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After an endlessly long and frigid winter, spring was finally in the air yesterday. It was perfect road-trip weather – sunny but not too hot – so I hopped in my car and made my way to Grimbsy, about an hour’s drive from Toronto. The town was hosting its annual Wayzgoose Bookarts Fair, this year being its 35th edition. For a book- and paper-lover like me, it was hard not to spend my entire paycheck on beautiful handmade paper, letterpressed cards and posters, bookbinding tools, handmade books, and so many other lovelies…thankfully I was a model of restraint and only bought sewing needles and a few cool notebooks.
My new friend Hannelore of Hannelore’s Story Works was a vendor at the fair – we met last December at the Movies and Makers show and instantly hit it off. As she and I looked around the room at other vendors, we noted that it was interesting that although we (and many other bookbinders) work with similar materials (recycled maps, vinyl record LPs, old postcards and book covers, Japanese papers), each of our handmade books come out looking completely different from anyone else’s – we each have our own distinctive style.
I also had the pleasure of meeting master bookbinder Don Taylor. I’d been debating whether or not to take a week-long bookbinding course that he’s teaching this summer, and after a chat with him about the various projects made as part of the course, I’ve decided to finally go ahead and register. Since the aforementioned course is being offered in New Brunswick (my home province), I get to stay with one of my closest friends and hang out with him for an entire week (this makes me very, very happy). Creative vacations are the best!
Here’s a great video of Don Taylor talking about the art of bookbinding and book restoration:
All these thoughts of spring, beautiful weather, road trips, and bookbinding have inspired me to make…what else…travel journals:
I’ve also been having lots of fun working with spring colours in my art journal (you may remember it from this post). These are a few blank pages I’ve prepared ahead of time with acrylic paint, collaged papers and washi tape, so that I can simply add text the moment I feel inspired:
By the way, if you’re feeling inspired to learn bookbinding techniques – there are a few spots left in the Coptic-binding workshop I’ll be teaching on May 4! For more info and to register, visit wisedaughters.com/workshops.
I received some great news yesterday – I’ve been accepted as a vendor in the upcoming Bazaar of the Bizarre show on April 6! I’ve been a vendor at this show for the past few years, and it’s definitely one of the more unique and interesting shows out there – both in terms of customers and wares.
This year’s show will be held at a great new location – 918 Bathurst St. (@Bloor) in Toronto. About a year ago I had the pleasure of attending Kid Koala’s Space Cadet Headphone Concert at this venue, and it was one of the most fun and amazing experiences I’ve ever had. The following video gives an idea of what the show was like, but it really doesn’t capture the incredible magicalness of the experience :
Now I’ve got to get busy making stuff in preparation for the show – no excuses for me!
In large part because of this.
I’ve been making stuff whenever I have a spare moment in preparation for craft fairs and local shops’ holiday rush. There really isn’t much spare time or energy between planning and travelling to events for the pesky day job (7 in the past month), taking Italian classes, teaching workshops, fulfilling custom orders, and laundry. But my efforts are paying off in a big way.
Last weekend was the Crafternoon Tea fair, organized by the wonderful girls at nathalie-roze & co. As always, it was well-organized and well-attended. I sold more than expected (a good thing), which meant that I spent all day Sunday making new stock (a tiring thing, since I was hoping I could take the day off). This was what my booth looked like at the fair:
Sunday evening, I received an email from a new local shop, scout, with a message that they’ve sold out of my travel notebook and LP coasters and need more asap! Yikes! There go my plans to rest next weekend…
And tonight I’m putting together the final preparations for the CBC Charity Craft Sale taking place tomorrow. You know that last blog post I wrote about gifting George Stroumboulopoulos? This is what has happened since then:
Yesterday his assistant sent me a lovely email to say that George sends his thanks and loves his Clash LP journal. And today George tweeted about me and posted a photo of himself and the journal – how exciting is that?
I honestly wasn’t expecting such a fantastic response to my journal – I am truly flattered by his going out of his way to thank me publicly. All the more reason to be excited about tomorrow’s fair at the CBC!
This week seems to be all about making gifts for celebrities. It sure feels that way.
A week from tomorrow, I’ll be showing my wares at the annual CBC Charity Craft Sale. Last year was my first time participating in this event, and I have to say I had so much fun! I’m really looking forward to participating again this year, and now I know what to expect…
Even though I don’t own a TV, I am nonetheless a huge fan of George Stroumboulopoulos (aka Strombo). This recent interview with Kermit the Frog cracks me up every time I watch it – George’s giddiness is so completely adorable (particularly at the 5:09 mark):
I’ll be shipping it to him in advance of the CBC fair next week. Hopefully he’s so impressed he decides to stop by my booth on the day of the event! I’ll keep you posted!
