Monday, July 26, 2010

A Snow Book - All finished and Just Perfect!

I'm so pleased with how this one turned out because I think it really takes advantage of the lovely materials I had to work with. It only opens just half past-way, so not truly a star book, but it works on this one.

Yet another type of white paper for the cover, but with a blue silk spine so that it's not too boring. I only had very thin white ribbon, so I put three on either side, with is just the detail it needed. Happy accident! Speaking of accident, there was a tiny bit of pen on the other side that ran when the glue got wet, opps! Good thing it's blue, so it's not so bad (I hope!). Anyway, you aren't supposed to look of the cover, you're supposed to put it on display:

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Snow Book - first layer

Here's a scan of the calligraphy. I'm afraid you'll just have to take my word for it that it looks much nicer in real life. I can't seem to get a good photo.

And here is the first layer finished and folded.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Snow Book - second pass

The writing turned out to be just too light, so I went over it again. Having two layers gives it a kind of ephemeral quality that works very nicely. I did have a bit of a typo, though, on the last word, and even though I've scraped and erased most of it, you can still kind of tell (the problem with doing an all-white book!), so I'm going to do a few more layers of text to blend it in, which should also heighten the feeling as well. I think I may do that before I finish off the cut-outs I've started there on the side.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Snow Book

When I was looking for paper for my He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven project I wanted some very nice, light, holey paper to go behind the calligraphy layer. I never did find anything suitable (which is fine, turns out I wouldn't have had room anyway for it), but I did find two lovely pieces that fit the description in white.

I'm not sure if you can see the second one very well. It's semi-transparent mulberry paper with little gold flecks in it.

This got me thinking that I should find a nice snow-related poem or quote to make into a book. It was kind of confusing trying to find something short of in the public domain like that just on Google, but eventually I found the University of Toronto's online library, where they had a list of 19th century Canadian poets. Only it couldn't be searched by subject, only author! I didn't want to go through every single one until I found something, but I underestimated how much we write about winter. Almost every poet listed had one, and I soon had a big stack I liked to choose from. I eventually did a bit of extra research on one of the poets, and found this one:

The Frosted Pane
Charles G. D. Roberts (1860-1943)

One night came Winter noiselessly, and leaned
Against my window-pane.
In the deep stillness of his heart convened
The ghosts of all his slain.

Leaves, and ephemera, and stars of earth,
And fugitives of grass, --
White spirits loosed from bonds of mortal birth,
He drew them on the glass.

I'm going to make a star book, only I'm going to try and ignore the different divisions of the pages, and try something a little different and off-centre.

Here is the calligraphy. It's very faint on purpose, so I'll have to figure out a better way to photograph it. It's just my handwriting. I'm sticking with a bit of a casual feel. Plus I'm feeling just too lazy to practice for hours and do it formally! Which wouldn't be as nice with the poem anyway, I think. Well... we'll stick with that explanation. Once this is dry and ready for the lines to be erased I'm going to make large sections of cut-outs in snow/frost type patterns. I can't make them quite as big as I was planning because the writing took up more room, so they may end up kind of meandering all over instead of being in nice rectangular (window-like) areas. But that will be fine, I think. If anyone asks I had it all planned out from the start.

Monday, July 19, 2010

How Do You Find Anything in That Mess?

This was my studio. Yikes! I couldn't find some paper, go figure, so it was time to shift everything out to the tv room, sort it, toss it, and put the good stuff back. I got an accordion folder and now all my paper is even in sorted by colour. I didn't just find my paper (at last), I also found:

4 half-finished canvases
A cheque for $157
An extremely large dead spider
Enough fabric scraps to fill an entire black garbage bag
Several finished drawings I'd been missing for about 5 years
A whole lot of broken glass, which is puzzling and a little disturbing since I'm always barefoot
Two sheets of extra mat board
Notes for a funny tv show a co-worker and I created when we were bored one day
About 10 pads of small note-paper and even more in post-it notes

This is the after. I don't know if the photo really lets you see just how much cleaner it is, but I got rid of a giant garbage bag, a giant box of recycling, moved all the finished painting (now the rest of the basement needs some sorting), moved all the photos/cards/books to my writing desk, and organized everything else into baskets so I can find it. Now the only thing left on the art desk is what I'm actually working on. And now might be able to finish!

Friday, July 16, 2010

You've Got a Fast Car

This book was a special request by the person who owns the gift shop in the Hotel Sask. He loves Tracey Chapman's "You've Got a Fast Car" so that's what the calligraphy is. Other than that he didn't say what he wanted, so I just went with it. The song is kind of dark, hence the black. He seemed to like the books that had suede lace to tie them, so that's what I used.

I had just enough black to cover the inside, then I tore it wrong! But in the end I like the extra colour of the tan, it was getting a bit depressing.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Purple Leftovers

I really like these books that use up my extra bits of leather. Not just because I save on supplies, but I just think they look really cool with the different colours and stitching. I didn't have enough purple to make a full half cover, so instead I used it as the closing strap in the middle, and to wrap around the front to cover the open pages (because I didn't have enough yellow for that either!).

View from the back.
Marbled paper inside to set off the colours.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Good Things in Small(ish) Packages

I'm making some little books because I have tonnes and tonnes of scraps and because it's a good way to get a whole bunch of stuff ready for the big craft show in November. I'm trying not to overthink everything and spend hours picking out thread and paper and such. Just try some new things and enjoy. I hope they'll sell well, as they'll be at a nice price point and good for stocking stuffers.

This one's my favourite. It's another one made with scraps not quite big enough for a whole one. I love the shape and the way it closes.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Somedays Are Just Perfect

It's been a very long week. I've had so much overtime that, combined with my second job, I worked about 59 hours, and I'm very very done. So I haven't got much in terms of arts or crafts or anything in between to post. But this afternoon we spent the day at the park picnicking, because the weather was flawless, and relaxing and whatnot, and I drew this while staring up at the trees. So it'll do just fine.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Handmade Paper!

My mother-in-law sent me an early (very early) birthday present - a kit to make handmade paper! I'm quite excited as I had been thinking about this for some time, and as you can see, have been saving all my little scraps for just such an occasion:

I've started by making a whole stack of plain white paper, just to practice, and maybe even for a new calligraphy book project. I will post photos just as soon as they've finished drying.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Words & Letters - I like this one!

Sometimes things turn out even better than you had hoped. And this one is awesome! I'm really pleased to have something work out so well after the last book was nothing but an exercise in frustration.

The last step with this one was to put a last layer that was simply a frame for the rest. I wasn't sure if I should put it on, in case it made everything look too heavy and blocked the detail of the middle layer. But in the end it really sets everything off, and the details kind of appear as you look and move around the piece.

The cover. It made some antiqued paper using mostly ink and only a little coffee, so that it matched the old book and black paper.


Now, go buy it at my etsy shop.