Meredeth, known on Etsy as Yatsu, sent this lovely book for our thrid book swap. This is one of Yatsu's many postcard-sized journals. This one is Coptic bound and filled with 200 pages of unlined medium-weight sketch paper. The binding is protected with sueded contact paper. Yatsu roughed up the edges of the spine covering, just a bit, to offset the prim writing.
How long has your Etsy shop been open? I've been on Etsy since June 2005.
How did you get into crafting? My Parents got me crafting as a kid, art supplies were always a part of our birthday gifts. For Christmas they used to fill up a fishing tackle box with the works: colored pencils, paper, glue, glitter, pipe cleaners- it was the best gift ever! When I was in High School they opened their own rubber stamp/ scrap-booking store, which opened up the world of papermaking and bookbinding to me.
How did Etsy come into your life? I heard about it somewhere or from someone- I wish I could remember, but I don't. I'm just glad I did!
What was your involvement in the crafting world before stumbling upon Etsy? Etsy was my intro to the world of crafts outside of making things just for family and friends. I was getting a taste of the Indie crafting scene in Atlanta at local festivals and wondered if anyone would ever buy my stuff. So I decided to give Etsy a spin and see if I could make extra cash off the stuff I was making anyway. It worked, and not long after I worked up the confidence to try out selling "live" at a local festival craft market. Do you have a day job? Sure do, by day I work as a Registrar at the High Museum of Art here in Atlanta. We work hands on managing the collection, so inspired daily working with art when I go to work.
Tell us about your shop: Does anyone help you? My husband lends a hand as my graphic designer (designed my website graphics, business cards and the like). Otherwise it's all me. I'd like to collaborate on some books with him (as both a graphic designer and an author), but we've yet to give it a try.
What advice would you give to newbies on Etsy or in the crafting world? Get to know other crafters in your area (or baring that, on the net) to swap ideas, materials, resources and moral support. We may all be working away at our kitchen tables alone, but together we're a community. There's lots to learn and share!
What's the most challenging part of your crafting? Finding the time to work, especially on complicated or new projects that demand a lot of attention and focus. I'm also terrible at getting out and promoting myself, but since I haven’t tried that hard I can't complain that it's challenging (just intimidating!).
Do you show your work locally? I do, at local festivals and at a couple local boutiques.
Famous last words? I'm sure I can match that exact color and have it for you tomorrow, no problem...
How did you get interested in bookmaking? My Mom had taken some classes and taught me the basics. I began experimenting on my own and took classes at the Minnesota Book Arts center in Minneapolis later down the line when I wanted to be able to bind my own wedding album.
How long have you been crafting? Bookmaking? Crafting, since forever. As a kid I made all my own cards for family birthdays and holidays. Through college I continued working with paper, especially handmade paper I made in the dorm lounge and coated with liquid emulsion to use in photography class. I also made small pamphlet stitch books then, but I didn’t really get into binding (stitching bindings, covering boards) until about 2003.
What is your favorite stitch/technique? I'm a sucker for the Coptic stitch. As many other techniques as I learn, there's something almost Zen-like about Coptic binding. I like the repetition and rhythm of the sewing, and I love how it looks when it's finished.
What is the one tool or supply that you couldn't live without? My bone folder. Materials you use for your books? My materials and books come in two flavors, found materials (old board games are my favorite) and washi paper. I'm addicted to washi paper, it's so beautiful and so easy to work with.
What inspires you? Japanese art (patterns on the washi paper I buy) is a big inspiration; I like simple, elegant lines. I'm also inspired by the Modern and Folk art collections at my museum, especially in looking for new ways to think about using common materials.
Who is your crafting hero? First my Mom, of course. Then, Tim Gunn. Where ever I make an "unplanned" change to a project I hear his voice in my head saying "Make it work." For me it's all about making it work, and discovering new ideas from so called "mistakes."
Guilty pleasure? Bad TV. I can't bind and watch good TV at the same time, but bad TV can be just enough background noise to let me focus on a book without feeling like I'm sitting alone in a room. My husband is constantly catching me binding to "America's Next Top Model" or "Deal or No Deal;" I'd never "watch" them, but working to them is a guilty pleasure I admit.
