Cut sheets calculator

I just discovered the most awesome resource!

I was checking out the newest papers at Paper Mojo when I noticed this little icon beneath one of the paper swatches:

Paper Mojo Cut Sheet Calculator icon

So I click on it and I’m brought to the following page:

Paper Mojo's Cut Sheet Calculator

It’s a Cut Sheet Calculator!

I’m totally nerding out over this (and it’s probably been there forever). When trying to figure out how much paper to buy for a project, I usually do these calculations by hand but now I don’t have to. No more thinking – just plug in the numbers and whhheeeee!!!

One caveat:¬†The calculator automatically takes into account a 0.5″ trim off all edges of the paper. This is because many handmade papers have deckled edges and if you want your final pieces to be clean-cut, you have to address the inconsistency.

Thanks Paper Mojo!

Many thanks to Paper Mojo for granting permission for me to take screenshots of their website.

2018 Book Artsy Deadlines

As 2017 draws to a close, one’s mind begins to think about the opportunities that 2018 brings. And if you’re anything like me, you get obsessed with all of the new book arts classes and workshops that are offered.

So much to learn, so little time. ūüôĀ

Some workshops are easier to get into than others. When I enrolled in Hedi Kyle’s workshop at North Country Studio Workshops, I had to be on my computer at midnight when the application went up. The workshop sold out within a few hours.

And different institutions have different acceptance policies, so simply registering early isn’t always the answer. Groan.

In an effort to make things easier for you, I hereby present a brief roundup of some of the more renowned programs and their deadlines. Oh yes, there are deadlines.

Book Arts Deadlines 2018 -  logo

The¬†Paper and Book Intensive, an annual 10-day retreat of book arts and papermaking classes, will open its¬†general application period on January 1st. The earlier you apply, the better the chances that you’ll get the classes you want. Keep an eye on this page of their website for the posting of their application.

By the way, if you’re interested in applying for the¬†Nell Meldahl Work-Study Scholarship (half-tuition), time’s running out. You’ve only got until December 31st to get your application in.

Registration for Summer 2018 workshops at the Penland School of Crafts opens on January 8th at 9:00 a.m. Although they have used a lottery system in the past, this year they’ll be accepting applications on a first-come, first-served basis.

If you’d like to work alongside one of Penland’s talented instructors, you can apply to be a studio assistant.¬†You’d be responsible for assisting with the workshop and maintaining the studio and in return, you’d receive housing and meals. The application period opens on January 1st and closes on February 17th.

Here’s the list of workshops/instructors looking for assistants:

Registration for the third annual Mills College Summer Institute for Book and Print Technologies is already underway. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until a workshop is full so if you want in on one of the workshops, you best get moving!

By the way, these workshops are not for beginners – they are taught at a master class level and you’re expected to have prior experience in bookmaking, letterpress, or printmaking.

The Wells College Book Arts Center Summer Institute has also opened their registration for 2018. They offer two week-long classes in bookmaking, letterpress, papermaking, type casting, and more. If you sign up for a class before January 15th, you’ll get¬†$100.00 off tuition.¬†

For those with financial limitations, Wells offers both need-based scholarships and non-paying internships to college/graduate students in the book arts. Interns can participate as a student in one class and work as a studio assistant in another. 

For more information about scholarships and/or internships, download the application (pdf). Applications are due on March 15th.

Are you taking any interesting classes next year? I’d love to hear about it!

Share the details in the comments below or send me an email.

Northampton Book and Book Arts Fair

This past weekend I attended the third annual Northampton Book and Book Arts Fair at Smith College in Northampton, MA. It was awesome to be able to attend again, having missed it last year. Many thanks go to my hubby for watching Anna!

Northampton Book and Book Arts Fair 2017 poster

This year was a different experience for me in that I was an exhibitor representing the Book Arts Guild of Vermont. I think our booth looked rather spiffy. We had a nice selection of pieces on display that represented the wide range of our members’ work.

