Category : Random

Happy 10th Blogiversary!

10th Blogiversary image

Wow. I have been blogging for ten years. How did that even happen?

During this past year, I have been suffering from Blogger’s Guilt. With the addition of Anna to our family, blogging on a regular basis has been hard.

Seriously. How am I supposed to get anything done with this face looking at me?


It’s not that I haven’t had anything to talk about, it’s just that my time has been focused on baby things. Believe it or not, my draft blog post count now stands at 120.


Screenshot of draft blog post count

When things slow down (hah!), I hope to get to that very long list of posts. As if I haven’t said that before. Maybe by the time you’re reading this post, I’ll already have finished those posts.

[insert wishful thinking here]

Regardless of whether or not I have been a recent poster, I have managed to last a decade. Woohoo!

So, it’s time to celebrate. In keeping with my custom of following the schedule of traditional and modern anniversary gifts, I will be giving myself something made of aluminum or tin.

Aside from getting myself some Altoids, the only other thing I could think of is a tin of Italian Coccoina paste – it’s acid-free and made from potato starch. I’ve never worked with it before, but I hear it smells amazing.

Tin of Coccoina paste

The cool thing about getting the paste is that it would pay homage to my book Rabbit Glue.

Meh. Anyone have any other suggestions?

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).

Introducing Anna…the future lover of all things bookish!

You may have noticed that I’ve been rather quiet as of late and there’s a good reason for that. On May 30th, my husband, Wiggum, and I welcomed a baby girl into our family, Anna Laurel Campbell!

She was considerate enough to wait to be born until after Open Studio Weekend and I will forever be thankful for that.

Baby wearing an orange onesie

Yep, her first outfit had a book on it. I’m a big, fat nerd that way.

Because she was born in New York, I couldn’t announce her arrival sooner because there was a 30 revocation period. Now that we’ve made it past that, it’s Anna Time!

Holy Moses, I love this little peanut. As of July 10th, she was approximately 3.62 bone folders long, YBFMY (your bone folder might vary). Yep, I put a bone folder next to her. I’m a big, fat nerd that way.

Swaddled baby next to a bone folder

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may have realized that this happened just before the Focus on Book Arts conference. Where I was set to teach a workshop. Twice. Timing = not good.

Teaching at FOBA was a year in the making for me and I was really proud of having been selected as an instructor. My husband and I made the decision that as long as there weren’t any medical considerations, I would attend the conference as planned. Nearly 20 people had signed up for the workshops and I didn’t want to leave them hanging. Thankfully, everything went smoothly (travel aside – oy).

Now I’m back home, trying to understand what my new normal is. I haven’t spent much time in the studio recently and I miss it. I would very much like to continue teaching, but I have to figure out how to fit workshops into my current schedule. 

In the meantime, I’m happy just staring at Anna and thinking about how lucky I am. 🙂

Happy National Notebook Day!

National Notebook Day image with handmade book by Blue Roof Designs

That’s right folks, today marks the second annual National Notebook Day. This event takes place on the third Thursday of May each year.

I love blank books – there’s such a world of possibility that lives within those pages. I believe that books are a great vehicle for telling your story, whether with words, images, or a combination of both.

So you like journals but don’t know what to do once you get your hands on one? Well, just head on over to my Pinterest board Whaddaya do with a blank book? There are tons of ideas there to help you get started.

And another thing – if you have first page anxiety (most people do), I recommend that you start writing on the second page of your book. That way, you won’t have to deal with the pressure of making that first page look “right”. You can simply begin. The first page can easily be filled in later with a title or dates.

Feel free to satisfy your book pic cravings today by heading on over to Instagram – you can check out the event account or images tagged with #nationalnotebookday. Or you could just head on over to Etsy to do a bit of shopping…

Go forth and write and/or doodle!

Adios 2016!

Confession time – I get really cranky this time of year. There’s just something about the time between Christmas and New Year’s – why doesn’t it go faster? I’m ready for next year!

This period of time is informally known as Elissa Reflects and Beats Herself up for All the Things She Didn’t Get Done This Year. It’s not as fun as it sounds.

For example, I have 81 half-written draft blog posts (including a bunch about my Japan trip). I’m not exaggerating – here’s the proof:

Draft blog posts screen shot

Just how in the fart does that happen?

And don’t get me started on the piles of unfinished books in my studio. And then there’s this and that, and blah, blah, blah. Crab, crab, crab. My mind can really be an endless source of ick.