Jen, of DeckledEdgeBindery, submitted this wonderful book to our third book swap. This little book is bound into its own little box and covered with fabulously fun paper. The pages are bound through the spine and accented with eyelets and little red beads. There are even some glittery little bits on the front. The wrap-around box closes with a magnetic fastener.
My friend Cathy teaches book arts to kids all over the San Francisco Bay Area. I asked her recently if there were any good bookmaking books specifically for kids. She said the pickings were slim and recommended some general books, including one I've long had on my book shelf: Books, Boxes and Wraps by Marilyn Webberly & JoAn Forsyth (Bifocal Publishing, Kirkland, WA). Cathy says "while it's not specifically about bookmaking with kids ... it has great illustrations and clear directions."
What I like about the book are the material lists and generalized formulas for almost every book, box or wrap the authors describe. As an example, for a wrap-around cover on a multi-signature book, the formula is
Cover, cut one
H= book block height
W= 2 times block width + 2 times spine thickness + ease + front flap width + 5/8" turn in.
Before starting in on a model, I've double-checked my own calculations against the formulas in the book.
Another plus are the number of boxes and wraps detailed in the book (which is the reason I bought the book originally). It's good for inspiration as well as instructions. And, as an added bonus, there's a section on knots and closures (my favorite: How to make a "chinese ball button" out of cord) as well as tools.
This swap book was submitted by Rhonda, of MyHandboundBooks. It is a hardcover chain stitch binding. There is pale green paper with silver star bursts on the covers. The spine edge of each section is also covered with pale green paper then sewn using two colours of metallic thread, green and silver, to match the covers. Pages are white drawing paper.
The next swap book to be featured is from Ali, of Jellygnite. This is a pretty hardcover case that has a stab-bound book on the inside. The stab-bound book has matching paper for the cover and is sewn using light blue silk thread. There is also a little pocket inside the cover.
How long has your Etsy shop been open? Since summer 2006 but it has been very low key until early 2008 or so.
How did you get into crafting? I was born into it. My mom has always done something, whether it was quilting, Hardanger embroidery, fused glass, she showed me art can be fun.
How did Etsy come into your life? I wish I could remember! I think it was from a Yahoo group. I loved it right away.
What was your involvement in the crafting world before stumbling upon Etsy? I made books and mixed media items as gifts for friends and family for years. Also I'm a member of a few online groups that swap art. Do you have a day job? Yes. I am CEO (Chief Education Officer) of our little homeschool, Providence Academy. I am also CEO (Chief Everything Officer) of our home. And with 4 kids you better believe it's an all day affair! But I love it.
Tell us about your shop: Does anyone help you? Actually I hired my 10 year-old daughter as my assistant. She does all sorts of helpful things for me.
What advice would you give to newbies on Etsy or in the crafting world? Get out there and meet people. Get into some Etsy Team that you can click with and ask LOTS of questions. Oh, and get in there and make something. Even if you are scared, do it anyway. Also, learn to take good photos. That's my biggest weakness.
What's the most challenging part of your crafting? TIME!
Do you show your work locally? Not at this time, but I'm eyeing some local craft shows for next year. Famous last words? Words matter.
How did you get interested in bookmaking? I bought a kit at a bookstore and have been at it ever since.
How long have you been crafting? Bookmaking? I bought my first book on the subject in 2003 and made books for some friends. In 2004 I took my first real bookmaking class with an instructor from Minnesota Center for Book Arts. It was fabulous.
What is your favorite stitch/technique? I love it all. I'm trying to experiment more with non-adhesive bindings, so stitches of all kinds are intriguing. Right now I am into the Coptic stitch. As a left hander I love the fact that it opens flat.
What is the one tool or supply that you couldn't live without? My wooden bone folder. And my Japanese punch. And my standing press. And... Materials you use for your books? I am marbling and making paste papers, so I like to use those when I can. I also want to make more handmade paper for the text block. It is dreamy to write on handmade paper.
What inspires you? My faith, seeing others' work and going to the art museum.
Who is your crafting hero? Julie Chen. I got to take one of her two-day workshops and loved it. Her artist books are perfection and seeing them in person was incredibly inspiring.
Today's BEST pick is in celebration of summer; this is for those who are celebrating the beginning of summer with the Summer Solstice, as well as those who have reached the Winter Solstice today with the passing of summer. In either case, Kreativlink's floral journals struck me as a perfect pick for the June Solstice.
