Thursday, 26 November 2009

The B.E.S.T. Holiday Book Event!

The BEST Holiday Book Event is being held Nov 27th - Dec 5th.

If you purchase books from participating shops during this time, you have a chance to win prizes from BEST team members and gift certificates to participating shops!

A drawing will be held with the winners announced December 7th here on the BEST Team Blog.

For every $10 you spend in participating shops, between Nov 27th - Dec 5th your name will be added to the drawing. For example, if you purchase something for $50 your name goes in 5 times! If you put "BEST Holiday" in the note to seller box then you can have an extra ticket in the drawing!

Here is a list of the participating shops:

ParksideHarmony
NatalieAsIs
BookWraps
Re:Paper


Three Gift baskets, each with 9 great prizes, will be given to three winners! Click the picture below to see all of the prizes. The separate baskets will be highlighted in three different posts on Monday-Wednesday.

You could also win one of two $30 Gift Certificates to the participating shops above!

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Thankful Books

This post is coinciding with the American Thanksgiving holiday this week, although all around the world we are thankful for many blessings in our lives.

If you need a special book to remember your blessings, elvie studio has just the right one: Count Your Blessings journal:



Is there someone special you are especially grateful for? Consider a personalized journal from AlternativeJournals: Your name personalized journal:



What words do you want others to remember you by? Mylanderbooks has this Words to live by journal:



Are you celebrating a special event for which you are thankful? PurplebeanBindery has this brilliant Asian Garden Party Accordion Guestbook with removable pages so guests can easily record their thoughts:



And finally, are you thankful for enough food on the table? Here is Anticovalore's The slow food little journal:

Friday, 20 November 2009

Blog Interview: Flurrsprite

Name:
Maiko

Company/Etsy Site:
flurrsprite

Website:

Location:
los angeles, ca

How long has your Etsy shop been open?
2 1/2 years

How did you get into crafting? in general?
hmm... my mom is pretty crafty, and i've always enjoyed art. i think it's just always been present in my life :)



How did Etsy come into your life?
i think i was journal shopping one day and came across a link to etsy... i'd seen it before but this time i decided to go to the site, and fell in love with all the awesome handmade goodies here!

What was your involvement in the crafting world before stumbling upon Etsy?
i'd never really attempted to make anything besides the occasional present or something, but i was introduced to bookbinding right before etsy and the timing felt perfect!

Do you have a day job?
several.. hah! nah, right now i'm in l.a. to pursue a career in film production, in the art department, so far. it demands a lot of time which doesn't always work with my imaginary etsy schedule, but hey! better to want to do too much than nothing at all, right? wait, i'm not sure that makes sense... anyway!

Tell us about your shop: Does anyone help you?
just lil ol' me!

What advice would you give to newbies on Etsy or in the crafting world?
take a look around, explore the whole site... there's so much fun stuff going on that you can always get new ideas for how to run your shop, etc. people are very helpful and caring here! of course, it helps if you actively make new items for your shop as often as possible, something i've been neglecting to do ;) it really does make a difference, i think!

What's the most challenging part of your crafting?
tiiiiiiiiiiiime! time time time. and time.

Do you show your work locally?
not unless my house counts :)

Famous last words?
eh?

How did you get interested in bookmaking?
found a journal where someone displayed a book they had made and the tutorial for it...... loved the idea and tried it out. never looked back!

How long have you been crafting?
Bookmaking? forever, and about 2 1/2 years?


What is your favorite stitch/technique?
pfft. favorites. haha nah maybe coptic? it just looks so neat. of course, i don't really know many stitches, but i hope to rectify that soon!

What is the one tool or supply that you couldn't live without?
my awl. i used this ghetto mini awl thing for so long and it killed my fingers... love my talas awl.

Materials you use for your books?
bookboard, cardstock, linen thread, pva, leather, bookcloth, etc etc

What inspires you?
strange little things around me. i'm an odd sort of person.

