Upcoming sale at Hiromi Paper

I’m supposed to be shopping for others right now and not myself. Unfortunately, there’s no ignoring the 20th anniversary sale that’s around the corner at Hiromi Paper.

Hiromi Paper carries a wonderful variety of Japanese papers and bookcloths. Starting on December 1st and running through December 20th, the sale offers 20% off your entire order, with a $10 minimum purchase (definitely doable). This offer is good for orders made at their retail store in Santa Monica or those made by phone or Email. Some items on their website are already listed at 50% off.

I’ve been meaning to order their World Cloth sample book for a while now, so December seems like a good time to go for it. They carry many of the same bookcloths as Hollanders, but the prices are lower (even before getting 20% off).

I’ve long admired the fruit and vegetable papyrus from Germany, which I find both intriguing and bizarre. I’m particularly fond of the blood orange and kiwi papers. They also carry paperwood, a thin veneer of real wood that comes in 7 varieties. The bird’s eye maple is really tempting.

Has anyone ever used the papyrus or paperwood? I’m curious about their workability (easy to glue, does it crack when bent, etc.).

What I really want to know is if the varieties of papyrus taste different from one another…

I’ve been tagged!

I have just finished the third day of my craft show [so tired] and came home to find that I’ve been tagged by Jackie at Stitchworks.

The last time I was tagged, and was “It”, this was not considered a good thing from what I recall. Now being tagged feels quite nice and I’m honored to have been chosen as an “It”…thanks Jackie!

So here’s the scoop: I have to tell you eight things about myself and then name 8 artists. Each artist I tag is to do the same (hopefully they also like being “It”) and then leave a comment.

So I go into TMI territory:

  1. I have a problem with self-control when it comes to Twizzlers. Especially the chocolate ones. I will happily eat them until I get sick and then eat some more.
  2. I used to have an African Pygmy hedgehog for a pet. Cutest.thing.ever.
  3. I worked as a costumed character at the Philadelphia International Airport in the early 90’s. Meet Jerry Bellbonger.
  4. My favorite band is They Might Be Giants. I’ve been a fan for over 20 years and have seen them so many times in concert that I’ve lost count.
  5. The thing I dreaded most about the first day of school was wondering if my teacher was going to pronounce my name correctly (like Melissa with no “M”). I never had the courage to correct them, thinking that it was rude to correct a teacher.
  6. Even though I’m not a super hero, my super power is spotting typos.
  7. I love working in my studio in my pajamas.
  8. For years I’ve wanted to take the SAT’s over again to see if I’ve gotten any “smarter”. Or at least to see if I could still get into the college I went to (University of Pennsylvania).

So there you have it. Scared now? Here’s my list of 8 victims artists:

  3. Deckled Edge Bindery

Last minute crazies

This evening I packed up my van for the Vermont Hand Crafters Fine Craft & Art Show. I have a packing list that I’ve developed over the years and it has proven invaluable.

Right now my van seems to have a lot of extra room leftover. And I have more stuff now than I did last year. Something magical is at work here. And I like it.

Now I’m working on all of the last minute details, like printing business cards. I feel like I’m running around like a crazed wackadoo, but my husband actually told me that I seemed calmer than I have in past years. Was he wearing his glasses when he said that?

I have always had a love for plastic tubs of all sizes, but have a special fondness for plastic shoe boxes. They are the basis/rock of my organizational system in my studio and are great for packing up craft show inventory. The Rubbermaid SnapTopper is my most most most favorite shoe box of all time. It is the perfect size for my large journals.

I also have these collapsible plastic crates that are over 20 years old – I got them when I went away to college.

Yes, you can get a rough idea of how old I am now.

Anyway, these crates have held up really well. When you have limited space in your booth, it’s helpful to be able to break them down. The majority of my inventory is in those four crates in the image at right – probably around 55-60 photo albums.

And now, a crate-related story.

One day when I was on Church Street in Burlington, I happened upon an art fair. I had just dropped off some inventory at a nearby gallery and was carrying one of my crates. I visited Dug Nap’s booth and he offered to trade me some of his artwork for the crate. His work is great, but there was no way I was parting with my blue foldy baby.

Sorry Dug.

Countdown to Vermont Hand Crafters…

As I mentioned in my post earlier today, I’ve been working like a mad woman, trying to get ready for my first craft show of the season (this weekend) – Vermont Hand Crafters.

I just tallied up my recent work and here’s what it looks like:

  • 23 photo albums of various sizes
  • 18 journals
  • 37 accordion books
  • 1 custom order album
  • 1 guest book
  • 1 Bridal Suite box (still in progress)

And all of that while working at a full-time job. And taking 2 business trips. And being sick. And not eating nearly enough cheese.

Handmade photo albums by Blue Roof Designs

I was somehow able to make just about everything on my wish list for production. I only have to finish my Bridal Suite box and I’m all done. As I look at these images, I’m able to stop and appreciate what I was able to accomplish.

Handmade accordion books by Blue Roof Designs

And now I’m done stopping. I wonder if I can make some new cards before I start packing the van tomorrow…

I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth…

Vermont Hand Crafters logoI haven’t written a meaningful post in a while. Bad me.

I’ve been in the studio for countless hours getting ready for my first craft show of the season, which opens this Thursday. Vermont Hand Crafters will be holding its 56th annual Fine Craft and Art Show on November 20th – 23rd at the Sheraton Conference Center in Burlington, VT. I have been a juried member of Vermont Hand Crafters since 2004 and this will be my fifth year doing the show.

