Saturday, 31 May 2008

Books on Books: A Degree of Mastery

submitted by Green Chair Press/Susan Angebranndt

I’m Susan Angebranndt, BEST member, book maker and letterpress printer. When I began learning book art skills 10 years ago, I also started collecting bookish books. Not only how-to manuals but such things as exhibition catalogues, design books, even a few books of fiction that feature books or bookbinders. I thought it would be fun to go through my shelf and share my collection on our team blog. This is the first in an occasional series of posts about “books on books.”

Soon after taking my first workshop at the San Francisco Center for the Book, I knew I wanted to make book arts more than just a hobby. But after nearly 20 years in the computer industry, it was daunting to map out a mid-life change in course -- should I return to school for formal training? Where? Could I really put my life on hold for a few years and reutrn to school full time? What did I want to concentrate on -- fine binding, artist’s books, the content and design of the interiors?

I’d like to report that I went about learning a new trade in an organized and logical manner. But I didn’t. Instead I made many starts and stops and detours along the way. One person who was much more linear in her approach to starting a new career is Annie Tremmel Wilcox. In her memoir, A Degree of Mastery: A Journey through Book Arts Apprenticeship (New Rivers Press, 1999), she alternates between her experience as the first woman apprentice to master bookbinder William Anthony at the University of Iowa and a lovingly detailed account of the restoration and conservation of a book she worked on. The long (5 year) apprenticeship program is rare today in the craft and trade world here in the US, but this throwback to the learning methods of an earlier time marries so perfectly with old books she learns to repair. I particularly appreciated and commiserated with Tremmel’s continual search for the right tool for each task -- I’m forever devising new tools to make my editions more efficient to construct. It’s an easy read, made more interesting because it’s about a community I’m involved with and objects (books) that I care about deeply.

Friday, 30 May 2008

Blog Interview: The Crafty Kitten

Custom Order Books
Name: Cassie Ogle

Company/Etsy Site: The Crafty Kitten

Website: It currently redirects to my shop


Location: Southwest Virginia

How long has your Etsy shop been open? Since July 2006, but until September 2007 I only listed two items.

How did you get into crafting? I’ve always been a crafter. In December, I chronicled my crafty upbringing on my blog. Check here to read the posts.

How did Etsy come into your life? I stumbled upon it while looking for bookbinding supplies. I checked it out for a couple of days then signed up. I admit, I’m an Etsy addict now.

What was your involvement in the crafting world before stumbling upon Etsy? Mostly, I just made things for myself and my family. I didn’t really sell many of my crafts before Etsy.

Do you have a day job? sigh Sadly, yes. LOL I work for a CPA so due to tax season from January–May I don’t get to craft as much as I would like.

Tell us about your shop: Does anyone help you? I have a couple of kitties that help me. I sometimes take a photo or two of their “help”. Other than that, it’s just me.

Little Kitten Needle Book
What advice would you give to newbies on Etsy or in the crafting world? Make what you love, not what you think will sell.

What's the most challenging part of your crafting? Stopping… Once I start a project I don’t want to stop, even if it takes me all day.

Do you show your work locally? My work is available at the Appalachian Arts Center which is located near Richlands, VA.

Famous last words? When I can no longer create anything, I’ll be done for. Coco Chanel

How did you get interested in bookmaking? I was part of a program through my local college that was a pilot project granted by Handmade In America. The program was an Artisan Trade Apprenticeship where I studied under Robyn Raines. My apprenticeship was very intense but I loved every moment of it! I’ve known Robyn most of my life and it was such an honor to work under her.

How long have you been crafting? Bookmaking? Crafting all my life, Bookbinding since June 2006.

What is your favorite stitch/technique? My most used is the Coptic stitch but my favorite is the Centipede.

My Date Book Front
What is the one tool or supply that you couldn't live without? Bone folder. I carry it everywhere; no lie.

Materials you use for your books? Anything with bright funky colors. I recently started offering needle case books in my shop where I have combined my love of fiber arts with bookbinding. I’m currently exploring using recycled materials.

What inspires you? Color. I love all colors but I tend to be sucker for bright colors.

Who is your crafting hero? My mentor and friend Robyn Raines. Her work can be found in the books 500 Handmade Books and Penland Book of Handmade Books.

Guilty pleasure? CSI marathons… I’ve seen them all a dozen times but I just can’t help but sit and watch for hours when they are on.

New York Box Set

submitted by Barbara, of moonbindery

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Virtual Labs Trunk Show

The Bookbinding Team will be hosting an online trunk show at the Etsy Virtual Labs on June 2nd at 9PM EST.

We will be showcasing some handpicked creations through images and even via webcam so you can get a more up close and personal look at our books on Etsy. The creators will also be presenting why their shop (and themselves!) are unique, and you will have the opportunity to meet with them and ask questions in a session after the showcasing. There will also be some sales and giveaways, so this is definitely an event you don't want to miss!

A list of participating members:


We hope to see you there!

Thursday, 15 May 2008

BEST Shop Hop Double-Play!

The Bookbinding Etsy Street Team played a little game this past weekend (Friday, May 16th to Sunday, May 18th), and we're doing it again this weekend for more fun! From Friday, May 23rd to Monday, May 26th, you'll get another shot at joining in the BEST Shop Hop!

We have several participating shops who will be giving out discounts to anyone who posts a comment on this blog entry with a link to their favorite book that they found while doing an Etsy search using our new team tag, "bookbindingteam".

Once you have posted your comment, you may purchase an item from any of the following shops on the list below, making sure to mention that you are participating in the shop hop and have posted on the team blog, and the shop owners will give you their discount!

Participating shop members will mention in their shop announcement that they are in the shop hop and what discount they will offering, so you don't forget while searching through all of those fabulous books on Etsy!

Participating BEST Shops:
flurrsprite: 15% off
ladyartisan: 15% off
myhandboundbooks: 15% off
thecraftykitten: 10% off
yellowcraftychick: 10% off
thisisbexx: 15% off
spacedogstudios: free s&h to u.s.
annahawthorne: free s&h + free mini book
repaper: 10% off
dameling: 10% off
uberart: 15% off
windowseatbooks: 10% off
artkitten: 15% off

Have fun!!!

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Miniature book

by Meowstro

Open-back book

by Tussenpozen

Tacket binding

by OrtBindery

Half bound book

by Bibliophile

Ethiopian chain stitch binding

by MyHandboundBooks

Recycled books

by ComfortableShoesStudio

Monday, 5 May 2008

BEST Pick for Spring

It is spring! Or, it is supposed to be spring here in this area of the world. In spite of the cold days we've been having, I have started planting my garden. So as spring rambles on into summer, this exposed spine garden journal by UsefulBooks caught my eye.

As an extra treat, if you click through to to see the other photos of this book, you can see the fabulous marbled paper, custom made for this book, used for the endpapers inside. This journal has pretty pages includes from an old children's book, as well as pockets, and lots of blank pages for writing; a very useful book!

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Thank You for Your Generosity

Our first charity fund-raiser wrapped up on April 21st! Members of the Bookbinding Etsy Street Team generously donated books for sale. A total of $274.55 was raised and 100% of the proceeds were donated to H.E.L.P International.

If you bought a book from the charity event selection, the Bookbinding Etsy Street Team thanks you. The proceeds from your purchase will be used to further the cause of global literacy through H.E.L.P International.

Special thanks to everyone who supported this event through promotion. Thank you for donating your time to make this event a success.

Thank you to the following artists who generously donated artwork to sell for this charity event:

Alexia at arrrt
Ashli of PenguinLove
Barbara at moonbindery
Beverly at lapaperie
bexx of BooksByBexx
Cindy at UsefulBooks
eb of matchboxbook
Emily at subu
Eva at ladyartisan
Jen, of PaperLion
Katie at moonlightbindery
Kiley at KupoKiley
Kristin at kristincrane
Laura at yellowcraftychick
Leslie at Lolaluv
Linda of UniquelyCovered
Maiko at flurrsprite
Meredeth at yatsu
Rhonda at MyHandboundBooks
Sara at repaper
Stella at PaintFloats
Susan at artkitten