Saturday, December 28, 2013

Paradise Fibers Yarn Club: October
I finished the October yarn club project way back before Thanksgiving.  However, it was a Christmas present for my sister-in-law so I didn't want to post about it and ruin the surprise.  Now that Christmas is over, I can post about it all I want!
The project for the month was a boot-toppers kit using three colors of 4/8's Wool in "Just One Ounce" skeins.  Since neither of us wear boots, I decided to make a Reindeer Headband project from the Norwegian Handknits book I've had an eye on since last year.  It was a quick little colorwork project, and my sister-in-law loves it!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Books 323-328
Saturday was my very last craft show of the year!  The night before the show I finished up one more case bound book, and one more envelope book.  The envelope book is actually one that I started for the book demonstration during the Morgan Conservatory's annual benefit, but didn't have time to finish.
I also finished up a small coptic book made with leftover mohawk superfine paper from a book class.  This is another one that I started a long time ago but never got around to finishing.
I also made three additional coptic books using mohawk superfine for the pages instead of the heavier paper I normally use.  One is a pretty yellow paper with blue dots (the same paper from these minibooks.)
I made covers for the blue one earlier this year when I was making books for the Women of Achievement Awards.  I cut extra boards while working on that project and I'm finally getting around to using them up.
The third coptic is probably my favorite!  The paper has tea kettles and says "where there's tea, there's hope."  At this point I've got 37 more books to go for my 365 challenge.  I'm out of town this week visiting family, so I am hoping to make a few pairs of book earrings while I'm here.  There are still a few more half finished journals at home I can complete on the 30th and 31st...

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Minibooks 311-322
I'm still working away on my 365 books for the year.  Yesterday I finished up two more minibook necklace and earring sets, and three pairs of minibook earrings.  The yellow and blue paper is a new one I bought this fall.  I think the necklace turned out really well.  I've got a journal in the works using the same paper for a cover.  I'm sure you will be seeing that here soon!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Coptic Books 309-310
This weekend I had a two day craft show. (In fact, I'm sitting and blogging while at the show. Hooray multitasking!) To help pass the time I finished up two of the coptic books I started last week.
The first book has irises on the cover, and the second has an Italian print. If I keep finishing up books at this rate, I just might get those last 55 done before the New Year!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Case Bound Books 306-308
This week I got to work on books for my next two holiday shows.  At my show over the weekend, I sold all but one of my case bound books!  So I cut boards, tore paper for pages, and matched paper with bookcloth for a bunch more case bound books.
One of the three I finished this week has really cute cork bookcloth with an alphabet block paper.  The combination reminds me of vintage school books and classrooms.  The second book uses a super sparkly bookcloth that matches the copper colored pattern on the paper.  The third book is more simple with a gray and green patterned paper with gray bookcloth.
Overall I spent a lot of time this week doing prep work for books.  Even though I only finished three, I have another 7 or 8 large journals in various stages of completion and another 6 minibooks for jewelry.  Hopefully in the next 18 days I'll be able to finish everything up and complete the rest of my 365.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Paradise Fibers Yarn Club: September
I am woefully behind on posting about my monthly yarn club projects.  For the month of September the yarn was Mountain Colors Crazyfoot in the color Poppy Trail.  The yarn is a fingering weight Merino with a little bit of nylon.  The color was a blend of orange, pink, red, and green- great fall colors!  (It was still actually fall when I was received the yarn and started knitting...)
The suggested project for the month was a pair of socks.  Since I had done a pair of socks last month, I decided to make a lace shawl/scarf.  I chose the Ashton Shawlette because of the pointy scallops on the edges.
The pattern was easy to follow and worked up pretty quickly.  I managed to finish knitting within minutes of the October 20th deadline.  And then it sat unblocked in my room for over a month... oops!
Last week I used my Paradise Fibers store credit to get a set of foam blocking mats.  They are squares that fit together in different shapes, and then you can pin items to them for blocking.  I finally blocked the shawl and it looks great!  I'm always amazed at how much bigger a project like this turns out after blocking.
And here's a bonus photo of Frankie helping me with my knitting!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Pamphlet Books 288-305
Yesterday I finished up some pamphlet stitch books for my next show.  Some have the state of Ohio, and some just have patterned paper for the covers.  After my last show I only had a handful of non-Ohio pamphlet books left... And most of them were Fall themed.  So I picked four nice patterned papers and made 3 books of each.
This brings me up over 300 books for the year!  Now I have 30 days to finish 60 books.  That's not so bad considering I am preparing for 3 more Christmas shows this month.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Coptic Books 284-287
Over the weekend I had my first holiday craft show of the season.  Usually on the day of the show I have a couple books that I just couldn't finish in time to put on display.  Fortunately, this gives me something productive to do while I'm sitting at my booth during the show.
This time I brought along 4 unfinished coptic journals to finish over the course of 2 days.  Usually I finish the covers, fold the signatures, punch all the holes, and cut a length of thread while I'm home in my studio, then I just need to sew the books together at the show.
I like doing this because it takes some of the pressure off the night before a show, is a great conversation starter at shows, and gives me a boost on inventory for that particular show, and a head start for future shows.  With these four journals, I am up to 287 of my 365.  That leaves me just over a month to make 78 more books!  I better get back in my studio...

