Friday, September 12, 2014

Secret Belgian Binding

Two books I made recently using the Secret Belgian Binding method. The cover paper is paste paper I made. I think paste paper and I are a match made in heaven. All my wood graining tools from theatre come into play here, but nothing has to look real! In fact, it can look as unreal as I want! How cool is that? The binding thread for the faux wood book is dark brown hemp (found in the jewelry-making section of a craft store). The binding thread for the blue book is rayon knitting tape.

You can see a bit of pattern underneath the paint on the blue book. This is because I painted my paste paint over some printed paper leftover from a wedding shower project. The print was perfect for the party, but way too pink and sweet for any book project of mine. I love how the pattern shines through from below.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Two Stitched Books

I have been practicing some of Keith Smith's binding methods from Volume 2.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Bridge 1

This was my piece in the Puget Sound Book Artists show this summer. It is a hand-painted maze fold book called Bridge 1.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A New Friend

Meet Beckham, an eleven month old Border Collie we just adopted 3 days ago. When our best-dog-ever Cody died in May 2013, I didn't know if I could ever have another dog. I was afraid no pup could ever fill that spot. But I missed having a sidekick, especially a Border Collie sidekick, and so did Mr. B. We knew we would prefer another rescued dog, so we started looking and this little guy appeared. Dumped by the side of a road along with his mother, the two dogs fended for themselves for a few weeks until some kind souls decided to try to catch them. The catching took two days, then it was off to a foster mom near Boise, Idaho. She is an extraordinary lover of dogs, and is quite selective in her adoptions. Fortunately for us, we passed muster, and were able to bring him home with us. I'm in love already.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Life. Whew.

Dropped off the grid again, I know. Sorry. But Life happens sometimes and remembering to document every little thing isn't something I do. So, things that keep me from blogging (apparently) are:
  • Work
  • Suddenly getting laid off from work and feeling quite unhappy about it
  • One of our five lovely offspring requiring what we shall call Transitional Housing, leading to
  • Seven weeks of child sleeping on our couch, during which
  • Master bath remodel continued (three adults, one toilet, one shower)
  • Hosting son-in-law for a bit while he relocated from Arizona for new job
  • (four adults, one toilet, one shower)
  • Realizing how really spoiled we are to whine over sharing a bathroom
  • Getting daughter and babies moved up from Arizona, which didn't take much physical effort but took over our entire brains for a month
  • Finishing a book for Puget Sound Book Artist's Annual Exhibit
  • Building several new books (photos soon)
  • Making several books with a grandson (a new convert!)
  • Bathroom remodel, bathroom remodel, bathroom remodel
  • Getting married
  • Trip to Washington DC
Yes, you heard right. Mr. B and I finally tied the knot last month! We have been together a long time. I joke that I just wanted to be really sure we had what it takes to be married.  But I figure if we can, in the course of the 11-ish years we've been together, marry off four of our five children (two of his, both of mine), welcome three grandchildren, deal with the death of two parents, one brother and our beloved dog, survive one knee replacement (his), buy a new car, travel, and probably the truest Test of Love, gut and remodel two bathrooms and one kitchen without strangling each other... we are probably going to be OK with whatever else comes our way. I am one lucky girl.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Maze-Fold Bridge Book

Way back in May I wrote about the maze fold book I was making about bridges. It was a long process, but very satisfying. Here is what I ended up with:

It was a very long painting process until I got the finish just the way I wanted it. My experience painting for theatre comes into play here-- I have many years of faking it under my belt (and under my fingernails, splattered all over my glasses, matted in my hair...) so I can make paper look like rusty metal and peeling paint.  The book is about 6x6 inches. The front and back covers look very waxy- so much so that my sister thought they were an encaustic finish. Exactly the effect I was going for! Yes, it is my favorite secret sauce- acrylic wax varnish. I have many layers- possibly five or six- of that painted over the printed cover. The bridge prints on the front and back covers are from photographs I have taken while crossing the trestle bridge over the Puyallup river on Highway 99. I turned them into black-and-white images in Photoshop, printed them, and transferred the printed images to rice paper, then added collage elements and began adding layers of acrylic wax varnish.

The book will be in the Puget Sound Book Artists' exhibit in June 2014 at University of Puget Sound's Collins memorial Library.

Thursday, March 13, 2014


In late summer (August, perhaps?) I signed myself up for an online class offered by one of my favorite bloggers, Mary Ann Moss of Dispatch From LA. It wasn't because I didn't already know how to paint patterns or sew on paper. I just needed help finding that creative spark last summer, and this class sounded fun. The class is called SEWN, and is an exploration of pattern-painting, chopping those pretty papers to bits, then madly sewing them back together into little books, lanterns, paper name it. Did I do all the projects and "finish " the course? Ummm, no. Was it nonetheless worth every penny? Yes. And here are some reasons:

No Pressure. You were supposed to have fun, and not think too much. In the beginning, just pick colors and crank it out. No measuring or sketching first or waiting until you can purchase just the right paper. Just paint.

No Precious. Then just when I thought I was getting the hang of everything, I had to chop all those pretty papers up. What?! Really? Yes, really. I didn't think I wanted to do that, but I did it anyway. And what a freeing feeling that was.

No Rules. Well, of course there were guidelines, but once I got started, even several of the guidelines ended up on the cutting room floor. The two books I made didn't look like the guideline books, but I'm sure if Mary Ann saw them, they would meet with her approval. Most importantly they met with my approval.

No End In Sight. I can still return to the class (saved passwords!) and finish it. Maybe I will, and maybe I won't. I do still paint patterns when I am at creative loose ends, and I chop them up without hesitation when I need a little something on a project. I can always make more.

So thank you, Mary Ann Moss. It was just what I needed. It was a great online class. It still is.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Here We Go... For Reals This Time

OK, so October, November, lalalalala February went by and nothing. Trust me, things were happening, just not so much blogging. OK, no blogging. Work, work, painting a set, holidays, never-ending bathroom remodel, and work happened. Oh, and a Day of the Dead wedding, a joyous occasion totally worth blogging about, but book-ended by more work.
Then at the end of February, I was rather unceremoniously laid off. As much as that job had taken over all my waking moments, I did like it there, and being booted out has been the cause of much grousing on my part. The upside is that while I am home nursing my wounded whatevers, I have had a lot of time to spend in the studio. I have thought a lot about the blog, but decided that while I was still in that place where I had trouble saying ANYTHING nice, I should probably refrain from posting.

I'm feeling better now.

PS Isn't that wedding cake the coolest? And it was vegan, as were those very lovely cupcakes.