Who is your crafting hero?
my mommmy :)

Guilty pleasure?
are we talking about ice cream and pie here, or in the crafting world? ;)

Friday, 13 November 2009

Blog Interview: KandiceInWonderland



Company/Etsy Site:
KandiceInWonderland.etsy.com

Location:
USA

How long has your Etsy shop been open?
Since November 2008

How did you get into crafting?
I’ve always enjoyed creating various things, but have done more and more with bookmaking over the past few years.


How did Etsy come into your life?
An ebay seller (may have been poetsummer) had a link to her etsy store that I followed - loved the idea of the site right away.

What was your involvement in the crafting world before stumbling upon Etsy?
For many years I’ve made one-of-a-kind books for friends, usually to celebrate a particular special event, or sometimes to commemorate a lost pet or loved one. However, most of my creative energy went into my classical singing/teaching/performing career as well as flower gardening until 2000 when severe M.E. and congestive heart failure put a halt to anything very physical. Little by little I turned toward book projects, keeping them simple to allow for my limited veritcality, but looking for ways to keep them as creative as possible. My BonnyBrooch&ButtonBooks line has been a fun creation, and a way to make more general books while still having each be unique.

Tell us about your shop: Does anyone help you?
It’s all my baby. I love that there is so much shop-keeping that can be done in bed on my laptop. When I can be up I make books a little at a time, then photograph them. Then I can spend time writing the poems and prose descriptions for each book that I include in each listing during the many hours my heart requires me to be horizontal. I also do all of my researching/photoshopping of public domain images and poetry for my Dates to Remember books when I’m bedridden, which is wonderfully engaging.

What advice would you give to newbies on Etsy or in the crafting world?
Make something that you love!

What's the most challenging part of your crafting?
I would love to have more vertical time. If my health ever allowed it would be fun to take a book-making class and experiment with making more of my own materials.

Do you show your work locally?
A beautiful little local shop carries a few of my books

Famous last words?
It’s the wrong trousers! (Wallace & Gromit); I don’t think that word means what you think it means . . . (Princess Bride); No one expects the Spanish Inquisition! (Monty Python)

How did you get interested in bookmaking?
I’ve always loved beautiful books, especially one-of-a-kind books, and volumes of poetry and art. One of the first books I made was a compilation of my nephew’s poetry which I illustrated with collaged images, followed by a book for a friend about birds (her favorite subject), full of illustrations and poetry that I hand-lettered, and bound with some ribbon that had been her mothers.

How long have you been crafting? Bookmaking?
I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t engaged in some sort of creative endeavor, from sewing to sketching, designing gardens to designing music program covers and posters. I suppose my love of poetry which blossomed more throughout my years of singing settings of poems lended itself naturally to wanting to somehow bind the words and essential feeling of a poetic experience, if that makes any sense. Romantic, quirky, provocative, whimsical, awe-inspiring - I love the idea of embracing many different moods and somehow capturing or expressing one of them in a book.



What is your favorite stitch/technique?
For now, I make accordion books and little hardcover books with one hand-sewn signature.

What is the one tool or supply that you couldn't live without?
My papercutter. Also my “awl” my husband made for me of a large needle secured in an exacto-knife handle.

Materials you use for your books?
Various papers, from heavy cotton printmaking paper, to scrapbooking and Etal metal infused paper, to handmade and Japanese papers, etc; bookboard, PVA glue, silk, velvet, satin, chiffon, grosgrain, and hand-dyed ribbon and fabric, antique and vintage buttons and brooches, shells and found objects

What inspires you?
Birdsong, moving words, humor, great souls, fragrant flowers, rich textures, scientific breakthroughs, transcendent music, tolerance, paint strokes, fresh fruit, old photographs, generosity, the sea, the joy of witnessing the wide variety of creative expression all around me

Who is your crafting hero?
Not technically “crafters”, but, Claude Monet for his gardens, Vincent Van Gogh for his valor as much as his viscerally beautiful work, and Beatrice Wood for her joie de vivre and continual engagement with her craft.

Guilty pleasure?
I love eating simple, whole foods . . . but every once-in-awhile I crave creamy frosting flowers from a cheap-trashy-grocery-store birthday cake!