Now that the madness has FINALLY subdued at my pesky day job [at least for a few months], I’m super excited about focusing on Papermuse Designs activities and other personal projects (i.e. my upcoming art retreat in Italy!) over the spring and summer.
I’ve been busy making lots of items for the Movies and Makers show next weekend. Head over to the Movies and Makers blog to read an interview with me! If you’re planning to attend the show, you can expect lots of movie and musical soundtrack LP journals, in addition to the usual fare (70′s & 80′s LP journals, LP coasters). I also plan to introduce one or two new products, if I can make enough in time for the show!
There’s still so much left to do for the show, and so little time left to get it done:
- Design, print and deliver coupons for the grab bags
- Pick up small change at the bank [for the float]
- Make a few more of each item
- Prepare inventory and pricing list
- Make a special business card holder
- Wash and iron the table covers
…and that’s just for THIS show. I have several other projects on the go right now [including some very BIG news – an announcement will be made very soon!).
I’m super excited about being a vendor in the upcoming Movies and Makers Art + Craft Show on May 14 – hurray! The show takes place at the Fox Theatre in Toronto’s Beaches neighbourhood. I love the idea of spending a day selling my wares in a movie theatre – what a great concept!
In preparation for the show, I’ve been making a number of LP journals from movie and musical soundtracks – including these lovely gems from Back From The Future and Annie:
I hope to see you there!
I’ve been working day and night (at least it feels like it) in preparation for a few holiday craft fairs this season (hence the blog neglect). Although I now have a good amount of inventory in stock, there’s always this hovering feeling that I should make just a few more items. Well, just a few ended up becoming fifteen more books this weekend alone.
I’m exhausted (in addition to spending every waking moment doing something creative and productive, I’ve been travelling A LOT for the pesky day job), but I can’t stop producing. I have thi paranoid fear of running out of stock at a show and looking like a complete loser – a highly unlikely scenario, but one that keeps me up at night nonetheless. I’m totally Type A, no question.
Anyway, I thought I’d share more info on the evil craft fairs that have made me so paranoid. If you’re in the area, stop by and say hi. These are great opportunities to find unique, handmade gifts at pretty decent prices.
Saturday, November 27, 11 am to 5 pm – Crafternoon Tea
Crafternoon Tea takes place in Toronto’s charming Leslieville neighbourhood – check out their Facebook page for more details and a vendor list.
Wednesday, December 1st, 9 am to 6 pm – CBC Charity Craft Sale
[You may have noticed my LP journal on the poster - *blush*!] The CBC craft sale will take place in the Canadian Broadcasting Centre’s large atrium. You can find more info and a complete vendor list here.
I’ve gotta get back to work – there’s still a few hours left before bedtime… It’s amazing how productive I can be when I’m under pressure (even if it’s paranoid, self-inflicted pressure)!
I know I’ve been terrible at updating the blog this past year. I’ve been spending most of my time on Facebook and Twitter, to be quite honest – short status updates seem to be all I can manage on most days.
This week has seen a significant number of happy moments, so I thought I’d share a few of them here:
1. Walking home from the coffee shop last Saturday, I came across a new boutique that sells handmade goods. Went in, talked to the owner, and now she wants to see my products!
2. During one of my lunch breaks, my friend and I ran into Scott Speedman! I can confidently say that he’s extremely handsome in person…
Now I want to re-watch every season of Felicity!
3. On Wednesday night, I saw the Canadian premiere of Boy, a film by Kiwi writer/actor/director Taika Waititi. I had wanted to see it for many months and serendipitously discovered it was playing at the imagineNative film fest. What a fun coming-of-age movie! Bonus: Taika himself was there!
There was a Q&A with him after the event, which was entertaining yet fascinating. (Did you know the movie was shot in Taika’s grandmother’s house, the actual house he grew up in?)
4. I’ve been accepted to be a vendor in three craft fairs this holiday season – yikes! With the pesky day job keeping me busy traveling at events, I’ve been trying to produce a little bit every day, slowly but surely. I do have to admit – making holiday cards, books and gifts so early in the year has made me feel incredibly productive and organized!
