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Archive for the ‘Commissions’ Category

…bridesmaids.  This is something I learned recently when I was asked if I would make notebooks as gifts from a bride to her bridesmaids.  Sure, I said, no problem.  How many bridesmaids?

Nine.

I can’t lie, that threw me a bit, but in the end it turned out to be terrific fun because I got to design nine different notebooks.  The bride wrote down a few words about each woman, and off I went to select papers and binding styles.

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An eclectic mix, let’s show off each notebook individually so you can have a proper look.  Although it was occasionally challenging to find the right paper for each cover, it was very satisfying to rummage through my studio trying to find ‘the one’.  Even more so to then decide which binding style would be best, and of course the question of thread, and inner lining – oh the choices!  These books have been made using everything from scrapbook paper through to a repurposed paper carrier bag, and some of the vintage linen thread is older than I am!  I hope that the bridesmaids like them as much as the bride and I do 🙂

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Here they are all wrapped up and waiting to go.

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Commissions are always fun, and they’re especially interesting when they take me out of my comfort zone.  At the end of January a friend asked me if I could do an art nouveau style poster of her friend.  She found one she liked the look of and sent me that together with a photo of her friend, and said she wanted her ‘wreathed in bubbles’ and, if at all possible, for the phrase ‘I love it here!’ to be on there somewhere as that’s all her friend had said for her entire birthday weekend in Amsterdam.

Here’s how it went.

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I made this book in October but haven’t been able to blog about it because it was intended as a Christmas gift.  The lady who ordered it asked for something feminine and pretty, and for it to feature her friend’s name.  Sorry the photos aren’t great, I made the mistake of sending the book off before checking the photos were straight!

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I enjoy all my commissions but some stand out from the crowd: this is one such.  Towards the end of 2015 I was contacted by a gentleman in the US who had been hunting for a ring box for an engagement ring and had finally stumbled upon my Harry Potter themed trinket boxes.  He was very interested and so was I!  He told me his plans, and bearing these in mind I put my thinking cap on.  The box itself was straightforward, being a standard trinket box but with the addition of the note seen above.  The slightly tricky bit was how to get the ring to stay put, as he’d be carrying the box in a backpack on a hike during the lead up to the proposal.

Hmmm.

The solution turned out to be quite wonderfully simplistic in the end, an insert of acetate in which the ring could be lodged – thus giving the impression that it was floating above the quote.  As I don’t wear rings I had to improvise when making a mock up to show Chris.

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Even with a Scrabble tile it worked well!  Chris was happy with this solution so I got his box made and sent off.  As I didn’t have his ring to hand, and getting a snug fit was imperative, I sent him a number of the acetates (already cut to size and folded to fit the box) so he could cut the ring slot himself. Photos of the finished box are below, and I’ve blurred out part of the address for obvious reasons of privacy.

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I got the box made and sent in super quick time and then we were at the mercy of the postal service – and it was a very close call.  The box arrived just in time, and the proposal went ahead.  Chris has been kind enough to send me some of the photographs that were taken on the day so I could share their happy moment with all of you.

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Look at her face!

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I’ve had some unusual commissions in the past, and this was definitely one of them!  Fun to do, but I imagine it wouldn’t be to everyone’s taste.  I have made a lot of trinket boxes (like this one) and I’ve done them on a variety of themes: Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, romantic ones for anniversaries, and even a tiny one for use as the ring box at a wedding.  This was the first time I’d been asked to do one with a more sinister theme.  The box was to be addressed to Special Agent Clarice Starling, and the back of the box was to bear Hannibal Lecter’s signature.  This is another commission I never got around to blogging (way back in June 2009), and sadly the photos aren’t great quality (I used to have a really terrible camera!) but here it is:

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This is really going back in time, all the way to November 2008, but I recently went to look this up and realised I had never got around to blogging about it.

It started with a message I received through my Etsy shop:

I absolutely adore these books!! I was wondering if you do commissioned work. I am looking for someone to produce about 12-15 books (identical) that contain 10 of my grandmother’s poems. They can be small in size- I am just not certain if you printed Shakespeare’s word on the pages of your books or used old books and recycled them. I read that you like to make new uses out of old treasures. Let me know if this sounds like something you would be interested in. I would just need her poems printed on the pages and then you could bind them. I can tell you do great work- your craftsmenship is impecable. I am from New Jersey, USA. Let me know what you think.

Best Regards,

Lisa

 

We discussed the commission by e-mail and it ended up being an order for thirty little books, all printed with her Grandmother’s poetry.  The books were A7 in size.  The covers were smooth 120gsm, and the pages (of which there were 16 per book) were 160gsm cartridge paper.

She was really pleased with them, and it’s still one of the most enjoyable commissions I’ve taken on.

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I was given a lovely commission recently: to cover a stamp album in stamps.  The original album was pretty standard fare.

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I started by covering it with some good quality brown parcel paper as I needed a background on which to work.

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I then added a strip of airmail style washi tape to the spine.

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After that it was a case of adding stamps.  Which is easier than it sounds, it actually took a very long time to choose the stamps as I kept having to reevaluate after every row to make sure I didn’t have too many of any given colour or style in close quarters.

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I love the finished book, it’s so colourful (although I would love to know why Royal Mail don’t seem to have ever done yellow stamps!), and I think the strip of washi tape breaks up the design nicely.

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