Sunday, 8 November 2009

An Abecedarian of BEST members: the catch up post!

Today we will complete our Abecedarian series with an introduction to members who were missed when their letter came up in previous posts in the series.

In an effort to try to find out how everything is done Debbie of ALineofHerOwn is trying to learn something about everything, including book making. I think it’s working. Beaded Spine Leather Journal or Sketchbook:



Deanna of BadonHill notes her designs strive to echo the style and culture of Arthur’s era as well as the rest of the middle ages. Chaucer's Little Proverb - Mini Brown Leather Journal/Sketchbook:



Beth of BethR99 notes that computers will crash, be hacked into, printers will run out of ink, but no one can touch your journal! Firefly Notebook / journal:



Monica at BoomBoxBindery loves working with her hands and finds bookbinding offers the perfect balance of her favourite tactile things. She gets to work with paper, cloth, leather, board, thread & needle, gold leaf, graphite, the list goes on and on! Red and Mustard Geometric Book Pendant:



Hilke at buechertiger loves to experiment with paper, colours and bindings and tries to give a modern and clever turn to traditional styles. Medieval Style Leather Journal with Fleece Lining and Spine Stitching:




Lisa of CinderLisaDesign is a Young Adult writer passing the downtime by making journals and notebooks. White on Red Button Journal:



Surfbunny is bravely exploring the world outside of his warren. Look at this a clever toggle clasp on this Dearest Nearest to Your Head and Heart - mini journal necklace:

Friday, 6 November 2009

Blog Interview: Badon Hill

Name:
Deanna

Company/Etsy Site:

Website:
Not yet. Blog: Alas, no. But, some day soon...

Location:
I live just outside of the wonderful city of St. Louis, Missouri, in the U.S. of A.

How long has your Etsy shop been open?
Since July 15, 2009.

How did you get into crafting?
Well, my family is not a particularly "crafty" one, but my grandpa liked to draw and has passed those genes on to my siblings and I. We have all liked to draw and be creative, in general, for as long as I can remember. So, I guess it was in the genes. I am still a regular artist (painting, drawing, etc.) as well, and try to sell some of that work too.


How did Etsy come into your life?
I found Etsy by accident when I was searching the internet for an interesting picture of a circuit board, which I was going to use as inspiration for my art class homework. I found the shop of a seller who makes jewelry from circuit boards, which I thought was interesting, but did not look around at the rest of the site at all. I forgot about it until a few weeks later when someone was talking about good medieval furniture and someone suggested a man who sells his work on Etsy. This intruiged me, and I actually explored the site that time.

What was your involvement in the crafting world before stumbling upon Etsy?
Other than making a few clumsy things to give or sell to friends, entering things in the County Fair through 4-H, and attending several craft fairs a year, I was not involved in the crafting community before I found Etsy.

Do you have a day job?
Nope. I'm a student.

Tell us about your shop: Does anyone help you?
Since I am so new to the world of crafting and selling "professionally," I am on my own with it. I wouldn't know what to do with a helper at this point. I don't even have a real workshop. I just have a crowded corner of a room with a desk and some baskets and boxes piled with supplies, which has to be spread out for me to use it. But it works just fine for me.

What advice would you give to newbies on Etsy or in the crafting world?
(I still consider myself a newbie.) Offer lots of sales! I offered free shipping for my first month, and recieved more sales during that time than I had expected for the first several months. Also, don't be afraid of shipping internationally!

What's the most challenging part of your crafting?
The most challenging part is definately measuring the leather for journal covers. I need to find a more precise method, because I keep mis-measuring and having to make my pages smaller, trim the leather, and re-measure to make it work.

Do you show your work locally?
I don't yet. I really don't have anywhere near enough inventory to do so now, but my goal is to show at least once in 2010.

Famous last words?
Prove it!

How did you get interested in bookmaking?
I was actually inspired by a few of the bookbinders here on Etsy. I saw their leather-bound journals and thought, "I bet I could do that." So I looked up some tutorials online and learned, by trying it, what worked for me and what didn't.

