Working On…

…moving out of the old place and into the new loft. Although I’m very excited about the new place, I’ve completely lost momentum when it comes to painting and cleaning… I now figure if I’m living in the middle of the chaos, I’ll find the motivation to just get everything done. Moving out this weekend – yay!

…somehow finding the time to make books. Made three LP books on Thursday night – they are now at the Great Northern Arts Festival in Inuvik, Northwest Territories (in the Arctic Circle!). Hoping they will sell there – otherwise I may be able to trade them for artwork.

…making new connections. Last week, B. and I had a few brand new aquaintances over for dinner – two ladies from Findland and one gentleman from Guatemala. Although I was reluctant to have them over at first, I had the most fantastic time that evening, connecting with the most fascinating people from the most extraordinary cultures! It made me realize that I really need to push myself out of my comfort zone and meet new people (I am very much an introvert and painfully shy with strangers).

…making additional connections at work. I have offered to present a basic bookbinding class to my colleagues at the pesky day job, and 6 people have signed up already! I’m very excited about launching this new “Lunch & Learn” initiative and hope other colleagues will offer to share their special skills and knowledge as well. I’m thrilled so many people are interested in learning about bookbinding!

…pushing more boundaries. As I mentioned earlier, connecting with strangers made me open my eyes to new possibilities and made me realize that I need to push myself more out of my comfort zone. One way I can do this is by reading books that I would never normally touch. I have a certain style of books that I tend to gravitate to (Canadian or British literature), and I now realize that it wouldn’t do harm to try a genre that I would never typically be interested in (i.e. mysteries, science fiction, etc.). Do you have any books to recommend? Please share – anything goes!

…developing new workshop projects. I have one project that I desperately want to develop but am struggling to turn it into reality. I have the general gist of what I want to do, but I have no idea what the final project looks like! Argh – so frustrating! But I know that I need to push myself until I finish putting this idea on paper because I truly believe it’s worthwhile…more to follow!

I am looking forward to moving into the new loft this weekend – hopefully the new environment will inspire me to make more art and handmade books, without the many distractions I’ve had to deal with in the past several months. Wish me luck!


3 thoughts on “Working On…

  1. All this sounds like a positive “off to new shores”! Funny a place like Northwest Territories really exists – when we were young, it was just a strange name on the risk-game board 😉

    Book recommendations: hard-boiled wonderland and the end of the world by Haruki Murakami. April Witch (La Sorcière d’Avril) by Majgull Axelsson. Seventh Heaven by Alice Hoffman.

    Wishing you all luck ever, happy moving!


  2. Chère Astrid,

    Thank you so much for the book recommendations – it’s nice to receive suggestions from someone living outside North America, as I’m sure you have tastes and influences that are very different from mine!

    You are actually the second person to recommend Alice Hoffman to me – I guess it’s a sign I need to read her books…

    I was lucky enough to travel to the Northwest Territories five years ago – it’s beautiful, breathtaking country. Definitely a once-in-a-lifetime trip, if you can make it there!

    Au plaisir!

  3. Hi Natalie,

    Sorry for the late response, but I just got back from a 2-week vacation yesterday (nothing to exciting, just went home to visit my parents and for by dad’s 60th), and am now catching up on blogs that I follow. (Yeah, real productive, I know, especially considering my place is a mess, my mom’s coming for a 2-month visit in just over a month [she’s a neat freak while I’m a pack rat], and I have yet to fix myself a real meal in the 24 hours I’ve been back. 😛 )

    I’m glad to hear that you’ve been out making new connections. Being an introvert myself, I know how easy it can be just to stay to yourself in solitary activities. It’s been over 7 years since I’ve moved to Toronto, and I still spend more time by myself than with others. But, it’s great hearing about your activities and that your co-workers are interested in one of your hobbies, too–how cool is that? 🙂

    Anyways, to what prompted me to leave a reply to your blog entry in the first place: you’re looking for some book recommendations? One of my more recent-found, but already among me all-time favorite, authors is Jacqueline Carey, who writes fantasy novels. She is most well known for her Kushiel books (2 trilogies out so far). Her work is absolutely amazing, and I continue to marvel at her facililty with the English language. But, her books are not for the squeamish or judgemental. You can check out her website at http:// to find out a bit more about her and her works. If you do decide to try out one of her books, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!

    Okay, that’s all from me for now. (Didn’t mean to go on for that much, but so it is…) Hope to see you teaching at Urban Scrapyard again soon. Sadly, I missed out on your ribbon-book-on-steroids course some months ago (as well as your mini-star book and 1 or 2 others last year), but would love to see it offered again. You’ve gotten me into book-binding! =) Have a great rest of the weekend and summer! And here’s to both of us finding that motivation to get into some sort of productive routine again!

    Best Regards,

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