Use Your Journal No.5

Day 170/365

Spring is in the air, the snow is melting/melted and many of us are eager to help welcome the new season.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUsually, springtime means spring cleaning.  Oh joy.

Today’s post is a mix of ‘Use Your Journal’ and spring cleaning, specifically; getting your books, journals and sketchbooks organized and accounted for!  In a fun way, I promise!
DSC_0661My secret weapon to accomplish this, if you haven’t already guessed, is with Ex Libris bookplates.  

Ex Libris bookplates are labels that go in the front cover of your books (journals, sketchbooks, novels, biographies, etc).  Ex Libris is latin and roughly translates to ‘from the library of’.  Therefore, when you write your name in the space provided on each bookplate, you are creating your own library!  What’s more organized than a library!?photo 4

My Ex Libris bookplates are my own designs that I carve into lino blocks.  Then I hand print each one onto self-adhesive paper, making it easy and convenient for you to label your beloved books.  I’ve printed two different designs, each in a few different colours, you can read about my process here.

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I’ve even got gold bookplates!  They’re actually quite beautiful and classy, and make a great gift when tucked in the front of a special book for a friend.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA To recap, here are 3 steps to incorporate Ex Libris bookplates into your journalling, sketching and book-collecting lives, making it even more fun to use your journal!

1. Choose a selection of journals/sketchbooks/books to be labelled.

2. Write your name in the space provided on the bookplate.  Some people also like to write the date they start the book.

2a. If you’re giving a special journal/book as a gift and want to put an ex libris bookplate in the front cover, you can write the recipient’s name and the date.  You can also write the occasion for the gift, as a memento for life milestones or achievements.

3. Once you’ve written the info in the space provided on the bookplate, peel off the backing and adhere to the inside front cover of the book/journal/sketchbook.  Repeat for all your most fancy and special books!

Have fun!

Details, details

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In case you didn’t know, I’m currently having a blog giveaway!  So I thought it would be kind of fun to do a little feature on the goodies that will go to the lucky winner.DSC_0729

Postcard Pad, a set of 7 original, hand decorated postcards to tear out and mail, pictured above.  Each postcard in this set is different, so don’t be afraid to send them all to the same person/your Valentine!  They make a great companion when travelling or on trips to your local cafe.DSC_0728

Hand printed Ex Libris Bookplates, a set of 4 in Coral, pictured above.  These are linocuts, my own design, which I cut and hand printed on self-adhesive paper.  Simply write your name on the lines provided, and maybe put in a date or who gave you the book if it was a gift.  Then peel off the backing and put the label on the inside cover of your book.  Never lose a book again!

DSC_0727 Mini Faux Leather Button Book in deep burgundy, pictured above.  This is a cute, chunky  little book with a button closure.  There are 122 pages (244, front and back) and it measures 3″ x 4 1/2″ x 3/4″.  Inside, find a mix of pages; blank, lined, and colours, with a surprise map thrown in for fun!

And of course, all these goodies come in a cute book bag hand sewn by yours truly.

To enter the contest just go here for instructions and details.  Contest runs until January 31, 2015.

Good Luck!

Long Distance Valentine

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Anyone who knows me, knows that I love writing letters, sending letters and receiving letters, the snail mail kind.  Valentines day around the corner and since I know several people in long distance relationships, I figured that now is a good time to showcase some of the items I make that are designed to be letter-mail friendly.  These are items that are perfect to pop in a cute lovey-dovey card, maybe with a fancy bag of tea tucked in too!
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From the top left going clockwise:
Ex Libris bookplates, handprinted in gold.
Quick Notes notebook, with handpainted two-tone red covers.
Ex Libris bookplates, handprinted in coral.
Quick Notes notebook, with handpainted covers in pink and gold.

DSC_0824 - Version 2 Of course there are a few larger options; Bookbinding Kit in red & grey, red & cream, perfect for the crafty valentine.DSC_0685

Lastly, this is my last Starburst Journal in red Florentine.  This was the first design I bound using my starburst stitching along the spine.  It’s a special book that makes a very special gift either as a journal, sketchbook or a fancy album, for a special someone.

 

Golden

Day 100/365

In honour of the 100th day of my 365 project, I’ve decided to devote today’s post to all things golden!!  Here’s what I’ve made in the shiny, sparkly colour everyone loves:DSC_0739

Quick Notes Notebooks: Handpainted black & gold, handbound with black linen thread.

DSC_06640_fotorA medley of golden delights (top left, clockwise): Fancy Coptic Journal in Gold Florentine with matching vintage golden button, handprinted Ex Libris bookplates in gold: Set of 5, handpainted Quick Notes Notebooks in Gold, Small Fancy Coptic Journal with matching gold vintage button.

If you’re hooked on gold, head to my Etsy shop to see what else there is!

Wordless Wednesday 24.12.14

Day 78/365

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Wordless Wednesday 3.12.14

Day 57/365
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Bookbinding + Painting + Printmaking = Happy Me

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Sometimes I indulge myself and combine mediums.  Such is the case with this series of blue painted and relief-printed Longstitch journals.  I’ve done this before with other painted journals, but recently came across these photos and felt the urge to share.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Details are everything, matching beaded closures is a thing of beauty (to me anyways).
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As many bookbinders and other makers of handmade items know, creating in multiples is key.  These books are no exception.  But make no mistake; each is unique in placement of the cover patterns and images.  Designing these books, the covers and crafting these pieces is the sort of project that keeps me happy!

Wordless Wednesday 22.10.14

Day 15/365

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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!