How long have you been crafting?
Bookmaking? Crafting, as long as I can remember. Bookmaking, about five months.




What is your favorite stitch/technique?
My favorite stitch is the Medieval long stitch, but I recently figured out an x stitch that I really like (and I thought was my original) to find that a few other binders use it, or something strikingly similar, as well.

What is the one tool or supply that you couldn't live without?
I really don't have any tools made for bookbinding, but the antique ice-pick that I use in leu of an awl would probably be the tool I would miss most. As for supplies, I don't think I would enjoy making books without leather. It's such a wonderful material and a paper covered journal just isn't as cool to me. (Sorry guys!)

Materials you use for your books?
I use leather (kidskin, deerskin, cowhide, ect.), and whenever possible, I use recycled or scrap leather. I use a drawing paper to fill my journals, and since I am an artist, I know which kinds are versatile for many different sorts of work (writing, drawing, ect.). One of my few rules is that I never use glue.

What inspires you?
Almost anything designed or written in, or inspired by the Middle Ages inspires me. God's Word and creation inspires me. My family and friends inspire me.

Who is your crafting hero?
Sadly, I don't have one.

Guilty pleasure?
Popcorn! If it wouldn't kill me, I would eat it every day!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

The BEST Zombie Award goes to... PART 2!

Along with Sara of RePaper.Etsy.com, Rhonda of MyHandboundBooks.Etsy.com has won the BEST Zombie Award 2009! Although it was a tie this year, Rhonda proved an exciting contender with her unique tunnel book, titled "Trapped Inside a Haunted House." Congratulations to Rhonda, who now gains all of the BEST Zombie Award graphics and bragging rights for a whole year!

Rhonda explains that a tunnel book "consists of a series of 'pages' that create a scene when you look through the front." While it can be closed flat, it is really meant to be expanded and displayed.


For her Halloween Tunnel Book, she cut out a spooky scene in black card stock and covered the front frame with a richly beautiful gold and black printed paper. This book is sure to pop ---get it?--- out at you!

Be sure to check out Rhonda's shop on Etsy, My Handbound Books, where you can find all sorts of books, including gorgeous leather books in all colors and sizes!



Read the Interview with Rhonda

Visit her shop: myhandboundbooks.etsy.com

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

The BEST Zombie Award goes to... PART 1!

For the second year in a row, Sara of RePaper.Etsy.com has won the BEST Zombie Award! It was a tie this year with Rhonda of MyHandboundBooks.Etsy.com, but Sara made sure to defend her title well with her "Vampire Diary" book, a fierce entry for the contest. Sara retains all of the graphics and bragging rights for yet another year!




Her "Vampire Diary" book was made to look like "a vampire's fangs, tipped red." She cleverly used a Belgian binding stitch along the spine of the book to create this effect. "Blood" is also splattered along the outside, and the inside contains scattered pages of printed text from "Dracula". Even the cover and endpapers, made of red satin, looks like a vampire's cape. This book is perfect for your frenzied fanged friends!

Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Sara has created many wonderful books which you can check out at her Etsy shop, RE: Paper.



Read the Interview with Sara

Visit her shop: repaper.etsy.com

Visit her blog: www.re-paper.net

Sunday, 1 November 2009

BEST Zombie Award 2009

Congratuations to the winners of the BEST Zombie Award 2009!

Rather to my surprise, I came home last night to discover the poll had closed with a tie for first place between Vampire Diary by re:paper and Trapped Inside a Haunted House by MyHandboundBooks so the award will be shared this year; however, extra points for re:paper since she was also the 2008 winner, wow! Way to defend your title!!

Sara of Re:Paper and Rhonda of MyHandboundBooks are hereby granted free use of the BEST Zombie Award graphics and bragging rights for a full year. In addition, each will receive a special feature here on the blog in the near future.

Thanks to everyone who participated in our Team Challenge. And also thank you to the 129 people who voted! One of our commenters has been selected to win a little goodie bag. Random.org selected comment #2 so BookGirl gets the goodies, congratulations to you too!

Final Poll Results: