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Archive for July, 2011

Regular readers will know that I rarely throw anything away.  I haven’t had a wall calendar for a number of years, but I still have quite a few from the past lurking around…

Yup, that is a calender from the year 2000.  I wasn’t joking about not throwing things away.

What did I finally decide to make with this calendar?  I’m still resolutely not making books, so this isn’t really a book, it’s more of a portfolio.  Possibly a book full of pockets.  Can you tell I’m clueless as to what to call it?

I made envelopes out of the beautiful calendar pages (I’ve always had a thing for Dali), and then made a cover using another of the pages.  There are eight envelopes/pockets in this portfolio, and they are bound into the cover using an accordion style binding.

This was a bit of an experiment for me, and although it took ages to make I’m really pleased with the result.  I plan to make more of these in future (yes, I have more calendars stashed away…) and hopefully the future ones will be quicker to make now that I’ve figured out the method!

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… and some old folders that have been handed down, and what can you make with them?

Parcel tags…

Coin envelopes…

And a little folio filled with notecards and envelopes…

I don’t usually go in for making stationery, but as I’m still trying not to make any more notebooks for the time being I had a bit of spare time on my hands!  I enjoyed pottering about today, so I daresay I’ll make some more bits and pieces over the weekend.  My favourite things from today were the little coin envelopes, so before I finished up for the day I made a few more out of pages from an old Reader’s Digest gardening book.

These are very sweet and I think they’d be nice for storing seeds in.

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It’s been a busy week for commissions hasn’t it?!  This is the third and last one for this week, and we’re back to the more usual theme of weddings.

The lady who commissioned this one took a fancy to the metallic fabric that I’ve used for two previous books (Vanilla & Gold, and Pink & Silver) and asked me to create a purple and silver themed book using that.

Which was a simple enough request, but boy did it lead to a rollercoaster of emotion.  I went to the shop where I had originally bought the fabric a couple of years ago, only to find that they no longer had any.  I then rummaged through my studio and thought I had found a sheet of it… which turned out to be a half sheet, not big enough to do both the front and back covers.  Despair set in.  Then, when all seemed lost, I found two (yes, TWO) whole sheets tucked away inside a roll of pink paper.  JOY!

The boards for the covers were covered with a handmade light purple paper, then the silvery fabric, and the inside of the covers was lined with the handmade paper.  The client wants to stick photographs and other things into the book, scrapbook-style, so I went with a loose binding which would allow the book to expand as more contents were added.  Thus I added eyelets to the cover  through which ribbons are threaded, holding the pages in.

The book also closes with ribbon ties which have been threaded through eyelets.  The pages are 220gsm cartridge paper, and there are pages of lilac paper acting as dividers (and to add a little extra interest).  It’s a pretty book, quite elegant in its way but (with the casual ribbon binding) still scrapbookish enough to meet the brief.

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… strip it down completely, and then rebuild it using vibrant murano papers and the invites and thank you cards from a wedding…

… and what you end up with is a unique and very colourful keepsake box.  A friend sent me her wedding invitation and thank you cards last year together with a note saying that if I could make an item using both cards she’d buy it (and, let’s face it, she’d have to really wouldn’t she? 😉 ).  It’s taken me some time to get round to it (it was their 1st anniversary a couple of weeks ago…) but ’tis now done, and I’m mightily chuffed with the result.

Happy anniversary Jen & Sean!

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Cthulhu

Another commission finished!  This one is a 30th birthday present, and the lady who ordered it provided the image she wanted used on the leather wallet as well as the quote for the front of the notebook.

The image (and a facsimile of HP Lovecraft’s signature) has been burned onto the leather using a pyrography iron, and the notebook cover was kept deliberately simple (so as not to detract from the wallet, which is the main gift) with the quote hand-inked on in a simple typewriter style font.

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I have a friend whose husband is an RAF engineer.  Over the years I’ve made a number of notebooks for him, but towards the end of last year he commissioned a very special book to commemorate the disbanding of his squadron.

It’s taken me quite a while to make this book.  Partly because personal circumstances got in the way, and partly because I was waiting for the right inspiration to strike.  Inspiration did finally strike a couple of weeks ago, like lightning out of the blue, and here’s the finished result.

I showed Andy a photo of the covers when I was partway through and he requested that I shear one of the little screw heads as every panel on the jets had at least one mangled screw where someone had put in just that little bit too much effort!

I love this book.  I know I say that about pretty much everything I make, but it’s true.  The finished book has a wonderful feel to it: the leather covers and the heavyweight cartridge paper make it very hefty, but that seems right and gives it just the right feel.  I’m also very much in love with the faux screws that I used and will be stocking up on some more for future projects.  The covers are actually much thicker than the ones I usually make, because the images on the inside of them have been framed – and again that lends the book added weight and presence.

The other reason I’m particularly proud of this book is that it’s lovely to be asked to make something for such a special reason.  The disbanding of a squadron is no small thing, and I’m touched that Andy asked me to make this book for him.

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… when you’re on a self-imposed notebook-making ban.  Having listed 40 new books on Monday (and still having more to add…) I’ve decided that I really mustn’t make any new books until I’ve shifted some of my current stock – because I quite literally have nowhere to put them.

So, what did I do on Tuesday instead?  I experimented with a Kindle cover.

I don’t actually have a Kindle, so I had to mock one up using layers of cardboard.  Not the most glamorous solution but practical nonetheless.

I think this design worked well, although I do have some other ideas which I need to test out.  It would be helpful if I had a real Kindle to refer to, so I’m going to keep an eye out for a faulty one on evilbay which I can use as a model.

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