Imagine my surprise when I had a magical happy moment earlier this week. I decided to stop moping and instead look at all of the cool stuff that happened this year.

I’ve never been good at this, so I decided to start by making myself a motivational poster:

Shut up brain - motivational poster

Well that did the trick! Here’s my top ten list:

  1. I went to Japan. And bought a whole mess of paper. And saw it being made. And got forced into karaoke.
  2. I attended the Movable Book Society conference in Boston (that was on my bucket list)
  3. I attended the Wells Book Arts Summer Institute (also on my bucket list – 2017 registration open now)
  4. I took a class with Karen Hanmer (this woman is a master of everything)
  5. I went to Chena River Marblers for their end-of-year sale
  6. I visited with Vamp and Tramp Booksellers at the University of Vermont
  7. I exhibited work at the Burlington Book Festival
  8. I presented at the T.W. Wood Art Camp
  9. I learned how to make the Chinese Sewing Box in a workshop with Erin Sweeney
  10. I WENT TO JAPAN (okay, maybe that’s cheating, but it was such a wonderful trip)

I have to admit that 2016 was a damn cool year. I guess I shouldn’t be in such a rush to end it. Perhaps this end-of-year reflection should become a yearly thing…

Do any of you do an annual self audit? If so, I’d love to hear what you’ve done this year! Show me your list in the comments below.

Happy World Photo Day!

World Photo Day logoI just found out that today is World Photo Day and I simply can’t resist a good random holiday. Korske Ara, an adventure and landscape photographer based in Canberra, Australia, started the World Photo Day project in 2009.

He had the following to say about the craft:

Photography has the power to tell stories, freeze memories, inspire generations and initiate change.

That really does sum it all up, doesn’t it?

So why is World Photo Day celebrated on August 19th?

It was on that day in 1839 that the French government announced the development of the daguerreotype process. Not only was this the first publicized photographic process, but it was also considered the first practical photographic process. We have the following to thank for their most awesome invention – Joseph Nicéphore Niépce and Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre (for whom the process was named).

Let’s hear it for Joe and Louis!

So what can you do to celebrate today? Here are a few ideas:

Take some pictures

It’s time to share your story. Get up. Go outside. Go back inside when you realize that you forgot your camera. Go outside again. Start snapping and let people see your world.

Actually look at the pictures on your phone

I came across an interesting study commissioned by Shutterfly, a producer of personalized photo books. Researchers found that more than half of new photos aren’t shared after being taken. 

Does this feel familiar? Do you look at your pictures right after taking them and then never visit them again? 

Fairfield University professor Dr. Linda Henkel said the following about this:

Looking back at a photo helps to reactivate and consolidate the memory, making it more accessible later and training the brain to remember the story behind the picture.

You took those pictures for a reason, so hit Memory Lane and relive those warm fuzzies.

Put your photos in an album

The Shutterfly study also found that 50% of survey respondents hadn’t looked at a photo older than 10 years in the past month. Think of it – all of those weddings, graduations, birthdays, vacations, dog parties – it’s like they don’t exist anymore.

You can bring those photos back into your life by putting them into photo albums. They help you tell the story behind the photos, which adds depth and meaning to the experience. And the feel of a book in your hands is just so wonderful – it’s personal and intimate. 

[start shameless self-plug]

Perhaps you didn’t know that I hand-bind photo albums that are great for preserving your memories and stories…yep, it’s true. You can find a selection of my work for sale on both my website and on Etsy. Can’t find what you’re looking for? I love doing custom work – contact me and let’s talk.

Handmade photo album by Elissa Campbell of Blue Roof Designs

[end shameless self-plug]

There’s also a dizzying array of online self-publishing options. Most offer templates to aid you in the design process and you can upload photos right from your phone. While I haven’t tried these myself, here’s a small selection of what’s out there (in no particular order): MixbookBlurbArtifact UprisingPinhole Press, and Snapfish.

Do you have any photo-related stories to share? Have you used any of the photo book services on my list? Taking a stab at the daguerreotype?

Let me know about it – I’m all ears!

Happy National Notebook Day!

National Notebook Day written on a handmade journalI just discovered that today is National Notebook Day. This is the inaugural year for the event – it will take place on the third Thursday of May each year.

