Sunday, March 29, 2009

Let them eat cake!

After spending the better part of this morning cutting paper for pockets I decided to spend the afternoon playing in sugar. This is my entry for this years edible book festival! Let me start by saying that I am by no means a professional baker so please don't send these pictures to Cake Wrecks. I meant to take pictures of the entire process but that didn't really happen as I got too excited and starting working away.

It's based on the title of one of my favorite books, House of Leaves by Marc Z Danielewski. It's a fantastic book, however I would venture to say it's not a book that everyone will like... it's a little unconventional with words in different colors, words swirling around a page, or only having one or two words per page, there are footnotes, and footnotes for footnotes that sometimes reference things that don't exist.... If you are still interested click on the wiki summary above for a bit more information and go get yourself a copy!

His sister is Poe; her Haunted album is inspired by or a reflection of the book. It is a fantastic album on it's own and is even better once you've read the book- listen to it with headphones on as you'll pick up so many little things....

Back to the cake! It's made totally from scratch, I don't know if I've ever said anything here but I'm deathly allergic to soy in almost any form... which means no cake mix or store bought frosting here. The leaves are made from fondant which amazingly enough I can actually eat (but probably won't, it just doesn't taste good). The cake is a yellow cake made from this recipe and the frosting recipe can be found here. I owe my husband a huge thank you for helping me with the two cakes, mixing the colors into the fondant and frosting, and shaving the cake down.
It's two 9x13 cakes cut in half, centered, stacked, and then shaved down to make the pitch for the roof.

I haven't decided what I really think of my cake yet... In retrospect if I had to do it all over again I would do it all in green, frost the house in green and make all the leaves green... have the doors be blue ... but that is the thing about doing something once, you get all kinds of great ideas about what you could have done better.
For now I'm off to clean up my sugary mess, have some real food, and go get back to my pockets.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Spring Has Sprung!

The grass is green (although it stays very green here all winter...) our nesting ducks have returned, and I have spring fever! I was so excited for spring this year I ran out and bought a new bike! I am now the very proud and very pleased owner of a KHS Mocha, which is an adorable folding bike. I saw it last weekend before we went on vacation when we dropped off my husbands bike for a tune up. I thought about the bike the entire weekend while we were gone and when we went to pick up Mike's bike I took it out for a test drive. I feel in love, folded it up, and brought it home. It's a fantastic fit for me and I've been zipping all over town on it for the past few days and been ignoring the things I need to be doing.

I'm still waiting for my large order from talas to really get started on the folios but I think pocket production will start tomorrow. I bought around 30 sheets of decorative paper, which if you have never done before I highly recommend. Not only is it a ton of fun but people stare, ask questions, and you get to hand out your card. The sheets are almost flat now, they traveled from Portland in my tube and I forgot to unroll them the night we got home.....

The BEST Team is hosting an online edible book festival and the deadline of April 1st is rapidly approaching. I went and rounded up all my supplies today, and will hopefully get most of the project done tomorrow. You can find more information about the festival here, BEST is hosting our event on Flickr and giving awards for best overall, best bookbinding technique, and best entry by a child. Mine will not be an actual book structure but based on a title of one of my favorite books.

I decided to list the folio with the glue on the front so if you are interested in a folio on the cheap here is your chance! I really like the look of this one and am still quite miffed that I got glue on the front cover.

In other handmade news my husband and I have started home brewing! We made our first batch a few weeks ago and are just starting to drink the fruits of our labor now. Our first batch was an Irish Red Ale and the batch we are in the middle of brewing this afternoon is a Ceibo Pale Ale, which is named from the Argentine hops in it. Right now we are using recipe's from our local home brew store Valley Vinter & Brewer to get a feel for things before we become brave enough to try coming up with our on concoctions.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I got just what I needed the other day to knock me out of my funk, an inquiry for a custom order! Once I had a feel what the person was looking for I jumped into my scraps bin and got to work and loved every minute of it. It took me most of Wednesday to finish my final project for my nutrition class and it was hard not spend all afternoon in my studio prepping board and playing in my paper (which was reorganized last week!). Prepping board is all I can really to do get started at this point, as I can't get the cloth colors I want locally. So I just placed a monster order with Talas and it will be like Christmas when the boxes -yes multiple- get here, I ordered the cloth I needed as well as some fun things I've wanted for awhile but didn't have a large enough order to make the shipping worth it.

The project I'm excited about is making custom DVD Folios for U Designs, which is a wedding company. I've been working with Brie who is their head photographer and I am in love with her work! There is one picture of the couple making fists at the camera with their rings on... I just love it!
Anyways back to the project at hand- DVD Folios! I'll be starting by making some 2 pocket folios and some 3 pocket folios, I get to have some artistic freedom as far as matching papers, ribbons, and cloths so I'm thrilled with the arrangement. The 2 pocket folios will work just like a normal portfolio while the 3 pocket folios will be more like my fold up travel albums that will wrap up and then tie closed. I goofed the ribbon placement on the 3 pocket folio but I think it was a good learning experience to remember to watch where the larger "spine" is. I actually really like the 3 pocket folio and am a bit sad to be parting with it... however the samples need to be sent by tomorrow and I really don't have a need to keep one.
I also managed to fling glue everywhere today and have one 2 pocket folio with a glue spot front and center...again... I'm starting to think I need to add a "glue mess" section to my Etsy store.

My local book arts meeting was St. Patties Day and our swap theme this month was luck. Last month I was visiting with one of our members and she was kind enough to give me a few real dried 4 leaf clovers to use to play with on the project. I had been racking my brain for away to use them without glue and then it came to me.... Pockets! I was working on the mock up folio and had to stop part way through and make the pocket for my shamrock! I made a little 3" square portfolio with the a pocket, it was so cute I almost didn't want to give it away. However it was worth it because I received a fantastic blizzard book in return, it is filled with red Chinese New Year envelopes and inside each has a symbol for luck and it's meaning printed on a card. I really enjoy all the creativity the group has and the fun we have each month. Our mini workshop this month was on pop-ups, I'll share that another day.

In non book related news I just finished my last term at school for awhile. It was a tough decision not to enroll in classes for spring term but circumstances as they are we (my husband and I) decided it was for the best. This should give me more time to be a more dedicated book binder and blogger as I'm still only working limited hours at Coconut Bliss. Working there still rocks and I'm really enjoying the new atmosphere and finding my place as I go along.
I'm also going on a mini vacation this weekend across the state to see my Mom, finger crossed it stops snowing at night so we can make a safe trip over the pass on Saturday. I'll be back on Wednesday next week with some pictures of the trip and other news as this post is way too long already!

Monday, March 9, 2009

In Search of Inspiration.....

I've been in a bit of a funk lately, and I am not really sure why or what's going to break it but each time I walk into my studio I just seem to walk right back out.
Last week I started working at Coconut Bliss which makes fantastic ice cream from coconut milk that is soy and dairy free. As I said it's fantastic so if you see it where you shop give it a try! Most of the company was out at a trade show last week but I really like the woman I am going to be working with and she made me feel right at home on the first day.
I also apologize to those of you who are used to having me comment on your blog, I started using google reader as my blog reading was getting out of hand and I was missing posts and frequenting others that never updated.... well I've solved all that now but it doesn't import the comments or the links to comment! I'm trying to remember to click into each blog and comment so just be patient with me as I adjust :)