weekend to pick it up. My sale will run today August 7th- August 11th, the teams sale runs the 8th-10th.
Stop by the BEST Blog tomorrow for more details on specials from other shops!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

First Round of Classes!

The MECCA newsletter went out over the weekend with the details of my first two classes in it! I couldn't be more excited!
They spelled my name wrong- most people do- so if you got the MECCA newsletter that's why it looks different...

Intro to Bookbinding with Kiley Gwynn. Tues Sept 9 from 6-9pm. Class cost is $20. Member cost: $15.

In this class you'll make 4 different books, from the pamphlet stitch and an accordion or concertina book with variations on those structures. This class teaches the very basics, folding techniques and simple sewing, and prepares students for an intermediate class.

Leather Journal with Kiley Gwynn. Tues Sept 23 and Tues Sept 30 from 6-9pm.

Class cost is $40. Member cost: $35.

This class will teach a version of the long stitch binding. Long Stitch Bindings are beautiful and practical bindings that can be made with no specialized equipment and only a few hand tools. Constructed without adhesives, the sewing thread connects the sections directly to the spine of the covering material. Traditionally these bindings included a fore-edge flap and a tie to keep them closed. Workshop participants will fold and punch sections, measure and cut recycled leather for the cover and a tie, and learn the binding. If time allows participants will be allowed to embellish their journals.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Scrumptious Leather

The award giving caused quite a stir around here yesterday and I couldn't be more pleased! I had a record setting day for site traffic and possibly for comments as well!
Which could be viewed as the motivation for today, but it isn't- today I have this scrumptious leather journal to share with you. This journal, along with all the leather journals I will be posting and making for the next few months, are made from upholstery scraps. Which while they are luscious leathers sadly I have no information about them. I don't know what kind of animal they are of what kind of a finish they have on them.
This book is the structure I will be teaching in my upcoming classes at MECCA. MECCA should be releasing more details soon, but the first class will be September 9th and the leather workshop will run September 23rd and 30th.

My local Etsy street team held a meeting last night and we had a special guest stop by and I got some really fun toys. I don't have the energy or pictures to discuss it yet, but it's exciting. I'm packing up for a weekend trip to the Coast and Portland so I'll see you guys next week!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Busy Busy Me

I haven't forgotten you all! I promise!

I've just been really, really busy. It's trade show season at work, and if you have ever worked in the wholesale industry you understand what I mean.
It's also summer craft show time and I've done two in the last two weeks. Which is CRAZY for me. While I don't see my Etsy shop as a hobby (it's more a fledgling business) I've never gotten heavy into the craft market here. I had the show I had posted about last time which was a good day with friends and other vendors despite the crazy wind and bugs. While there the opportunity came up for me to do a recycled craft fair the next weekend. I jumped at the chance as it was a new venue and more time with good friends.
I got home and realized my recycled item stock was lower then I remembered and had a week to get stocked up.
I finally got to working with the pieces of scrap upholstery leather to make some leather journals and sketch books. I also did some crazy silk screening and sewing to make some rockin' recycled tote bags (no pictures yet sorry!).
While all of this was a blast I was so tired by the time the show was over I was ready to fall over as I haven't had a day since we got home from vacation where I wasn't working all day. And that is why I've not said a word in over a week. I've been crafting like a crazy lady.

The good news is that as soon as my camera and laptop become friends again I'll have some great new items to post in the ol' shop.

In the madness of the last week I was also awarded the "Arte y pico" blog award by Rhonda!

Thanks Rhonda!

Here is how the award works:
1) You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award for, creativity, design, interesting material, and also contributing to the blogger community, no matter what language.
2) Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.
3) Each award-winner, has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.
4) Award-winners and the one who has given the prize should to show the link to the Arte y pico blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.
5) To show these rules.

Between getting this award, and finally getting around to posting about it I found out that it's not against the rules to give the award to someone who already has it! Which is great because I was starting to get stressed out!
My picks (in totally random order) for the award are:

Billie of Billie's Craft Room- Billie is a UK craft who does the most amazing things with ranger inks (don't worry I don't know what they are either!) and has recently joined the book arts forum and brings lots of great energy and ideas.

Chelsea of 88 Words- She's a very prolific blogger & her blog is always a good read and while I
don't comment as often as I should you can be sure I stop by everyday!

Bev of La Paperie & Cozy- Bev makes amazing leather journals filled with wonderful quotes and other things. My personal favorite of her shows my true inner geek, it had the Periodic table of elements in the front instead of a quote. It's sold, but I'm sure she would make you another one!

Aly of Bliss Monkey Studio- Aly's blog is a double dirty pleasure of mine- not only is her blog filled with fantastic stories of urban chickens and water ballon fights, but she has great stories about things in my own community I had no clue even existed!

Kevin of Library Preservation- Kevin probably doesn't know I read his blog on a regular basis. I've never left a comment but I love his blog. It's for the true geek in me, the one that longs to work on wet, damaged, well loved, or unloved books. I would love to have his day job "spends some of my time conserving rare and not so rare items. I also regularly teach book repair to Michigan library staff, and am a part-time faculty at Wayne State University, teaching introduction to preservation."
That is exactly what I aspire for some day.....

