Saturday, November 29, 2008

Busy, busy, busy

Did two craft shows recently--the one I just got back from was my first big show (Art Market in Calgary, Alberta). It lasted four days, and went really well (yay!).

It was a real challenge setting up my booth, as the curtains were black and the organizers turned the overhead lights down--apparently that's supposed to create a cozy atmosphere, but mostly I saw a lot of craftspeople (including myself) wobbling around on step stools, struggling to clamp an assortment of lights onto the flimsy pipe and drape walls of their booths (while trying not to go end over teakettle into their neighbour's booth!), all to keep customers from feeling like they were being invited into a bear's cave!

Here is how my booth turned out--in spite of my determined clamping of lights, it still was dark, but on the plus side, it made the colors of my books stand out:

One of the challenges of doing craft shows is that you never know exactly what conditions you will be working in (in terms of lighting, space, temperature, etc.). There are invariably surprises. One of the first Christmas craft shows I ever did was, as it turned out, set up in a hockey rink, with only a thin layer of plywood put down to cover the ice. I almost froze to death--ah, the glamorous life of the artisan! :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Italian Addiction

I must confess, I'm a bit addicted to Italian bookbinding papers--so elegantly beautiful. Problem is, I buy them, but then I tend to just want to keep them :) . I've finally started to dip into my stash (although there are still a few I got in Venice a while back that I can't quite bring myself to use yet). Here are a couple of perpetual diaries I made using a combination of Italian papers and Italian bookcloth:

And here is a wine journal made with some brown and gold Italian paper:

Friday, November 7, 2008

Big handbound journal

I've been getting some requests for larger leather journals. I have some really nice, soft, thick Napa leather on hand, so I came up with this:

It's 15.24 cm x 22.86 cm (6" x 9"), with 240 pages of sketch paper. Plenty of room for big ideas :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

New Designs

As I have mentioned before, I've been busy coming up with some new book designs. Here is one of them, a happy orange book with a yellow spine:

I've been wanting to create a book that has the medieval binding stitch on the spine that I love and use for my leather books, but expands the possibilites for this kind of binding.

I decided to make a book that was non-leather (for my vegetarian and vegan friends out there :) and that had at least partially recycled materials. I'm really happy with how these books turned out. They still have sketch paper for the pages, and the covers are made of a really thick, sturdy handmade paper that is made from recycled cotton cloth.

I handbraided the wrap-around strap. Haven't done this much braiding since I was a kid--I used to spend hours in the barn on my father's ranch, braiding twine for jump ropes, bridles, etc.

The inside covers of these books have turn-ins, and endpapers made from handmade paper. Part of my inspiration for these books came from looking at photos of books with similar designs made in Estonia in the 1500s.

Here is a photo of the inside of the orange book:

I have some other colors in my Etsy store, and will be adding more in the days ahead.