I couldn’t find much information about the holiday. I’m assuming that the organizers would like for everyone to just grab a journal and get writing. Wouldn’t one of my journals be perfect for that?

If you’re doing something special today, let folks know about it by using the hashtag nationalnotebookday when posting to social media.

I started wondering how new holidays happen, so I did some poking. In general, it seems that you just declare that something is a holiday and then get others to recognize it.

Apparently, the King of Holidays is Chase’s Calendar of Events. If you get in there, you’re golden. It doesn’t cost anything – just fill out this form and you too can create the holiday of your dreams (and get it in print). The deadline for 2016 submissions has passed, but get thinking for next year!

You can also choose to register your holiday with National Day Calendar. They are less generous with their holiday declarations – you have to be a company or organization to be able to submit.

I guess I have some more thinking to do about Eat Chocolate Twizzlers Until You Start Feeling Sick Day



Happy 8th Blogiversary!

Today is the eighth anniversary of the day I started this blog!

Out of curiosity, I looked up the traditional and modern anniversary gifts for year eight. Here’s what I found:

  • Traditional: Pottery/Bronze
  • Modern: Linens/Lace

In order to satisfy both the traditional and modern themes, I have no choice but to buy myself some Bronze Momi and Ogura Lace papers – right?

Over the years, I’ve attended many events that offer swag to attendees – it’s like getting bookbinder goody bags. I love bags of stuff – don’t you? On top of that, I’ve collected duplicates of printed promotions that come with supply orders.

In honor of my blogiversary, I’ve decided to share the love. I’m having a giveaway!

So what does the prize look like? Well, it’s about 2.5 pounds of goodness:

2 issues of Bound and Lettered and 1 issue of the Guild of Book Workers Newsletter

Printed promotions from the French Paper Company

  • Paper sample books of the Construction and Smart White lines from the French Paper Company and the publication Hidden Treasures: The History and Technique of Fore-edge Painting by Jeanne Bennett:

Paper sample books of the Construction and Smart White lines from the French Paper Company and the publication Hidden Treasures: The History and Technique of Fore-edge Painting by Jeanne Bennett:

4 metal stencils from Dreamweaver Stencils and a border mold by Ten Seconds Studio:

  • A marbled bookmark from Chena River Marblers, a small roll of bookcloth, a pack of bookplates, a leather key chain from Harmatan Leather, a tape measure key chain from Harmatan Leather,  a small bag of beads, and other randomness:

A marbled bookmark from Chena River Marblers, a small roll of bookcloth, a pack of bookplates, a leather key chain from Harmatan Leather, a tape measure key chain from Harmatan Leather,  a small bag of beads

Three rulers from Green Heron Book Arts, a batch of paper samples from Legion Paper, two paper bookmarks, a postcard, and a card from the Artist’s Book Ideation Cards by Barbara Tetenbaum and Julie Chen

So how do you enter? It’s easy – just comment on this post with your favorite quote or joke about books by midnight on April 10th. I’ll announce the winner (chosen at random) on April 11th.

Need inspiration? Here’s a quote to get you started:

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read. – Groucho Marx

Paper Nerd Club Patch

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know that I collect bookbinding/paper-artsy badges. I’m pretty sure that my obsession stems from my stint in the Girl Scouts. I still have my sash and all the badges I earned.

So you must understand how excited I was when I discovered the Paper Nerd Club Patch in the pages of Stationery Trends magazine. The badge is the brainchild of Constellation & Co. They work primarily as letterpress printers.

Check out this beauty:

Paper Nerd Club patch by Constellation & Co.

It came on a letterpressed card, announcing my achievement as a Paper Nerd. Hooray for me!

Paper Nerd Club patch and letterpressed card by Constellation & Co.

The thing is huge, measuring three inches across. It is much bigger than a standard scouting badge.

Paper Nerd Club patch by Constellation & Co. and other badges

I am in love with it! I can’t wait to get it on my work apron. While I’m at it, I can finally sew on the two PBI badges that have been neglected for the past few years.

FYI – Constellation & Co. also makes a Type Geek Club Patch – I probably should have bought that one too. Next time!

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays in different languages

I wish you the best during this holiday season – whether you’re having a white Christmas, a belated Chanukah, or a Full Cold Moon Friday. I hope you’re spending time with the ones you love and those who love you (here’s to you, Wiggum).

Many thanks to those who have supported me in my bookish endeavors this year – you rock!

Bring on 2016!


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