Category Archives: Books

The Great Fabric Book

Fabric Swatches in the Binder Like most of the art supplies in my life, I have too much fabric. It currently takes up a plastic bin, and overflows into the storage space. It may not sound like a lot, but it’s like my library, it’s stuck in an awkward place and there is a lot I’m never going to get to.

Which is why my swatch book came into being. It ‘s not much more than clips of material a couple inches wide stapled to a note card. I wrote as much information on the card (front and back) as I could think of. I included the composition (I have a lot of cottons), the weave, the date I entered it, and a short descriptions (for all those large patterned fabrics especially). Some of this information I had to to straight-up guess.

On the back I wrote how much I had of each (broke out the ruler for this one), whether it was pre-washed, where and when I’d gotten it, and then anything else that might be helpful. Some of the cloth came from old bed-sheets (good for muslins!), which had tags that told me everything I needed to know.

All of this I stuck in photo insert pages in a binder.

This project’s influence will, I hope, be two-fold: first, I need to know what is in that bin, without having to remove the contents. Second, it will help me prioritize the collection. This project promises to be tedious and time consuming. If I can’t be bothered to cut a bit off to label, I can happily get rid of it.

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Filed under Books, Colors and Images, Materials and Tools, To Do List

The Red Notebook — Making a Cheap Notebook

This sort of goes with my last post.

After I had finished covering the Moleskine notebooks, I decided a needed a cheaper version. Here is the cheapest sturdiest book I could come up with.

It's sort of plain, but it's the front cover.

It’s sort of plain, but it’s the front cover.

(FYI I’m editing this ’cause I finally retrieved the notebook from work… it’s still a bit rough, use your judgement with the measurements etc.)

Materials:

  • 8.5 by 11″ Copy paper, about 20 sheets
  • heavy thread
  • beesewax
  • thick needle (pointy, so not a tapestry needle)
  • A sheet of cardstock or a paper folder, bigger than 8.5 by 11″

And:

  • Glue (Elmer’s quick drying glue- stick is my favorite)
  • pen
  • ruler
  • Binder clips or bulldog clips
  • Thick folded towel (A couple of folded dishtowels work)

Carefully square up the paper and fold it in half. It’s going to bulge at the edge. Later you can cut it down with an X-acto knife if you want.

Clip the paper together with the binder clips to make sure it doesn’t slide around.

Hold the ruler against the interior crease and mark the center. Make 16 dots about 1 cm apart starting 1/2 cm from either side of the center mark  (I know — I’m mixing measuring systems!).

Put a thick folded towel or stiff foam on the tabletop and use the needle to a poke a hole at each of the dots. This is ideally done from the outside of the fold (where it forms a mountain) but is easier (and probably safer)  to position the needle in the valley of the fold. It will be somewhat difficult to punch through all that paper, but concentrate, be patient and don’t hurt yourself. If you have an awl, now would be a good time to use it.

Wax the thread by drawing through the beeswax.

Thread the needle, and tie the other end of the thread around the had of the book (through the first hole). Sew along the crease in and out of the holes you made. Loop it over the other end and back stitch through the holes, so it looks like the thread is continuous. Gently pull the thread snug. Don’t pull so hard you rip the paper, though. Tie it off the to trailing ends of the original knot.

You can remove the clip(s) now. Press on the signature so it lays flattish.

Lay the sewn paper on the cardstock. trace around it, then flip it over on it’s “spine” so it is laying next to the square you just traced. Trace it again, so it shares the spine side with the original rectangle. This is where you will glue. Add about 2 cm to each side of the large rectangle. Cut it out, then cut the corners off diagonally to the level of the original rectangle (this reduces bulk when you fold the corners over in the next step)

Carefully make some pre-folds on the originally drawn triangle. Check to make sure everything fits by placing the signature block in the folds. take the opportunity to bend the cardstock over the signature. This makes the spine. Rub glue all over the interior surface within the original rectangle of the cardstock, make sure the get the corners. Carefully line up the last page signature block and rub it down. Let the glue set before flipping the thing over and doing the other cover.

Carefully fold the flaps over the page and glue:

2013-07-21 19.22.27

At the spine, you will have to cut a small rectangle out where the cardstock can’t fold over the sewing.

Put binder clips on the edges and let them dry.

I put a pocket on the back inside cover by cutting out a rectangle and gluing it around the outer edge, but it’s a bit fiddly and entirely optional.

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Filed under Books, Instructions, Project - Papercrafts

The Final Resting Place of Maps and Other Ephemera (Covering a Journal)

I have spent too long away.

2013-07-13 12.44.55

Covered in the map. Before I added the puff paint, fern and title card.

