Wednesday, 27 August 2008

BEST Picks for Back to School

Who wouldn't love to have these books for going back to school?!


These are from 2BeUva.Etsy.com. They are pocket-sized journals with both upcycled and lined pages inside, and with original drawings on the covers. So perfect for taking notes, making lists, and all that other fun school stuff.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Blog Interview: Kiley's Handmade Books

Name: Kiley

Company/Etsy Site:
Kiley's Handmade Books

Website:
http://kupokiley.etsy.com

Blog:
http://kupokiley.blogspot.com

Location: Eugene, Oregon

How long has your Etsy shop been open?
About a year and a half

How did you get into crafting?
I've always had crafting or art in my life. My father obtained is BFA when I was in grade school and I went to school on the college campus. I spent my afternoons when school got out hanging out in his studio classes. I got wide exposure to all kinds of arts. Bookbinding came to my life while I was trying to decide what kind of librarian I wanted to be when I grew up.

How did Etsy come into your life?
Etsy came into my life via my husband. We both read a blog named Kotaku and from time to time they post video game related Etsy listings. I had always looked at those but had never spent much time on Etsy. For Valentines day my husband bought me two stunning necklaces off Etsy, and I started to look more at it. A week or so later my shop opened.


What was your involvement in the crafting world before stumbling upon Etsy?
Mostly personal. I was making books as gifts and for my own personal use, but I had never tried to sell them before Etsy. I also used to do a lot of crocheting. I was a member of my local book arts group and shared my projects there.

Do you have a day job?
I do, I work for a Fair Trade Handicraft African Imports company Named Swahili Imports. I love what I do as I spend my day helping and promoting people making a living through their own crafts in Africa.

Tell us about your shop: Does anyone help you?
My shop is a bohemian wonderland of books. What you'll find listed changes depending on what I felt like making in the last bit. It will almost always have some mini photo albums & Celtic Weave books in there, but I can't promise anything beyond that!
My husband doesn't help directly but he's a huge help! He makes a great bouncing board for ideas and is great for "which picture do you like better?" as he gives me his honest opinion. He won't help me with anything else, he's claim's he's not artsy and doesn't want to mess anything up.


What advice would you give to newbies on Etsy or in the crafting world?
For the crafting world, enjoy what you do. When it starts to feel like production work you need take a step back. I think my best advice for Etsy is that you get from Etsy what you put into it. If give constant attention to your shop, ie listing often or renewing, good pictures, good promotion, then you can get a lot of our Etsy. If you devote smaller amounts of time you will get smaller results.

What's the most challenging part of your crafting?
Finding the time!

Do you show your work locally?
I have been known to do a local craft show but I don't have my work in any local stores.

Famous last words?
Is that a paper store?

How did you get interested in bookmaking?
I got interested in bookbinding while researching where in a library I wanted to work. I spent my undergrad years working in the campus library and knew when I finished that I wanted to continue on and get an MLIS. I had a good idea of what I didn't want to work in so I started exploring the other areas I knew little about. I eventually found my way to the conservation lab and knew that’s where I wanted to be. I took a bookbinding class to make sure and I was hooked.

How long have you been crafting? Bookmaking?
I've been crafting for as long as I've had the ability to use my hands. I've been making books just shy of 3 years.

What is your favorite stitch/technique?
I don't really have one, that’s one of the things I love about bookbinding is that is so diverse you can make a million different books all with different bindings. There are so many bindings and so little time.
I guess if I really have to pick a favorite right now it would be the Celtic Weave although I'm really starting to enjoy playing with long stitches too.

What is the one tool or supply that you couldn't live without?
My paper knife, I use it for binding and screenprinting.

Materials you use for your books?
My favorite materials are a good quality paper for the text block, my chunk of local natural bee's wax, unwaxed thread, and a really great piece of Japanese paper.

What inspires you?
Almost anything. A great piece of paper, a color theme, or my mood. I just start digging in my paper stash or ribbon stash until I find something that I want to use for a starting point.

Who is your crafting hero?
I know this is a cliche answer, but it's my Mom. She got me started with crafting and has always encouraged my creativity in anyway she could. She drove me to 4H meetings, put up with my crazy requests for materials, and I'm sure she still has a closet full of my old crafting projects half done.

Guilty pleasure?
Popcorn

submitted by Barbara of moonbindery

Monday, 18 August 2008

Blog Interview: Susan Holland

Name: Susan Holland

Company/Etsy Site:
susanholland.etsy.com

Blog:
susanholland.blogspot.com

Location:
Alicante, Spain

How long has your Etsy shop been open?
Since may this year

How did you get into crafting?
I've always been crafting, ever since I remember. When I was small I loved making my own bracelets, playing with clay, cutting things out, drawing…. I could spend hours on my own "creating" new things.

