Category : Paper

Worktable Wednesday

I recently returned from a 2-week vacation and I’ve been having re-entry problems. I love being in the studio, but it’s hard to transition back to work after traveling for an extended period of time. It’s a different kind of life.

I finally found something to sink my teeth into – my upcoming Pop-Up Basics class at Studio Place Arts. I spent today working on samples – thankfully, I have lots of instructional books for inspiration (nod to Carol Barton).

Pop up card on worktable

Here are some of the pop-up techniques we’ll be working on in the class:

Pop-up card samples

I also spent some of today hunting for frogs with Wiggum. I missed him so much while I was away!

Where do you get your paper?

Sheets of paperI often get asked where I get my paper. It’s a complicated question because the answer is really “everywhere”. I do have a few wholesale sources, but I’m keeping those to myself (sorry).

I will, however, happily start with my online sources:

I have a friend who used to make paper in Vermont, but he retired [sadness]. Luckily, he still has a large stash of his paper, so I buy from him occasionally. You can buy paper from him online from his Etsy shop.

Whenever I attend a book arts event or conference, I always end up buying paper. I try to resist, but it’s really pointless. As soon as my hubby and I plan to take a vacation, first thing I do is try to locate any paper stores on our route. I bring my tube with me so I can travel safely with my goodies.

The strangest place I ever bought paper was from a hardware store in Japan Town in San Francisco. More obvious sources are local art and stationery stores – they usually carry sheets of acid-free gift wrap along with handmade papers. My advice is to just always keep your eyes open – if you’re a paper junkie, then the paper will find you.

Where do you find your paper?

Paper Sample Book

I love love love my paper sample book. I’ve had it forever.

Paper sample book

In fact, I’m not really sure when I started working on it. It’s a loose leaf binder with baseball card holder pages in it. Whenever I get a new paper, I cut a piece from it that’s 2.5” x 3.5” and slide it into one of the pockets. Sometimes I’ll wait until I have a use for the paper and cut it up for a project, and then I’ll take a sample piece from whatever is left over.

Paper samples

I have most of my papers organized by either maker/manufacturer, country, or weight/use. Those that don’t fit into those categories are usually organized by the whatever-I-feel-like approach. This binder has been invaluable for custom orders. I may no longer be able to get a specific paper that’s in there, but it’s much easier to find a replacement when I know the color, texture, and weight characteristics.

Paper samples

I also bring the binder with me whenever I go shopping for supplies. It’s much easier to look for a bookcloth match when you don’t have to bring a big roll of paper with you. Just whip out the piece from the sample book and you’re good to go. Plus, you may be looking for one thing but find something else that can work with something you already have.

Paper samples

Sometimes I put information on the back of a sample, such as the sheet size, where I bought it, or who the manufacturer is. I have even placed the store’s price label right on the back of the sample – then I’ve got the SKU number for reference.

When I get paper sample books from manufacturers, I usually take them apart and cut the pieces down to sample book size. It’s much easier to just carry around one reference book.

Do you have a way to organize your samples? I’d love to hear about it!

A Bookbinder’s Black Friday

Bookbinder's Black Friday image

I don’t know about you, but I’m a total Black Friday shopper. In fact, I’m just waiting for my coffee so I can get myself out the door for a new label maker. Mine died. So sad.

That said, there are some great online sales that may be of interest to you bookbinders out there (as if we need a reason to buy more supplies):

If you’re not familiar with the The Paper Place (great origami giveaway, anyone?), they boast a selection of over 1,200 papers. They’re pretty much the online mecca of Japanese paper and their selection is simply to die for. From now through 12/1/13, these wonderful folks are offering 15% off their entire online store. Use code MAKERFRIDAY at checkout to get the discount.

Paper Mojo is one of my favorite paper sources – they have a great selection and the prices are reasonable. From now until 12:00 midnight EST on Friday, November 29th, Paper Mojo is having a 20% off sale on everything in their shop. In addition, all orders over $75.00 receive free ground shipping. No code is needed – the savings will show up in your shopping cart.

Cloth Paper Scissors is offering 50% storewide from now until Tuesday, December 3rd until 11:59 p.m. Mountain time. This sale includes books, DVDs, art lessons, and magazines. No need for a code – just go directly to their website and shop!

As I’ve mentioned many times before, I learned how to make books while working at Paper Source during my grad school days. I have lots of love for this store and what’s not to love about free shipping on online orders over $75.00? Use code FALL75 at checkout to get the discount.

Kate’s Paperie is offering 30% off all regular priced items purchased online. Yes, everything. There’s no code to worry about – the discount will show up at checkout on your entire order. This deal will run from 12:01 a.m. EST on 11/29/13 through 12/1/13 (11:59 p.m. EST).

Happy shopping!

Paste Paper Photo Album – Day 1

Yesterday was the first session of my Paste Paper Photo Album class at Studio Place Arts. It was the first time I’d ever taught people how to make paste paper and I was really nervous. This technique is pretty much the opposite of bookmaking – it’s loose and messy and everywhere.

I had to cover the tables in plastic so we could contain our messes enthusiasm.

It didn’t take long for me to get comfortable once the class started. I began by talking about how paste is made and then demonstrated different techniques. After throwing a lot of information at the group, I set them free. And they really took to the process quickly.

Paste paper photo album class at Studio Place Arts

Paste paper photo album class at Studio Place Arts

Paste paper in progress

It wasn’t long before the floors were covered in vibrant papers.

