You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘workshops’ category.
Have you always wanted to learn to make your own notebooks and journals? Well, spring is a great time to learn a practical new skill, just in time for Mothers’ and Fathers’ Day!
I love making books using this medieval-era binding method – not only is the binding very decorative, but the finished book lays completely flat – making it great for sketching and writing (especially for lefties like me). This format is also very easy to customize, depending on the materials used. Here’s another example of a Coptic-bound book that I recently created for myself – the covers are made from small canvas boards that I painted and on which I collaged printouts of the guys from Flight of the Conchords, and the inside pages are made from a variety of different papers and envelopes. I love love love how it turned out, and use it as an inspiring art journal:
I’m also booked to teach another workshop on June 6 at Wise Daughters, but haven’t picked a project yet. If you have ideas or suggestions for a bookbinding project you’d like to see, please leave a comment or send me an email at papermusedesigns [at] gmail [dot] com!
Have you always wanted to learn to make your own notebooks and journals? Well, Autumn is a great time to stay inside, grab a cuppa tea and learn a new skill! I’ll be teaching this workshop at Wise Daughters Craft Market here in Toronto on Sunday, October 14. You can find more details and register here.
I love making books using this medieval-era binding method – not only is the binding very decorative, but the finished book lays completely flat – making it great for sketching and writing (especially for lefties like me).
Register soon, while there are spots left!
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…
It’s been a sad few days – I recently found out that Urban Scrapyard, the creative shop where I’ve been teaching workshops for nearly three years, will be closing by the end of this week.
My first encounter with Angela (the owner) was very serendipitous – I’d driven by her store countless times, and although I had never scrapbooked (I still don’t!), I was intrigued by all the funky paper displayed in the storefront window. One day, I decided to walk in and my life changed. I left the store with a ton of new paper and a request to teach bookbinding workshops! (In my sheer excitement, later that day I sliced my finger with a craft knife, came out of the emergency ward with numerous stitches on my finger and was pretty much useless for 5 weeks.)
I had just moved to Toronto and didn’t know anyone here yet. I was aching to meet other creative souls with interests similar to mine, and I found so many of them at Urban Scrapyard. Angela, Rozanne, Alex, June, Melanie…and these were just the staff!
A loyal group of customers followed many of my classes, and I became friends with many of them. I have often fed off their ideas and questions and requests – they have made me a better instructor and a better artist, without a doubt.
It saddens me to think it’s all coming to an end so soon. I only hope the dream can be revived one day.
One serendipitous day.
I’ll miss ya.
Check out the Events and Workshops page for more info!
Three new workshop dates (and the brand-new workshop project below) have been added to the calendar – check out the Events & Workshops page for more information. And don’t forget to register soon!
The new year is off to a great start – I’m already booked to present several workshops here in Toronto!
Check out the Events & Workshops page for more details…
Looks innocent enough, but you’ll quickly learn how to make crazy pages, pockets and fold-outs…
Check out the Events and Workshops section for more info.
Stay tuned – more craziness to come…
I finally feel I’m back on the creative track – in the past week, I’ve put together a new workshop project, finished a swap project, made 6 journals, taught a workshop, and am in the process of making a series of new journals and developing workshop projects…
All this amongst three chiropractic/acupuncture appointments, major spring cleaning, and the pesky day job. I’m feeling great (despite the pesky back problems, but even those are getting better….). I finally feel the creative juices are flowing again, and my energy levels are finally back to normal (or even higher!). Hallelujah!
I’ve taken photos of a few of the above-mentioned projects, but I don’t have the time to upload them at the moment… I need to pack for a road trip to New Brunswick for some much-needed R&R at my parents’ house. B and I are leaving later today and I’m really looking forward to spending time with friends and family. It’s been much too long since I’ve seen everyone (over a year)…
When I get back I’ll also tell you about a special award that the ever-kind and creative Astrid has bestowed upon me. Lucky me!
Happy Tuesday, everyone! I’ll be back soon, I promise!
I’ve just updated the workshops page - if you live in the Toronto area, please join me at Urban Scrapyard for some crafty fun this month!
Well as I’m reading “Getting Things Done” by David Allen, I’ve certainly put it into practice this weekend (even though 6 weeks later I’m not yet done reading the darn book, but that’s a whole other story). I took full advantage of it being a long weekend in Ontario to work on some projects – although tonight I couldn’t even remember what I did until I looked at my photos… I tell ya, my mind isn’t as sharp as it used to be!
