Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A (Semi) Daily Painting

acrylic on panel, 6"x6", August 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

Wrapping Up Green Bean Summer Classes

Summer bookmaking classes complete... do I hear an encore? I'll work with Green Bean to see if more bookmaking classes can be offered in the afternoon during the school year! Thanks to all who participated! Enjoy those accordions!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Accordion Books at Green Bean!

This Monday is the final bookmaking class for kids at Green Bean Books this summer!

Tomorrow we will be making accordion books with some fancy-smancy hardcovers made out of real book board! While we fold and decorate, we'll listen to accordion music (but of course!) and check out some pictures of book artists who use the accordion structure in 500 Handmade Books.. This is a terrific structure to treat like a work of art; it can sit fully open on display (above the fireplace, on top of a dresser) and can contain original artwork, collage, photographs--you name it!

Handmade books don't always need to use book board, of course. Each child will take home a kit of instructions, paper and recycled boxes for covers to make another neat book at home!

See you there! And a big thank you to all who participated in my bookmaking classes this August!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A (Semi) Daily Painting

acrylic on panel, 4"x4", August 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

A (Semi) Daily Painting

acrylic on panel, 4"x4", August, 2010

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Fair in Review

Let's backtrack to last Saturday: the craft far at the NECC (Northeast Community Center) in Portland.

It was hot. It was windy. The McDonald's tent was blown over at least twice. My table was inside, which saved me from the heat in the a.m., but fans only do so much. There were at least two other larger craft fairs going on in Portland that day--the weekly Portland Saturday Market and an annual Letterpress Print Fair--where all the book arts people were doubtless shopping that day, and where I would have been (to shop, network and get ideas) if I hadn't had a booth at this craft fair.

The consequences? Not as many people as some of us were expecting. In the end, I sold 8 items, mostly lower-priced ones.

But was it a success? I would say so. I was generally a win-win situation, as long as you weren't expecting too much. Having a booth--let me just put this out there--was free. There was a refundable down payment to reserve a table which we will be getting back in check form this week. Tables were provided; tents for those who were outside (yes, they created somewhat of a wind tunnel, but still...) It took a lot of time, work and commitment, but technically if you sold even one item (even after the fair took its 20% cut--nothing is *free* free), you were making a profit. And if nothing sold, you were non the poorer. Except for the money you put into your display. Which you may as well think of as a business investment to do more fairs.

I enjoyed the debut of Petite Cabbage Press in fair form, and the sweet shop look I have to my table. I plan on doing this again. It was the first craft fair I've participated in where I set up my own area and hung out all day, and a good experience for any artisan to have... and I can't help but think it was easier to get out there in the community and do something like this than it would have been back in Boston. Saw some friends, made some friends, handed out plenty of business cards, and got some interest in the work I do. Hope some of my booth's visitors will take a gander at my blog and even return to my etsy shop once it's up and running (this is at the top of the to-do list for the remainder of summer!)

The rest of the weekend was filled with adventures and nice restaurants. My mom was visiting Portland or the first time and we made all the obligatory trips: scenic highway through the Gorge, Mount Hood Loop (in 101° F degree heat), Alberta Street, aerial tram up to OHSU.

Not bad, weekend.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hey, Thanks!

Thank you to everyone who attended today's Pop-up book class at Green Bean. It was a hot one, eh?

The hour flew by, but I hope everyone took home with them a love and knowledge of a new structure--and the desire to keep making pop-ups in the future (or trying out new book structures of your own making)!

Hope to see you at next Monday's class where we will be making accordion books (complete with hardcovers!)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Pop 'Til You Drop

Hi there.

Well the craft fair is over and done with--it was a hot one, but made some sales and met some great people! Unsold stock will soon be on a brand new etsy page--stay tuned!

Don't have much blogging time today, just wanted to sneak a reminder in that I will be offering another children's bookmaking class at Green Bean Books on Portland's NE Alberta this Monday, from 11:00 am to noon! Go on an call up Jennifer at Green Bean to check for availability! This week's theme is Pop 'Til You Drop featuring, you guessed it, pop up books--as well as some collaging. We'll read Snack Attack, a pop-up featuring some hungry animals, before making some hungry creatures of our own.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Toys and Cards and a Day Trip

Making books at Green Bean was fun on Monday (looking forward to next Monday's class, Pop-Up Books!) --After making "Thingamajig" books with the kids for their own personal visual collections, I took a look around my desk at home. It appears I am quite a thingamajig collector, myself.

As I prepare for the next book class, I continue to put finishing touches on the display for Saturday's craft fair.

Busy busy busy! Back from the beach and back to work! (Work being crafting, so... it's only so bad :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Thingamajig Books!

Tomorrow, 11:00-noon at Green Bean Books in Portland! My first August bookmaking class for kids involves the making of paper bag thingamajig books!

What's a thingamajig book? It is a ribbon-pamphlet bound book made out of brown bag paper, inspired by the Beverly Cleary children's book Janet's Thingamajig. In it, a young girl collects little treasures (snail shells, pieces of yarn, a doll's shoe) she finds and stores them in paper bags. Our thingamajig books will act as image journals, "paper bags" to record, with drawings, all the wonderful thingamajigs we come across in our own lives but can't take with us for one reason or another (lest, for one, we have way too many paper bags, like Janet). A simple, fun and cost-effective way of collecting.

Our hour at Green Bean will include a story, a snack, two (if we have time!) book creations and a take-home kit with instructions to make more books!

More classes to come! Sign up at

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Children's Bookmaking Classes start Monday!

Hello Bloggers,

With the Julie Chen workshop over with (pictures pending) I am concentrating on my next endeavor: I am now offering children's bookmaking classes!

I am running three classes for children entering kindergarten or first grade at Green Bean Books, a wonderful children's bookshop in Portland during the month of August. I'm excited.

I've been putting up flyers... more on the classes to come! They start Monday!

In the meantime, full descriptions cn be found here, on Green Bean's website.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Move Over Shark Week, It's Julie Chen Week.

Craft fair prep has gone on hiatus during this busy week.

End of day one assisting at the week-long Julie Chen workshop up at school. Julie is one of my personal favorite contemporary book artists, and indeed one who has helped define the artform in its modern sense under her label of flying fish press. You may have seen her on HBO's documentary series Craft in America a year or so back. I fell in love the first time I saw her Bon Bon Mots (a work that secured my love of artists' books) at the Boston College McMullen Museum a few years back. It's wonderful to now be working with her now and learning a new narrative structure this week. (Feels even better being able to go home at night--many of the workshop attendees have traveled thousands of miles to take part!)

Look her up if you enjoy book arts, or need a reminder of what book arts is and can be!

Some of my Chen favorites:

Bon Bon Mots, 1998

Personal Paradigms, 2003

Leavings, 1997

All courtesy of Julie Chen and flying fish press. (Check it out. Now. Go.)