The cover material used on these two examples, is fabric backed with felt and stitched around the edges, then filled with gorgeous papers that she has tinted to add that extra special touch! Visit Kreativlink.Etsy.com to check out these and her other amazing journals.
From Dameling, this is Danielle's book that was part of our third book swap. This book has a great spirograph print fabric on the covers. The pages are bound using a longstitch binding, accented with little wooden beads on the spine.
How did you get into crafting? I’ve always done some kind of creative endeavors from drawing and pastels to piano and violin.
How did Etsy come into your life? A friend started selling items there and mentioned it to me. I had heard it before in passing on some different Yahoo groups I was on but it wasn’t a very regular topic so I didn’t really pay attention until my friend told me about it.
What was your involvement in the crafting world before stumbling upon Etsy? I’d had a partnership with two friends in New Orleans before moving out here—we did craft shows and had an online sales site. When I moved out here, I started a very low-key business, setting up a website but now doing much promoting. Now I’m focused mostly on books and art dolls and I do a little more promoting, mainly of my Etsy site.
Do you have a day job? No
Tell us about your shop: Does anyone help you? I pretty much do it myself. What advice would you give to newbies on Etsy or in the crafting world? Patience and hard work. Patience because you probably won’t be an overnight success. Hard work because it won’t happen without a lot of time and effort, sweat and tears on your part. Don’t sell yourself short and always remember to pay yourself (even if you just reinvest in your business by buying materials and equipment). Be serious about your business and treat it like a real job—if you don’t look at it like “real” work, no one else will take you seriously. And be prepared to spend probably half of your time doing administrative and marketing work because it takes a lot of marketing to get your name out there.
What's the most challenging part of your crafting? Finding the time between kids, mom, hubby and house to actually get in and work.
Do you show your work locally? Occasionally I’ll do a local art show.
Famous last words? It was the terrifying space monkeys.
How did you get interested in bookmaking? I got into bookbinding a couple of years ago through polymer clay, believe it or not. I had a polymer clay project book that included instructions for making a very simple book, which I never made but it piqued my interest so I bought an instruction book at Michaels and did a piano hinge book with polymer clay covers. Then a friend in our local polymer clay guild made books and offered to teach me a single-needle Coptic binding (from Keith Smith’s book). I’ve been making books ever since.
What is your favorite stitch/technique? All of them I know and those I haven’t learned yet.
What is the one tool or supply that you couldn't live without? I need them ALL—desperately!
Materials you use for your books? polymer clay, paper, fabric, leather, book boards
What inspires you? history, books, other art, tv, movies, watching people, antiquing, wandering through an art supply store…what doesn’t?
Kristin, known on Etsy as KristinCrane, sent this terrific travel journal for our third book swap. This hardcover coptic bound book features a map of Australia on the front and a bit of Canada and Greenland on the back.
This blank journal has lovely exposed stitching on the spine that looks delicate but is very sturdy allowing the book to close nicely and open completely flat too. Visit KristinCrane.Etsy.com to find more of her books.
Lark Books is seeking "Green" books for the gallery section in their upcoming "Green Bookmaking" project. They're looking for books that are made from green materials -- recycled, upcycled, etc -- either in part or totally. Books made completely from green materials is encouraged. Go to their artist submission page to download their entry form. Deadline is September 15, 2008.
I call the books I design and make "artist's books". According to Wikipedia, "Artists' books (also called bookworks) are works of art realized in the form of a book. They are usually published in small editions, though sometimes they are one-of-a-kind objects. Artists' books have employed a wide range of forms, including scrolls, fold-outs or loose items contained in a box."
I guess that's an ok definition, but a few pictures would help. While there are lots of pictures on the web and lots of books available, I particularly like Sarah Bodman's book Creating Artists' Books (Watson-Guptill, 2005). She doesn't try to define “artists’ book" and instead presents copious examples in this “guide for visual artists who are interested in creating work in the artist’s book format.” The chapters touch on all aspects of the book arts, from unique books to collaborations, from inexpensive multiples to making books with limited equipment, plus there's even a section on ways to display books effectively. Bodman, based in England, has a European slant, although the book covers the US as well. In addition to the many examples and photographs, the appendices provide a resource guide to the book arts—book shops, galleries, fairs, events, organizations and journals. [It's available used from Amazon.]
