Finding Time

Where did it go? I haven't had much time for books lately. The past two days have been a little better (although my little sister lured me away last night for cocktails when I could have been sewing signatures!). I've actually already sold some books in my etsy shop and I now have an invitation to bring books to a small art open house in the spring, so I need to keep moving. My plan today (in the remaining 2 hours and 10 minutes until husband goes back to school) is to work on 2 photo scrapbooks I've started and 2 smallish journals. The cover paper is pretty fun so I'm excited to see how they turn out. My next project will be 8 zany books about 5" x 7" all the while I am searching for a place to buy 6" (or so) 3-ring binder parts to make some scrapbooks that are stuck in my head. Where do you buys these? Is anyone reading this a good googler, because I'm not but I really want to get those started.
Pictures later...I need to get some work done!


Amy Butler Inspired Sketchbooks

I do so admire the fabrics of Amy Butler, and now Archivers carries scrapbook paper based on the beloved fabrics.  They are vintagey, yet modern, I think she calls the designs, "Midwest Modern."  For the four books now in my etsy shop, I used slightly heavy white sketch paper for the pages.  There's nothing wrong with lightweight paper, but for some reason I was drawn to the strong thick sketch paper and have purchased quite a lot of it for book usage.  It feels so nice and substantial.  I could go on and on about paper choices, but I won't.  Unless anyone has their two cents to offer about the weight of paper he or she prefers when doodling or writing.  I'm really just guessing here.  
I started these books with the intention of having a subdued cover and a surprise on the inside of the covers, the surprise being the fun AB papers.  I was a bit bored with the level of subdue so I jazzed the cover with a strip of the same paper.  So many decisions.  They turned out pretty nice, anyhow.


Memory Lane

I've made about 30 books since I've gotten my studio up and running. I've recorded them in a handbound book I made in college and now I'm up to the 104th book entry in this ledger. There's about 5 years span where I added zero books. Since it has been awhile since I've had any instruction, I spent tonight digging through boxes in search of my "old" books. I THINK I remember how to do each step, but I found myself second guessing myself about a few minor details so it helped to examine these old books. I had given away or sold most everything I made, so I was stuck looking at a few of my own journals, which, of course, each had a flaw of some sort (that is why I kept them). It was wonderful to feel these old friends again, and especially fun to look through my travel journal from my and Peter's leisure trip around France a month before we got hitched. My style has changed a lot, and I'm not so sure I like the change. I guess that's part of being an artist- or creative person- whatever I call myself I'm not sure anymore. I've just been so BUSY the past five years that I haven't really taken the time to think about it. My books are suddenly geometric, bright, clean, and sleek, where as they used to be more organic and subdued with rough-edged deckled pages, hand-marbled papers, and found-object closures. The fact that they were worn from being lugged in a backpack and tossed on the floor so many times definately added some charm, too.



The new breakfast staple in our house is the Sharbidar. We first had the concoction at Amore Coffee House on Grand Ave. here in St. Paul. I think's it's their own invention, but I haven't done much googling about it. It's Earl Grey tea, milk, and honey. For an extra badingdong we add a few cranks of "Sloth", a fancy grinder full of chocolate, cinnamon, and sugar -a gift from the Reids at Christmas. There is a whole line of the seven deadly spice grinders at the Chelsea Shop.


Single Signature Books

I've finished a few single signature book and they look pretty sharp. I've always liked using these skinny books for little travel journals. I found one from about 7 years ago that commemorated in photos the summer I spent in DC, mostly made significant as the trip where Peter and I met. It makes a roll of film (back when we developed actual film) special to put the pictures in a little hand bound book. I think they are also great for a little shower gift full of advice, a recipe collection, a small sketchbook...OK, the ideas are pouring forth...
Here's one of the shmoopy pages of the little book I found from a few years back (the ones in my shop are a little bigger and much better!):


Banner Art

I needed a new banner for my blog and decided it should have a tree and swirls, so there you have it. Lately whenever I do a little doodle drawing like this, it ends up looking awfully Dr. Seuss-like. And this one, a bit too summery. Perhaps it's wishful thinking. Next up I will made more of a wintery looking tree.

Peter officially starts classes next Monday, but today he started hitting the books. He received a couple of assignments over break that he needs to finish. I'll miss the extra time to work on books. I'm motivated to get FGH to nap more which would give me more time to work in my studio-or prep meals so I have more time in the evening. Plus, FGH needs naps. As he gets older he doesn't seem satisfied with a 30 minute crash in the Ergo Baby carrier or car seat. Today I tried blacking out his windows with black copy paper. It didn't work. It was still light and he didn't sleep at all. Poor guy.


Practice is Over

I started a series of 15 books last winter when Peter and I decided to sell the farm and I felt I needed to focus on what I was going to do in the future (aside from being a parent which does take most all of my energy). Well, the last two books are now FINALLY in my book press and I'm glad for it. They are cute enough and have a bit of cleverness to them with all the clasping/tying/color combinations/bookmarks. It was a good way to get back into the rhythm of binding books. A few of them are in my etsy shop.

I have some thicker journals coming up next and I've been loving some Amy Butler designed papers that I found at Archivers. Fun, fun, fun.

I also recently made this cabin journal for a friend's parents' cabin:

The lettering is cardstock cut out with a Sizzix die-cut machine.


Etsy Shop

I can hardly believe it, my etsy shop is up and running. Connect to it on the right! Many more books to come...

New Press

My book press DID arrive, I believe it came on the 24th. We were away since the 22nd so I can't be sure, but, anyway, it's here and I've been using it non-stop. One thing it lacks is mutiple layers so I can press many books at a time. Seeing as most all of our tools and scrap lumber is either being stored or was left at the farm, I have asked my handyman of a dad to cut and sand some spacers for me. Once I get the (masonite, (most likely)) pieces for stacking I should be able to fit quite a few books in at a time and I will be in production central. I'm plugging along during Peter's break from Law School, experimenting with various book structures and sizes. I should have some up on Etsy before a week's time is up.
Pictures coming soon...my camera is charging after taking about 200 pictures and videos over the holidays...