Uppercase

Day 196/365

Exciting news!!

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A couple of days ago the latest issue of Uppercase magazine arrived in the mail.  It’s the printmaking issue and I’ve been waiting for it for a while now.  photo 2Wondering why?  Take a look at that photo above!!  That’s page 85 folks, 85!!  Woot woot! I’m honoured to be featured in this magazine, and a little over the top excited about it!  (okay, maybe totally over the top excited about it!)

Anyone who’s read Uppercase knows what I mean, it’s a really fantastic magazine.  And if you haven’t read it (or even just held a copy in your hands) you really should!  I’ve been inspired by past issues on numerous occasions.  I keep all my old issues and refer to them regularly for advice, prompts and to look up featured artists whose work I love.  I mean, the slogan is: For the creative and curious.  Perfection.  It’s an informative, insightful, inspiring and beautiful publication, go check it out!

Handkerchiefs

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It’s allergy season here in Toronto, and who knows where else!  Time to ditch the tissues and get some reusable, eco-friendly, handmade Hay Fever Hankies!!  For a bit of wit, I’ve printed each hand sewn hanky with an image of a plant that causes allergies.  You can choose from: Ragweed, Timothy/Hay or Crowsfoot!

Hayfever Hankies are on sale in my Etsy shop, here.  Or in person at Freedom Clothing Collective on Bloor St West here in Toronto.

Spring Time Collaboration

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Introducing the Spring Gift Pack from Graven Feather:
il_570xN.750167387_o8shI am so proud to announce that my Quick Notes notebooks in gold are a part of these gorgeous sets!  They are curated by Graven Feather and showcase the work of a few local artisans and shops.  (and did I mention how beautiful they are??)il_570xN.750038598_7kxb

Housed in handmade paper from Paperhouse Studio here in Toronto, Graven Feather printed on the reverse and hand crafted each folder.  Inside you’ll find all sorts of goodies including one of my handbound gold notebooks, as pictured above.
il_570xN.750041456_5koz Inside you’ll also find a pen from Articulations and several other printed goodies!  (I’m not spilling the beans on the rest of the contents – you’ll just have to get your own to find out!)il_570xN.750165361_pg84 When secured shut (gorgeous!!) it’s the perfect place to keep your cherished ephemera and paper treasures.  The Spring Gift Pack also makes the perfect gift for Mothers day or a special birthday or anyday!

Use Your Journal No.5

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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!

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.

Around the Corner

If you’ve been following my (rather sparse) posts lately, you already know that I’m an exhibitor in this year’s One of a Kind Show and Sale.  I’m pretty excited about this, it’s the largest craft & artisan show I’ve ever participated in, and it’s right here in Toronto!  As well as my enthusiasm I’m also a bit nervous, especially in the last minute tasks leading up to the official opening.  In reality though, I’m pretty well on schedule and organized.

This is pretty good for me.

No last-minute rushing around frantically.  No middle-of-the-night realizations that I forgot to, gasp, order business cards or bring a chair or something like that.  Nope, I’m organized and on schedule.  That is, until I got my eureka idea for the perfect series of books to bind, last minute of course!

My creative side took charge and the schedule changed!  I was no longer on schedule.  But now as I finish up these new additions, I have a new plan, and I’ll leave you with some photos of what you can expect to see at my booth (K20G in the Etsy section).DSC_0686

Lots of new designs and variations on some classic bindings.DSC_0686 - Version 2

I’m pleased with how everything has turned out and how the collection as a whole feels connected through materials, colour and transition.DSC_0653

I drew on the changing of seasons for inspiration; winter to spring, bleak to bright, cozy to light, old to new.DSC_0664

I think the growth of this transition is visible across the table, and I couldn’t be more delighted!DSC_0691

If you plan to attend the show and don’t have tickets, click here to get a discounted ticket! I’ll be in the Etsy section at booth K20G.  The show runs from March 26 – 30 and if you have any further questions, please visit the show website here.

Hope to see you there!

An Old Friend

Besides being a bookbinder, printmaker and general maker of paper arts, I also like to grow a vegetable garden.  And, every year, I watch in wonder as my seeds sprout and grow into seedlings and eventually make the journey outside.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI won’t go into the story of why I chose to name my artistic practice after the mighty sprout and its incredible journey.  Instead, I’d like to tell how it has re-united me with an old friend.  (If you like, take a look at my About section to learn why I chose the name Sprouts Press).IMG_0688_fotor

I should probably clarify a few things.  When I say that I was re-united with an old friend, I’m not talking about a person, but an old love.  A former romance, let’s say, with printmaking.  But not just any printmaking, I’m talking about printing on a Vandercook press, in a studio, with oil-based inks.  Sigh.  So, when the annual Grimsby Wayzgoose Book Arts Fair call for vendors arrived in January I agreed, as usual, to submit an original print in an edition of 115 for their anthology.  I thought it was time to honour my namesake in print format and decided to dedicate my print to the mighty sprout.  Normally, I plan several weeks in advance and use the back of a wooden spoon to produce my 115 prints.  Not this time.  I’ve been teaching bookbinding workshops lately and my favourite is at a wonderful space here in Toronto, Graven Feather, where there is a Challenge Proof Press!!

IMG_0700After mentioning to them that I used to print on Vandercook press, and how much I loved it and how great it would be to print my 115 prints with something different than the back of a wooden spoon, it was decided that I could print on their press!  So, this is how it happened, how I was re-united with printing on a press, with oil based inks, in someone else’s studio, by the mighty sprout.  I drew my image, cut the lino block and printed it in a lovely leaf-green on light grey stock.  IMG_0711

In total there are 130 prints in the edition, 115 for the Wayzgoose anthology and 15 for me!  What a great day!!