Tag Archives: towers

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.

127 Main Street
Penn Yan, New York

Call for directions  315-536-8226.

See you there.


Filed under Art, bookbinding

Maps of the Mind, Marbled, of course

Maps are some of my favorite recycled papers to marble.  I try to use colors that complement the areas of the map – browns and rust for desserts, blues and greens over the oceans – as well as harmonize with any printed colors.  As with much in marbling, you can plan a lot, but the paints seem to have a will of their own in the end and that’s the element I find so fascinating.  The little drop of white that centers itself right over a town or the purple swirl that almost follows a coastline  or the yellow streak of marbling that happens to disappear on top of a printed red and magically appear again to lead to a river or mountain is always a surprise.

Here are a few maps I’ve marbled in the past.

In my last marbling session I did a bunch of pages from an atlas.  Because of the way books are made, when disbound the pages are not consecutive, so I had gazetteer pages facing map pages.  I had originally planned to use both pages for ladders,  but I like the maps so much that I don’t want to cut them up.  Here are some of the pages.

I’ve used my marbled maps in numerous projects: books, towers, portfolios, almost everything I make, I’ve tried it with maps.

The map covered towers have been very popular, especially when I use local maps.  Eventually I will map some map ladders, but right now I’m “laddered-out” as you will see in my next blog!

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Filed under Craft design, Marbled Paper

Where Did That Week Go?

Busy, busy week. Not sure quite what happened, but I know that the painters finally came to start work on my porch, my company left and I finally mowed the grass.  To update the trifecta, first the pickles did get canned, another 12 pints. 

I finished one book as a sample for a potential customer.

The final bit was making more Treasure Towers with maps on the outside.  They are close to being finished, with just folding the interior boxes and gluing them to the outside.  Keeping the two blue/purple towers separated with their proper papers was a challenge, but I think I have them right.  It really wouldn’t make too much difference as their colors are very similar, but when I put a lot of effort into choosing just the right piece of paper, I hate it when I mess them up at the last minute.  That’s one reason I never work on more than four items at once.  There’s just way too much chance for papers getting switched.

Here are the towers and the paper cut and folded for the boxes.

On a totally different note, I’ve started harvesting potatoes from my garden.  There’s nothing better than a freshly dug potato!  Here’s the harvest for today.
The cherry tomatoes are overflowing.  I may have to figure out how to can them!

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Filed under bookbinding, Boxes and Towers, Life

Going for a Trifecta

This week is starting with a bang: papers chosen and started for four Towers with maps on the outside, papers matched for four books and the textblocks cut and folded, plus another gallon of cukes salted in the fridge.  Let’s see what gets finished and what waits for next week!

The cucumbers are just about over.  We haven’t had much rain in the past two weeks and they are getting smaller and smaller.  On the other hand, the cherry tomatoes are going like gang busters!  So sweet and juicy, nothing like the ones in the grocery store.  I may even try to can some, just to have a memory of summer next February when the snow has piled up and I’m almost house-bound.

I’ll take some pictures of the towers and books as they begin to come together.

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Filed under bookbinding, Boxes and Towers, Life

Home again with more boxes and way too many cucumbers

I arrived  home again and was immediately faced with a deadline.  Before I left for North Carolina, I had started five new Treasure Towers and assumed I would have plenty of time to finish them after getting home.  Of course, I hadn’t counted on delays caused by illness, weather and general negativity. Drop-off day for the new show at the Arts Center was Monday and it took a real push to finish the towers in time. I was pleased with the results: All the papers on the correct boxes with no last minute switches or upside downs.  Mistakes caused by pressure & rushing seem to be plaguing me recently.  I hope the jinx has run its course.  Here are the finished towers at the Arts Center. I didn’t have time to make “artsy” photos, but it gives me a record of what I’ve done.

The third tower has a print of a painting of Keuka Lake by Jane Terry on the outside instead of my marbled paper.  As I was photographing these, I realized there were none with maps on the covers.  I often put marbled local or area maps on the outside of the tower and these have been very popular.  I wasn’t planning on it, but I should probably do another set with maps before the summer people and tourists leave in September.  I hope I can find enough maps already marbled!

On the garden front, I came home to a jungle of tomato, squash and cucumber vines and even a couple of heads of broccoli.  First task was the cucumbers as they spoil fastest. The cukes are huge, but still sweet and fine for making bread and butter pickles. I did two more batches, 22 pints, if I’ve counted correctly (not counting the ones before my trip) and more to come.

The cherry tomatoes are just coming on, both orange and red.  They are oversized this year, but still sweet and flavorful.  For the first time I’ve been able to outwit the rabbits and actually harvest some broccoli and cauliflower.  I harvested one small watermelon just a bit early (still delicious) and a second will be dessert today.  Again, for the first time, the acorn squash has really gone to town and I’ll have quite a few that are good-size in the fall.  The potatoes are almost ready to be dug.

In spite of the late start and my intial pessimism, this looks to be my most succesful garden ever.

I am really pleased!


Filed under Boxes and Towers, Life, Marbled Paper

Comedy, Tragedy, or Just a Mess?

I had, what I thought, was a brilliant idea as I was marbling last week.  I have been marbling pages from an old coverless copy of Shakespeare’s plays and I thought I would use the title page of “King Lear” to make a Treasure Tower. It had an interesting line drawing and the beginning of the play.  I then would marble one of the text pages in a similar palette to make the inside.  I was so enthralled with the idea that I did “Much Ado About Nothing” also.  The pages came out quite nicely.








Since these pages are smaller than the paper I usually use, I had to figure out new measurements for all the parts involved – boards,  outside, inside, boxes and lid – plus a bit of trial and error and I was ready to roll.

After cutting the board, I started to paste out the outside paper.  As soon as I started working with it I knew I was in trouble.  When any paper becomes damp it begins to stretch and it also becomes weaker and tears more easily.  The pages I was using were old, cheap paper and they became very fragile as soon as the paste dampened them.  They had gone through the marbling process with some care, but now I was just asking too much. I went ahead, laying the pieces of board in position, but as I folded over the edges, the paper began to fall apart!  Whoops.

By the way, you should always apply the adhesive to the paper and not to the board.  The paper stretches, the board doesn’t.  Let the paper rest for a few seconds so it has time to fully stretch before putting it on board.

I soldiered on and put the inside piece on, but the old paper just wasn’t strong enough to take the folding and unfolding the design of the Towers need.  It would have been fine as the cover of a book.  So now I have a tower that can sit on my desk and only I can see where the folds, cracks and tears are!  From three feet away, it looks great.

Second mistake.  I decided to try to reinforce the remaining paper by adhering another piece to it, just like using interfacing in sewing.  Only problem is that instead of using Japanese tissue paper, which probably would have worked, I grabbed a piece of light weight modern paper.  Another disaster!  As I’ve said a couple of times already, paper stretches when is becomes damp. If you put a pasted piece on top of a dry piece, the dry piece will try to stretch as it absorbs moisture from the pasted piece.  The result – wrinkles, lots of them!  Sometimes you can get lucky and the wrinkles will smooth out as both pieces dry and sometimes they are just a mess.

In spite of everything, I tried out one of the laminated pieces and the old paper just cracked along every place I tried to fold it.

Some pictorial proof to come, if I can bear to take the pictures.  I just hope my next great idea works out more smoothly.

As promised here’s a gallery of the disasters.  Can you spot the problems?

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Filed under Boxes and Towers

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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Filed under Boxes and Towers, Marbled Paper