Some exciting news!

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Remember a while ago when I said I had some fun and exciting projects in the works, but that I couldn’t share them just yet?  Well, now I can!

So, here’s my first exciting news; I’ve been featured in this awesome (and gorgeous) just-published book!  Titled “Little Book of Book Making”, by Charlotte Rivers.  It’s packed with ideas and inspiration, full-page artist features, and a tutorials section at the back.  And it showcases book artists from around the world, some really great bookbinding, I highly recommend checking it out!  (Not that I’m biased or anything!)

Stay tuned for more exciting news to come . . . . very soon, I promise!

Summer Sunset Market

Some fun on a Thursday evening; I’ll be vending my hand bound journals, book themed jewellery and hand printed fabric items at the first Toronto Indie Arts Market ‘Summer Sunset Series’!! Come out after dinner for an evening stroll and stop by the Gladstone Hotel for a drink and to soak up the handmade wares in the Ballroom.

We’ll be there from 7pm till 11pm and admission is FREE!

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Happy Holidays (in July)

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Yes, that’s right – I’m having a summertime sale in my Etsy shop!  It starts today and runs till July 20, 2014!

There are lots of ways to save: you can use coupon code ETSYCIJ14 at checkout to get 15% off orders $40 and over.  Or you can head to my all new Sale Section to get a deal on a new journal (and no, this section isn’t just the leftovers of days gone by, there are new items in there that haven’t been listed online before – YA!)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALast but not least, I know there are some of you that really enjoy my Starburst Book Ornaments.  Since this sale is coinciding with the Etsy-wide ‘Christmas in July’ sale I’ve decided to bring them back for a limited time.  You’re welcome, (and Merry Christmas?  Is that said in July?) and get them while they’re still available.

Thoughts while Taming the Mint

It’s officially summer and I’m working on new products and designs and a few special, secret projects.  You may remember in my last post I mentioned some secretive, mystery projects and that I couldn’t spill the beans about just yet . . . well, I still cannot spill the beans!  Sorry! (Happy belated Canada Day!)

Anyways, while getting out in the garden to tame the mint a bit and stake my tomatoes, I find myself thinking about what is next.  This seems to be a good starting point for me, to get away from the studio and reminisce about my latest projects through the lens of intention rather than final product.  It’s always interesting to go through the process of creating something, but it’s also interesting to step back and look at what happened after the fact.  I like the idea of trying an idea a second or even third time to see what I’ll end up with and how different it’ll be from the first final product.  I guess I’m really just stating the obvious, as this is usually intrinsic to creativity, but I think it’s worthy of mentioning anyways.

Here are some of my garden-induced thoughts: I’m working out some new re-designs for hardcover books, that incorporate a bit of leather and some fancy paper by yours truly.    But I’m also contemplating my full leather journals and realizing that they’ve all been limp bindings/softcovers, no hardcover leather journals.

P2070589_fotorSo, I put together a little collection of some of my favourite leather bindings, which I realize now really focus on the stitching along the spine.  Some of the bindings are longstitch/linkstitch, some are variations of this and some are totally made up by myself.  While it’s enjoyable and satisfying, it’s also a learning curve, and I do love a good challenge.

Brainstorms and Dreams

Earlier this year I found myself really enjoying the bustle of last year’s holiday show schedule.  I loved the planning, the preparation, the craft and market shows – all of it.  So, at the start of 2014 I decided that I wanted to go big or go home with this small business stuff.  Time to get real.  Time to dig my feet in and see where I could go if I gave it my all.  Well, I’ve been working really hard on a few projects to make that happen, and now, well, I wait to see if everything will fall into place.  And if not, don’t fret, I’ve got backup plans.  And backup plans for the backup plans (perhaps this type of thing is why I started making my own journals in the first place?  In my opinion, brainstorms and dreams are well-deserving things for handmade journals!)  I cannot spill the beans just yet, but soon enough.

In the meantime, I’m going the share the evolution of my coptic stitched journals.  I figure it’s only fair since I cannot share my own journey right now.

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This group of four is a good representation of my earlier explorations with the coptic binding.  I did things like folding washi paper on covers to create interesting effects with translucent layers, incorporating beading into the covers (who doesn’t love colourful shiny things?!).  And ending with the start of my latest experiments with the coptic binding: using my rather large collection of fancy papers on the covers with little mini-endpapers inside.