5. Last night, my friend B. and I went to see the international premiere of Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change, a film by Inuk director Zacharius Kunuk (“Atanarjuat, The Fast Runner”) and scientist Ian Mauro. The movie documented Inuit elders (mostly hunters) from several Nunavut communities talking about the environmental changes they’ve witnessed over the past decades, and some of the stories were quite disturbing. There was a Q&A with Zach and Ian after the viewing, and the highlight of the evening was when an aggressive audience member criticized the fact that many of the observations conveyed in the film were not backed by scientific evidence. When Ian Mauro retorted that “Elders should be able to express their point of view without scientists having to validate it,” the audience applauded enthusiastically.
So much has happened this past week! Today I must focus on producing stock for the upcoming shows, since I’ll be on the road all week delivering events…
I’ve just confirmed my participation at the Mini-Crafternoon Tea event on Saturday, July 4. The event is organized and curated by nathalie-roze & co., so you know some pretty awesome vendors will be involved! Check out the Events and Workshops page for all the details. Be sure to check out my upcoming workshops while you’re there!
Been spending a fair amount of time online these days – creating a Facebook Page for myself (become a fan!) and learning the intricacies of Twitter. Enjoying it immensely, perhaps even a bit too much…
Although I have been producing a fair amount of handmade books, I haven’t managed to take any good photos to show them off. Soon, I promise!
Hope you’re all having a wonderful [and crafty] day!
Looks like today is going to be a great day for staying in and making books. We got what looks like a foot of snow overnight, and today it will turn to freezing rain and ice pellets… As I said, a great day for sipping hot lemon & ginger tea and playing with paper. I have several commissions to finish before Christmas, so the timing is fantastic.
It’s been a busy weekend, so I haven’t had much time to work on my projects. Friday night, B and his friend John and I attended the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards. One of B’s nephew’s was nominated for an award, so it was all very exciting. Unfortunately, there were so many technical glitches throughout the show that it was difficult to thoroughly enjoy the evening. First, they started 20 minutes late. Then, the teleprompter was showing the text backwards, and when they finally got it right, the text would disappear. I felt terrible for the poor awards presenters, left standing on a stage with no text to read; most of them were sponsors who had no experience or ability to improvise during awkward moments… Several times, when they listed the nominees in a certain category, as they called one artist’s name, another artist’s music would begin playing. Argh!
The event planner in me found it very painful to sit back and watch all of this. So many times, I wanted to run to the stage, push the production people aside and take over the damn show!
Despite the numerous glitches, there were a few highlights during the evening:
- Derek Miller‘s performance – I saw him a few years ago in Inuvik, Northwest Territories and this guy can really rock!
- Lorne Cardinal, aka “Davis” on Corner Gas – he presented one of the awards. When there were technical glitches during his part, he was the only presenter who was able to ad lib through it – this guy is so frickin’ hilarious!
In the end, B’s nephew didn’t win, but they did perform during the show – a great honour in itself. Unfortunately, it looks like the list of winners hasn’t even been posted to the CAMA website yet…
Yesterday my friend C and I checked out the first ever City of Craft event – I wanted to apply to this craft fair, but unfortunately missed the deadline. So I thought I’d check it out to see if it would be worthwhile to attend next year’s event.
What a disappointment. From a logistical standpoint, traffic flow was a nightmare. There was barely enough room for one person to walk in the aisles between tables. Because of this, you couldn’t really stop and look at anything properly, because people were shoving their way around you. The quality and variety of products was also disappointing. Am I the only person who doesn’t “get” crocheted penises and boobs??? Everything looked the same – it seemed to all be about buttons, yarn, and softies. Nothing really new or innovative. Nothing especially eye-catching. I left without buying anything – an extremely rare occurance for me.
My friend C was just as disappointed as I was with the event. She’s an event planner too (we worked together on Canada Day and Winterlude celebrations in Ottawa), and we started talking about all the things we would do differently to improve the event. Suddenly, it dawned on us – why not organize our own craft fair! We certainly have skills and experience on our side, as well as a few good contacts in the industry.
The idea of planning our own high-quality, curated arts & crafts fair was very appealing to us and we have already come up with a number of exciting ideas. I’ll keep you posted as we move forward with this project…
One thing most good instruction books tell you is when you’re making a new type of book for the first time, always make a maquette from scrap papers first; that way if you make mistakes or need to make adjustments, you’re not wasting your good papers.
