Wednesday, December 29, 2010

christmas 2010!

i hope everyone had a wonderful christmas! we really enjoyed our first christmas together. everything felt just right. i thought i would post a few pictures of some of the decorating we did around the house:

i'll be taking the rest of the week off from blogging to spend some time with my brother and catch up on my classes. hope everyone has a safe & happy new year! thanks for reading and i'll see you on the flip side...

Friday, December 24, 2010

morning frustration

so this morning, i get in my car to head to work and look around - there is stuff everywhere. the glove box was open, cubby between the seats open, papers strewn about. i call my hubby and ask if he had gone through my car - i was kinda hoping he'd say yes, but he didn't. frustration washed over me as i looked at the mess.

apparently in the middle of the night, some jerk decided to dig through my belongings. and my car must have been unlocked, even though i'm religious about locking it. i never leave anything out on the seats other than towels for the dogs & an ice scraper.

fortunately, nothing was damaged. no windows busted. pretty sure nothing was stolen - not that i had anything in there to steal.

but i'm upset. pissed. angry even. how dare someone invade my privacy like that? it leaves a nasty feeling in the pit of my stomach. i think a big part of what's bothering me is the potential for a number of awful situations that could have happened. and that scares me a bit.

it could have been so much worse. thankfully it wasn't. but i still feel unsettled.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

shakespeare book rebinding

finally! i finished the enormous project of restoring & rebinding the shakespeare book. here's the story: my neighbor's family friend purchased "the complete works of shakespeare" many years ago at a garage sale. the 900+ page book was printed in 1890 and was a bit of a wreck. he wanted to have it rebound as a christmas gift for his niece, an english teacher. even though i had a single book rebinding under my belt, i decided to go for it - so i did my research and did the best i could to get this ancient book back into a readable state. below is the process from being to end:

as you can see, the covers were literally falling off. when i first examined the book, i was horrified at the fact that the binding consisted of rusty staples & cracked old glue. i thought it would have at least been sewn together.

i started deconstructing the book, carefully scraping off old chunks of glue and taking out staples. i made sure to keep each signature (section of pages) in order. as i made my way through the book, i found this weird flattened thing:

i used a special thin, but strong, japanese paper to repair the fold of the signatures & other sections & tears throughout the book. i hand cut the pieces into 3/4 inch wide pieces...

applied wheat paste to the japanese paper & then placed it on the fold of the broken signatures. i put the repaired sections under weight to dry and trimmed the edges once they were dry.

from there i made a guide for the sewing holes & used an awl to punch the holes through each signature. and WOW there were a lot of signatures!! i also made some end sheet sections, since the original piece didn't have them.

i rigged a makeshift sewing frame from cardboard boxes, packing tape, & a wooden loom piece (my nickname is macgyver) and started sewing the sections together.

more sewing....and the final height of the spine was 4 1/2 inches! i put a thin layer of glue on the spine and let that dry overnight.

after the book was dry, i measured (& double & triple checked the measurements) and proceeded to cut the board & bookcloth for the covers. glued everything down...put on headbands, strengthened the binding a bit more, made a hollow tube for the spine, then cased in the book - the hardest & most nerve wracking part. i glue the end pages into the covers & hope (pray) i don't get glue somewhere it shouldn't be, or place the pages crooked/backwards/upside down and hope that i measured everything correctly so the book will close how it's supposed to. and it did :)

the final piece - i put a little title plate on the front & used some sweet marbled paper that complimented the japanese bookcloth.

as with all new projects, i learned a TON of new stuff and am inspired to try making a few books this way. i also decided i need this sewing frame and book press for future books. hope you enjoyed the post :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


dear santa,
i would like to bring this bag to your attention, even though it is so close to christmas.

and i don't own a big camera. but the bag is blue and awesome.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


oh my goodness, look at this puppy!

new 'do

i started my weekend with a new hairdo:




Thursday, December 16, 2010

museum show 2010

wow i didn't realize this until just now, but yesterday's post was number 300! and i bet about half of the posts have to do with my pups :)

here's some pics from the museum show over thanksgiving weekend. every year i've been chosen to participate in this show, my space & products line has increased. (and every year i also freak out and worry like crazy that i didn't make enough stuff - ask hubby, he will confirm it.)

this year, i was lucky enough to have a 6' table & 8' table to display my work:

i had books on the left....

and cards & boxes on the right.

i made a couple of photo album box sets....i really love how this one came out.

the black & red piece is a box set as well...on the bottom left are post photo albums, bottom right are secret belgian binding books.

i also introduced new letterpress note cards & recipe cards, as well as some hand built jewelry boxes & recipe card boxes.

like every past year (this is my 4th year!), this show was a pleasure and honor to participate in.

now i just need to get my etsy store up and running....