Website: this is my site from school with some of my books on it--- http://students.gvc.edu/danielle.ameling ---I'm not the greatest web designer yet-so please click on the page once the animation loads
Blog: I wish I had some time for this one...
Location: I grew up in small town Iowa, but now I live in Des Moines
How long has your Etsy shop been open? about 6 months
How did you get into crafting? Well my mom is very crafty and that's probably how it started. I was always making some sort of mess :)
How did Etsy come into your life? Well I did a craft fair here in Des Moines (www.craftsaturday.com) and heard about it there, so I investigated the website a little more and then started my own shop. When I first started I did mostly sewn items and a little jewelry, but now am trying to focus on books and prints.
What was your involvement in the crafting world before stumbling upon Etsy? Well like I said previously, I did Craft Saturday a couple of times, but before that I did a lot of crafting and making things through 4-H. I was a proud member of the Calmar Creators for 9 years :) Besides that, I was always making, painting, or drawing something.
Do you have a day job? Well up until recently I had three part time jobs, in addition to going to school full time, plus Etsy. But gladly, I now can say I have a full time internship for the summer. Then I'll be back to school in the fall, when I'll be working there part-time.
Tell us about your shop: Does anyone help you? My shop is my love and obession haha. I love making books and prints---I wish it was my full time job. I don't really have anyone help me persay....sometimes I do ask my wonderful boyfriend for his opinions on certain things I'm creating, but other than that, nope.
What advice would you give to newbies on Etsy or in the crafting world? Well I'm still kind of a newbie. Mostly, I'd say do something you love and stick with that---try to specialize in one area or brand your items consistently so not to confuse customers.
What's the most challenging part of your crafting? Finding time and money to do it!
Do you show your work locally? Just at Craft Saturday fairs occasionally. I would love LOVE to have my work somewhere locally. I hope to apply to some art fairs, etc this year and see what comes of that.
Famous last words? "It's my biiiirrrthday!"----which I repeated frequently on my 21st birthday!
How did you get interested in bookmaking? Lovely Ms. Jones! I took a class at school from Ms. Jones and absolutely loved it! That's all I could think about for that entire semester!
How long have you been crafting? Bookmaking?
Crafting? Probably since I came out of the womb! Lots of people in my family are very crafty. My great-grandma taught me how to sew and I inherited all of her wonderful quilt squares of 70's polyester. And my mom was always making up something for every holiday on the calendar.
Bookmaking? Not too long on this one----although I did make a book when I was around 6---I cut up a bunch of pictures from a magazine (I vividly remember there was a cat or two in there) and put a sentence with each one and then my wonderful dad copied all the pages at work and I had all these wonderful little books; my "newspapers" that I tried to distribute to all of my family
What is your favorite stitch/technique? I really like challenging myself. I like to try and create different stitches to create patterns. I made a coptic book where the stitches formed little diamonds along the spine. I also like the little diamond back book I made that's in my shop.
What is the one tool or supply that you couldn't live without? oooh toughie---Can I say my bookbinding bag that has all of my most important tools? Otherwise I'd say my cutting board---I'm so glad I have that thing!
Materials you use for your books? Well I worked at a framing shop up until recently and I liked using the scrap matboard to create covers for my books---kind of my way of recycling. Otherwise I love vintage fabrics for covers and great papers-although kind of expensive-are great. I also have found a liking to using wood covers.
What inspires you? Well I'm a vintage soul at heart! I collect vintage packaging---it has the best little illustrations! I also have a wonderful boyfriend who owns a record store and has filled the house with records---so I get to see a lot of art that way. I also love roaming through Etsy to find great artists and crafters!
Who is your crafting hero? I'd probably say my great-grandma. I have the greatest quilt from her---She made it from lots of 70's clothing, including the outfit my grandma wore to my mom and dad's wedding. It has great color and texture and I love it that she made it for me!
Guilty pleasure? I know this is going to sound weird, but I'd say cheese. I love cheese curds and cottage cheese, and basically cheese in general. Maybe its just because I'm cheesy!
Outside of food, I'd say crafting supplies. I have a basement full of them that I like to envelop myself in!
