Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Do you dance with flowers in your mouth?

As I was sewing a quilt this evening, Jadon pointed to the fabric and said, "Those are flowers." Which led us to the following conversation.

Me: Yes, those are flowers.
Jadon: Do you like flowers?
Me: I love flowers.
Jadon: Do you dance with flowers in your mouth?
Me: Sometimes. Do you think dad dances with flowers in his mouth?
Jadon: No. He's a natural.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Jadon: "Are we going on a trip?"

When I was teaching a bookbinding class this past Saturday, Jadon and Ethan went to the Farmer's Market with my parents. He got his face painted and they tried out all sorts of food. Jadon even got a carved wooden owl and watched the man make it. He loves things like that so I'm sure he had so much fun!

Whenever he visits my parents house, he also has to take a turn on the truck dolly. My dad always takes a break from working to give him a push. Ethan hasn't quite learned how to stand on it yet but he kept trying. These photos were taken about a half an hour apart. You can see he became messy from the popsicle and had to change his clothes.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Custom Artist Journal for My Grandma

This artist journal is a custom order from my grandma. You can click on the photos to see them larger.

She wanted a book that she could carry around with her so the book is slightly larger than 5" x 7" and it's about 1.25" thick. She requested that the book have an assortment of papers so I included the following paper types: Mohawk Superfine 80lb Smooth soft white, Canson charcoal paper in blues, cream, pale yellow and green.

There's also Lokta heavy weight and light weight papers in red, purple, green, pumpkin, pinto and sand. There are also embossed papers and papers with leaves, flowers, and thread inclusions. Papers are from all around the world (Nepal, Thailand, Japan, Canada and the U.S.)

The paper will be great for all sorts of mediums.

She wanted the book to look used and old so I took a honey colored cowhide and with the help of my dad we antiqued the leather. The pages were deckled to give it a handmade and more used/old feel to it. As she uses it, the page edges will get worn and look older. The cover has a bit of deep red to it and I used maroon linen thread to sew it.

My grandma said I could burn anything I wanted into the cover (a bunny, a flower, her name) and so I put her name on the spine and I put the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland on the front cover. She mentioned "a little rabbit" when we talked on the phone so I'm hoping she's ok with a full cover illustration. I put an old button on the cover and braided linen thread for the closure. I placed a skeleton key on the end of the thread but I'm not sure if that will stay. It's heavy for such a tiny key so I'm not sure I like the feel of it. It's removable so I think I'll let her decide on that one.

The book is sewn in a longstitch style which allows the pages to open flat (and even fold back in half) so it's wonderful for artwork as well as carrying around.

It really is a beautiful book with beautiful paper. 

Waxed Irish Linen Thread is great for Jewelry!

Diane of Adesso Jewelry on Etsy purchased some waxed linen thread from my shop. This is what she made with it:

Isn't this necklace beautiful! And it is also totally metal free! Which is great for those of us who have allergic reactions to metal from jewelry clasps and chains. I'm excited to see more designs with linen thread.

Diane also crochets wire bracelets and does great beadwork. Check out her etsy shop full of beautiful handmade items.

How to make your own curved needles

Curved needles are important for sewing coptic stitch books. They allow you to sew faster and tighter.

This photograph shows my expensive $1 curved needle and my $.20 homemade curved needle.

Daniel took a video of me curving needles for my coptic stitch students. I can't find the video but when I do, I'll place it in this post. For now, I've written instructions below.

To curve needles you will need:

Straight bookbinding needles. I use a darning size 1.
Two pairs of Pliers
A candle or a gas burner
A plate or something to place a hot burning needle on to cool down

You can use a candle but I use a gas stove burner. I take the pot rack holder off so that I can get in close to the burner. I hold a needle with one of the pliers and place the middle part in the flame. When the needle becomes red hot, I take the other pliers and place it on the other side of the needle so that both ends are being held by pliers. I then bend the needle to the angle I would like it at. Place the needle on a plate or on something to cool down. The pliers will be burning hot as well so set them down on a heat resistant surface when you are finished!

Props to Esther K. Smith for teaching me that one :) It saves money and works just as well!

I taught a coptic stitch class on Saturday at the studio above Provo Art & Frame. The students were wonderful and their books turned out beautifully! Thank you to all those who came!

Thursday, July 8, 2010