Book Arts Guild of Vermont booth at the Northampton Book and Book Arts Fair 2017

I brought my hybrid artist book/board game,¬†You Can’t Take it with You:

Artist book/game hybrid - You Can't Take it with You

The fair mostly consisted of a vendor fair that included¬†a mix of book artists, papermakers, binders, letterpress printers, and antiquarian booksellers. Chena River Marblers didn’t attend this year, which bummed me out. Their papers are so yummy! Their annual open studio is coming up this weekend and sadly I can’t make it. Maybe next year.

The keynote¬†presentation was given by Nicholas A. Basbanes, which was titled¬†Among the Gently Mad.¬†Here’s the description of his lecture:

His talk is a reflection drawn on thirty years of in-the-field research conducted among a variety of book people: collectors, booksellers, librarians, conservators, and readers — people he affectionately refers to as the gently mad.

While browsing at the fair, I bought a copy of his book On Paper: The Everything of Its Two-Thousand-Year History. 

On Paper by Nicholas Basbanes

I casually checked it out and saw that there was a chapter titled, Goddess by the Stream. I just knew that it had to be about Echizen! I turned to the chapter and discovered that it was correct. There was an image of Okamoto Otaki Shrine on one of the pages and I freaked out РI WAS THERE.

Hello sir, please take my money for this book!

I really enjoyed talking to folks at the fair and hanging out with my B.A.G. buddies. However, I think that the fair would really benefit from more programming, perhaps adding in demonstrations and/or hand-on activities. It was a bit disappointing to only have the keynote to look forward to, other than the vendor fair.

Of course, it’s easy for me to say that, considering that I’m not on the planning committee. Putting together events like this is hard work!¬†The fair has a lot of potential and I look forward to seeing it grow over time.

A Bookbinder’s Black Friday

A Bookbinders Black Friday - logo

Yeah, so it’s Black Friday.

In Montpelier, where I live, they’ve dubbed it Flannel Friday – much more appropriate to the Vermont lifestyle. You show up to local shops wearing flannel and kablammo! You get a discount on your purchase. There’s also a Cider Monday, which is supposed to be the Cyber Monday alternative. Love.

We hosted Thanksgiving this year with a total of 23 people and 3 dogs – it was nuts. A happy and awesome kind of nuts, but nuts nonetheless.

Even though I am totally exhausted, there’s no time for rest – I¬†have a craft show that opens tomorrow, the fabulous¬†Women’s Festival of Crafts. If you happen to be in the vicinity of Burlington, VT tomorrow or Sunday, come on by my booth and say hi!

That said, there are quite a few¬†bookbinding-related online sales going on today (and some beyond that).¬†Check ’em out:

From now through 11/27 at midnight GMT, Vintage Paper Co. is offering 25% off all products listed on this page of their website. Use code bf at checkout to get the discount.

John Neal Bookseller is going bananas with all the deals.

  • Get free standard shipping (within the U.S.) on orders of $100.00 or more. Use code¬†BF17FS at checkout for the discount from now through 11:59 p.m. on 11/25.
  • Get 10% to 50% off Black Friday Sale items from¬†now through 6:00 p.m. on 12/1 (a full week!) – save on some of their most popular books and supplies.
  • All Londonderry thread is 20% off, including individual spools, sets, and lacing thread.
  • Two great bookbinding books by¬†Don Etherington are on sale.¬†Bookbinding & Conservation: A Sixty-year Odyssey of Art and Craft¬†is priced at $24.95 and¬†Don Etherington: Design Bindings, A Retrospective is priced at $19.95.

Pergamena, producer of stunning fine leathers and parchment, is offering free UPS Ground shipping on all orders over $100.00 Use coupon code FR33SHIPPING at checkout to get the discount.

