Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Almost Dark Blue

Here is a card that I made for a Swap-bot swap in the Handmade Postcard Club. This is a series of ongoing color based swaps. The theme color for this month was "Almost Dark Blue." The swap is a fairly open swap in that there aren't a whole lot of rules. The primary color of the swap is the only requirement.

When I immediately thought of the swap, I was drawn to the deep sea. The dark blues, and purples that are present. The way that the light glistens as it streams through the darkness to highlight other colors nearby. I also thought of deep sea creatures that lurk in this darkness.

This is another of my watercolor backgrounds. As hard as I tried, I really couldn't get a deep, dark background. I had treated the wet background with kosher salt to mottle the look to simulate bubbles. The jellyfish was created using a hand cut stencil. A transparent embossing paste was applied thick so that it would simulate the bubbles on the skin of the translucent animal.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Oh, so sad . . .

Well, tonight is my last night of class for Bookbinding II. I will be finishing my two books--leather spine sewn on tapes and leather spine sewn on cords. All I have left to do is paste up the decorative paper and endsheets. I will post pictures of the finished books when they are dry.

I had been scheduled to take another class based on paper engineering that is scheduled to start on Monday, June 29th but it might be dropped due to underenrollment. The economy is hitting everywhere--especially the non-profits.

The museums in NYC are laying off people by the droves.

Well, at least tonight, we will eat well at The Center for Book Arts. As part of the last class celebration we have having a pot luck dinner.

But, I am still a little sad.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Another Book

This is the final book from my Bookbinding I class. It is a classically bound book with a flexible spine. It has 20 sewn signatures and handsewn headbands. It was sewn on tapes. The only difference for me is that it has my twist on the bookcloth covering.

For most people, the front and back of the book are covered in the same manner (e.g., the quarter or half bound book). As I have mentioned before, it drives me crazy when you can't tell which is the front or back of the book when you have a blank journal or an untitled journal.

My solution is to completely cover the back of the book in the spine covering material and only used decorative paper on the front of the book.

The picture is a little dark but the bookcloth is a dark navy blue and the paper is a blue paisley on a chartreuse background (paper and cloth from NY Central Art Supply).

Monday, June 22, 2009

Japan Journal--Holiday Cards

I am finishing up some outstanding projects and I have just completed my Japan Journal. Most of the journal had already been designed and the inscriptions had already been planned. All that I needed to do was simply assemble everything.

The backgrounds of the pages feature paper samples of papers that I purchased on this trip.

This page features a Christmas card that I found at Tokyu Hands Tokyo and one of my New Year's Postcards for 2009 which was printed on my Print Gocco.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Another Book

I found out that one of my friends is quiting his job to go on tour with an entertainment company. His job is giving him a going away party and I needed to come up with a quick gift to bring. I decided to throw together a lined journal to give him.

This book is the first time that I tried to do wrapped corners. The book is covered in black bookcloth. The decorative paper is a marbled paper from a famous artist. I have to say that I am very happy with the way this book turned out.

For this book, I decided to follow all of the rules and not use any of the short cuts that people use just to finish a project. Rather than rush the project, I let each step dry under pressure like you are supposed to do. I lined the boards rather than paste in all of the steps immediately after each other.

The picture is a little crooked because I decided to scan the cover the book rather than photograph it. The bookcloth spine isn't as crooked as it appears in the picture.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Safeguard your Paperback Books

I have been so busy lately that I haven't had time to blog. I recently had an order of 150 truffle boxes that were for a wedding reception. The bride and groom wanted to give each of their guests a truffle box that would hold two chocolate truffles. Usually, I turn down all orders from brides because they are usually more trouble than the business is worth. This situation was a little different because the maid of honor is a very good friend of mine and she practically begged me to do the order.

On top of this order, I have been very busy with classes at The Center for Book Arts. I am currently enrolled in Bookbinding II and have been taking weekend classes in other specialties. Right now, I am developing edge treatments for my books. I have to practice to decide what and how I want to approach the projects.

Rather than sew up a lot of signatures and text blocks to practice on, I have been utilizing EVERY single paperback I have in my studio. Therefore, no paperback is safe. Here is my first attempt at edge treatments. It is a color wash with a speckle treatment. The color wash was done with an rubber stamping ink pad. The speckle treatment was done with a toothbrush and Dr. PH Martins concentrated water colors.

I do have to say that I am quite pleased with the outcome.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Renegade Craft Fair--Brooklyn

This is another of my favorite cards from the Renegade Craft Fair. I love the graphics and the colors. Of course, if it has orange in it, I have to have it. Once again, I like the simple graphic nature of the card. And, who doesn't love owls--other than field mice, anyway.

This card is a flat, rather than a foldover and comes with a craft paper colored envelope. The designers are screech owl designs and their website can be found at http://www.screechowldesign.com/.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Renegade Craft Fair--Brooklyn

Another favorite booth at the Renegade Craft Fair was the Unique Goods by Cary booth. Cary was a very personable artist who had a great booth of cards and other materials. Many of the cards she featured were based on botanicals which was fine by me. The series of cards that I am interested in is her dandelion set.

Her etsy store is here. Her web page is http://www.bycary.com/.

Visit her site and enjoy the great stuff that she has to offer.

Once again, it was a pleasure to meet someone who seemed genuinely interested in her buyers and seemed to really enjoy meeting people at the craft fair.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Renegade Craft Fair--Brooklyn

Cards by Andy Pratt Design.

On Saturday, I travelled to The Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn in my old stomping grounds in Williamsburg. This was my first year to attend because something always prevented me from going in previous years. This Craft Fair features handmade items from numerous independent vendors. This year there were over 200 vendors and it was a bit overwhelming but I managed to make my way through the booths.

To reduce my anxiety, I simply concentrated on paper goods. I should have returned on Sunday to visit the shops that were featuring larger paper items--there were many cool posters that I could have easily snapped up. But once again, I decided to stick to smaller paper products--mainly cards.

The first artist that I would like to feature was Andy Pratt from Andy Pratt Designs. As most of you know, I go weak in the knees for simple, colorful graphics and Andy provided just what I like. I chose the Thank You and Happy Birthday cards because they were just too cool. He has numerous other cards and prints that are available. His NYC locations prints are definitely worth seeing.

Another aspect of our encounter that I appreciated was his ease and openness at his booth. It is pleasurable to meet artists/owners that are easy going and seem to enjoy working at these types of events. Not only did we talk about his business but there was plenty of joking and joshing going on.

I highly recommend his products. Please visit his online store at http://www.andypratt.net/.