Thursday, July 8, 2010

{ market, tags and leather }

I had the urge to work on some new tags before the last Eveleigh market. I had a list a mile long of other stuff I had to get done in preparation but I got sidetracked which is easily done when you're a procrastinator of the first order.

Also had an idea of a new display for the gift tags. This is version one which is a great start, but still some work to go. I'd really love to find a big beautiful frame to edge the display. Previously I've only sold the gift tags in pre-packaged sets of four but I loved how this set up allows people to mix and match. They proved very popular too which was great. I didn't get to take a photo until part way through the day so (happily) it was looking a bit sparse by the time I took it.

This market was my first go at selling leather journals. I only had 3 made in time but one of them went home with a lovely new owner which made me very happy indeed.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

{ working with leather }

I've just completed a new course with Rosemarie at Artwise Amazing Paper, this time learning to make leather journals. Rosemarie is an excellent book binder and teacher and I can recommend her classes if you're interested.

The first book binding class I took was with Rosemarie and I've continued to go back and learn more from her. Not all classes are about making books, the class I did on box making was taught by Rosemarie too so take a look at her website and see if there's anything that interests you.

This course was over 3 Wednesday nights and here's what I ended up with:

I'm really happy with it and look forward to working on it some more to perfect it. Is it strange that the best part of the process was the smell and feel of the leather? Mmm, probably.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

{ lucky again }

Yuko, the maker of beautiful screen printed towels and much more had a giveaway on her blog recently and I was one of the very lucky winners. I was too excited to open the package so it's a shame I can't share a photo of the beautiful packaging. You'll just have to take my word for it.

If you would like your own Pata Pri towel head over to Yuko's Etsy shop.

Thank you Yuko!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

{ love letterpress ? }

There's a whole week of fantastic letterpress work over at the oh hello friend blog. The blog is always a wonderful read but this week is extra special with lots of giveaways and really interesting interviews with amazing letterpress artists.

I'm especially enjoying the photos of the artists studios. If I knew how to post photos here from other blogs I'd do so, but since I don't, you'll just have to jump over to the blog and check it out for yourself!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

{ come in spinner }

Pub Cha + bands + two-up = good times!

1. Place your bets, 2. Head em up, 3. Watching the spin, 4. How did they land?

How did you spend your ANZAC Day?

Friday, April 23, 2010

{ a new toy }

I took delivery this week of a new camera. We've had the same Visa card for a number of years and never done anything with the Points but with a change of banks on the horizon I thought I should use them up, so I have a new DSLR. I expect it to be within hands reach all over this coming long weekend as I get my bearings.

Here's one of my first shots and I'm really happy with the quality already:

This cat is almost impossible to get good snaps of but I think the new noises coming from the camera got his interest. Mind you, only for a short time before he was off again. Oh well, I'll take what I can get!

Monday, April 5, 2010

{ market time }

I had intended to post during the week but I had a very busy time of it getting stock made for yesterdays Eveleigh Artisan Market. Some work in progress shots:

Finished covers ready to have these paper signatures sewn in:

Boy, there were many hours of tearing and folding in those piles of paper!

The market was a bit quieter than most months, but I had expected it might be due to the Easter long weekend. A lot of Sydney-siders take the opportunity to get out of town for a few days.

I've been trying to think of ways to improve my display at markets. Currently it looks like this:

A couple of things I know I'll do - have more stock so the tables are fuller, buy some fabric to replace the sheets I'm currently using. I really like it when I make the effort to cover the table tops in brown wrapping paper, but it takes such a long time, I need a better solution than that.

Have you seen some great market displays in your time? What stands out to you, do you have any recommendations - general or specific?

Friday, March 26, 2010

{ yippee }

Booked and paid - we're back to Japan in 2 months time!

Have you seen Jetstar's 2 for 1 special to Japan? A word of advice for Sydney-siders - even though their website only lists Osaka on the special from Sydney, select Sydney-Tokyo and they just add Sydney-Gold Coast to the selection, don't be put off if you want to go to Tokyo. Or do what we're doing, fly into Tokyo and out of Osaka (but you have to ring and do that over the phone).

Now, just have to work out where else beside Tokyo we'll spend our time.

(Mmm, Casual Frozen Food - just noticed what this vending machine says. Wish I'd tried it!)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

{ PaperLion interview }

I've mentioned before that I'm part of BEST - Bookbinding Etsy Street Team. Hilke runs interviews with BEST members and this week it's my turn! Take a look here.

I even managed to get a picture of this little cutie included - clever!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

{ alice }

Just got back from seeing Alice In Wonderland. My advice ... run, don't walk to a screening immediately. It's such a visual feast and a movie that will need to be revisited time and again because you just couldn't possibly take it all in watching it only once.

Yay, so thrilled that it lived up to the huge expectations I'd placed on it!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

{ alice is coming }

I can't wait until Wednesday - I'm going to see Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland after work!

