Monday, April 29, 2013

Books 56-57

Last week I finished books 56 and 57 of my 365 challenge.  Both books have white cotton pages with deckled/torn edges.  I made the covers a few weeks ago but didn't get around to sewing in the pages until this week.

Book 56 has navy blue paper with light blue and green bubbles on the outside, and a nautical themed paper on the inside.  Book 57 uses the same papers, but the other way around.  The nautical themed paper is one of my favorites because it has giant octopi and old school whaling ships.

I'm down to the last few pages in the journal I've been using from last year.  One of these two is going to become my new journal... But I haven't decided which one!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Book 55 (and a half)

Thursday evening I came home from work and got started on two envelope books as examples for my workshop next weekend.  I cut the paper for both books at the same time, then got started with assembly.

The first book I finished, and the second one I am saving as an example that I can assemble while teaching.  So this is what "half" a book looks like!

In the process of cutting my papers and jotting down notes to turn into an instructional handout, I got to thinking about putting together book making kits.  What do you, my lovely readers, think about that?  If I put together kits with instructions and all the pieces, would you want one?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Books 052-054

I have taken a couple weeks off from bookbinding because of obligations with work and skating.  Now that the big competition is done, I'm ready to get back on track for my 365 in 2013 challenge.  I'm about 50 books behind schedule... But I haven't given up!

Monday I sat down and made books 52-54 of 365.  All three are case bound books, which is a structure held together primarily through glueing.  I had pages and covers pre-cut, so the bulk of my prep time was spent preparing decorative papers and book cloth.  Then it was just a matter of assembling everything.

The black and white book with red poppies is going to be donated to a fundraiser for the Berea Arts Fest.  I have done Berea Arts Fest the last two years and put in an application again for this year.  I've applied for a couple other shows so far this year, and am waiting to hear back about acceptance. 

In the meantime, I'm teaching a bookbinding class on Saturday, April 27th in the Cleveland area.  Spaces are still available!  Class description and materials list is available online.  Call Small Studio (440-808-8599) to register and reserve your space.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Indoor Gardening: Part 2

A while ago I wrote about planting a window box of vegetables in my post Indoor Gardening: Part 1.  At the same time I re-potted my Jade plant and potted a new little succulent.  It took me a while to get some good photos of my newly potted plants, due to lack of sunshine and lack of time at home.

This is Jimmy, the gangster plant.  I got him as a gift in the summer of 2010.  This is the only plant I've been able to keep alive this long, so I'm pretty attached to him.  Over the winter he started losing a lot of leaves.  It turns out Jimmy had outgrown his terracotta pot.  I bought this nice blue glazed pot at Home Depot and replanted him in a cactus potting mix.  Since then I've seen a lot of new growth, and Jimmy is doing very well.

I bought this little succulent on my trip to Home Depot.  After planting it in a small green glazed terracotta pot, I noticed some leaves shriveling up and falling off... I was worried my luck with succulents had run out!  Turns out that new clusters of leaves started growing in where the old leaves fell off, just like with my Jade plant.

I also planted Basil seeds in another pot.  The sprouts are doing very well.  I had about a dozen sprouts come up, and I thinned it down to the 4 biggest ones.  Hopefully I will have lots of fresh basil this summer!

I moved the window box to my living room window where it has lots of sunshine.  The bok-choy is doing phenomenal.  I will probably be able to cut off enough leaves to eat in another couple weeks.  The onions are growing very well, but the leaves keep falling over.  I probably need to stake them up for support.  The celery... is not growing as well.  One of the two stalks died a few weeks after planting.  I think I didn't leave it in the water long enough before planting.  I started two more celery bases (because I had them, and I might as well!)  This time I let them stay in the water long enough to grow several good roots.  Hopefully that will help.

So that is what's going on in my little indoor greenhouse.  I feel like instead of being a "cat lady" when I get old, I'm turning into a "plant lady"... And I'm okay with that.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Bookbinding with High Schoolers

Today I had the opportunity to teach high school students bookbinding as part of a larger art project.  The school received a grant to do an artistic exchange program with a school in Montreal.  The project theme is "Equity and Diversity."  The students started by going to the Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory and Educational Foundation and learning how to make paper.
A few weeks later (that's today!) I delivered the handmade paper to the students, and walked them through a simple book structure.  The covers are cardboard from recycled boxes, with book cloth for the spine, and a single signature of handmade paper sewn to the book cloth.  The class periods were short, so I left step-by-step sewing instructions drawn on the whiteboard for next week.  After the books are completely assembled, the students are going to add content relating to the theme and send them to the students in Montreal.

During our bookbinding session, a reporter from the News Herald came by to write an article about the project and put together a video for their website.  Check out the article and the video here!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Something Completely Different

And now for something completely different!  I usually post about art, sewing, knitting, and general craftiness.  Lately my life has been taken up by figure skating.  Ice dancing, to be specific.  I am preparing for the 2013 US Figure Skating Adult National Championships.  Next week I will be flying to Arizona and competing at the silver level with my partner.  Since I haven't made any books this week, here is a video of my test for the Rocker Foxtrot from a few weeks ago (partnered by my coach.)