New Year’s Shop Update

It’s been a busy few months, between starting a new job, hosting family at my home, and making and selling for the holidays. But after a few restful weeks filled with naps and tea and reading, I’m finally back into the swing of making new items. I’ve even managed to update my Etsy shop, which had gone neglected for much too long. Have a gander at some of the new items in the shop:

Paul McCartney LP Notebook

Paul McCartney LP Notebook

Hall & Oates LP Notebook

Hall & Oates LP Notebook

Siouxsie and the Banshees LP Notebook

Siouxsie and the Banshees LP Notebook

Depeche Mode LP Notebook

Depeche Mode LP Notebook

U2 LP Notebook

U2 LP Notebook

Peter Gabriel LP Notebook

Peter Gabriel LP Notebook

And my personal favourite…

Duran Duran LP Notebook

Duran Duran LP Notebook

Springtime Activities

How I felt on this beautiful spring day! (Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

How I felt on this beautiful spring day!
(Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

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:

Accordion Travel Journal

Accordion Travel Journal

Accordion Travel Journal - Inserts and Envelopes

Accordion Travel Journal – Inserts and Envelopes

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:

Art Journal - Prepped Pages

Art Journal – Prepped Pages

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.

Coptic Binding Workshop

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’ll be teaching this workshop at Wise Daughters Craft Market in Toronto on May 4. 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). 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:

FOTC Coptic Journal

FOTC Coptic 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!

30 Days of Lists: Days 4-10

So I’ve been quite remiss with updating my progress on my 30 Days of Lists project. I’ve actually managed to stay on top of the prompts; I’ve just been terrible at updating my blog! To avoid creating one crazy long post, I’ve broken down the last two weeks’ prompts, and my interpretation of them, into two posts – here are days 4 to 10…

list 4

Day 04 #30Lists

list 5

Day 05 #30Lists

list 6Day 06 #30Lists

list 7

Day 07 #30Lists

list 8

Day 08 #30Lists

list 9

Day 09 #30Lists

list 10

Day 10 #30 Lists

 

30 Days of Lists: Days 1-3

I decided to try something new this month, by taking part in a month-long activity alongside other list-makers in the 30 Days of Lists Challenge. I’ve been focussing so much on work these past few months, that I needed a fun project to get my creative juices flowing again. This type of challenge is perfect for me because I am such an avid list-maker!

A total of 30 prompts is sent to participants (one per day). The challenge is to make a list based on the prompt, using whatever form or media you like.

In preparation for the challenge, I made a 5.5″x8.5″ mini binder to house all of my daily layouts. I used some beautiful paper featuring early 20th Century ladies’ fashions for the covers:

#30Lists Mini Binder

 

And now, the prompts – and my interpretation of them – for Days 1 through 3!

list 1

 

Day 1 #30Lists

 

list 2

 

Day 2 #30Lists

 

list 3

 

Day 3 #3Lists

 

So far, this one-page-a-day format is working perfectly for me. I need something that is quick, especially if I’m busy or tired or sick (like today). I’ve always been terrible at sticking through these types of projects for more than a few days – the OCD person in me quickly gets discourage if I miss a day and fall behind… I’m trying not to put too much pressure on myself and focussing on just having fun (and maybe learning a few things about myself along the way)!

Are you taking part in the 30 Days of Lists Challenge too? If so, share the links to your layouts – I’d love to see them!

Introducing: LP Mini Binders

I’m so excited to share this sneek peek of my newest product: Mini-binders made from vinyl LPs! Aren’t these adorable?

LP Mini Binder

Ta Da – the new LP Mini Binder!

These beauties are made with a 1/2″ binder ring, which can hold approximately 100 sheets of 5.5″ X 8.5″ (half letter-size) paper. This standard size means that many accessories (such as the Martha Stewart Home Office™ products: zipper pouches, business card holders, etc.) fit perfectly inside this binder. Neat-o!

LP Mini Binder - Open

LP Mini Binder – Open

The front cover is made from the actual vinyl LP, whereas the cardboard album sleeve is used for the back cover. Included are also three cardboard dividers made from different album sleeves, as well as 60 sheets of paper: 20 blank pages, 20 pages of  a “Things I Should Really Get Done” checklist, and 20 pages of lined paper.

LP Mini Binder - Back Cover

LP Mini Binder – Back Cover

Now you can be the hippest, most organized person in your entire office building!

Of course, the mini binder would also look great as a scrapbook album or notebook – just sayin’…

Be sure to check out the shop for the full list of LP mini binders that are currently available.