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If you’re in Toronto next weekend and looking for something fun to do, I’ll be teaching a bookbinding workshop at Wise Daughters Craft Market in the Junction. This is the class project:
This particular book was turned into an advent calendar – the 12 panels each fit two mini-pockets, making it perfect for this purpose!
If you’re interested in learning how to make this type of book (there are still a few spots left!), but at a loss for ideas on what you can do with it, I’ve gathered a few examples.
First up is a star book I made a few years ago for an online swap. My swap partner loved Frida Khalo, so I made her colourful paintings the theme of the book:
You can read my blog post and see more photos of this book here.
Next up, a circus sideshow-themed book by Courtney Autumn Martin that is simply stunning! I love how the book is in the shape of a big top and so colourful.
Another artist whose work I love is Andrea Dezso – here is a carousel book that she illustrated and made:
Although this isn’t exactly the same binding style as the star book workshop I’ll be teaching, it can easily be adapted for a similar result.
Other possible uses for this type of book:
- Travel journal – my last few travel journals were accordion books, but star books are definitely on my list…
- Sketchbook – cut pieces of watercolour paper to the appropriate size, paint or sketch on them, and bind them afterwards
- Art book – it doesn’t have to have a practical purpose – sometimes it’s just fun to look at a pretty book! I’ve been dreaming of making a Muppet-inspired book one of these days…
I haven’t been very active on the blog lately (in case you hadn’t noticed). The demands of the pesky day job have left me burnt out and lethargic. Other health issues in recent months (i.e. broken ankle, back pain) haven’t helped the situation. I feel like I’ve been living passively, always too busy or tired to really enjoy much of anything.
Now that there’s a [slight] lull at work, I’m finally catching up on my sleep. I hadn’t realized how sleep-deprived I really was.
I’m also creating again. Working on some new projects – easy projects, mind you – but creating nonetheless. I’m playing with paper and fabric and my sewing machine. And I’ll be offering workshops again really soon. I promise (it’s in the works)!
I’ve also been reflecting on changes I need to make in my life so that it’s more balanced. As much as I love certain aspects of my job, I can’t honestly keep up this pace and workload. And I’m happy to announce that I’ve taken concrete steps towards making big changes (I’ll talk about these more in a later post).
It’s all a little scary. But exciting. We’ll see where it leads.
In the meantime, I’m feeling more energetic, creative and hopeful. And I look forward to sharing with you all again.
Ciao for now!
In the same spirit as Film Fridays, I’d like to share some of my favourite musical discoveries. Music has always been such an important part of my life. Thanks to my older cousins (who I greatly admired), at a young age I discovered the Bee Gees, Rick Springfield, CCR, Adam Ant, and so many others. To this day, I love finding new (or new to me) artists – if you read this blog at all, you’ve definitely noticed this!
My latest obsession is William Fitzsimmons, a most charming singer-songwriter living in Illinois. I only discovered his music a few weeks ago, but after downloading his latest album, “The Sparrow and the Crow“, I haven’t been able to stop listening to it. If I had followed TV shows like Scrubs and Grey’s Anatomy, I would have discovered him much earlier.
He also has the soothing, haunting voice of an angel – not exactly what you’d expect from a guy with a Grizzly Adams-size beard.
He also does a fantastic cover of Go West’s “King of Wishful Thinking”:
I recently discovered the National Film Board’s Facebook page and website – what an amazing treasury by Canadian artists and filmmakers! For the past year, the NFB has been embedding their films online to make them more accessible to the public, with very successful results.
I’ve been enjoying so many classics that I hadn’t seen in years – here is a sampling of my favourites.
The Big Snit by Richard Condie
The Cat Came Back by Cordell Barker
The Sweater by Sheldon Cohen (based on “The Hockey Sweater”, a story written and narrated by Roch Carrier – every Canadian child has read this at least once in their lifetime)
Le même court métrage, mais en français cette fois-ci!
The Log Driver’s Waltz (a fitting tribute to Kate McGarrigle)
I’ve also discovered some very cool new-to-me films…
A Sunday at 105 by Daniel Léger (a fascinating story of a 105-yr-old Acadian woman, filmed by her great-grandson)
I am totally hooked – I can’t stop watching!
I (like most of you) have been watching the news coverage on Haiti with sadness and horror. As I watched Anderson Cooper on CNN last night, I was struck by something he said that made the urgency of the situation in Haiti very clear to me when he compared it to the 2004 tsunami.
Basically, victims of the tsunami either survived or they didn’t, and most people who survived weren’t severely injured. The biggest challenge at that time was getting food and water to the survivors.