In honour, I've spent the best part of this weekend working on my most detailed papercut to date. Here're some progress shots:

And the final table centrepiece:

The design is from a book I picked up on Saturday - Paper Cuts: 35 Inventive Projects by Taylor Hagerty. The 35 designs are by a number of talented artists and this Alice one is by Cynthia Ferguson. Cynthia has a wonderful blog that I follow and encourage you to also if you like the art of papercuts, her work is incredible.

There are a lot of other projects I'll be trying out from this book, but not until I get the feeling back in the fingers of my right hand!

Friday, February 26, 2010

{ something new }

I wanted to spend a large part of my recent holiday making new things. Some time back I bought a kit to make pocket memo holders from Paperama on Etsy. They looked like so much fun to make, and they were.

Here's what I made from the kit:

And that got me all inspired:

And then on to some with a fold over cover:

There are a couple of other new ideas I tried out during my holidays and I'll continue sharing those with you. The purpose wasn't to necessarily come up with new products to sell (although some will progress down this path), it was to really enjoy the chance of having completely free time to do as I pleased.

I know how rare it is to have time like this in our busy lives and I was very grateful for it - especially since my first week back at work has been 'hectic' to say the least!

Do you get/make time to relax and go with the flow creatively?

Monday, February 22, 2010

{ the 80's are back }

Went to a great exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum on the weekend - The 80's Are Back. Looking at the kids on the streets today, you might think they never left!

What memories it bought back! So much to see, but even better so much to do as well. Had a great time playing Donkey Kong, Pacman and Galaga on proper old arcade machines like they used to have in the fish and chip shops!

The biggest 'oh my' moment for me was when I rounded a corner to see a fully decorated bedroom circa the 80's - it looked just like my bedroom, even had the exact doona set. The only differences were my tape player was pink and instead of Dirty Dancing and Star Wars posters, my walls were full of Michael Jackson posters! [Little known fact - I used to be able to spell his name backwards as quickly as forward. No, I don't know why that was necessary either]

The exhibition runs for some time yet but don't put off a visit and miss out. If you're a kid of the 80's you'll have so much fun reliving your childhood/teenage years. If you're younger, go and check it out for a proper reference of 80's fashion!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Seems there's a bit of an understandable hiatus going on over at the Sunday Stash blog but I didn't realise that until after I took my photos etc so thought I would post anyway.

Took a trip to the sale at Quiltsmith sale last week and picked up the following:

The intention is for making more bookcloth for albums and possibly notebooks but I needed a project with a quick resolution for the bee fabric and couldn't wait out the full process so I decided on a little drawstring bag to placate myself:

I really love that fabric! Can't wait to see it on an album cover but as I'm back at work tomorrow that might be a ways off.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

{ fabric bookcloth }

One of the techniques I've wanted to give some time to is making my own fabric bookcloth. It doesn't work to just glue fabric straight onto boards, the glue will seep through and ruin the fabric. To fix this you paste the fabric on to thin, Japanese paper, creating your own bookcloth.

I did a day course last year at the NSW Guild of Craft Bookbinders but this week has been my first solo trial. Besides the course, I also referred to instructions in Japanese Bookbinding: Instructions from a Master Craftsman.

Here's a snap mid-process, just about to paste the paper and fabric together:

After drying, it's time to start making the book. I had a couple of text blocks I made ages ago so I thought I would put them to good use and make some case-bound books:

It's been so wonderful to have the time just to go with the flow and try new techniques. I now have to work out a way to continue doing that as I head back to work on Monday - boo! Anyone have some advice?

Monday, February 15, 2010

{ robot album }

A new photo album made and delivered to be filled with photos from the first six months of a new arrival. Looking forward to seeing it filled with photos.

I used a different technique for this one than I normally use on albums. A couple of tweaks to make, but I like it!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

{ shop update }

As I mentioned, I spent the last couple of weeks making books to re-stock ready for markets this year and also my Etsy store. My first market on Sunday was a lovely day. I had no idea how it was going to go but I was pleasantly surprised! The organisers have done a great job over the last year or so building up the Eveleigh Artisans' Market and there's a solid base of visitors that's growing each month (first Sunday of each month, remember?!).

I've taken some time today to list some new books in my Etsy store, here's a sample:

So that was my last couple of weeks. Fun times, but I'm looking forward even more to the coming weeks as I'm working on some new projects which is very exciting. I've got quite a list and I've already started to work my way through it. I'll post some of my new work over the coming days and weeks for your comments etc and I'm thinking of a bit of a giveaway so stick around!

Friday, February 5, 2010

{ sunday activity }

Looking for something to do in Sydney on Sunday? Why not drop by the Eveleigh Artisan Market? It's on the first Sunday of each month (that would be tomorrow) and it's undercover so no need to worry that it's likely to be rainy tomorrow!