Saturday morning I taught a workshop at Urban Scrapyard – it was a great group and we had lots of fun making ribbon-hinged albums. It’s always amazing to see how every person’s project turns out even though they all choose different papers…
That afternoon I went out for lunch at a local bakery then came home to work on some books. I spent an unreasonable amount of time online – I seem to be doing a lot of that lately, not sure why. Can you say procrastination???
Sunday morning I woke early and watched “The Shop Around the Corner” starring Jimmy Stewart on tv. I love old movies, although the acting and dialogue always seem so dramatic and exaggerated. Entertaining nonetheless.
Then I got to work on some swaps I’m part of. My partner on an earlier swap never received her package (she’s in the UK), so I promised I’d send her a new one because I really wanted her to have a good experience. This despite the fact that I never received a package for the last three swaps I’ve participated in… It’s very disappointing, considering the amount of time I spend putting them together (I mostly include handmade items), but that’s part of the game, I guess… Anyway, enough with the whining – here’s what I put together for my swap partner (LAVA please shut yor eyes!):
Quite a bargain – many people don’t realize how expensive coloured paper is… The colours are a bit funky, but I’m sure I’ll be able to put them to good use…
Part two of the weekend report will follow tomorrow – it’s getting late and this post is already way too long!
Today I walked a few houses down to check out a garage sale. Bought some books (mostly to tear apart and make into recycled books and envelopes), but also found these gems:
Let me explain – I LOVE steamer trunks (I own three others, but they’re in storage halfway across the country at the moment). This one is HUGE, and best of all, I paid all of THREE DOLLARS for it! I thought it was a mistake (these trunks go for about $100 in second-hand stores), but no…
The second big purchase was this:
The set of drawers was very inexpensive as well. The old-fashioned suitcase and cake stand were other recent purchases from the Salvation Army. Inside the suitcase I’ve thrown in all those prototypes of books that I just couldn’t figure out what to do with – in some cases, they’re botched projects, in others, not quite good enough to be able to sell… In the cake stand I’ve put these:
These are all 3″X3″ mini-albums that I’ve made for craft fairs and gifts. I thought it’d be cool to display them in an unconventional way…
I’ve spend the whole evening rearranging and cleaning the craft room to make room for the new set of drawers. It’s amazing what you can find when you actually clean the place once in a blue moon:
Take a closer look at that red circle on the wall – it’s a vinyl LP of The Who’s “Who Are You”. Don’t think I’ll be cutting that one up anytime soon…
It’s been a crazy week – between being sick with a cold, travelling by plane, and preparing for a new 4-hour workshop, I’m quite exhausted. Today I taught a workshop using the large star book as the project. Not only was it a fairly complex book structure, but students also had to learn coptic binding. I must say I was thoroughly impressed with how quickly they all caught on. It made for a great class with awesome projects…
Tomorrow morning I will be making record notebooks for sale, then in the afternoon I’m off to visit a Mineral & Gem Show… If time allows, I’ll be working on some new star books (I have three on the go)…
You wouldn’t know it by the lack of posts here, but I haven’t dropped from the face of the earth. I’ve just been busy enjoying my time alone at home (B’s gone to visit family up North for a few weeks), catching up on reading and sleep, and making books. It feels really great to just be able to enjoy the creative process again, when I’m not under pressure or deadline to make books, or when I’m too tired to even think straight.
So here are the results of my creative endeavours – first are a new book format I am truly loving: refillable notebooks:
I loved them so much, I made some out of LPs, of course!
All the above books have been getting excellent reactions from those around me; it even looks like I’ll be teaching how to make this project next month. Good stuff!
I taught a few workshops this week, and here are the results:
I had such a great time with my workshop students this week; because they were smaller classes, we weren’t as worried about everyone finishing on time and so wee able to chat. One student had me laughing so hard – it seems she was at the same baseball game that B and I went to a few weeks ago (see this post). Not only that, but she was sitting right in front of the Killers, only she had no idea who they were. She was desperately trying to avoid the photographers and tv cameras, all the while trying to figure out who these guys were. So she was (discretely, so she thought) typing a text message to a friend, asking: “Who are the Killers?”, when one of the band members tapped her on the shoulder and calmly said: “We’re a musical group.” Ha!