With the Haiti earthquake, people have been trapped in rubble for days and time is of the essence if they are to have any chances of surviving. Medical supplies, construction equipment (such as heavy loaders and chainsaws to break through the rubble), antibiotics, etc. – everything is in short supply and people continue to die every day because rescuers and medical professionals can’t get to them in time.
I wanted to share a few great fundraisers I’ve chosen to contribute to whose proceeds are going to charities actively working in Haiti.
The first is Shop for the Cause 2, organized by nathalie-roze & co.:
I’ve donated several of my handmade books as well as other household items – if you’re in Toronto this coming Saturday, please be sure to stop by. Just click on the banner for more info.
If you’re a music-lover like me, consider making a donation to Songs for Haiti, organized by Paste Magazine:
A huge array of artists (including Ludacris, Hanson, Switchfoot, Kevin Barnes (from Of Montreal), Andrew Bird, Bruce Cockburn, Arrested Development, Ben Folds, Cowboy Junkies, Emmylou Harris, Indigo Girls, Josh Ritter, Matthew Sweet, Of Montreal, She & Him, The Avett Brothers, The Decemberists, The Jayhawks, and The Low Anthem – to name but a few) have donated MP3s (many unreleased) for Paste Magazine to give everyone who donates to help Haiti. Even more amazing – Paste will let you download these songs even if you’ve already donated to another charity. You just need to let them know and they’ll give you access to their songs based on the honour system. How awesome is that?
Since the broken ankle incident, I’ve been spending way more time online (and sadly less time crafting). I thought I’d share a few of my more interesting discoveries.
Music / Videos
What a beautiful song – and video. Gives me hope that winter will soon be over…
I am completely enamoured with her sewn journal shown at the 2:45 mark, and have even started to make my own. More to come soon…
Not really a blog, more a series of short comic essays. This web designer and comic is super creative – and funny. If you love sarcasm and biting humour, you’ll love this site. Warning – this site contains strong language. A few of my favourite posts:
Ten Words You Need To Stop Misspelling
How A Web Design Goes Straight To Hell
How Twilight Works
How To Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting To Kill You
Amanda Hawkins’ blog shows off her design work. Check out her funky DIY Planner templates. I love her style and desperately need to figure out how to load her WordPress theme. Gorgeous.
Cathe Golden is another super creative lady with a great design aesthetic. You’ll find lots of free downloads and tutorials on her site.
Have you discovered any great new blogs/websites? Please share!
It’s never to early to start your holiday planning!
In October, I’ll be offering several workshops that focus on holiday decor, planning and gift-making. Here’s a preview:
Check out the Events and Workshops page for full details.
I’m addicted to podcasts and love listening to them while I’m bookbinding, cleaning the apartment, during the commute to work…
I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting podcasts, and for this reason I created the following swap on Swap-Bot:
If you want to share some of your favourite podcasts or to discover some new ones, consider joining this swap!
Deadline to sign up is July 18, so don’t delay!
I just found this great video through Smashing Magazine.
I used to extensively practice calligraphy about 10 years ago…and since it’s such a great fit with book arts, I should really get back into it…
what a strange day. Farrah Fawcett AND Michael Jackson? Wow.
Just read this news:
If you scroll down the article and read about Acadian history, you’ll understand why this is a big deal…
I am thrilled to be offering some new workshops at Urban Scrapyard – yay!
Piano-Hinged Album – Saturday, June 13, 11 am-1 pm
Tied Up In Knots…On Steroids! – Saturday, June 27, 11 am-1 pm
For details about the workshops, visit the Events & Workshops page.
The (almost) summer is already off to a great start!!!
These past three days, I’ve made no less than 9 books – seven of which I’ve completely forgotten to photograph (they were LP journals).
The other two have been photographed, but for whatever reason the laptop won’t allow me to upload them to this blog. Shall attempt it again in the next day or two…
Once this photo uploading issue is resolved, I also plan to post a neat tutorial explaining how to make a super-easy, eco-friendly notebook from recycled paper…stay tuned!
Happy Tuesday, everyone!
I just finished watching the Canada Day concert on Parliament Hill broadcast on Rogers Cable… I have to admit it was a bittersweet experience for me, for several reasons. I used to organize part of the Canada Day festivities in Ottawa, and although it is a great event in itself, my memories are not all positive ones… If only the public knew what really happens behind the scenes at these events!
I can’t help feeling bitter/melancholic that my absolute favourite band, Blue Rodeo, performed at this year’s event. Throughout the years I worked at the event, I hoped they would perform so that I could schmooze with them. Alas, it was not to be. The powers that be waited until I left to hire the band to perform…
I can’t help being impressed with Blue Rodeo’s performance, however. They are as fantastic as ever, and Jim Cuddy was painfully handsome as usual. Sigh.