Friday, November 22, 2013

Minibooks 262-283
I made this batch of minibook jewelry in preparation for my first holiday show.  The earrings have been selling very well during shows, and by special request.  That's why my last several posts have been all earrings!
I made the books for the necklace sets months ago, but never got around to stringing the necklaces.  Since my challenge only counts items finished in 2013, I had to finish the necklace before I could count the book.  The pink pair of earrings is part of a jewelry set too.  At one of my summer shows I sold the earrings without the necklace and never got around to making another pair of matching earrings.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Recycled Minibooks 242-261
One of the shows I am participating in this year is the Collective Upcycle Holiday Pop-Up Shop.  Everything being sold in the pop-up shop is handmade using at mostly recycled or repurposed materials.
For the show I made a special batch of minibook earrings with recycled papers for the book pages.  I think this is a nice variation on the blank book earrings I usually make.
The other books I have for sale at Collective Upcycle are the recycled box books seen here and here.  This batch of earrings brings me up to 261 out of my 365 books for the year (although there are still several books I have made but not blogged about yet.)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Baby Sweater and Gloves
A friend in my art books group recently had a baby.  While she was pregnant we had a conversation about crafts and she mentioned that it would be great to be able to knit and make things for the baby.  I chimed in with something along the lines of "I love knitting baby things!  I wish I knew more pregnant people so I could make more baby things!"

So I pulled out my knitting needles and whipped up a couple adorable baby things.  First was a sweet little baby sweater.  I used the Baby Boy 5 Hour Sweater pattern on Ravelry.  It was an easy pattern, but it did take longer than 5 hours... (Mostly because of interruptions and figuring out a pattern for the first time.  It took less than 2 weeks which is quick for me.)
The second thing I made was a pair of teeny tiny boxing gloves for the baby.  (Link to the pattern here.)  My friend named her baby Sylvester because of the Rocky movies, so I thought a pair of boxing gloves would be fitting.  I was finally able to deliver the baby things over the weekend, and it looks like the little guy loves them! 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Minibook Earrings 224-241

Recently I had a couple special orders for minibook earrings.  One person was looking for browns and neutrals, and the other person was looking for blues and greens.  In a situation like this I typically pull out lots of different papers in the requested colors and make multiple pairs so the customer can choose.  This way the customer can pick out exactly what they are looking for, and I have some extra pairs to sell at shows.
If you enjoy my book jewelry and live in the Cleveland area, I am teaching a Minibook Jewelry Workshop at Small Studio in Westlake on Saturday, November 9th.  Check out their website or call the store to sign-up, 440-808-8599

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Free Association: Book 223
I mentioned in a previous post that I am a member of an art book group called Art Books Cleveland.  Every year the group has an exhibition of alphabet related books.  Last year I made a book called the Astronomer's Alphabet featuring paintings of space related things for each letter.  This year I wanted to do something a little different.
The book is called Free Association.  Each page has a painted background with a collaged image and phrase that both start with the same letter.  I chose photos and images that had nothing to do with each other, which often creates meaning of its own in the new context.
I started putting together the book last year after finishing the astronomy book.  I was still interested in the alphabet theme but wanted to do something more whimsical.  The book is currently on display at the Morgan Conservatory in Cleveland until the end of November.
I obviously can't share photos of the entire book here, so I took shots of some of my favorite pages.  Enjoy!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Silent Auction Donation: Book 222

Every year the Morgan Conservatory does a silent auction as part of their annual benefit.  One part of the auction is called Snail Mail Paper Trail.  Each year for Snail Mail, the Morgan makes special paper and sends 2 sheets to artists across the country and around Cleveland.  Each artist makes a piece of artwork using the paper, and sends it back for the auction.

This year the papers were white and dark gray.  I made a coptic stitch journal using the white handmade paper for pages, robot decorative paper for the outside cover, gray handmade paper for the inside cover, and gray paper to cover the fold of each signature.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Travel Journal: Book 221

I am part of a book artist group called Art Books Cleveland.  Every year the group has two exhibitions during the month of October: our Abecedaria show usually at the Morgan Conservatory, and a second show at the Ingalls Library in the Cleveland Museum of Art.  This year the group decided to have a special show themed on Travel Journals.  A small group of us met every month to talk about our ideas, show progress, and work through problems.

After thinking about it for months and changing my idea a few times, I ended up making a book documenting one day of my trip to Scottsdale, Arizona in April.  The book is titled Arizona: April 2013, One Day in Scottsdale.  The cover features a map of the Scottsdale area, and every page is watercolor painting with pen and ink.

I tried a book structure I had never done before called a Drum Leaf Binding.  I discovered a great tutorial for drum leaf binding that was simple to understand, and had great step-by-step instructions (I highly recommend it for anyone interested in bookbinding, beginner or advanced.)

Using drum leaf allowed me to do the watercolor paintings flat, over the whole page instead of worrying about paint pooling in the crease.  It was great for the panorama views and looked very professional when finished.

I really enjoyed learning a new structure and having a reason create a book with content.  I will definitely be making more drum leaf books in the future.  I also want to make more art books and book with content.  (Maybe next year's challenge...?)