Tag Archives: Books

Garlic Festival and Heat

I haven’t blogged for a couple of months and am feeling that it’s about time!  Doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy, but it’s been very hot and dry and my ability to actually sit down and write is at a low ebb.  My grass is so dry that it just crunches when I go for our morning walk. I’ve been watering the garden and the tomatoes are just coming on, so I see canning in my future.  Cucumbers are a disaster, just not enough water for them.  I met a very tiny baby rabbit in my garden this morning – just the size to hold in one hand and easily pass through my fence.

Enough of that.  Last week I joined Sam Castner at the Fox Run Vineyards’ Garlic Festival. It was a very hot day, but we were fortunate enough to be in the last row of booths by the vineyard. Most of the time there was a breeze coming down the hill. Not a cool breeze, but at least air in motion.  Here are some photos of our site.

The side panels are now installed on the gates and you can see pictures of them on Sam’s Facebook page.  He’s hoping to install the entire gates within the next week.  Can’t wait to see it. You can see how dry and dead the grass is here. It’s been a severe drought for this area. We usually have great weather, but this summer has been brutal.

I made a bunch of books and notepads using stainless steel miniatures of Sam’s designs from the huge gates he is making for Fox Run. It was fun to point from the 4″ tree on my book to the 12′ version outside the tent.  Compare the jumping fox below with the one in the header.  Same design, just scaled up.  The wonders of computers and laser cutting.

Please excuse the reflections on the photos, but I had covered everything in Mylar to protect from rain, dust and sticky fingers.

One of my favorites was a large portfolio with a maple tree. I must have looked through 50 papers to find the right one for this background, but it was worth it for the result. This portfolio, along with others,  is for sale on Etsy  and others are at the Arts Center of Yates County.

I also had a lot of my Fox Boxes that I blogged about last winter.

It was a fun time, in spite of the heat and my exhaustion!

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Another batch of miniature and almost miniature books

I’ve really been enjoyed making these very small books and here’s another batch that I started before Thanksgiving.  I had to put them aside while working on the “Two by Ten” project, but once that was finished, it was back to the books.

The first three are traditional sewn bindings, exactly like my regular size books, sewn over tapes with endbands and ribbon markers. “Purple Prose” is slightly different.  The paper is a heavily textured, stiff paper by Strathmore that won’t bend around the Davey board without cracking. I didn’t want to do a standard limp binding, so I made a hybrid with board supporting the covers, but with the covers sticking out beyond the boards and not wrapping around them. I pasted down the endpapers to finish it off.  The last miniature was a full-bound leather book. That one was sewn around heavy cords rather than tapes to give the raised band look on the spine. I used a beautifully soft piece of leather and I love the feel of this one.

The last book was inspired by Valentine’s Day and is 4″ x 6″ and too big to be considered a miniature. Prefect size to slip into a pocket and carry with you for writing or sketching.

These books will probably go into my shop on Etsy soon.

In January, I’ve been working on new inventory for the local gallery and sorting through my inventory trying to plan the next year.  Looking through piles of paper – both mine and commercially printed – is always inspiring and I usually plan way more than I can possibly do!   I haven’t been feeling like marbling recently, but one of these days, I’ll have to knuckle down and pull out the trays.  Like so many things, once I get started, I love doing it.  It’s the getting started that’s hard!  No idea what projects I’ll start next, but that’s the nice part of being retired and one’s own boss.

 

 

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Miniature Marbling, Miniature Books

Last July my granddaughter and I attended the Intergenerational Week at the John C. Campbell Folk School as we’ve been doing for four years now.  It’s always great fun and great learning experiences.  This year, we changed it up a bit and also went to a weekend session (Friday evening through Sunday morning).  The topic was “Miniature Marbling” and it was taught by Pat Thomas. I’d taken another course from her and just couldn’t resist this one. She was gracious enough to let my granddaughter take the class with me in spite of her age. It was fun to concentrate on tiny marbling patterns, but what really clicked for me this time was the small 3″ x 3″ book and box.

I was very busy during the summer, but that little book was always in the back of my mind.  It was a quick binding – perfect bound with thread laced into  kerfs.  I, of course, wanted a “real” binding sewn over tapes and all.  I’ve done small books before, but have never quite thought miniature.  About a month ago, I finally had some play time in the studio and I started working with this idea. Here are a bunch of photos of the first batch with narrative captions.

Because of cutting errors and some sloppy measuring, I ended up with a few extra cases.  I didn’t want to waste them so reverse engineered books to fit.  Harder than I’d imagined just because I’m used to making the case to fit the book, not vise versa.  More photos of the second batch of books.

I had great fun making these even though they take almost as long as a normal sized book.  I hope I sell lots, so I can make more!

See them on Etsy in a few days.