My workshop student have so keenly embraced bookbinding that it’s actually caused a bit of a problem… It seems that they’ve been making so many of the ribbon-hinged albums at home that all the local Loomis art supplies stores have run out of the basic book cloth colours! I’ve created a monster! I’m thrilled, of course, only that means I myself don’t have a cheap, local supply of book cloth. So I’ve been scouring the internet trying to find a new source. I believe I’ve found a good one; my order from them should arrive next week, so I’ll give an update then…
As I mentioned earlier, B is away for a few weeks so I’ve had the house to myself. Which also means that I have to take care of all the household stuff by myself. Like cutting the grass. Having lived in an appartment for the past 15 years, I’ve never had to deal with cutting the grass. So last week I went out and bought a lawn mower, one of the manual ones because we don’t have a huge lawn. Except that I now have to put it together, which is the last thing I feel like doing when I get home from a long day at work or during the very little free time I have on the weekend. So I’ve been procrastinating…so much so that one day I came home from work to find that an anonymous stranger had cut our front lawn. It seems that one of the neighbours must have been more embarassed by it than I was… Ouch. You must understand, we live on a street with impeccable lawns…those Greeks really care for their grass.
So the front lawn has been taken care of, but the back is a whole other issue. I’m weary just looking at it (something I can’t avoid, as the computer is right beside the window overlooking it). I really can’t avoid it much longer; I’m afraid the neighbours will call the city officials or something… Yikes.
Last night B and I went with an out-of-town friend of his to see the Toronto Blue Jays play against the Boston Red Sox. This was my first time ever seeing the Jays in action, and my first MLB game in over 20 years. As a child, our family regularly went to Montreal on our summer vacations, and inevitably saw the Expos play during these trips.
The Killers were also at the game; they showed the band members on the big screen a few times, although I never figured out where exactly they were sitting. B and I had hoped to go see them in concert at the ACC the night before, but weren’t able to make it due to scheduling conflicts with my new job. At least this way I got a glimpse of them…
Environment Canada issued a smog alert for Toronto for the second day in a row. It’s only May, for God’s sake – how scary is it to have to worry about smog this early in the year?!! Only last week we were complaining about how cold it was…
This week I delivered the fifth (and final) event in less than a month at my new job. I can’t say I’m unhappy about it; at least now I’ll be able to catch my breath a bit before the next round of events starts in October.
Now I have to prepare for the three workshop classes I’m booked to teach later this month and catch up on all the book-making that I’ve been trying to get to!
I’ll be updating my workshop list within the next day or two so check back soon!
Well this week was my first back to work at a real job with a real office in over a year…a slightly bittersweet experience. I think I’m going to really enjoy the people I work with, as well as the actual work itself. It’s just been a challenge getting back into a normal routine (especially mornings – ugh) and dealing with Toronto’s subway system during its peak hours. However despite the challenges, it’s turning out to be a positive experience overall.
I’ve been too tired to really think about crafting in the evenings…my body is still reeling from the shock of having to get up early. But I’m sure I’ll get back into the swing of things soon enough. This morning I gave another class at Urban Scrapyard, and although it was a bit long, the class participants seemed very happy with their new ribbon-hinged albums. This particular project has definitely taken on a life of its own; when I developed it as a potential workshop idea, I never thought it would prove to be so popular! Very flattering indeed…
Speaking of flattery, Urban Scrapyard was mentioned in today’s Toronto Star as an Editor’s Pick! Yay for them! They definitely deserve all the recognition they get; they really make an effort to be different and innovative when it comes to scrapbooking, and have certainly achieved that with their store and class selections. Who knows, they might even get ME scrapbooking one of these days!
I’m planning on working on a few LP journals tonight; if I prepare the covers and pages in advance, I can bind them on the train tomorrow afternoon when I travel to London (Ontario – not England, alas) for a work event. Gotta learn to make the most of what little time I have left for craftiness!
I know I’m not the only one complaining about being sick of the neverending cold snap we’ve been having. My only consolation is that the rest of Canada and many parts of the U.S. are suffering just as much…share the misery, I say!
The weather has been a great incentive to stay inside, drink hot tea and play with paper. I made about a dozen books and a few boxes last week, which all went to nathalie-roze & co to sell in her boutique. Aside from the stack of record books and boxes mentioned in one of my last posts, I made these three journals from pages of old books:
I made one of them with LPs, and I love how it turned out. I thought the LPs might be too heavy as covers, but they’re just fine. This is a great way for me to recuperate the LPs I’ve broken while trying to make the record journals.
I spent all day Friday preparing for a workshop I was teaching the next day at Urban Scrapyard. The project was the accordion box as seen in previous posts. It’s a really great project, but has required so much doing and redoing and tweaking to get it just right. And THEN I had to prepare the class notes; this project was a real bugger to try to put down on paper. Some of the instructions were very difficult to describe in words, and I really struggled. My anal retentiveness and leanings toward OCD certainly didn’t help! To help me through these hard times, I listened to archived podcasts of This American Life while working. Five hours of This American Life. Yup. I should send Ira Glass a personal thank you note for helping me maintain my sanity. Or not.