Do I ever follow these instructions? Noooooo……
And so I’ve spent approximately $20 on paper to make a star book that doesn’t quite form into a star shape…
Here’s what it looks like closed:
Don’t get me wrong – I love how it looks, the colour combinations, the way it fans out, etc. It’s just that it’s supposed to completely fan out so that the covers touch each other. You see, I couldn’t find instructions for this book, so I carefully studied several photos until I had it figured out… I got it right for the most part, and it would take only a bit of tweaking for it to be perfect, but in the meantime I’ve spent a good chunk of money on a book that won’t open properly. And I can’t take it apart to redo it.
Lesson (grudgingly) learned.
However, I do believe I’ll send out this book for a swap I’m participating in on Swap-Bot. The challenge is to make a book that is MORE than a book, something that is interesting and interactive. I think this will fit the bill perfectly if I add a few pockets and some tags…
On Saturday I took part in my very first Crafternoon Tea at nathalie-roze & co. Although I didn’t sell tons, it was a worthwhile experience nonetheless – I got to promote my books to a very interesting and interested crowd, and I was able to meet and mingle with some pretty cool crafters, namely le petit pig and soap scum. I never cease to be amazed by the sheer amount of talent and creativity out there – it’s very inspiring and makes me want to try so many new projects…except the pesky new day job keeps getting in the way…and yet it’s the pesky new day job that allows me to finance the new projects. It’s a sad, sad situation, I know.
Be sure to stop by nathalie-roze’s Crafternoon Tea where I’ll be one of the vendors…
MINI Crafternoon Tea
WHEN: Saturday June 23rd from 11am to 5pm
WHERE: Nathalie-Roze & Co. – on the side patio and back garden
WHAT: A hip outdoor crafty fashion market and charity tea-party
Expect over 20 local craftista-designers selling their fab limited edition merch at wallet-friendly prices (lots under $30) – many items are eco-chic, creatively incorporating vintage and/or recycled materials. Peruse wearables and gift items including unusual handcrafted jewellery & accessories, quirky-cool clothing, unconventional paper goods, dreamy organic soaps & lotions, plus lots more handmade crafty goodness.
Highlights include: onesies made from vintage t-shirts, reusable shopping/tote bags made from recycled sheets and drapes (no more plastic!), knitted purses made out of t-shirt scraps and gorgeous summer tops and brooches made with vintage silk scarves, sock toys, vinyl LPs morphed into journals, clay jewellery and other inspired wearables.
ALSO: a stellar raffle (over $400 worth of prizes), a discount craft supply & fabric table as well as lots of sweet eats – scones & cream, cupcakes, gourmet tea (iced or hot) and lemonade served in the back garden.
Proceeds benefit the Woodgreen Community Centre.
Vendors include local faves and newbie talents:
Kari Lynn Bianchi, Sweetie Press, Kim Kutner, B. Skin, TLC/Echoes in the Attic, Naynu, Kate Johnson, Le Petit Pig, House of Hsueh, SLO, Jules & Annie, Little Brown Wren, Sally Girl, Peach Berserk, Sally Girl, Rat Girl, L’Ammie, Melissa Clemente, Soap Scum, simply. by amanda, Paper Muse, Toronto Craft Alert, Church of Craft and Rat Girl (& other guests).
For more info and vendors pix, visit: www.nathalie-roze.com OR call 416-792-1699
No, I haven’t gone AWOL – I’ve been working on a few different projects, the first of which was a commission from my new boss. She asked me to design a memory book for her parents’ 50th anniversary. Here’s what I came up with:
I’m not really partial to green, but this Japanese chiyogami paper is so amazingly beautiful – and the inside pages are just as wonderful, although it’s hard to see their fabulous colour. I kept the stitching on the spine simple so as not to distract from the cover paper – I’m so thrilled I got all the holes straight!
I also created a number of pockets so they could include letters, photos, CDs, and other mementos in the book. I’m extremely pleased with it – I had a vision in my head of what I wanted it to look like, and it came out pretty darned close to the vision… By the way, do any of you know of a tool that can create round corners on chipboard? The scrapbooking corner rounder I own could never cut through chipboard, but I’m hoping there is something out there that can create beautiful corners…
Another reason I’ve been so busy – next weekend I’m taking part in a craft fair at nathalie-roze & co, and I barely have any inventory at all! Almost everything I have made recently is in stores, hence the need to start producing new stock. And produce, I did! Here are the results of this weekend’s bookmaking blitz:
I must say I am impressed with myself, although I’m in much pain (my shoulders get very sore and stiff when I craft all day). I’ll make a few more books throughout the week, but this should be the bulk of it. I’m really looking forward to this craft fair; I just hope the weather holds up (the tables are outside)…