As part of their holiday sale, Oak Knoll Books is offering 40% off select titles from their website. This sale is going on now through November 27th and no special code is needed Рthe discount will automatically be applied to the cost of these books.

Arnold Grummer is offering a 10% discount on all paper essentials, such as supplies, fibers, and presses. Use code DIYPAPER (not to be confused with DIAPER) at checkout to get the discount.

Now through midnight EST, Paper Mojo is offering 25% off storewide. Use code use code BF2017X at checkout to get the discount. Time to stock up on handmade and decorative papers!

Paper Source is offering free shipping on all orders over $50.00 – no code is needed.

From now through 11/30, The Paper Mill Store is offering 10% off orders of $250.00 or more with code 250SALE and 15% off orders of $500.00 or more with code 500SALE.

Paper-Papers is offering 60% off the already discounted price of products in their Sale and Clearance categories. Use coupon code floor at checkout to get the discount.

If you’ve got a bookbinding book on your wish list, you’re in luck! Amazon (yep, that Amazon) is offering $5.00 off print book purchases of $20.00 or more. From now until 11/26 at 2:59 a.m. EST, use code GIFTBOOK17 at checkout to get the discount. Note: Offer only applies to products sold and shipped by

And if Cyber Monday is more your thing:

On 11/27 Mechling Bookbindery is offering 40% off all instructional DVD series and 40% off your choice of leather. Free shipping is available for orders over $250.00.

By the way, don’t forget Giving Tuesday! There are tons of worthy organizations out there that would love your support. Here are some of my favorites:

Happy shopping and/or donating!

Editions – a coworking space for Seattle book artists

Sarah Mottaghinejad of Ink and Awl is establishing a coworking space for Seattle book artists – Editions (great name). It sounds like it’s going to be an amazing place – as a renter, you not only get access to equipment, but also to consumables like glue, thread, and ink.

She already has everything she needs to get it going right now, except for an etching press.¬†And that’s where her Kickstarter comes in –¬†Sarah hopes to raise $6,000.00 by October 30th so that she can purchase a press.

She’s got really cool rewards available for backers, like linoprints, custom letterpressed business cards, and a seat in one (or more) of her classes. And the bookbinder’s patchawesome.

Bookbinders Patch by Ink and Awl

She’s a bit more than halfway to her goal with just two weeks to go. You just know you want in on this.

You can learn more about the project by watching the video below.

You can also follow Sarah on Instagram to learn more about her work and the evolution of Editions.

Oak Knoll Books and their insane-o sale

Oak Knoll Books - October sale ad

Why do things always go on sale when I’m trying to be conservative with my spending? Damn you¬†Oak Knoll Books!

For the entire month of October, Oak Knoll is offering 20% off all books about bookbinding. As of this writing, there are 1,202 books in the sale.

Dang – how are that many books about bookbinding? I thought I already had a big library…it looks like I have some work to do!

So what do I have my eye on? It’s those dang irresistible¬†Suave Mechanicals¬†(Volume 1 & Volume 2) books edited by Julia Miller. It’s hard to find them at a discounted rate and this sale is a great excuse to splurge.

If you’re looking to expand on (or start) your collection of Keith Smith books, then this sale is for you too. All five volumes of his Non-Adhesive Binding series are on sale, in addition to most of his other books. If you’re not yet familiar with his books, then get familiar – they’re really fantastic.

And if you’re looking for something else, feel free to ask me for other recommendations. Did I mention that I’ve got an extensive (a.k.a. overflowing)¬†library?

Note: Many thanks to Oak Knoll Books for granting permission to use their image. And in case you’re wondering, I wrote this post all on my own – I have no affiliation with them either than as a happy customer.

Happy Letterpress Appreciation Day!

