Monthly Archives: March 2012

Finished Towers

Finally put the towers together and I’m happy with the results.

Four of them are 7″ and one is 6″.  The yellow one in the front was a particularly hard match.  The orange boxes are a heavy textured brunt orange colored base paper that I marbled in browns, reds and yellows. That paper was too heavy to use for the covering of the tower, but nice and sturdy for the boxes. I thought I would never find anything to go with it since the base color radically changed the marbling colors.  I finally was able to get some complementary colors from burnt sienna, yellows and some greens.

The other box I’m really happy about is the one in the back with the bright outside and dark interior.  I had done a bit of figurative marbling and I had no idea how to use it.  Here’s a closeup.

You can learn more about the construction of the towers on my page, Making Towers and more examples on Boxes & Other Creations.


Three of these are headed to the Yates County Arts Center and two to Etsy for sale in my shop, Losing her Marbles.

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Vacations and the best laid plans

I’ve been on vacation visiting a friend for the past two weeks.  I had great plans of doing a daily blog while I was there and catching up on all sorts of other computer stuff. As you can see, it just didn’t happen. I’ve been home for two days and am feeling overwhelmed by the amount of stuff (of the non-creative variety) that I have to do.  Things like paying all those bills and doing my taxes.  I don’t mind numbers type work and I love charts and graphs, but taxes and bills, just yuck!

I’m building up to a good rant on the taxes.  Not at the IRS, but at the tax software people who want to charge you more and more every year for their software.  And a little bit at the IRS and NYS who think it’s fun to charge you for making their work easier by e-filing. But not right now, too much other stuff to finish before I can have the luxury of ranting!

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Well, Almost Finished

Took the books out of the press and here they are:

They all looked really nice until I realized that  the back endpaper in the map book was upside down!  My endpapers rarely have directionality and I never noticed.  Sigh.

Towers are in good shape, well, at least so far.  Haven’t finished the boxes for them yet, but have cut and folded the paper so it’s just folding and gluing them into place.

Here’s a look at the outsides:

You can see them all at the page onMaking Towers.

Some of these books and towers will be for sale in my shop at Etsy, Losing Her Marbles.


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Well, I did it.  Finished the four books today and even started on some towers.  Good feeling of accomplishment.  The books are in the press overnight so tomorrow morning will be the final verdict.  There’s always  some trepidation when I take the books out for a final check.  That’s when I spot the bit of glue that somehow wound up on the front cover or I notice that the square isn’t quite right or the endpapers are 1/32 of an inch off line. It is quite difficult to salvage a book that isn’t quite right and impossible if it is a real mess.  Better to chuck it and start over.  Fortunately, it doesn’t happen very often.

Tomorrow I’ll take the final pictures and add more to the various pages – Designing & Making a Book.


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Catching Up

This week I’ve been working on the four books that I’ve been documenting on the Design and Making a Book step two & step three pages. However, working on the books has meant less time for writing about them. Tonight I’ve uploaded a bunch of pictures, but haven’t had time to explain what they are. Will do that tomorrow, I hope.

What fascinates me is how the books change during the process.  I have a picture in my mind of what the finished product will look like, but it seldom is totally accurate.  Materials sometimes seem to have a mind of their own! Papers that I plan on using magically shrink or get cut in the wrong direction forcing me to use alternatives. Sometimes I just don’t like something on the sixth or seventh try.  One of the advantages of working on several pieces at once is that I have time to step away from one choice and come back to it later. Sometimes a paper I am considering for one book, will end up in a totally different place.

The Black Palm book is a good example.  My first thoughts on the endpapers were just wrong.  The second (the tigers) put William Blake into my head and I have been quoting “Tyger!, Tyger!” all week – mainly to myself.  I’m very pleased with the outcome.   I had no plan to use leather on any of these books.  It involves a lot of work to pare it down and I have been preoccupied with a lot of other stuff.  When I was trying to decide what to use as the spine for this book, nothing was working — until I noticed a piece of black leather.  It was just the right size and worked beautifully.  The result is that this is probably my favorite book in the batch and not at all as planned.







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Design vs. Doing


If you’ve read my pages on Designing a Book, you’ll know that I’ve started working on a new set of books this week.  The design decisions have almost all been made, so next week I’ll be moving on to the more mechanical aspects of making books – the sewing, the pasting, the cutting. I think the enjoyment I find in creating books, or my towers, comes from the duality of the process.  There’s a lot of thought and creativity that goes into the design phase, but that is followed by rote work.  To do it properly, one has to be careful and precise, but the sewing and pasting doesn’t take much thought.  Attention, yes, but not thought.  I can relax and daydream a bit.  Not too much or the textblock goes into the covers upside down!

It would be boring to just do the making part and it would be frustrating to just design with no product.  Combining design and execution makes a very fulfilling whole.  I’m sure there are hundreds of hobbies and skills that would yield equal satisfaction, but this works for me!

In case you missed them, these are the books I’m currently making.

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