Book Making Weekend

One of my best friends and I made books this weekend. She took a four-day workshop on it and graciously offered to have me down for the weekend and teach me her new skills. I forgot to take a picture of the book press, which is large, red, and dusty from having sat in someone’s workshop area for years.

Things I learned:

1. Glue is the foundation of all books. That and more glue. With some glue here and glue there. Also some paper.

Photo of a workspace that includes a teal cutting mat which has cut paper and a rectangle of cardstock on top, a wooden 12-inch ruler, a black Sharpie marker, an awl, a white plastic storage container, a box containing a brayer, a bottle of fancy white glue, a yogurt cup containing glue and a a foam paintbrush covered in glue at the tip, a blue bowl with a wet, blue paper towel wadded up inside of it, a pair of green-handled scissors, a red stool, another work area across the table from the main work area (but without the teal mat), and front-and-center a hand which is coated in glue holding a cardstock spine that is also coated in glue. So much glue.

2. I cannot cut the cardstock. Not at all. My friend ended up cutting it all. BUT she has a Cricut and we’re going to cut down some of her huge cardstock sheets to run them through the machine later. I folded all the paper in half, though.

3. Stabbing little holes in paper is fun! So much fun!

4. Sometimes you forget how many holes to make, so you have to improvise. We accidentally put in 5, but you need an even number in this style of book binding, so we put in another one at the bottom. We used variegated thread for our inner binding, which made it super festive.

5. Beeswax smells just like when you smush your face really deep into your cat and then try to breathe, but without all the fur up your nose.

6. There is no 6. 7. Waxing thread is also addictive. I don’t know why.

8. Sometimes you have the wrong sized paper for your interior. So then you need to cut it, but it is hard to do without the guillotine. You may try many things, like sanding the paper, cutting it with box cutters, or even using the dremel wood cutters. They will not work. They will also make the house smell weirdly burnt. Then you will go out to Wal-Mart really late at night and buy a guillotine. They are CHEAP. Start with that last step.

10. Bookbinding has a lot of waiting time while the press does its work. We watched irreverent feminist comedy specials on Netflix while we waited. You can watch whatever you want. 🙂

11. When putting the endpapers in, use the tiniest line of glue. We thought we had. We were wrong. Also, don’t use thin paper for the endpaper. Mine was a little too translucent. Steph’s was fine (a nice sage green, not pictured.)

12. Make a feature of a little error. My error was cutting the paper too close to a little signature spot on the paper. I ended up putting it on the front, where it looks like a cute little frill. We also learned that if you don’t like one side of your book, flip it the other way and make the back the front (my blue was crooked on one side. This side is much better.)

We had such a fun time making these little darlings! 🙂 12/10 would do it again.

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Ben, Ben, Ben….

Ten minutes ago my kid announced he needed a Christmas shirt for school. Here’s what 10 minutes and some markers gets you. 1489240_10153635449845634_103982613_n

Create more

I’m finally getting around to the “Create more” portion of “Pin-free February!”

The first thing I’m trying to “create more” of is less chaos.  🙂  I know that sounds weird, but that’s the first thing on my list.  So I’ve been emptying bins around the house and making sure that they are filled with what they’re supposed to be filled with and then I’m labeling them.  I’ve also got a few new/new-to-this use bins and have been putting them into use.

New baskets for hats in the hall closet

New baskets for hats in the hall closet

Newly labeled (but definitely not new) bins in the hallway closet.

Newly labeled (but definitely not new) bins in the hallway closet.

Reorganized & labeled kitchen drawers.  I'm trying to teach the kids to be a bit more independent when emptying the dishwasher.

Reorganized & labeled kitchen drawers. I’m trying to teach the kids to be a bit more independent when emptying the dishwasher.

Kids bathroom drawer: now organized & with labels!  (that black tray came from today's kids meal - saving money FTW!)

