Monthly Archives: August 2013

Aqua, Teal and Turquoise

In my last marbling session, I had a lot of fun working with the turquoise family of colors.  I had four shades to play with, making a lot of interesting combinations.  Here’s a quick look at some of them.

I even added them to some of the metallic pieces.

I promise I’ll do the metallic blog soon.  I learned a lot about different effects they can produce.

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Filed under Marbled Paper

What To Do When the Paper Doesn’t Fit

I recently marbled some maps that I really wanted to use as covers for my portfolios.  Unfortunately, they were just the wrong size.  Too short for the large size that fits an 8½” x 11″ writing pad and making them for a 4″ x 6″ pad would lose too much of the map.  I thought about either patching two together or framing them for the large portfolio, but just didn’t like that solution.  They would be perfect for a 7″ x 10″ pad.  Problem is, no one seems to make that size pad.  I could have them specially made but that would be expensive and replacements would be a nuisance for the customer. So I did the next best thing, used a 6″ x 9″ pad and made the holder a little bigger than it needed to be.

Now I have notepad covers that range from the small memo size to the full 8½” x 11″. Here are samples of the full range.

Four Sizes of Writing Pad Covers

Four Sizes of Writing Pad Covers

Here are the two new covers I just made.

The blue cover has old street maps of Washington, DC and the red cover are pages from a vintage children’s book about the seasons.  Both were hand-marbled by me.

More photos of the four sizes.

Last week I spent a lot of time marbling and I hope to get a blog up about my adventures with metallic marbling up soon.  I also canned the last of my pickles and the first of my tomatoes for this year!  The cherry tomato crop is still going strong with the return of hot weather and I hate to see them going to waste. I don’t hate it enough to try to skin them for canning though!

Cherry Tomatoes, red and gold

Cherry Tomatoes, red and gold

Tomatoes & Pickles

Tomatoes & Pickles

But most important of all, last week brought a new member of the family.


She’s an eight-year old Beagle/Basset mix I adopted from a local shelter and she’s loving that I have lots of rabbits on my property.



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Filed under Life, Notebooks

My First Enameled Book

Some weeks ago I took a class on enameling and was very excited to get working on some projects.  As usual, life intervened, but I have finished my first book.  Here it is!

Now I can’t decide whether to keep it or sell it.  One one hand, it may be the only enameled book cover I ever make as the rest of the pieces are smaller inserts.  On the other hand I really don’t need another blank book.  What to do?

I also decided just to hang my biggest enameled piece. I found out then how fragile the enamel is. Just trying to thread a cord through the holes in the piece, I cracked some of the enamel.  Not catastrophic, but you can see fracture lines in the enamel. You can just see them in the upper left corner when the photo in enlarged.  If I had a kiln, I could just re-fire it.

DSCN4479At the same time I was making the enameled book. I made another of the diskette books.  They are such fun! DSCN4518

I don’t really care for Coptic bindings.  They are not nearly as stable as a cased or bound book and they don’t protect the textblock as well, but they are a lot faster to make and are cute. I’ll probably keep them in my repertoire for fun, quick projects.

I’ve also been doing some marbling. Not terribly happy with the results as I been having a hard time with my carrageenan.  I don’t know if it’s the heat, the humidity or the carrageenan itself, but it’s been breaking down very quickly.  I was getting five or six days from a batch, but the last batches haven’t lasted more than two or three days.  Frustrating! I haven’t changed anything about the water, paints of the way I work, so I just don’t know.

I did have fun with these!



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Filed under bookbinding, Other crafts

Catching Up

It’s been a while since I’ve posted so this blog is about catching up with friends, books, marbling and gardens.  After my return from the Folk School class, I had a huge crop of slightly over-ripe cucumbers.  I still have about two dozens pints of pickles from last year, but I just couldn’t let all of those beauties go to waste.  I made another dozen or so pints and vowed to have pickles on the table for every meal next year.  I decided that that was enough and I would NOT do anymore.  So far, I’ve held to it and have only picked cucumbers for eating.  Don’t know if I’ll hold out though!

We’ve had a stretch of cooler weather and while I love it, the tomatoes don’t.  The red cherry tomatoes just aren’t getting ripe. The orange ones (Sungold) are almost ripe, but not in the profusion they should be.  The full size are slowly ripening, but if we don’t have some hot sun, I might not have enough to can this year. Harvest from two days, minus the cucumbers!

Last week I had a delightful visit from a friend I’ve known for over 20 years.  We had rather lost contact for a while besides the annual birthday greetings and it was great to see him again.  It’s amazing how one can flow back into relationships with a friend one hasn’t seen in years and yet with other people it is hard to sync up even seeing them once a week.  People are strange and fascinating beings.  My friend had read about my marbling class and wanted to learn how to do it, so we spent a day playing with it!

Lots of fun, but I didn’t get much real work done.  After he left, I went back to the trays, but the carrageenan just wasn’t doing its job.  Not sure if it was the temperature, high humidity, my water or just random contamination.  Very frustrating!

Amid all this, my dehumidifier conked out.  My studio is in the basement so its very important that it stays dry, especially the area where I store my paper. I ordered a super heavy-duty model, but it took over a week for it to arrive.  More frustration.  To cap it all off, my hot water heater died. That replacement was fast and efficient, but not before I had to deal with a lot of water on the floor.  Not the time to be without my dehumidifier!

All is well at the moment and I hope to have pictures of some new creations soon.  I have listed my diskette books on Etsy, so I have a start!  More paper will be coming soon.

In another catch up, I talked a while ago about buying recycled odds and ends at a place in Durham, NC.  One of the pieces I bought was a broken slab of marble (not sure if it’s real or fake).  I’ve been using it as a base on which to pare leather and it is just the right size.  I’m thrilled with it! It’s hard to see in the picture, but the marble makes a smooth, hard surface to cut against while paring.  The edges of the leather need to be pared down to the thickness of a sheet of paper.  I’m not very skilled at it and it takes a lot of knife work to get them smooth even and the right thickness.

I hope to do some more marbling next week and hoping it’ll be more productive than last! In the meantime, lots of books to finish and hoping no more appliances die!

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