Whew – What A Month!

I don’t even know where to start – the past month has been completely overwhelming (in a good way)…

Firstly, I have taught three bookbinding classes so far at Urban Scrapyard, with more to come. The first class, Intentions Lapbook, proved to be way too much work for way too little pay. I learned this the hard way, working until 1 a.m. a few nights just getting everything ready for the class. The subsequent classes are going to be much more simple with much less prep work. Seems everyone was happy with the class, because the girls at Urban Scrapyard immediately booked me for two more classes. Looks like I’ll be teaching there on a fairly regular basis. Yay!

Although the Intentions Lapbook class turned out to be much more work than bargained, it paid off in the end: I received an email from the editor-in-chief of Scrapbook & Cards Today and they want to publish the project in their magazine! Seems that one of the workshop participants was so impressed with the project that she presented it to the magazine, and they in turn contacted me! Looks like they’re aiming to publish it in the Fall 07 edition. I can’t believe I’ll be featured in a national magazine – it’s all surreal!

I had also approached the owner of nathalie-roze & co. to gage her interest in selling my handmade books. She was very interested, and in fact took 25 books – practically wiping out my entire stock! Additionally, a few days after delivering the books to her, I received a phone call from the owner of The Paper Place (which is THE place to buy beautiful Japanese papers here in Toronto). Seems he bought one of my books at nathalie-roze & co. and wondered if I’d be interested in selling my books in his store! I was flabbergasted – never did I expect such a reaction to my books. Well, after meeting with him, he placed an order for 82 handmade books, most featuring the Japanese paper he sells in his store. So for two weeks I worked like a madwoman to fill this order. It was quite a challenge, with guests staying over for several days, but I finally got it done and delivered…

And just when I thought I was going to get a much-needed break, nathalie-roze & co. contacted me to order some more books! Ack! So once again I’ve been working day and night, trying to get as much done before Valentine’s Day… I’ll be delivering what I can tomorrow, when I’ll be at the nathalie-roze & co. boutique to take a soap-making workshop. I can’t wait – I have an obsession with handmade soap, and have wanted to learn to make it for so long…as if I need another new hobby at the moment.

nathalie-roze & co. also asked me to teach a workshop in March, so I’ve been trying to develop papercraft projects that will appeal to artsy hipsters (a much different clientele from the ones at the scrapbooking store). These workshops have been great so far: I really enjoy teaching, and coming up with fun and interesting projects has really challenged my creativity and forced me to try new techniques I would otherwise have never discovered. And I’m meeting great people in the process – others who understand my paper fetish!

So while I’m completely exhausted from the past month’s events, I am extremely happy (and humbled by the attention I’m getting). I really need to focus on getting the business side of things organized before everything gets out of hand. And now more than ever, I need to start working on a Web site and other promotional materials.

In a side note, a few weeks ago B. and I went to visit the Norval Morrisseau exhibit at the McMichael Gallery in Kleinberg. Coincidentally, Mike Ford of Moxy Fruvous fame was performing there that same day. Moxy Fruvous is one of my all-time favourite Canadian groups, and I’m sad that they’re not performing together anymore. Nonetheless, it was fantastic hearing Mike perform alone (especially his version of I’ve Been Everywhere). Here’s the story: B. has often told me that he met and became friendly with the guys from Moxy Fruvous many years ago during a concert in Yellowknife. B. said he had particularly hit it off with Mike. Now, I must admit that I felt that B. was perhaps slightly exagerating when he described his friendship with Mike. I was therefore somewhat doubtful that Mike would recognize or even remember B. when we showed up at the McMichael. Well strike me down, Mike recognized B. and immediately recalled where and when they had met! It was amazing! So not only did I get to see Mike perform, but I also got to meet him. Cool.

Hopefully things will slow down slightly and I can go back to posting on a regular basis, instead of being quiet for weeks at a time and then rambling on incessantly…