Thursday, June 27, 2013

Tutorial: Easy Folded Books

The weather has been pretty gloomy this week and I haven't had a chance to get good photos of my newest projects.  So instead of posting about books I've made, I am sharing an easy book tutorial I put together a while ago and never shared.  I wrote the instructions and took the photos for this book structure two summers ago while doing an internship at the Morgan Conservatory in Cleveland.  The plan was to publish a booklet with projects for kids.  That hasn't happened yet, so I thought I would share the instructions here!  (Feel free to link this tutorial on your own blog or pinterest, just make sure to credit me please.)

How to make a book from one piece of paper

First gather your materials and an eager crafter (this project is great for all ages, kids and adults!)  You will need a sheet of regular copy paper (recycled paper works great if it is blank on one side), scissors, a pencil, and materials for decorating and illustrating your finished book.

1.  Fold paper in half with the long edges together and crease.  Unfold and crease in the opposite direction.

2.  Fold in half with the short edges together and crease.  Unfold and crease in the opposite direction.

3.  Fold the short edges to the center fold line and crease.  Unfold both and crease in the opposite direction.

4.  You will now have 8 small rectangles with 10 creases separating them.  Find the two creases that do not touch the edges of the paper and trace over those lines with a pencil.

5.  Re-fold the paper in half with the short edges together.  Cut or tear along the pencil line.

6.  Hold the folded edges next to the cut line and bring them down to form an X shape with the paper.

7.  Gather the four sections together to form your book.

8.  Decorate and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Coptic Books 166-169

This past Saturday I had a craft show out on the east side of Cleveland.  As part of my last minute prep for the show, I made 4 new coptic journals with ribbon closures.  Two of them I finished Friday night and the other two I finished Saturday morning at the show.

Overall the show was not my best.  It was a really hot day, and I didn't sell enough to cover my costs for the day.  (I also forgot to bring a knitting project to work on while sitting around!)  I have a bad show every once in a while where I don't sell as much as I need to over the course of the day.

My next show isn't until September, so I get to relax a little and work on some art books.  Also in September are due dates for the two book exhibitions I'm in this year.  The first show is the Abecedaria show that Art Books Cleveland does every year relating to the alphabet.  Last year I made my Astronomy alphabet book for that show.  The second show is an exhibition of art books relating to the theme of Travel Journals.  I've got a really cool idea for that one, and I can't wait to get started!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Ohio Books 145-165

 My next summer show is coming up tomorrow at Notre Dame College in South Euclid, OH.  One of the projects I finished this week was another batch of Ohio cards and pamphlet books.  In the weeks leading up to the show I realized I did not have many Ohio themed items left.  Luckily, this is a pretty easy project to make in bulk and spread out over a couple of evenings.

Tuesday night I picked out which papers to use, cut a bunch of Ohios with my Cricut Mini, and cut all the covers and pages for the books.  Wednesday night I folded all the books and sewed them with a simple pamphlet stitch.  Finally, on Thursday night I attached an Ohio to each book and glued a heart over Cleveland.

All the cards and books shown here will be available at Art of the Circle in South Euclid, OH, June 22nd between 10am and 5pm.  If you see an Ohio book or card you like and need to have it, comment here or on my Minimeg facebook page.  (These don't stick around long enough to make it onto Etsy!)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Minibook Earrings- Books 129-144

As most of my friends (and readers) probably know, I have handmade books and jewelry on consignment at a local floral shop called the Urban Orchid.  The owner of the shop lives one street over from me, and the store is a couple blocks away.  It is really convenient for me to stop by and deliver new items to the store, and my things have been selling well.

One night last week I sat down and made a bunch of minibook earrings and beaded bracelets to bring over to the store.  I don't get to make jewelry that often anymore, so it was fun to play with all my different beads.  These little minibook earrings make books 129-144 of my 365 in 2013 Challenge.  I'm over 1/3 of the way through my goal for the year!  Check out all my 365 in 2013 posts here.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Battlestar Galactica- Book 128

Last month a good friend of mine posted a photo on facebook of a journal she really loved, but was out of her price range.  The book had two-toned leather covers and clipped corners, and was modeled after an item from Battlestar Galactica.

Now, I don't know anything about Battlestar Galactica, but I do know something about bookbinding.  I realized that I could make a book that shape using bookcloth instead of leather (since I don't usually use leather.)

