Sunday, December 19, 2010

Custom Artist Portfolio

Wonder where I've been? I've been buried in the studio with custom orders :)

I've had several inquiries lately about artist portfolios. I'm making one next week with the plastic sleeves which will probably be the last Christmas Present I send out.

But today, I sent out the following custom artist portfolio with heavyweight black pages. I love it!

24 pages of black stonehenge with natural deckled edges
Embossed hinges
Soft leather in grey, white and black
Metal plate inset into cover with engraved name
Sewn with strong black linen thread
Sewn in an Ethiopian coptic stitch so the pages will open completely flat
Spacers sewn into spine to allow things to be added to book
Rounded hollow drop spine

I hope Brynn loves her Christmas Present that was special ordered by her brother and I wish her all the best with her future artwork!

The front cover

The embossed hinges along the rounded spine

These pages will open flat and look at that awesome drop spine!
Inside of front cover

A page showing the spacers which allow for photos or actual art pieces to be placed inside while still allowing the book to close.

The inset name engraved name plate

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What do you want to learn more about?

Last Spring, I started blogging weekly for the BEST (Bookbinding Etsy Street Team) Blog. My weekly posts were only done for about 2 months. I could give excuses as to why they stopped but the truth of it comes down to...I'm not sure what I need to write about. There's a lot I can say and I'm just not sure where to focus my posts. Here are My Past Blog Posts on Selling Your Handmade Books if you want to check them out.

So...Today, I'm asking for feedback. I'd love a list of topics that you'd like me to write about. I'll take them one by one and research and write as much I know each Tuesday which will be posted here on my blog as well as the team blog. Let me know what you'd like to learn about most!

I would love specific questions as well as general ideas of what you'd like to know more about to help boost your business.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Are you prepared for success?

Two years ago, I really wanted to be Etsy’s featured seller. I thought “if only I could be picked, then my business would soar!”
Then, I had a rush of sales for one week. I was frantically putting things together, ordering supplies, trying to rush last minute to the post office and getting too little sleep. I was stressed!
I realized that I was not prepared for any big sales, let alone the opportunity to become a featured seller on Etsy!
I decided I needed to organize my business and prepare myself so that one day, if the opportunity came, I would actually be ready. 
Two years later, not only do I feel prepared, but my business is doing so well that I’m not in desperate need of that featured seller position (although I would still love the opportunity and the boost it would give my business!)
By becoming prepared for that opportunity, I prepared my business for success and it has become a success. How did I do this? 
1- Inventory became priority! If realized that if I expected to sell X number of items a day, then I should be listing that many per day. You can’t expect to earn thousands of dollars from your online sales if you only have $100 worth of product in your shop. I now have shelves and shelves of product waiting to be sold.
2- I set up shop the right way. I filled in every bit of information in my shop policies, profile, announcement and descriptions. I used all the features Etsy sets up for me right in my shop including alchemy. Believe it or not, I started selling better when my shop policies were set. This not only helped the seller to feel better buying an item from my shop but it helped me to be organized with the questions that arose with shipping, returns, and custom orders.
3- I kept up with Etsy. I followed announcements in forums, read the Storque, subscribed to all the emails and I found that there were many promotional opportunities I could be a part of. If Etsy was promoting a certain holiday (Veteran’s Day for example) through email or a Storque article, then I made a Veteran’s Book and listed it in my shop at least a few weeks before the holiday. I also tried to comment often on the forums and kept up with other online opportunities to increase traffic to my shop, mainly free blog advertising from other etsy sellers or promotional opportunities like the yearly yart sale.   
4- I organized my time and space. I have a shipping station that is filled to the max with bubble mailers, boxes, packing tape and craft paper. When I first started, it took me about 20-30 minutes to wrap up one book. It now takes me all of five minutes to wrap a package, write a thank you note, label and address the mailer and tape it all up. Organizing takes time but by being organized, I cut down on my work time drastically, which means more time to be able to create or promote instead of being frustrated that I can’t find the packing tape. 
5- I joined an Etsy team, the bookbinding etsy street team (BEST). We share information with each other and help boost each other’s sales and boost our motivation to keep at it. I didn’t know it would help my business so much. Joining a team has really helped me prepare my business for success.
My sales are steady as well as my custom orders. Two years ago, I was only selling a few items per month. Currently, I’m selling a few items per day. I now feel prepared for any opportunity that comes my way. I’ve worked for those opportunities that will boost my business further. I’m no longer stressed. I am prepared. 
Is your business prepared for success?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Are you trick-or-treating at my house?