Ok not too bad, only one person that already has the award- but that's because I've been looking for a reason to share Billie's blog with you.

Hopefully I wont' be such a stranger between posts for the rest of the summer!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ready to go

I've always loved that song by Republica, it's..ahem... an older song now.... but it still rocks really hard. I should put that on my ipod....

Anyways now that I'm rocking out in my own head I would love to talk about this little lovely on the right side of the page. I *love* this book! I splurged on this paper awhile back and had been waiting for the right design at the right time. It's a ribbon hinge journal which is constructed like a traditional book, but instead of gluing the text block on to the case the ribbons tie on the outside and hold it in place. This book also features a matching tie on the edges of the cover to keep it closed. The inside paper is a rich royal purple paper with a fantastic metallic sheen.
See I'm so in love with this book I'm already writing an amazing product description!

I've got a really stuffed set up for the show tomorrow so lots of options for those who can stop by!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Home Safe

Oahu was amazing and was exactly what I needed. I won't do too much rubbing it in, but I have to do a little :)
The picture of the Honu (Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle) I think is my favorite from the trip right now. We sat on the beach for awhile and watched them eat, then we dawned the snorkel gear and swam around with a few others that weren't sunning themselves.
All the snorkeling we did was awesome as the Oregon Coast is way too cold for getting in past your knees, let alone trying to snorkel. The water also isn't crystal blue so you probably wouldn't see to much anyways (I could be wrong as I've never stuck my head in the ocean here). I had a great time and didn't want to come home, but as they say all good things must come to an end.

Back on the home front I've been busy getting ready for a show we are doing locally this Friday in the lawn of the Oregon Community Credit Union on Chad Drive (next to Costco) so if you are local come on down and say hello! I'll be sharing a booth with Catherine of Bobcat Beads and lots of other local Etsy sellers will be on hand with lots of wonderful items for sale!
I've decided to try some chopstick notebooks for this show and they are a lot of fun to make. It's allowed me to use some of my smaller sheets of paper that I've collected, but I think I'll need a larger bead collection if I want to seriously get into making and selling these adorable little books.

I have one last thing to share before I get back to binding and prepping for Friday! I was over on Bev's Blog (La Paperie & Cozy) (yes I admit I was catching up on other blogs before getting to my own) and she has a great post up about what you can do with your own journal. If you needed any inspiration of what to fill a journal with stop by and read her post, it is filled with wonderful ideas!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


I just received word that my introduction class has been approved and they want to schedule more advanced classes in the weeks that follow the first class. More details to follow after vacation!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Oahu Awaits

Do you see that ------>
I still can't believe that in 4 days that's where I'll be. Paradise....
The only coast I have ever know is the Oregon Coast, while it is absolutely breath taking it is not white sand beaches with water I can actually swim in.
I actually bought snorkel gear today. I'm going to have my head in the ocean and it freaks me out.
Maiko of Flurrsprite has been incredibly helpful in things to do and eat while I'm there and one of my clients from work lives in Maui- but her daughter lives on Oahu and she told me to call when I landed and she would have her daughter show us around, and to her fav shaved ice place. Which from the sounds of it might also be Maiko's favorite!

In crafty related news I've got panels cut for 7 new bags, two sets of bike covers screened for Celtic Weave books and two more sets of bike covers for little accordion books too. I made my first chopstick book this week and it was a lot of fun. Thanks again to Rhonda for the inspiration!
I have sent my first proposal in for teaching. Hopefully I will hear back soon as I am very anxious for feedback- and to start teaching. I submitted an outline for an introduction class this week and have a few ideas stewing for intermediate classes. I was in at MECCA today as they were having a large sale and over heard someone asking for large pieces of leather and the coordinator telling the woman they had set them aside for bookbinding classes so I guess I need to get started on a proposal for a long stitch class- which also means I need to learn the long stitch!

To end this I won't be back at my computer until the 12th, and will probably be too tired to post anything at all until the 13th. I promise to share some photo's and funny stories about our belated honeymoon (only a year late- and I am very exicted about having our first/sixth anniversary in Hawaii) when we return!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Treasury Love!

That's me smack in the middle of second row!
I am so glad that Etsy listed the rule that you couldn't convo people about treasury listings as I would have never seen this as I would have been packing for Minnesota and had no Etsy adventuring planned for the evening.

So stop by and give the other great items in the treasury a click or leave a comment with green love!

I'll be back on Monday from Minnesota, have a great weekend!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Summer Vacation!

I forgot how relaxing free time can be. This weekend all I did was things I wanted to do. My house is still totally trashed, my laundry still needs to be done, etc- but I did expose my first screen at home this weekend!
It took a few tries as I was using our newly found sunshine to develop the screen, but I had the time so I enjoyed the learning process. Eventually I will have to set up an indoor exposure for the 9 months of rain we get a year but for now I can use the energy mother nature provides. The lovely boards to the right are my first hybrid binding/screening project. I think I'm gonna have to screen two more because I wasn't thinking and if I bind these two together the bike on one of the covers will be along the spine, and I just don't think I like that. I also think I might screen a few of the pages that are going into the book too- because I can :D

I officially have started the ball rolling towards teaching classes in August. I need to write up the proposals for the classes and submit them for review. I think I want to teach one simple class with things like a pamphlet stitch with some variations like the dos a dos, the accordion fold, and maybe one other thing. I need to start looking into my books and see what I can find. I also want to teach a more advanced class with something like a case bound book but we'll see what they say about that as the resources are more complex.

I'll be working on that idea while I am in Minnesota this week. I've never been to Minnesota and it's where a large chunk of my husbands family lives, and where his parents summer. It's his dad's birthday this weekend so it seemed like the perfect weekend to take a trip- and the perfect time to write proposals about book binding!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

¡slɐuıɟ ɥɥɥɐɐɐ

I've got the first and the worst of my finals tomorrow. It's a double whammy of ochem and nuclear chemistry. Next week I have a whirlwind weekend in Northern Minnesota, home for a week then off for 11 days in Honolulu for a late honeymoon.

I've got a show scheduled for July 18th with my local street team. Trying to decide what I want to make and take, it's always hard to predict what people will be looking for on any given day. Which is what I love about Etsy, people get on there looking for a blue notebook- and if you can fill that need then they will purchase it. Craft shows don't have that same thing, people show up and browse not knowing what to expect,but probably not looking for that blue notebook.

I've been having a huge crafty urge but it might be a natural response to spending the last week looking at flying spaghetti monsters, counting lines, and working on the design of a nuclear reactor. Hopefully I'll retain that urge over the weekend and get some serious crafting done!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Crafty Overload

This week has been good for nourishing my crafty side. It was the last week of classes here and while I'm totally stressed out for my finals next week I've managed to get a lot done that isn't related to school.

Ok so the first project is kind of related to school- The fabric pieces are a tote bag, and a tote bag in progress! I finally ahead of the game in silk screening for once and I got to play around with fabric for the first time. The bag with the cassettes is finished while the bag with the reels still needs to be sewn together. I screened the fabric during our last class on Thursday and everyone was really envious, I think mostly because I was done and could play around, might also be because I bought shiny purple ink to play with.

As you can see in the second picture I have lots and lots of ink to start playing with. I also bought myself a photo emulsion kit, but that will have to wait until I get a scooper and a bigger squeegee.

In other exciting news this week our local crafty materials exchange MECCA sent out a news letter this week saying they had gotten in some upholstery leather scraps so I ran in as soon as they opened the next day and took a large pile to start playing with leather again.
The topic came up of why I want large scraps of leather and I told Mija I was a book binder. She got really excited and we started talking about me teaching classes there over the summer! I think I'll be teaching in late July/early August, I'll keep you posted as I come up with more of the details! I'm really excited to have the opportunity I just need to come up with what classes I want to teach and how I want to structure them....

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Online Trunk Show- With Me & BEST!

The Bookbinding Team will be hosting an online trunk show at the Etsy Virtual Labs on June 2nd at 9PM EST.

We will be showcasing some handpicked creations through images and even via webcam so you can get a more up close and personal look at our books on Etsy. The creators will also be presenting why their shop (and themselves!) are unique, and you will have the opportunity to meet with them and ask questions in a session after the showcasing. There will also be some sales and giveaways, so this is definitely an event you don't want to miss!

A list of participating members:


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Brief Hello!

Well the good news is that I survived the nuclear chemistry midterm! The bad news is that due to my faulty, totally warped screen I am totally behind in silk screening!
This lovely little book to your left just got some new pictures and a renewal. I'm hoping these pictures help a little bit- this fabric is a real bear to photograph. It ends up looking awful & grainy when really it's lush fabric that I love.

This second lovely book is my swap book, it's going to Canada and hopefully the new owner doesn't pop over here before she gets it!
I would hate to ruin the surprise but I'm not sure I'll get too many updates in before school is over and I wanted to share it. June 12th here I come!
Anywho back to the book! It's my second attempt at a ribbon hinged book. I really like how elegant they look but I'm having problems with the spines on the block slanting. I let this one dry for two days before I put it in the case and it still slanted. I love it none the less. I used the bike path map for Eugene to make both the inside and outside covers. On the inside pages I glued pictures and facts about Eugene and Lane county. It's probably the closest I've come to making an artist book, and I'm pretty proud of it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Holding Pattern

I kept promising myself I was going to get to a big blog post about the Street Faire, new books, and life in general and it's just not going to happen until this weekend- sorry!

These last two weeks have been crazier than I know how to describe so please hold and I promise I'll be back soon! I've also managed to misplace my card reader for my camera so when I come back I'll be back with a large number of pictures!

I did managed to get in a clean up my shop a little bit and a few books have been put on sale! Stop by and take a peek!