DSC_0713_fotorThis group represents my latest experiments; the fancy papers as mentioned above, but with spine protectors, reclaimed leather and vintage buttons to keep it all together.  I love how beautiful and functional these are, and the tidiness of them.

Stay tuned!

 

In the Works

Hello everyone, just wanted to post a quick note to say Hello and let you know that I’m still around!  My apologies for the radio silence lately, but there are a lot of exciting things in the works!  I cannot spill the beans just yet, but soon!photo 1

In the meantime, a big Thank You is in order for everyone who has come out to support me at the various shows, workshops and fairs that I’ve been participating in lately.  This weekend I was at the Small Press & Literary Festival by Toronto Indie Arts Market and the Annual Printmaking Fair at the Cambridge Galleries, where there were so many talented printmakers.  When at shows, it’s always so nice to see a familiar face and meet someone in real life that I’ve been chatting with online!  If you haven’t had a chance to check out one of the many artisan/maker/book arts fairs/craft shows I participate in, check out the Upcoming Shows section on my site.  And keep your eyes peeled on the Workshops section for upcoming bookbinding classes that I will be teaching.

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In the online world, I was a featured artisan earlier this month over at Small Batch Magazine!  It’s a wonderful and eloquently written piece that really captures the drive and satisfaction of being a maker in the modern world.  I’m proud to be featured on this all-Canadian website that profiles makers and artisans, something I’ve been looking forward to for a while.  I encourage you to take a read and check out their website (it’ll be worth your time, I promise).  Otherwise, if you’re interested in what I’m making in the studio, new items are being posted to my Etsy shop on a fairly regular basis these days.

Springtime Renewal

I thought it was about time to formally introduce my latest project; Hay Fever Hankies.  I know some of you have seen them on my social media, in my Etsy shop and maybe you’ve even seen them in person at a market or fair!  I’d like to share a bit more about these little gems and show you where they come from, what they’re made of and all about.

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This is a product that is proudly made from reclaimed materials.  This means that each edition or collection will be different, depending on what fabrics are available and most appropriate for the season.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

You may remember the first collection of Hay Fever Hankies, as pictured above: crisp white fabric with imagery in summer colours.

This time around I decided to change things up and refresh my original idea.  I started with fabric in four springtime tones: Mocha, White, Pistachio and Grass Green and kept the images in a neutral grey.  When looking for fabric I always hunt for 100% cotton, no scratchy fabrics!  photo 3

The prints are lino cuts based on my sketches of local plants: Timothy/Hay, Ragweed and Crowsfoot.  These are printed onto the fabric using water-based earth friendly inks.  They are heat set, sewn by me and then pre-washed.photo 401_fotor

I really like how the Crowsfoot turned out.  Since the printing is done by hand, each handkerchief is a bit different, giving uniqueness and character to each.

If you’re into getting outside in springtime, check out my Upcoming Shows to snap up some hankies of your own!  This saturday, April 26 2014, I’ll be at the Wayzgoose in Grimsby!  Otherwise, they’re available online here.

Ps.  You may have noticed that the prints on the Grass Green fabric seemed to have disappeared.  This isn’t your imagination, I’ve decided they have a different purpose than hankies . . . this is all I’m saying for now, so stay tuned!

See you at the Annex Flea!

Thanks to everyone who pulled themselves from the gorgeous weather today to visit the Toronto Indie Arts Market.

Next up is the Annex Flea April 13 at the Centre for Social Innovation!

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Saturday April 12 I’ll be at the Toronto Indie Arts Market!

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Next!

It’s been two weeks since the One of a Kind show started, and I feel I’m as rested as I’m going to be.  So much awaits that I cannot sit still for long.  I’m talking about things like new projects, re-vamped designs and SPRING!!  (I will admit, I’ve got both my winter and spring jackets out.  I’m just not quite convinced I won’t need the winter one at least once more).  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’ve got some re-vamped goodies in the works, just in time for spring: new Hayfever Hankies!  Yup, they’re back and just in time, too!  This batch will be available in white, pistachio, grass green and mocha.  It comes in three lino cut designs, the usual suspects of hayfever; ragweed, timothy/hay and crowsfoot.  Look in the ‘Handprinted Fabric Items’ section of my online Etsy shop in the next few days.DSC_0691

I’m also slowly but surely getting some of the brand new designs you may have seen at the One of a Kind show up in my Etsy shop.  To keep up to date on this, follow my facebook or other social media feeds here.

Meanwhile, if you’re in Toronto I’ve got two shows this weekend, check out the Upcoming Shows section of my site for details!