Sheets of paste paper

Sheets of paste paper

Sheets of paste paper

Sheets of paste paper

Next week we’ll select which paper to use for our photo albums. After a quick iron on the backside and a rubbing with wax paper on the front to smooth out the finish, the paper will be ready to go!

Worktable Wednesday

Today I spent time working on the plan for tomorrow’s Paste Paper Photo Album class at Studio Place Arts.

I started off by making my resource booklets. This one’s a whopper at 12 pages – the biggest I’ve ever made!

Then I mixed up the first batch of paste. Look at them, all in a row and peaceful. Ah, my pretties!

Containers of colored paste for paste paper

Then began the making of the paste papers.

And then magically, they were dry!

Here’s a close-up of the yellow paper. I’m going to use it for a demo where I paste it up a second time with another color and comb it.

Yellow paste paper

I used Golden heavy body acrylics to color my pastes and I’m thrilled with how vibrant the colors are. The Goldens are expensive, but worth it in my opinion. If you’re gonna color paste, color it darn good!

I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s class. I have 9 colors of paste in all, including gold and silver. I’ll take pictures so you can see how everything works out.

A Bookbinder’s Black Friday

Bookbinder's Black Friday image

I don’t know about you, but I’m a total Black Friday shopper. For the right deal, I will get up early and fight the crowds. To clarify, not fight the crowds with fists.

That said, there are some great online sales that may be of interest to you bookbinders out there (as if we need a reason to buy more supplies):

Paper Mojo is one of my favorite paper sources – they have a great selection and the prices are reasonable. Check out their clearance section – there are some really good deals to be found. From now until 12:00 midnight EST on Friday, November 23th, Paper Mojo is having a 20% off sale on everything in their shop. In addition, all orders over $65.00 receive free ground shipping. No code is needed – the savings will show up in your shopping cart.

Interweave, the folks behind Cloth Paper Scissors, is having a Bargains and Blowouts Sale with lots of mixed-media resources including magazines, books, eBooks, Workshops, and more  for 20–60% off. On top of that, you can use coupon code EXTRA15 to get an additional 15% off your purchase now through November 25, 2012 until 11:59 p.m. CST.  I’ve had my eye on this year’s issue of Pages, their specialty publication devoted to book art and art journals – I think it’s time for me to finally get it!

As I’ve mentioned many times before, I learned how to make books while working at Paper Source during my grad school days. I have lots of love for this store and what’s not to love about free shipping on online orders over $75.00? Use code THANKS75 at checkout to get the discount now through November 26th.

Kate’s Paperie is offering 30% off everything purchased online. Yes, everything. There’s no code to worry about – the discount will show up at checkout on your entire order. This deal will run from 12:01 a.m. EST on 11/23/12 through 11/25/12 (11:59 p.m. EST).

Happy shopping!

Worktable Wednesday

During craft show season, I engage in poorly-planned, marathon studio sessions. Inevitably, this leads to the acquisition of little-known ailments, such as Kutrimmer Backache.

All of the pages in my books are hand-cut and for that reason, I’m extremely thankful that I have a Kutrimmer. I used to cut all of my pages by hand with a ruler and a pencil. Notsofun.

Today I cut 120 full-size sheets of paper (26″ x 40″). In book math, 120 full size sheets = 37 photo albums.

I’m looking at the last picture and it doesn’t look like a lot of paper, but it really is.

To put it into perspective, 120 sheets of paper amounts to 96,000 square inches. Translate those inches into yards and you get 74.074074 square yards.

Or 0.000023913 square miles.

Yes, I’m a math geek.

Elissa’s Picks for Vermont Open Studio Weekend

Vermont Open Studio Weekend logo

Open Studio Weekend is mere days away.

Must.clean.studio.

In this post, I listed the book arts studios I’d visit if I were touring this weekend. Of course, I would also visit studios by artists working in other media. Some of my suggestions are listed below.

I’ll be referring to studios by both name and number – the number refers to a listing in the Vermont Studio Tour Guide 2011. The colors of the studio numbers in this post match the colored markers in the Google map below.

There are several ways to get your hands on a map:

First stop would be Gallery at the Vault, #16. It’s a great place to get oriented for the start of your tour – they’re one of the official regional information centers for Open Studio Weekend. The gallery has been carrying my books for the last several months and they have a wonderful collection of craft work. As the name of the gallery suggests, there’s an actual bank vault in there. And they display artwork in it. I want to live in there. The gallery also has the honor of being one of only three galleries to have received the official designation as a Vermont State Craft Center. Awesome.

Laura Zindel, #37, would be my next stop. I really love her ceramic work – her designs remind me of scientific textbook illustrations.  She starts with pencil sketches and then silkscreens the images onto her pieces using an enamel transfer process. One of my favorite things to do is to explore tide pools and it’s for this reason that I love love love her Sea Life series. Dear Laura, you had me at starfish and spikey urchin.

Next I’d visit Tom Homann Pottery, #112. Tom’s booth was near mine at the 2009 Vermont Hand Crafters show and I was lucky enough to acquire one of his gorgeous steins. It’s my go-to mug for hot chocolate – it has a thumb perch on the handle (love it!). He uses earthy glazes in warm tones that are so lovely.

Lastly, I’d visit #184 Pikku, a.k.a. Valerie Ormiston. In Finnish, pikku translates to little or tiny. On her website, Valerie says that she enjoys celebrating the simple pleasures of each day – a great philosophy. I love her gift wrap designs. Ooohhhh and the pillows! The patterns are colorful, modern, and elegant. I am aching to use the Crazy Daisy paper on a journal.

Like the book arts studios, these studios aren’t very close to each other either. If you split them up between two days, it should be doable.



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