Monday, July 29, 2013

Books 184-186

On my day off this week I played around with a couple little structures that I had never done before.  I used some of the pre-folded signatures I put together from the recycled longstitch books, and the heavy blue cardstock I used for all my Astronomy books.  The first book uses a modified pamphlet stitch that is essentially the stem stitch from embroidery.  It is designed for a single signature, so I did 3 signatures in a row for a thicker book.

The next two books have 4 signatures sewn together, then the whole text block gets sewn to the cover with three horizonal stitches.  It is really simple and has a lot of possibilities for more elaborate covers.  I decorated all three of the books with scraps of marbled paper attached to the front cover.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Recycled Longstitch Books 182-183

After taking a longstitch binding workshop with Dan Essig last month, I've been thinking about ways to use longstitch binding beyond what we did in the class.  One thing on my mind was using recycled boxes as covers.

So I pulled out my stash of old cardboard packaging (seriously, my friends save boxes for me out of their recycle bins... it makes me feel like a hoarder), picked out a few interesting boxes, and went to town!  After a little bit of measuring, a little bit of math, and some fiddling I ended up with two recycled longstitch books.

The first is a red shredded wheat cereal box, with a blue button and string closure.  The second book is a green Banana Babies frozen banana box, with a yellow button and string closure.  After making the first two I cut and folded a bunch of extra pages so I can easily make more later.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Handspun Purple Silk

I mentioned in a previous post that my friend Mary has gotten me interested in spinning yarn.  My first real spinning project (after the initial sample) was a lovely purple silk.  Mary gave me some fibers to practice with and she showed me how to work with the silk.  The silk fibers are incredibly long and sticky (they stick to clothes and the tiniest rough spots on hands or fingernails) so all the drafting has to be done at the beginning instead of during the spinning process.

I used up all the silk fiber she gave me and ended up with about 8 yards of plyed silk yarn.  Roughly DK or worksted weight.  I'm not quite sure what to make with only 8 yards... but the yarn turned out beautifully.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Minibook Earrings 172-181

A friend of mine from high school had been watching all my posts on facebook and the blog, and requested a pair of my minibook earrings.  She asked for something "green, turquoise, or brown" so I looked through my paper stash and put together a few options.  I made earrings from four different papers in that color family (and a second pair of the teal and lime green paper because I like it) and let her choose.  She picked the green and gold pair.

All the rest will either be listed on Etsy or taken over to the Urban Orchid for sale there.  This brings me up to 181 books out of 365, nearly halfway there!  Now that my summer shows are done, I took a couple weeks off from making books (also from blogging) to relax and do other things.  I signed up for a monthly yarn club from Paradise Fibers that starts soon.  I'm very excited about that!  And I'm sure you will see updates about the yarn that arrives and the projects.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Spinning with Mary and Books 170-171

A couple weeks ago my good friend Mary stayed with me for a few days during a dance workshop weekend.  After the workshop was done we had a whole day to relax and hang out with each other.  She really wanted to learn how to make books, so we did a little trade.  I taught her how to make books, and she taught me how to spin yarn!  It was awesome!  I MADE YARN.
I've had a drop spindle for years, but had never learned how to use it.  Mary brought me all kinds of fibers including alpaca, silk, and yak.  I started with just plain wool while I got the hang of drafting the fibers and adding the right amount of twist.
We didn't make it all the way through our projects that day, so she came back later in the week and showed me how to ply the yarn.  While the plyed yarn was soaking, Mary showed me how to work with the silk fibers.  It is a lovely purple silk and so easy to spin.  I'm looking forward to finishing it up and knitting with my own yarn one of these days.
In return, I taught Mary how to make a small coptic journal and a small case bound book.  I made one of each along with her and ended up with books 170 and 171 out of 365.
This means I am right where I should be for my 365 Books in 2013 (for the first time all year!)  I've been trailing behind where I should be, so it feels really good to be caught up.