I always had an amazing vantage point for the fireworks display, backstage, away from the crowds. Unfortunately, mostly as a result of working for Canada Day festivities, I’ve developed a hatred of crowds and can’t stand being amongst hoards of people. I guess being surrounded by 300,000 drunken partygoers one too many times will have that effect on you.
All in all, I was impressed with the lineup on the Hill – Diane Dufresne excepted. Then again, maybe that’s just me.
Nowadays, I prefer celebrating Canada Day quietly, at home, watching the festivities on TV, which is exactly how I spent my evening. Everything is now well with the world.
The past week or so have been full of frustration and despair – I’ve been on vacation for nearly two weeks, of which I’ve been sick for the past 10 days with a fever, cold sweats, extreme fatigue, coughing fits and even laryngitis (I haven’t been able to speak in 8 days!).
Plans to spend my vacation time painting, cleaning and preparing my new loft apartment have gone to hell. I haven’t even had the energy to start culling/organizing my stuff for the big move. There is no way I’ll ever be ready to move out by June 1st.
Although this past week has been frustrating for me, it has also been a humbling experience. As someone who is always planning, making to-do lists, organizing, etc. every aspect of my life, I had no control over my body or my health this past week. When I tried to push myself while I wasn’t completely healed, I suffered a major relapse. Someone is definitely telling me I need to sit down and rest. I think it’s about time I listen.
And so for the past several days, no new projects have been created in this household. I’ve had to sit still and watch movies, surf the ‘net, or read (I’m now re-reading one of my all-time favourite novels, “Possession” by A.S. Byatt). Anytime I’d attempt any amount of physical work, a hacking-up-a-lung coughing fit would start.
I finally get it. Sit still. Relax. Enjoy the down time.
I have the rest of my life to get things done.
I made it back from Switzerland yesterday, after travelling for more than 24 hours…quite the feat, considering how I really don’t travel well. (Nausea is my middle name.)
The trip was amazing, though much too short, of course. I’m still suffering from serious jetlag (I was up at 4:30 this morning, so I’m really struggling to stay away now, even though it’s only 8:30 pm). I’ll post in detail this weekend, once I catch up on my sleep and am able to put together a coherent sentence.
The return to Toronto was quite a shock – what’s with the deep freeze in the city?!! Where did all the mild weather go??? It could be worse, I guess – my dad was telling me last night that they’ve had 4 snow storms in the past 8 days in New Brunswick! Moncton got the brunt of it too. If it’s any consolation to Monctonians, at least they can celebrate this news:
I can certainly vouch for that myself (Moncton was the last place I lived in before moving to Toronto) – everyone there is warm, friendly, polite, and knows how to have a great time. I’m convinced it’s due to the abundant amounts of lobster… As much as I miss all my friends in Moncton, I certainly don’t miss the snow!
I’ll be back soon with lots of photos of the Swiss trip…
Make travel journal for Switzerland trip. Check.
Finish Christmas shopping. Check.
Pack bags. Check.
I think I’m ready. At least, I hope so. The anal retentive part of me (which, by the way, is about 90% of me) keeps remembering things I need to do before my big trip. Getting up early tomorrow morning to drive to Buffalo, NY to catch my flight to Geneva. I’m very excited about this trip, and nervous too, although I don’t really know why…
I promise to provide a detailed report upon my return to Canada. I will definitely want to show off the super duper travel journal I made specifically for this trip.
Until then, dear friends, best wishes for the holiday season. Have a safe and happy Christmas!
See you all in 2008!
I’ve had really, really good intentions of answering the one-question-a-day from my advent book…unfortunately the peskt day job has taken a complete hold over my life. I’ve been working 12-hour days, in addition to travel and weekend work. I’m an exhausted mess. Thankfully, my last event of the year takes place on Monday, after which I hope to rest ever so slightly before the new year brings on a whole new series of events to plan (5 in January, 6 in February – brutal).
I’ve nonetheless managed to fill all my custom orders and even make a few extra books for sale at nathalie-roze & co. I’ll also be working on some craft kits which will be available at Urban Scrapyard in the next few days. No workshops though, at least not for several more weeks…
I probably won’t be posting again until things slow down for me next week. Please be patient – I’ll be back soon!
I am very happy to announce that Papermusings has been accepted as a Delightful Blog!
Check it out:
Link to Papermusings
You can also click on the Delightful Blogs button on the sidebar…while you’re there, check out the other blogs. I’ve discovered some pretty amazing blogs and bloggers through this site.