I'm grateful to be able to say that I had a good couple of markets in the lead up to Christmas so the last couple of weeks have been a joy of making new books to re-stock.

A small selection of new coptic bound books coming along with me:

And I've also been working on some new little 'scribblers':

I've had fun covering these little notebooks with everything from washi tape to health instructions for entering South Korea!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

{ making stamps }

I spent a lovely couple of hours yesterday afternoon in a nook of the Hondrake Japanese book store on Kent St. It was a fabulous location for my introduction to the craft of stamp making.

I'm holidays at the moment so when I saw this workshop on the very talented Riyo's blog, I thought why not? So wonderful to be able to do something like this during the week.

Riyo moved from Japan 2 years ago, in part to be inspired creatively by a different country. I was amazed - all I want to do is move to Japan as it's such a mecca for much of the craft I like (not to mention this, this, this, this, and so much more but I'm probably boring you now with all these links), and here's someone moving from Japan to Australia!!

I started really basic with my first stamp making a tree. It was in two parts but as you can see below, two really basic parts! The camera was a little trickier and the button was just at the end to use up a small piece.

We finished the afternoon with some homemade deserts. Unfortunately I didn't take my camera with me so go to this post of Riyo's to see the amazing green tea cheesecake! Apparently all workshops of this style in Japan finish with some sweet goodies like this.

Apart from me, all the participants were Japanese and reflecting later in the afternoon I realised how much I loved being part of something where I was totally included and part of something but also like I was a fly on the wall observing at the times they conversed between themselves in Japanese - I loved it! I often feel like that when I visit non-English speaking countries and it was so wonderful to experience similar right in my own backyard.

Just to round out my Japanese afternoon, I stopped by Kinokuniya as they have 20% off all craft books in February. This includes Japanese craft books as well. On 27 February they're holding the Kino Craft Fair from 12-4pm. I'll definitely be going along, hope to see you there!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

{ winner }

Before Christmas I was very excited to win my first ever blog giveaway! It was from Lisa's lovely blog - The Red Thread, I recommend you only check it out if you have room on your blog list because you will want to add it for sure!! Lisa is such a wonderful artist and super lovely to boot!

Want to see what I won?

Beautiful Gocco'ed notebooks and gift tags, thank you Lisa.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

{ thank you at work }

My first order to go out with the new wrap including the thank you cards I made on the Gocco.

I used to send out orders wrapped in white tissue paper with ribbon but I really love brown paper so I've been looking at ways to use that instead.

It's so great getting things in the post and I especially love it when care has been taken with the presentation. What about you - does the way an online order arrives to you make a difference?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

{ thank you }

I finally got my Gocco out last night. A bit embarrassed to admit that I've had one since late 2007 and this is my first solo go. Late last year we had a demo at my craft group and I think that really helped. I also wasn't sure what I wanted to print until now so that held me back.

For some time now I've been throwing together little thank you cards to go out with my orders, always thinking that I wanted to have something set up and easy to write a little handmade message on and attach to orders, and now I do - yay!

Here's a mid print shot to prove I really did use the Gocco!

I'm really loving what I call the Wild West font - do you have a favourite font?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

{ my sunday }

Yes, my desk is often this messy. I do clean it up, but I often wonder what the point of that is when it just gets messy again the minute my back is turned.

Lots of cutting today. My stock levels dropped in the Christmas lead-up, something I'm very grateful for -thank you to my wonderful customers. Making lots of sales also means lots of fun making new books. I'm right in the middle of that today, most of which I spent cutting down the boards and then selecting and cutting down the paper for the covers.

Also, I found my camera so here are some shots of the box I made last weekend. I'm really happy with it despite 2 mis-measurements. I managed to over-come them to the point that probably (hopefully) only I can see them and I'm going to keep it that way and not point them out!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

{ i need a deadline }

It's taken me until my last 2 days of 10 days leave to get cracking on my creative to-do list. It's not news to me that I need a deadline to get into action, it's always been that way, but it's surprising when it's things I actually want to do and don't have to do - why is that?

Here's what I've been up to:

* Attempt 1 of a display folder for kids artwork. Covers are sandwiched within drying boards at the moment, will check them tomorrow night, put them together and see how they look

* Two months ago I did a course on making boxes, today was my first solo go. Just 3mm off perfect! Box making, like book, making is a precise endeavour.

* Re-teaching myself to knit. I've had it in my head that I'd like to make a knitted blanket for on the couch in winter, nothing too large. Also need a new project for craft group and I think there'll be others there who can help and motivate as needed.

* Finished Stieg Larsson's The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (great read). Moving on to one of my Chrissie presents - Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Companion.

Battling some last day of holiday blues tonight, but there's no putting it off I guess.

Sorry for no photos of my works in progress - can't find my camera!