Speaking of kids independence: kids bathroom drawer: now organized & with labels! (that black tray came from today’s kids meal – saving money FTW!)

I’m also trying to create more beauty in my house.

I bought a cheap garland at the dollar store and prettied it up with some extra fake flowers I had lying around.  I looks a lot nicer in person, actually.

I bought a cheap garland at the dollar store and prettied it up with some extra fake flowers I had lying around. I looks a lot nicer in person, actually.

Prettying up my laundry room shelf - I think I'm finally going to repaint it once the rain goes away.

Prettying up my laundry room shelf – I think I’m finally going to repaint it once the rain goes away.

Later:

I spray painted the shelf and the picture frame (using a pinterest method that failed). and tried to decorate the other frame as well.

I spray painted the shelf pink, which is not a color you will really find a lot of in the house, and the picture frame I tried using a pinterest method that failed and I tried to decorate the other frame using a different pinterest method as well.

Combo: I spraypainted my  red key holder to match the shelf and run and I also labeled the hooks once again.  That empty space is awaiting a spraypainted basket.  :) I wanted to make it green but I didn't have the right shade so I once I realized it looked bad I decided not to hang it up until I got the color right.

Combo: I spray painted my red key holder to match the shelf and run and I also labeled the hooks once again. That space is awaiting a spray painted basket. 🙂 I wanted to make it green but I didn’t have the right shade so I once I realized it looked bad I decided not to hang it up until I got the color right.

My new laundry room rug - see how it picks up the colors from the fairies & art on the shelf?

My new laundry room rug – see how it picks up the colors from the fairies & art on the shelf now? YAY!  🙂

Stop Pinning, Start Creating!

My friend Godiva and I are participating in Pin -Free February this month. We’re each doing it differently, though. She’s not going to Pinterest at all, but is still pinning things from her Pin It button. I, on the other hand, am not pinning new things, but am going to my own boards in Pinterest and am either reading-and-deleting pins or making-then-moving-them-to-finished. Some people are going all out and just eschewing the site altogether. Ha!

This morning I made two things from quotes I’d liked on Pinterest. One was this one:

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…(I don’t know if you can read it. It says: “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”. -Audrey Hepburn). which lives on my front patio, and then inspired me to tidy my front patio area. (I want to get some flowers out there and for it to be sunnier before my big reveal.)

Then I made this sign for my dining room, using the frame that matches the outdoor one, but had no glass. I also used bits of paper from Matt & Heather’s wedding favors.

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After that I ran off for my infusion & I wrote out some cards that are waaaaay past due, then read-and-deleted for an hour. Deleting pins is even more fun than pinning them! Who knew?!

So what craftiness are you getting up to this month?

Kindle cover

I don’t think I posted about this, but I got a 2nd generation Kindle for my birthday, slightly used, but in great condition (and very inexpensive, as well).  I’m so excited about it!  I had books downloaded and was reading (and fending off children who wanted to borrow it) within an hour of getting it.

The only problem with it?  No cover.  Just the Kindle and the cord came in the mail.  With three kids and my propensity to just shove things in my bag and move on, the poor Kindle doesn’t stand much of a chance in it’s nakedness.

The answer?  Well, I made a cover.  I started with a little bag a friend had made me years ago that just happened to be nearly the right size for the Kindle.  I also had a couple flat pieces of styrofoam from one of David’s gifts, a piece of super-soft cashmere fleece leftover from baby blanket making(it was $20/yard, long story there), a bit of velcro leftover from another project, a lost button, and some ribbon off a gift.  Total cost: $0  My favorite kind of project. Smile

So after a bit of time with my handy-dandy scissors and some liquid stitch, here it is:

The inside:

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The outside:

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All laced up and ready to go:

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I do have a “real” case on order from ebay…the kind that makes the Kindle feel like a book with a booklight attached.  I’m sure it’ll be nice, but it won’t arrive for a week or more and this case is just sooo soft.  Smile