Anyway, with a combination of written instructions and detailed diagrams, I think I finally got it right. During Saturday’s class, I was extremely happy to notice that most of the students just followed their notes without any problems, so I guess the instructions were useful. They were thrilled with the finished project, and a few of them said they’d be rushing over to the art supply store to buy chipboard for more accordion boxes. Yay – what a reward after everything this project has put me through!
Here’s the accordion box I made during that class – for some reason I just couldn’t get the angle or the lighting or the colours right, but you get the idea.
With this workshop done, I finally had some time to work on some new personal projects. I’ve been wanting to make a prong fastener notebook, inspired by the one in Donna Downey‘s book Decorative Journals. Oh my – I see Chapters/Indigo has 24% off on her books. It looks like I may now have to order the other books in her collection!
Anyway, back to the notebook:
The pocket on the left is made from large paint chips. I love the removable pages, and I have another idea I want to explore with this book structure. As well as several more ideas for new books. More on that later…
I have lots to do today; must get a haircut and go shopping for some office attire for tomorrow’s start at the new job. Yay!
I don’t have much time to write at the moment, but wanted to let you know that I’ve just confirmed two new workshops for April 7th and 14th.
Check out the “Events and Workshops” link in the top right corner of this page for more details.
More updates soon!
There come times when you are required to make tough choices, and yesterday was one of them. For about 6 weeks, B and I had been helping out someone in need, who came to us when he had nowhere else to go. We provided a work space for him, let him stay at our house until he could find his own place, fed him, drove him around when he needed to do errands or deliveries. In short, provided a comfortable environment to someone who hadn’t known such a thing in many years, if ever. Unfortunately, it seems that we may have provided too much comfort, for although he had found his own apartment, he continued staying over at our house. And eating our food. And expecting us to drive him around. He had become a nuisance and a burden.
The lack of privacy was really starting to get to us, and Saturday night B and I told him we wanted an evening alone and drove him to his own place. He obviously wasn’t going to take a hint, so we were forced to be quite blunt with him. Well the next morning, he showed up on our front porch, knocking at the door. B and I knew who it was, and decided we weren’t going to answer. We knew he had probably been drinking, but figured he would go away if we didn’t answer. Wrong. Unbelievingly, he continued knocking on the door for another 45 minutes… When we finally realized that he wasn’t going anywhere, B opened the door and told him to get the hell off our property (I’m actually surprised the neighbours didn’t call the cops, considering how much a racket he was making on a Sunday morning).
We made the decision that we would never let this man into our house again. He has left several phone messages for B, which we’ve ignored. We talked about it most of yesterday, and both of us feel that a huge burden has been lifted from our shoulders. This man had become a huge nuisance, and was obviously not interested in helping himself out of his situation. I’m all for being charitable, but there comes a limit when the financial and emotional burden is too much to take… I made a conscious decision several years to try to, if not eliminate, then reduce, the amount of contact I have with toxic people, and this guy definitely is on the black list.
On to more positive things…
Saturday morning I taught the ribbon-hinged album workshop and had such a great time with my students. Three of the five students had taken my other classes before, so it seems I’m building quite a reputation! I was a bit nervous about teaching this class, as the book structure was much more complicated than the other classes I’ve taught, but the students were sharp and caught on quickly. They also had very positive comments to say about the class, so I’m quite ecstatic. The students got to choose their own papers for this class, and the results were amazing. Everyone’s book was different, but each was just as beautiful as the next. I really hope to teach this workshop again soon, especially since I now know what to expect.
I was scheduled to teach a class at a new location on Sunday, but unfortunately we were forced to cancel due to lack of participants. Oh well… The owner of the store was very apologetic, but I don’t blame her in any way. I’ve never taught at her store, and I’m assuming her clientele don’t really know me or my work yet. We just need to give it time. I think she’s hoping to reschedule another workshop sometime soon, so hopefully this one will draw more interest.
This past week I’ve received several emails from complete strangers who said they have come across my blog and really enjoy it! Being completely new to the blogging world, I’m extremely flattered to receive ANY comments at all! Thank you to Soren, Kristen and Judith for your heartwarming emails and for the encouragement! And thanks to Iona (not a stranger, but a dear friend) for your wonderful comments too!