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Fifty Shades of Purple

Last week I had a wonderful marbling session!  After the angst of the last carrageenan disaster, I was a little bit worried about starting one, especially as I had a special order to work on.  Specials are always a combination of fun and dread.  Fun – to be working with someone else’s ideas and color palette, and dread that I’ll mess it up. This time the theme was purple, specifically toward the blue end of purple rather than the red.  In looking over my colors, I realized that I had several red purples but only a tiny bit of Ultramarine Violet. I quickly ordered some and decided to try mixing some.  Mixing colors when marbling is always a challenge for me.  Some blend very nicely and float well, but others just don’t. Probably has something to do with the chemical makeup, specific gravity or density of the pigment. No clue.  Anyway, this time it worked!

Here are my purples, maybe not quite 50 shades, but a couple dozen!

I did finish up with other colors and some fun.

The first photos show some of the other colors I played with at the end of the session. The rest of the photos come from  spoiled copy of a fashion and pattern magazine for August 1898.  The incredible wasp waists fascinated me.  I can’t imagine having to wear them. I love the color prints and don’t know what to do with them.  I’m not going to marble them!  The ones I did marble were black and white.  The last two images are from my odds and ends. The first is from a Children’s magazine, “The Chatterbox”, which has lots of sad tales full of tragic heroines and Victorian morals. The last is the back cover of sheet music printed in 1915.  Fun combination of interesting stuff!

To finish the week, I finally completed five little books I had started a while ago using the trimmings from larger books.  All of them are roughly 4″ x 4″ and to make up for their small size, I made them thicker than I usually do.  Even though they take almost as long to make as their bigger sisters, I find these fun projects.

Like the hearts and flowers!  The tools and the garlands have leather spines.

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Smushed Cups

Sam Castner comes through again!  I recently asked Sam to flatten a small, incised, brass coaster.  I knew it would be easy for him since he has a press that will smash anything by putting a gazillion pounds of pressure on it.  At the same time, I gave him some brass drinking cups that had split their sides.  These had been brought home from India by my mother in the 1970s.  I gave him carte blanche with the cups – just saying to do something with them.  Since he was smushing (is too a word) my coaster, he decided to smush the cups also.  Brilliant. Here is the result:

All of these will be used as ornaments for books or boxes.  If you have a special desire for one, let me know and I can work to order.  When Sam delivered these, he also brought some other goodies.  I’m overwhelmed with the possibilities.

I’ve also been back at cleaning out junk and treasures that I’ve collected or inherited over the years and always keep an eye out for anything I can use on my books or boxes. Last week, I was really on a tear and besides getting rid of piles of stuff, rescued these for reuse.

The last of my finds came from my aunt who lived in French Morocco (now Morocco) in the early 1950s.

These cases or wraps seem to have been made to protect books or hold papers. I’m not sure what the large one was for. It’s much to big for a book.  I’m thinking about using the leather in some way to create covers for my blank books, but I may change my mind.  The vellum prayer was with the leather, but I think that was just happenstance.  It looks to me like modern English work. It is on parchment, but not old.  Maybe something my mother bought when she was studying illumination in England in the late 1950s, but I really don’t know.  Not a clue how to use it, but it’s neat.

Moral is it pays to clear out the junk!

Even if it does add to the “have to make” pile.

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Three and a half and counting …

I spent yesterday and today hanging my part of the Holiday Exhibit at the Arts Center of Yates County.  Had a great time working in the Gallery and am very pleased with the display.

I changed the setting on my camera on the second day, causing the difference in lighting.  Bonnie Barney set up the mirror table for me, giving wonderful reflections of the books and boxes.  Very striking!

Exhibit will be open from now to the end of the year.  Be sure to stop by!  Lots of other fascinating art and craft items.  It’s a great place to do your Holiday shopping.

Opening reception with food & wine is this Friday, Nov. 21st from 5 to 7 pm.

ACYC
127 Main Street
Penn Yan, New York

Call for directions  315-536-8226.

See you there.

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Three To Get Ready

“One for the money,
Two for the show,
Three to get ready,
And four to go.

I’ve been in the “get ready” phase for the past few weeks and the finish is almost here!  My local Arts Center is hanging their holiday exhibit next Monday and I am going to be one of the featured artists.  I’m thrilled to be chosen and have been working hard to create lots of new items for the show.  My biggest problem is that as soon as I finish something, I have the design in my head for four more things I want to do.  With hanging only a week away,  there’s very little time for anything else, besides finishing up what I’ve already started.

Here’s a sneak preview.

The red book with the copper insert will have a matching box and I have a third black & white box under construction.  Two more blank books are waiting for covers. I don’t think I’ll have any sheets of marbled paper, but I will have cards, a few framed pieces and some odds and ends.

If you are in the area, please be sure to visit  the Arts Center at 127 Main St., Penn Yan, NY.  “Celebration” will have its Opening reception with food, wine and art on Friday, November 21st from 5 to 7 pm.  If you can’t make the Opening, stop by anytime Nov. 21 – Dec. 31.  We’d love to see you!

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