Today is Letterpress Appreciation Day, another one of those awesome holidays during which we’re not likely to be getting a day off from work.
Wood letterpress type
¬†The date of September 18th (9-18) was chosen for good reason –¬†the standard height of wood and metal type is 0.918 inches. Quite nifty.
So how am I celebrating? Well, today marks yet another year of not using my own Kelsey 5×8 Excelsior Press Model U letterpress. I purchased it over 5 years ago. Bad Elissa.
It sits on my desk in my studio, taunting me on a daily basis. Use me…show me you care…¬†
Kelsey 5√ó8 Excelsior Press Model U letterpress
Maybe next year I’ll finally be able to say that I ¬†gave it a go.¬†
If you’re looking for a way to celebrate (besides printing broadsides), why not get a¬†Type High Tee Shirt? Not only is it produced by the folks behind the excellent film Pressing On, but it also gives you a guaranteed outfit for one day a year!

Letterpress type image by Mr Cup / Fabien Barral on Unsplash

MUSUBU: Tokyo: California: Urawa

I recently found out via the Book Arts Listserv (thanks to Jody Alexander) that there’s a collaborative book arts exhibit involving the San Francisco Bay Area and Tokyo. The exhibit will be at the¬†Urawa Art Museum, Urawa-ku, Saitama, Japan and runs from September 12 -24, 2017. The exhibit will eventually travel to the United States in April/May 2018, landing at the¬†American Bookbinders Museum in San Francisco.

Musubu logo - book arts exhibit

This ambitious project was co-curated by Hisako Nakazawa¬†(a founding member of the Tokyo Bookbinding Club), Jody Alexander, Keiko Fujii, and Akiko Takiguchi (curator at the¬†Urawa Art Museum). It took more than three years to pull it all together – considering that this was a cross-continental undertaking, this isn’t surprising.

The exhibit, MUSUBU: Tokyo: California: Urawa, includes the work of  24 members of the Tokyo Bookbinding Club and 21 book artists that have connections to the San Francisco Bay Area. The Japanese word musubu means to tie, connect, or be bound by love or friendship. The use of this word in the title of the exhibit is perfect, as the project brought together two very strong book arts communities.

Here are the talented artists participating in the exhibit:

San Francisco Bay Area Artists:
Jody Alexander, Rhiannon Alpers, Elizabeth Boyne, Macy Chadwick, Lucy Childs, Marie Dern, Casey Gardner, Alisa Golden, Jennie Hinchcliff, Charles Hobson, Lisa Kokin, Bryan Kring, Hedi Kyle, Howard Munson, Hisako Nakazawa, Penny Nii, Felicia Rice, Judith Serebrin, Larry Van Velzer and Peggy Gotthold of Foolscap Press, Katherine Venturelli, and Kenneth Wilkes.

Tokyo Bookbinding Club Artists:
Yoko Bato, Keiko Fujii, Michiko Fujita, Sinki Fukuda, Mari Hatano, Fumiko Ichida, Masumi Inayama, Junko Inque, Hisako Kawashima, Rie Kondo, Yukari Kunii, Ikuko Nakajima, Hiroko Nakano, Amu Nakao, Eiko Nakao, Kunie Ogoshi, Maki Sato, Katsuyuko Sawada, Ariko Shibata, Keiko Suzuki, Yoko Taguchi, Hiroe Takahashi, Akiko Tsumura, and Maya Yamashita.

As I’ve mentioned many times before, I love love love Japan so much. I’m so thankful that I had the opportunity to visit the country last year. Checking out this exhibit would be the perfect reason to go back. It couldn’t be that hard to travel to Japan with a 3-month-old baby, right?

To learn more about the exhibit, check out Jody’s blog post.

And if you’re planning on going to the exhibit in person,¬†here‚Äôs how to get there:

  • Address: 2-Chome, Nakacho, Urawa-ku of zip 330-0062 Saitama City, 5th number 1 Urawa Century City, the 3rd floor (Google Map)
  • Phone: 048-827-3215
  • Public Transportation: 7¬†minute walk from JR Urawa Station (West Exit); 8¬†minute walk from Omiya Station;¬†20 minute¬†walk from Ueno Station; 25 minute walk from¬†Shinjuku Station

Note: Many thanks to Jody Alexander for granting me permission to use her images.