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

recipe cards

i'm finally getting around to posting some pictures of the recipe cards i printed for the museum show - i apologize for the quality of the photos. there really isn't any time i can take pictures in daylight, since we are only getting a few hours of sun right now.

i created two designs: baking & utensils, and printed on four colors (per set) of french paper. the results were wonderful & quite popular at the show!

i also custom made the boxes and sold the cards & box as a set.

printing the cards ended up being great timing on my part since i ended up using extras for some recipes i came across for the holidays.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

i won!

i'm back! i kept thinking that after my shows things would calm down...but they haven't! the holidays always whiz by so quickly...and since this is hubby's & my first holiday together, i really want to slow down and enjoy every moment. but before i do that, i have a few projects to finish up, such as the rebinding of the giant shakespeare book. it's still in process & i've been snapping photos for a post.

one of the things i checked off my to do list today was sending in measurements for my eshakti prize!! a couple weeks ago, i was informed that i won *yay* an eshakti giveaway hosted by brandi of not your average ordinary. eshakti is an online clothing & accessories store that gives you the option to customize the look & fit of the pieces you order. a fantastic idea, don't you think?

for my giveaway prize, i chose the asymmetric collar felted pea coat - since the temperatures have been dipping into the single digits in the currently dark frigid north and my go-to jacket's zipper is broken.

i can't wait to wear my new coat! thank you brandi & eshakti for hosting a wonderful giveaway!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


our weekend was good - we did some christmas shopping & had fun picking out decorations for our first christmas together! we even bought our first tree! i'll post some pics once we are done decorating...

friday night, we ate dinner at a new(ish) restaurant called spenard roadhouse. i'm pretty safe when it comes to picking out new meals...i tend to choose the same thing all the time. i decided to branch out a little and have a risotto with beets & squash, drizzled in pesto...and OMG it was the most incredible thing i've ever eaten. the thought of eating beets used to make me cringe, but now, not so much. plus the meal was a pleasant pink color :)

after that we headed downtown to check out a new shop that my artwork is in, called grape expectations. they have a huge selection of wine & specialty beers. there was an art space towards the back of the store with products from a number of local artists, with a variety of different styles.

we were going to go see black swan (i even got my hubby to agree to see it)...and it isn't out in theaters in anchorage yet. of course. LAME. so we went home & spent quality time with the puppies. how was your weekend?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

online classes

my online courses started officially on december 1st and i'm so excited about them! the first few days are an orientation period focused on how to upload assignments & use the whole system. one of the things i had to do was create a student profile to explain what my learning goals are for the program & some other little tidbits of information. i also had to list a quotation...and since i don't have a ton of quippy remarks just laying around, i did some searching and found this:

so true, chuck, sooo true.

i'm planning to stop by some shops downtown for the first friday art walk & see if i can talk hubby into going to a movie (i want to see black swan). what are you up to? have a great weekend!

Friday, December 3, 2010

sketchbook project update

so i've been embarrassingly lax on working on my sketchbook for the sketchbook project. as in, i've worked on about one page. eek. so to remedy that, i decided that i will draw at least once a day during the month of december - and not be too hard on myself if the drawing doesn't come out perfectly. i think i need to get back into the habit of drawing more often, rather than just for print sketch just for the heck of it.

here's what i drew last night:

miss mia was curled up on my side of the bed - and her head was on my pillow. i tried to move her but ended up rolling her over since she weighs a ton when she's snoozing. it was SO cute.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

vito's 2nd birthday!

our puppy is all grown up....vito turned 2 on november 22nd. (as you can see i'm a bit late with this one.) we've noticed so many changes in him as he's gotten older; he's more gentle, calms down faster, a bit more mellow. and he's retained his sweet disposition. i can't imagine what our lives would have been like without him for the last couple of years.

here he is opening a birthday present:

we've been letting the pups have the run of the house for the past few weeks and they've done a great job! none of our things were destroyed & it doesn't look like there was any counter surfing either. then one day, hubby came home to this:

RIP pig

i figure that they were playing with something they were supposed to play with, plus they didn't eat any of the stuffing & it would have happened regardless of whether or not we were home - so it's okay. too bad the piggy didn't last longer though.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

busy busy!

whew what a weekend! i was up late last night finishing up a custom order and didn't get a chance to post. i'll be catching up on everyone's blogs, planning quite a few of my own posts and starting some custom orders that need to get done before Christmas! AH! also on the Tama Press list:

- figuring out some of wholesale pricing
- calling new shops about consignment orders
- printing some more cards
- posting items in the etsy shop

oh...and i get to start my graphic design classes tomorrow!

more to come....thanks for being patient :)