If you come to the show, I’ll be in the Emerald Room, booth number 7.

Needless to say, it’s been a tough few weeks. I’ve been working very late nights and have been sick on top of that.

Getting ready for shows is hard when you work full-time. I hope to write a post later tonight about the work I’ve been doing.

We’ll see…the best laid plans…

Art-o-Mat is way-o-cool

I had fully intended to resume blogging upon my return from the CERF board meeting. Unfortunately, I got sick. I’m not going to go into the details, but it über-sucked.

As I mentioned in this post, the CERF board meeting was in San Antonio, Texas. We were hosted by the Southwest School of Art & Craft. The school is just beautiful. Definitely on my list of places to take classes in the future. I plan to talk about my visit to the Paper & Book Arts department in my next post.

While taking a tour of the campus, we walked through the Navarro campus, home of the Russell Hill Rogers Gallery. Just down the hall, I discovered an Art-o-Mat.


The Art-o-Mat was developed in 1997 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina by Clark Whittington. Clark rehabs cigarette vending machines into art-dispensers, with pieces costing only $5.00. The Art-o-Mat at the Southwest School contains the work of 20 artists, many of them local to the school.

To see other Art-o-Mats that have been released in the wild, click here.

I was enamored with the contraption. Then I noticed that there were handmade books for sale. Now I had to buy something.

Off I went to get my token.

Here’s what I got:

Art-o-Mat book

Art-o-Mat book inside

So now I have a sweet little book made by P.J. Waldrop. The weird thing is that the book has a website printed on the back, but it isn’t active. Bummer.

I’m thinking that I might try to create some work to sell in the Art-o-Mats. There are lots of rules and you don’t earn much, but I don’t care. I want my work in a vending machine.

Maybe in another life I was a candy bar…

Artisans Hand annual sale

Artisans Hand logoArtisans Hand Craft Gallery, located in Montpelier, VT, was the very first gallery to sell my handmade books.  The gallery only features work created by Vermont artisans and our state definitely has a wealth of talent. My work has been exhibited at the gallery for about 5 years and it has been wonderful experience – everyone there has been very good to me.

Starting tomorrow, November 7th and lasting through November 9th is Artisans Hand’s annual birthday sale. Everything in the gallery will be 20% off during the sale. If you are looking for a deal on my work, then this is the sale for you.

There will also be a birthday party on November 8th from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. at the City Center next to the gallery. Bummer I’ll be out of town!


Deep in the heart of Texas

Texas welcome signHowdy y’all!

I’m in San Antonio, Texas right now for a board meeting of the Craft Emergency Relief Fund. I’ll be back in Vermont on Tuesday. Our meeting has been hosted by the Southwest School of Art & Craft, which has been great.

We got a very brief (can I just say not fair) tour of their Paper & Book Arts department. I took as many pictures as I could as we breezed through and I plan to write a longer post when I get home.

More Gocco anxiety…

As I mentioned back in May, panic motivated me to finally buy a Gocco printer. I bought it for $150 from Japan, which included shipping. To buy a new machine now, you’d have to pay anywhere from $295 – $485.95, not including shipping. Gocco printers are not going for much cheaper on Ebay.

The belief was that Gocco would continue production of supplies for the foreseeable future, even though they were going to stop manufacturing the printers in June. I was thankful I had one. I figured I was all set.

I was wrong.

I stumbled across a post on the Flickr Gocco discussion group that described how Riso would not only stop manufacturing Gocco supplies, but would also stop shipping supplies to the U.S. after 12/1/08. So that freaked me out a little bit, but I couldn’t go off the deep end without a second opinion.

From the Letters & Print website:

U.S. Gocco dealers received a communication on July 1, 2008, from the President & Chief Operating Officer of Riso stating that “the manufacturer will be discontinuing ALL Print Gocco products, including supplies. The letter continues, “the Print Gocco production technology will thereafter be unavailable and there will be no manufacturer of Print Gocco products. Finally, no more supplies will be filled (for U.S. vendors) after December 31, 2008.”

Okay, so I got a third opinion too. From the Wet Paint website:

JULY 2008: RISO, the manufacturer of the Print Gocco, has announced that they have discontinued production of this product, and will discontinue production of supplies.


I went on a buying spree, buying from 4 different online vendors. This is what I think I bought (what can I say other than not to buy stuff when you’re upset): 11 10-packs of bulbs, 7 5-packs of screens, a Gocco guide, and 24 inks.

Have I mentioned that I haven’t even used the machine yet? Not once?

Hollander’s 8th annual internet sale

Hollanders logoStarting tomorrow, Hollander’s will be holding their 8th annual internet sale. The sale lasts from Thursday, October 23 through Sunday, October 26.

Where is that wish list of mine?

All orders get 10% off and an additional 5% on orders over $250 (discount not applicable to custom cutting orders or workshops). If you spend over $100, you’ll get a $10 shipping credit if you ship via UPS Ground (in the continental U.S.).

If you’re looking for ideas on what to buy, you can’t go wrong with any of the Keith Smith books. They’re hard to come by used and are almost never discounted when new. I think I’ll finally get the sample book of Japanese bookcloth. I’ve had my eye on it for a while. It looks like their selection is somewhat different than the Japanese bookcloth at Talas. Does anyone know for sure?


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