While I was slacking off, I covered a couple journals.

I got a pack of three paper bound Moleskine notebooks. (about $18.00 at your local purveyor of fine notebooks).

I used an Elmer’s quick drying permanent glue stick. It works better than the all-purpose glue stick.

Before gluing anything, I removed the little pocket in the back before gluing on the cover.

My collage materials:

  • The Sticker that came with the notebooks,
  • Gold puff-paint
  • A blank artists trading card for the title
  • A map from Powell’s Books (They are in color and fold out).
  • A sheet of scrap-booking paper with ferns on it (I punched up the colors with some colored pencils).

I laid out the notebook and traced out the covers. I added about 1/2 inch on three sides before cutting. I glued it one cover at a time folded in the sides and corners:

2013-07-13 12.31.58

The corners.At the spines, I clipped off the bit that couldn’t be folded over.

After I’d finished with the cover, I clipped off about 1/2 cm off the very first and last page and gluing them to hide the edges of the covering material. I glued the pocket piece back on.

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Filed under Books, Colors and Images, Instructions, Materials and Tools, Project - Papercrafts

White Space (Using It): Clover by Clamp

(Clamp) CloverI wanted to point out Clover because reading  this manga was a revelation.  It’s about a girl with psychic (or magic) abilities. She is the most powerful of the “clovers” so she’s locked up in what looks like an arboretum without outside contact. An ex-soldier is assigned to her. It turns out that the girl knew his deceased girlfriend. And that summary does not do it justice at all.  I’m told it wasn’t finished, which makes sense. It lacks a wrap up at the end.

The art style is an antidote to the idea that there has to  be an explosion on every page. Each page in Clover has a few panels, and/ or perhaps a couple balloons of dialog and/ or one of the motifs (clover, baroque wings etc.) and not much else. Given the isolation of the main character, the layout seems fitting.

Sometimes the space is black or toned, or has a pattern, but the concept is the same. It’s like background music in a movie or TV show. It provides an emotional backdrop. The blank space can also give the eye a space to rest and let the impact of the words/ images sink in. Clover01

This is a not an unusual amount of white space on a page:

Going with this less-is-more, I have tried to absorb this aesthetic. Lots of action and detail doesn’t’ have to be crammed into each page (though sometimes individual panels are quite detailed).

 

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Filed under Books, Colors and Images, Inspiration

Books in Brown Paper Bags

I finally got down to doing the book review thing as I’ve always been threatening. I’m trying to update every week with a new book. Some of the books I have been saving up with reviews. Rogue Moon, Treasure Island, and Underground London all have reviews up now.

www.brownpaperbookreview.wordpress.com

Script Frenzy has started. I’m not really a script-writer, I realized, but I’m still writing one, or something that looks like one, this month.

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Filed under Books, Follow-Up, Life, Links

Everyone Likes Free Stuff

I thought I would post this because I got some audio books from here, but it has a lot of interesting Free stuff (including lessons/courses, apparently).

Open Culture

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Filed under Books, Inspiration, Links, Music/Radio/Audio

Making Christmas Presents: What I Learned

So this year, for lack of money, I decided to make my Christmas presents. Other years, I’ve thought of doing it, but I’ve had enough money to buy most of them. This year I have more art supplies than money so I went handcrafted!

Well, not entirely. But for those who are considering it for next year: Here is what I learned:

  1. Don’t learn a new craft. If you are serious about making nice gifts, don’t use this time to learn something new. There is no time to learn it properly, then get and the item won’t turn out very well.
  2. Make a list of your recipients. That way, you will make gifts that the recipients will like and you won’t make too many or too few.
  3. Time is the real expense. What you won’t spend in money, you will spend in time. I started making the presents at the beginning of December, after NaNoWrimo wrapped, but the few hours I had after work and the weekends wasn’t enough. Now I promised myself that this year I will have Christmas in July. Right.
  4. People like small handcrafted things better than large bought things. Making a small gift shows a lot more thought and care than buying it, so the things you make don’t have to be elaborate or large.
  5. Shipping will cost. Don’t forget, buying the presents is not the only expense. If you live away from most of your family like I do, you will have to send most of your presents through the mail or UPS or FedEx or whatever. Luckily you can decide the item’s weight and size.
  6. Don’t forget to do your homework. As always, just because you know how to make something, doesn’t mean you have it all planned out. Sketch out your project, even if it’s on the back of an envelope. It will save you time and money and your sanity later.

I’m sure there are a lot more that I haven’t thought of.

On a completely other note, I’m pretty sure that tweeting book reviews is not going to work. I’ve also hatched a plan to started another blog strictly about books.

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Filed under Books, Follow-Up, Holiday, Instructions