Upcoming classes at Studio Place Arts

In the chaos that is new motherhood, I have somehow managed to schedule two bookbinding classes at Studio Place Arts in Barre, VT. Many thanks to my husband for taking on Anna while I teach.

Here’s the scoop:

The Paste Paper Photo Album

Handmade paste paper photo album by Elissa Campbell of Blue Roof Designs

Dates: Saturdays, September 23 & 30, 2017
Hours: 12:30 p.m. ‚Äď 4:00 p.m.

In this workshop, you will learn how to create an elegant hard-cover photo album using bookcloth and paste paper that you’ll make yourself! This is a wonderful keepsake that can hold 4″ x 6″ photos from your recent vacation or family holiday gathering.

Different methods will be demonstrated to guide you as you create your own paste papers with vibrant colors. We’ll use methyl cellulose in a paste recipe that’s easy to recreate on your own. You’ll choose one or two of the papers to create your stab-bound photo album, but don’t worry – you’ll have plenty of paste paper to take home with you!

Each participant will leave class with a completed photo album, a collection of paste papers, and a basic knowledge of bookbinding and paste paper technique.¬†No previous experience required ‚Äď this is a great class for a beginner.

  • Cost: SPA Members $55.00 / Non-Members $65.00
  • Materials fee: $15.00
  • Tools (optional): Awl, bone folder, ruler, X-Acto knife or utility knife, cutting mat, scissors, pencil, glue brush, old credit cards or gift cards that can be cut into and used as design tools, plastic utensils, wood grain or other tools to create marks.

Peek-a-Boo Journal

Handmade coptic journal by Elissa Campbell of Blue Roof DesignsDate: Saturday, October 28, 2017
Hours: 12:30 p.m. ‚Äď 5:30 p.m.

In this workshop, participants will create a journal with a double-needle coptic binding, an intricate stitch that will be visible on the spine of the book. Not only is the coptic binding beautiful, but it also allows books to remain flat when opened. The book covers will include a cut-out window, which offers many opportunities for personalization Рphotos, pressed flowers, theater tickets Рif it’s flat, you can use it.

Participants are encouraged to bring small photos, paper ephemera, and/or other flat items to both decorate the covers and include in the windows. Additional materials will be available for use during the workshop.

Each participant will leave class with a completed book and basic knowledge of bookbinding technique. Participants will receive a detailed handout and resource list for all materials used. Some bookbinding or sewing experience is helpful, but not required.

  • Cost:¬†SPA Members $40.00 / Non-Members $50.00
  • Materials fee: $15.00
  • Tools (optional): Awl, bone folder, metal ruler, X-Acto knife and/or utility knife, cutting mat, scissors, pencil, glue brush

Note: Don’t feel obligated to buy any of the tools listed for either class. I’ve got enough tools to cover everyone.

For more information about either class, please feel free to contact me or Studio Place Arts.

I hope to see you in one of my classes!

Happy National Book Lovers Day!

Baby wearing an orange onesie and an orange hat

When I dressed Anna in this outfit today, I had no idea that it was National Book Lovers Day. What a lovely coincidence!

That outfit was the first onesie that Anna wore out of the hospital – it was much bigger on her then, as you can see in this post. I’ll be bummed when she outgrows it.

Enough ogling of the baby. Back to National Book Lovers Day.

Although the holiday’s birth date is unknown,¬†reports that Google searches for the phrase “National Book Lovers Day” started in 2007. And since I always trust websites that I visit for the first time, I’ll believe what they’re saying.¬†

Yay for books!

So what can you do to celebrate? Here are some ideas:

If you’re curious to see how others are celebrating. check out¬†#NationalBookLoversDay on social media (Instagram, Twitter).

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