The second book to showcase from this swap, is from Jen, known on Etsy as PaperLion. This is a hardcover, case-bound journal with pretty decorative blue and gold paper on the covers and black book cloth on the spine.
Black endpapers and lovely white torn pages on the inside really complement the cover design; the combination of papers work really together. Visit PaperLion.Etsy.com to see more of Jen's work.
Gretchen, GHBooks, sent this beautiful book for our third book swap. It is a stab bound book, covered with a decorative flocked Indian paper featuring purple and green ginkno fans and pretty purple bookcloth on the spine.
The pages are heavy Stonehenge paper with spacers between each page so it can be used as an album. There is dark green lokta for endpapers, and some soft unryu paper for the first and last pages. Binding is done using green grosgrain ribbon. Visit GHBooks.Etsy.com to see more of Gretchen's work.
Once again, thank you to everyone who participated in the most recent book swap! There were nine players this time, from three different countries (always the same 3 countries!) and all the books were truly superb.
The books are being shipped out to their new owners today so the participants should be getting a fun new book in the mailbox soon! Check back here as I post more details about each book over the next couple weeks.
The next swap is planned for the end of August so there is lots of time to prepare if you want to play next time. All BEST members are welcome to participate. Check the swap guidelines for more information about how it works.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the first BEST Virtual Trunk Show yesterday! Hats off to Maiko, flurrsprite.etsy.com, who championed this project and made it successful for everyone involved.
Our ten member participants each presented some examples of their work, showed pictures, talked about their passion for bookbinding, and entertained the audience for over an hour! Everyone was offering special discounts and freebies for the people in attendance and several sales resulted. It was clear that the participants and audience all seemed to really enjoy themsleves, evidenced by vigorous applause, spirited throwing of hearts and cookies, and encouraging cheers from the bleachers.
Attendees at the trunk show were invited to enter a draw for a free book from MyHandboundBooks. There were several names submitted, and a random drawing revealed the winner to be Melissa, known on Etsy as MissKnits! Congratulations Melissa! This little yellow leather book is on its way to you, along with a few other little goodies.
How long has your Etsy shop been open? Just under a year.
How did you get into crafting? Been crafting in some form all my life.
How did Etsy come into your life? I think I read about it on one of the blogs I was reading. It intrigued me, all that handmade goodness. So I opened my first account in October of 2005. I tried to sell a few things then stopped. I opened arrrt.etsy.com 2 years later and gave it more focus.
What was your involvement in the crafting world before stumbling upon Etsy? Before Etsy I sold locally, to friends and at craft fairs. Now my books & creations are all over!
Do you have a day job? Sort of ;) I work from home. I'm a writer for eHow.com & the Communications Department of a small online music store (yes, I said department. it's only me).
Tell us about your shop: Does anyone help you? I only get help when I need a bunch of stuff for a fair - and even then, I've only done that once.
What advice would you give to newbies on Etsy or in the crafting world? Keep at it. Make what you like to keep from getting bored. Don't worry about your "audience" too much. Chances are there's someone else who has the same tastes you do.
What's the most challenging part of your crafting? Keeping my studio clean so I can actually make stuff.
Do you show your work locally? Occasionally - craft fairs & art shows
Famous last words? Don't get even. Get odd.
How did you get interested in bookmaking? Not quite sure - I've always loved the feel of books & a well made journal - figured I'd try to make my own
How long have you been crafting? Bookmaking? Crafting - all my life, bookmaking: 4 years.
What is your favorite stitch/technique? The "harlequin" stitch - makes a great fishnet-ish pattern on the spine.
What is the one tool or supply that you couldn't live without? My ream cutter. Saves me from taking it to Kinko's to get it cut (and they'd often screw it all up & I'd have to buy more paper)
Materials you use for your books? Mostly book board & paper. But I do make covers out of leather & polymer clay too. (and secretly working on airplane aluminum covers - doh! that was supposed to be a secret!)
What inspires you? Textures & color. They're everywhere!
Who is your crafting hero? I have an "art" hero: Michael Wood. She's a phenomenal artist, painter, sculptor & I really look up to her.
Guilty pleasure? not sure I have any ;) ok ok... Anne McCaffrey. Love the dragons.