How did Etsy come into your life?
One day by chance while searching through the net. I thought it was a wonderful idea and I am very pleased to be able to show all my items worldwide.


What was your involvement in the crafting world before stumbling upon Etsy?
As a hobby I have touched many different crafts and for some time I have been giving craft classes to young children.

Do you have a day job?
Mother and wife.

Tell us about your shop: Does anyone help you?
My shop is filled with colour. Most of the books that I bind are hand painted by me. Others are made of fabric. In my shop you can find journals, photo albums, portfolios, and more, all done by myself without any help.

What advice would you give to newbies on Etsy or in the crafting world?
Well...I’m quite a newbie myself. Joining an Etsy team helps a lot and I would say that most important of all – enjoy what you are doing.

What's the most challenging part of your crafting?
I wish I had more space in my workshop – I never find anything!!

Do you show your work locally?
In a couple of shops.

Famous last words?
Don't touch my papers!!

How did you get interested in bookmaking?
Well. It happened a few years ago when I joined a bookbinding course. Since then I haven’t stopped making books!!

How long have you been crafting? Bookmaking?
Crafting – For as long as I can remember. Bookbinding – 5 years.

What is your favorite stitch/technique?
I love stitching my books exposing the spine. Maybe the Coptic stitch is my favourite at the moment.

What is the one tool or supply that you couldn't live without?
PAPER – all sorts of different paper – I just love it!!

Materials you use for your books?
I always use high quality paper for my books, acrylic paint which I paint the papers with, linen thread, bookbinding cloth and to decorate the books I use anything that I find, beads, ribbons...

What inspires you?
Colours inspire me the most!

Who is your crafting hero?
My bookbinding teacher Javier Abellan.

Guilty pleasure?
Always making two identical books and keeping one for myself!!


submitted by Barbara, of moonbindery

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Kentucky Artisan Center

In my travels I have run across several state-sponsored artisan centers near interstate highways in various states. I can't even start to name the ones I've noticed, but Massachusetts was one of the first that I noticed; I think I also recall one of our BEST members mentioning that they participated in their state's artisan center.

I'm mentioning the Kentucky Artisan Center here, because it was the first one that I made time to visit and inquire about how they operate. It is a very nice facility over looking the highway. Probably typical of these places, there are several ways an individual can participate. There are volunteer positions and for showing work there is access through state sponsored guilds. For non-guild members, there are several opportunities during the year for submitting proposals for showing work; individuals can also apply to sell work to the center for reselling in the center's store.

The Kentucky Artisan Cneter is located at exit 77, Interstate 75N, in Berea, Kentucky. On the world-wide web: www.kentuckyartisancenter.ky.gov

This blog entry is a primer to invite others to check out the many artisan centers while traveling and to consider a local center as an outlet for work. Leave a comment if we can see your work somewhere out there.

submitted by eb, matchboxbook.etsy.com

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Blog Interview: jellygnite

Name: Ali

Company/Etsy Site: jellygnite

Website:
jellygnite.etsy.com

Blog:
charlieandgrace.blogspot.com

Location: Brisbane, Australia

How long has your Etsy shop been open?
Just over 1 year
(since 15th July '07)

How did you get into crafting?
It's in my blood! I grew up watching my grandma, mum and aunty always sewing, knitting, cooking - just 'doing'. As well as that, I grew up watching my dad constantly making things too - models, toys, furniture. I made my first 'book' when I was 5; as a girl, I was really into sewing, drawing and constructing things with paper and wood. I also had a 'lego' obsession!

How did Etsy come into your life?
I stumbled across it online and fell in love!!


What was your involvement in the crafting world before stumbling upon Etsy?
Not much really, just my personal making at home for family and friends.

Do you have a day job?
I am a part time high school Art teacher (my students are well aware of my love of artist's books!)

Tell us about your shop: Does anyone help you?
My etsy business is relatively small, so I don't need any helpers .. although my children like 'road-testing' my softies for their cuddliness!

What advice would you give to newbies on Etsy or in the crafting world?
Do what you enjoy - don't compromise what you love to do - never stop learning!


What's the most challenging part of your crafting?

Finding time to devote to the joys of making things - it feeds my soul!

