Monthly Archives: February 2012

Back to Work

…. or rather Back to Play.

The past week has been spent with insurance claims, car salesmen, doctors, etc., etc.  It’s a relief to be able to go back to the fun parts.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time designing my next set of books and I’ll be sharing the results here.  I’ve also started a page on How to Design a Book, or at least the way I usually do it. This week I’ve been starting by choosing the outside covers first, but at other times I’ve started with a title, an illustration, endpapers or even the paper I wanted to use as the textblock.  Flexibility is a good thing!

I’ll give you a spoiler here. These are the papers I’ve chosen for my next batch of books.  If you want to see the choices I made, just follow this link.

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Filed under bookbinding, Marbled Paper

The Vagaries of Memory

Yesterday I was in a car accident.  While driving down the hill near my house, I hit a patch of ice and ended up in the ditch.  However that’s not what this blog is about. It’s just the starting point.

After the car came to a stop, I have an incredibly vivid memory of looking at the dashboard and seeing the lights on it. That made me realize the engine was still running, so I reached down and switched off the ignition.  In my memory I was sitting up and the car was facing down the hill.  The problem is, that’s not what happened.  Yes, I did see the lights and I did turn off the ignition, but the car was upside down, lying on its roof, with the nose pointing up the hill.

I must have been upside down, held in place by my seat belt and there’s no way I could have seen either up or down the hill as the windshield was collapsed and smashed with the hood of the car lying on the ground.

Over the past 24 hours, I have tried many times to correct my memory by telling my brain what must have happened and the real position of my body.  My memory doesn’t care!  It stubbornly clings to the upright position.  It  fascinates me and raises a whole range of questions about memory under stress. I have always heard that eyewitness accounts can be unreliable.  Now I really understand that.

My armchair opinion is that the brain is trying to make sense of something that is nonsense and totally unfamiliar.  I always drive the car sitting up and I was going down the hill.  Driving a car upside down doesn’t make sense and is a totally new pattern, so the brain improvises and force fits what it sees into what it “should” see.

For the sake of the narrative, I was able to unfasten my seat belt and turn myself around enough to find the door handle.  Miracle of miracles, when I tried the door, it opened as easy as pie and the warning chime (keys in ignition) even went off.  Many thanks to our laws on automotive safety.  And yes, other than the expected bumps and bruises, I seem to be fine.  The car, not so much!


Filed under Life


A friend recently gave me some pieces of papyrus and I am puzzling over what to do with them.  The sheets are heavier than what I use for book covers, but I don’t know if they are strong  or flexible enough to use on my boxes.  It might be interesting to try marbling one sheet, although that could be a bit of a waste as the beauty of the sheets is in the weave-like texture and the natural fibers.  That might be lost under the marbled colors.  What to do?    I think I’ll try one piece as book covers and see how it works.

Next question: what to use for endpapers?  I had some dark blue and gold hieroglyphic paper, but there’s not enough except for a tiny book and I don’t want to order more.  I have some white and gold with an Egyptian motif, but it’s a little too shiny and too over the top for the papyrus.  I think I’ll have to look further.

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Long Time

Nothing to do with books or boxes, but yesterday I finally finished a project I had started many, many years ago.  I think it was 1979 in fact.

I found it half-finished sometime last year and decided it was time to get to work on it.  Really didn’t think I’d get it done, but Yeah for me!  Closure is good.  Now the next goal is to stretch and frame it.  Don’t hold your breath.


Filed under Other crafts

Towers are Fun

Last week I decided to make some more of my Treasure Towers for sale in my shop on Etsy.  I think the part I enjoy the most is picking out the papers to use.  Usually, I start with the outside, but not always.  I find that I prefer to make four boxes at a time even if they are different size.  Doing the same actions “assembly line” fashion just works best.  Not more than four, or I get bored!

But back to choosing.  My first was very uncharacteristic, I didn’t use my own marbled paper.  I had a piece of Italian paper with large butterflies that I wanted to use.  The pattern is really too big for my books.  I had trouble finding papers for the inside since the colors weren’t a good match.  I finally found two papers that had patterns that reminded me of the scales on the wings  of butterflies.  I made the top of the same butterfly pattern as the outside.

The other papers were a bit easier, I knew I wanted to use some maps I’d marbled.  The last tower was a recently marbled sheet that I was excited about.

I have more towers here.  I have a page about making my boxes and towers here or you can click the link at the top of the page that says, ” Boxes & Other Creations”.


Filed under Boxes and Towers, Marbled Paper

February in Black

Last week I was marbling paper again and I was off to a slow start.  Nothing was working right.  Colors were streaking, paints were spotting, worms all over the place –  just a mess.  It took me a day to realize that I had mixed the alum incorrectly and another half day to get everything else into balance.

I pulled some good sheets, but nothing thrilling and a lot that were “book only” – not good enough to sell as full sheets.  As usual, on day three, I switched to a smaller tray to work on card stock for note cards and vintage papers.  I realized that I was getting a very powerful black in the small tray, much stronger than I’d ever had before. I ran with it and pulled the papers shown below.  All of these were done on light colored paper – cream or white.


The colors become so vivid when contrasted with the black.  Wish I had some large papers like these.

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January in Leather

Welcome to Losing Her Marbles & Granan’s Books.

I love making books  and that has lead into learning other related activities, marbling paper, making boxes and other paper crafts.  This site is divided into sections devoted to each of my obsessions.  Please browse around and enjoy.  I sell my books, cards and boxes at my shop, LosingHerMarbles on Etsy.


January was the month for playing with leather and the These books all have leather spines.


And for making a few boxes  








As well as playing with paper. marbled paper



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