So she placed a custom order, and I created a book roughly 5x7 and just over an inch thick with trimmed corners.  It was a fun little challenge, and something very different from what I usually do.  I sent it off in the mail to her last week, and hopefully she likes it!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Books 122-127

 Last week I was invited to participate in a pop-up shop in South Euclid that is being organized in conjunction with the Notre Dame College Art on the Circle show at the end of the month.

The shop will be up for about 2 and a half weeks in the old Blockbuster (4517 Mayfield Road, South Euclid, OH.)

However, the deadline for turning in artwork was less than a week after they contacted me, and the Midland Art Fair cleaned me out!  That meant I had a ton of work to do during the week and over the weekend.

I worked really hard all week and finished up 6 new coptic journals specifically for the pop-up.  I also had two journals on hand from my last show.  I dropped off those eight journals to South Euclid city hall on Monday.

Now that I've got everything for the pop-up shop squared away I need to get going on items for June 22nd!  I will probably focus on coptic journals, envelope books, and minibook jewelry since those are my best sellers lately.

Here's where I need your help: would you rather have a journal with or without ribbon closures?  I can make journals either way but I am curious to know what you like better.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Longstitch with Dan Essig- Book 121

Friday I had the opportunity to take a workshop with Dan Essig at Small Studio in Westlake.  Dan is an artist that makes sculptural books and is well known in the world of book arts.  He has taught all over the country and had his work featured in publications including 1000 Artists' Books (the photo on the lower left of the cover is his.)  You can learn more about Dan and his artwork at www.

The workshop was about longstitch binding.  I learned how to do the binding called Italian longstitch, and made my first ever leather book.  Longstitch bindings involve sewing the pages directly to the cover (in this case leather.)  After assembling the book, he showed us how to add tintypes to the book as a decorative element and to provide a place for a magnet closure.

I had a wonderful time learning from Dan and I love longstitch binding!  You can expect to see more longstitch journals from me in the future...

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Midland Summer Art Fair- Books 116-120

Over the weekend I attended the Midland Summer Art Fair for the first time as a vendor.  This show was especially cool for me because I used to go to the art fair with my Mom and Grandma almost every year as a kid.  This time I got to be on the other side of the booth.  The weather was not the greatest with threatening clouds on Saturday, and 58 degree rain on Sunday morning.  It cleared up both days in the afternoon and there were still tons of shoppers coming out to enjoy the day.

I drove up to Michigan Friday morning, so naturally I spent Thursday evening frantically finishing more books and getting them under weights to dry.  I finished 3 case bound books Thursday night and didn't make it to bed until well after midnight.  I'm apologizing in advance for the bad pictures in this post.  All of these books sold, and most I snapped pictures of with my phone during the show.

Two of the case bounds feature papers with music notes.  One is white with gold writing and tan book cloth.  The other has purple book cloth and a multicolored background.  I think the purple one is my favorite of the two.

The third case bound was a special book for my Mom.  My parents are taking a trip to Alaska over the summer and Mom wanted something to write in during the trip.  I found a woodsy paper with moose and bears for the cover, and birch bark paper for the end sheets.  The ribbon closure has tiny hiking boot footprints.

The coptic journals were quite popular during day one of the show, so I finished up two more coptics Sunday morning while sitting at my booth.  I had made the covers last week, and folded and punched holes in the signatures Thursday night before leaving town.  All I had to do was sew them together.
The first coptic journal had green covers with a gold and yellow flower pattern.  That color green is one of my favorite colors.  The second coptic used paper with a canning jar pattern.  I thought the canning jars were cute, and kinda hipster at the same time.  (I just realized I have a vegetable paper too.  Maybe next time I can combine the two for maximum irony.)

Overall is was a great show for me, and I will definitely keep it in mind for next year.  Next up for Minimeg is Art on the Circle at Notre Dame College in South Euclid, OH in two and a half weeks.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Minibook Jewelry: Books 98-115

This week I made MORE minibooks!  My first batch of minibook jewelry was very popular, so I decided to make a bunch more.  The books on the necklaces measure 1 1/5 inches tall and 1 inch wide.  The books on the earrings measure 3/4 inch tall and 1/2 inch wide (about the size of a dime.)

All the decorative paper used for this project are scrap pieces, too small for most of my other book projects.  You might recognize the papers from here, here, here, and here.

You can find my minibooks on Etsy, or in person at the Urban Orchid in Ohio City.