Do you show your work locally?
I go to a local church market every month which has a lovely community atmosphere. I am also involved in the BrisStyle (Brisbane etsy sellers) market

Famous last words?
'Such is Life'

How did you get interested in bookmaking?
In my senior year of high school, my teacher introduced the artform of books to me. I then went on to learn more and experiment with constructions at Uni.

How long have you been crafting? Bookmaking?

I have been crafting all my life and making books for 14 years, ever since was introduced to me as a student

What is your favorite stitch/technique?
I really like Stab binding as it is reasonably easy and can look so good with different threads and colours. I'd love to have a go at coptic binding though.

What is the one tool or supply that you couldn't live without?

My boxes of paper and paper ephemera that I rummage through each time I make a book!

Materials you use for your books?
I love recycled / upcycled materials and paper ephemera

What inspires you?
Passionate, dedicated and kind people

Who is your crafting hero?
I think all successful crafters who also manage to be good mums are heroes!

Guilty pleasure?
Collecting odd bits of paper and my ever-swelling fabric stash!


submitted by Barbara, of moonbindery

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Back to School Sale, Aug 8-10


The following team members are participating in our Back to School sale this weekend. Visit the individual shops to get more information about their specific sales and special offers!

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

The Book of Love

Can a book change your destiny?

A few years ago I had a friend. He was going through a bit of a rough patch, "the dark times" as they've come to be called.

I had recently gone to a conference of the Ohio Art Education Association, as I am a teacher of art to little people, in my other life. One of my choices was a book making session, delivered by the good people of European Papers in Columbus, Ohio. There I learned to make three basic styles of books: accordion, stick bound and pamphlet stitch. I had never delved into book making before. But I was so taken with the art form. Papers became my new passion.

So I gave my friend a book. It was the accordion book of "fortunes" I had made at my conference. I selected the fortunes carefully, so that they would address the sources of his troubles.

What impressed me so much was how HAPPY he was to receive my little offering. No one, especially a man, had ever seemed so pleased and grateful for a handmade gift. You may look at the basic book, but the fortunes have to stay secret!


Many troubles and struggles were to follow for the next year or so to come. But eventually the dark times lifted. My "friend," Richard as he will be known hereafter, became more than a friend and is now my fiancé. Many of the books that I have created have been for him. He has allowed me to share them because, in his words, he "doesn't mind people knowing how much he is loved."

At the same conference, but a later year, I attended a workshop on altered books. My first altered book utilized a copy of Love Story, which I had already read and wasn't sure why I kept toting it around. This is true of many things I gather and keep around; they always seem to find their purpose. I decided to make a book for Richard using this very sad story. We, of course, are hoping for a much happier ending! Through the process of making this book, and the others, papers and objects just kept falling into my hands at just the right time. I can't explain it, but sometimes it's best not to try.


At another conference, you guessed it, yet another book arts workshop. Can you tell I'm on a mission here? One of the great things about this conference is that I can usually find some good book or paper arts sessions. We were actually handed a book to alter. Mine was called Mighty Movers - Cars. Richard builds hotrods, cars, and trucks. Seriously. This was a really fun one. He had returned from a quest for a 1933 Ford Truck/Hotrod, traveling from Ohio to Oklahoma, and back again, hotrod in tow. I drive a VW bug, so even our dog Tracie and I were able to make a little appearance! Hatchback drivers, please don't take offense- I don't really think they are ALL crappy, it just sounded funny...


I am an avid recycler, which you can tell by my work in altering books. The last book I'll share came straight from the junk mail pile. Junk mail is ever so useful. I've gotten words and images for collages, those faux credit cards for book covers, and faux passports as another credit card gimmick. I just thought the stamps inside were kind of interesting, so I held onto it to cut up later. It became a book instead.


So can a book change your destiny? Perhaps. At the very least, it can bring two creative people together. Both artists, we seem to have bottomless well of support for each other and the various projects we embark upon. He helped me to start my company Cathartic Slant, LLC. I drove at 4am to Western Indiana when his excursion to Oklahoma took an unfortunate turn. We share a studio on Front Street in downtown Dayton, Ohio.


Some of my "happy" places:

Where I made my first books: www.europeanpapers.com

A great place for supplies in Dayton, Ohio. But you need to get there fast; unfortunately they are going out of business soon. Everything is on sale: www.mccallisters.com

I just discovered this place last winter when my mom moved to Ann Arbor. Michiganders will be familiar with: www.hollanders.com

Tons of envelopes, stock, stamps and other crazy cool stuff at: marcopaper.com

by Wendy, of Cathartic Slant, LLC