Wouldn't it be great if we didn't hand out candy this year and instead handed out little handmade gifts?

That would be awesome.


This was my contribution to the B.E.S.T. Halloween Zombie Award Challenge!

Go vote & leave a message on the blog post over on the B.E.S.T. blog for your chance to win a surprise!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pearl Jane

I've opened a new Etsy shop!!

My sister-in-law Kacie and I have put our ideas and skills together to create some very elegant clothing and accessories. 

We'd love a few sales so please spread the word for us! And thank you in advance for taking a look through our shop!

I made this ruffle scarf that I'm wearing above! So cute!
I'm working on a black ruffle scarf which will be listed in our shop soon!

This is Kacie modeling the white dress she made and the tabarde in red.
She designed that tabarde all by herself and it's amazing! I just gave her encouraging words, she did it all!
Check out these items and others in our shop!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I just realized that I teach a class on Saturday! It's at the Central Utah Art Center and I'll be teaching how to make a clam shell box and we'll learn techniques on making other boxes as well.

The class is $30 and that includes all the materials for your box (I'll precut all the book board for you so we'll focus on other things instead of spending the few hours cutting.)

The class is from 10am - 1pm on Saturday, October 16th at the Central Utah Art Center in Ephraim, UT. 

I'm sorry I don't have a photo of a clamshell box. I'll just have to post photos of the ones we make in class :)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Book Arts Class at Snow College in Ephraim, UT

Book  Arts  class  
open to everyone!

Come learn to make your own sketchbooks and journals! These make great handmade gifts! 
-non-credit evening class- 
Once a week on wednesday nights 6-9pm
Oct 20 - nov 17
create 10 book structures including:
japanese stab bound
Hardcover tapes bound
longstitch leather bound (shown above)
pop-up books and more!

For more information on registering for the class, please contact Wendy Sanders, 435-283-7320; 

The cost of the class is $75 which includes all the materials for the class as well as some small bookbinding tools! 

You'll need to bring:

A pencil
X-acto Type Craft Knife with extra blades
Ruler with Metal Edge
Cutting mat or old magazine to cut on

The class is held in West Campus HiTec 119. If you have any questions please contact me or Wendy Sanders (contact info above). Thanks!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

If you'd like to swap for one of my journals...

I'm swapping for something fun. I'm really holding out for that backpack for Jadon but the items offered so far are very tempting.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Longstitch Books

Longstitch Bookbinding Class 
at the Central Utah Art Center 
in Ephraim, UT

September 18th 10am - 1pm - $45

You'll have the opportunity to create a longstitch leather book and we'll discuss different techniques used to make them unique: 
closures, antiquing, painting, burning and more. 

The fee includes the materials for the longstitch book you will make and keep.

If you would like to come please contact me or The CUAC.

Below are a few longstitch books that Daniel and I have made in the last year or so. This really is my favorite structure to use and therefore, I use it for my own journals and sketchbooks.  This book not only opens flat, but if you use the leather or another flexible material, you can bend the book back on itself like a spiral notebook. It makes it convenient, especially if you want a larger sketchbook format but not the awkwardness of a large size when opened just flat. 

This is my journal which you can read about here.

This is a recent artist book I made which you can read about here.

You can also see more burned leather books on a past post here.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Back by Popular Demand! Cord Bound Book Class at Provo Art & Frame

We're moving to Ephraim next week and so I'm postponing the Artist Book Workshop for a later date (will be announced later).

I've had a few requests to do another Cord Bound Book Class at Provo Art & Frame and so I've scheduled that in place of the Artist Book Workshop.

The class will be held from 10am - 2pm on Saturday, September 25th. If you'd like to sign up please contact me via email so I can prepare a materials kit for you.

Cord Bound Book Examples that I've made in the last couple of years: