Category : Studio

Worktable Wednesday

Today I decided that it would be fun to give you a little peek at what’s under my worktable.

I am the Queen of Cram:

Underbelly of bookbinding worktable

I firmly believe in the power of plastic shoe boxes. They make everything look super-organized. Most of what’s here is business stuff – sales slips, office supplies, credit card supplies, etc. I also have an assortment of rubber stamp supplies, envelopes, and a paper recycling container.

The best thing under the table is my waste basket. I have the best footless frog waste basket ever (don’t you have one?):

Footless frog wastebasket

I’ve had this thing forever and I really don’t remember ever not having it. As a kid, I had a dog who chewed the feet off – it didn’t keep me from loving my frog any less – now he just has a disability. It doesn’t seem to affect his ability to eat trash and look damn creepy doing it.

All hail the frog!

Open Studio Weekend recap

So now that my sister in-law’s wedding is over, I can finally get to my Open Studio Weekend review. I am so thankful for all of the visitors who braved the roads and weather to visit my studio! I had a great time. 🙂

I’m well-aware that there was no way my poor little yellow sign could possibly compete with a big orange sign and a pylon. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out this post.

By the way, the person who painted the other sign is awesome.

Sign at the top of Gallison Hill Road, Montpelier, VT

My husband and I are now referring to our street as Gallison Hole Road. I’m sure that I lost some folks at the bottom of my hill when they were greeted by the “Road Closed” sign, but I had a much better turnout than I had anticipated. I just found out that it will be at least two weeks until they repair the destroyed culvert. Argh.

Here’s a virtual tour of my studio as it was set up that weekend:

Display of handmade books by Elissa Campbell

I am looking forward to participating in Vermont’s first (and hopefully annual) fall Open Studio Weekend! Mark your calendars for October 1 – 2, 2011 for some spectacular foliage and super-duper handmade books.

Stay tuned for more information – or if you’d like to join my snail mail list, just contact me and I’ll hook you up. I also have an Email newsletter that launched just last month – click here to sign up.

Note: Your personal information is kept completely confidential and not shared with anyone. Ever.

Worktable Wednesday

Today was an awesome day.

I did something that I’ve wanted to do for more than five years – I replaced my studio bookshelves! My library has suffered from saggy shelf syndrome for way too long.

Here are some before shots:

Then all of the books came out…

…which signaled the beginning of total studio destruction.

This project was probably not a good idea to dive into this week. With Open Studio Weekend a few days away, I should be doing the usual studio cleanse.

But no. I looked at the shelves and thought to myself, ooohhh…shiny.

There was no hope for rational thought.

Long story short – look at my rocking new, neat, well-organized shelves!

And yes, I’m well aware that these new shelves are already sagging slightly…but ooohhh shiny!

If you come by for Open Studio Weekend, feel free to stay a while and go through the library. I’ve acquired many new books in the last year and I’m happy to make recommendations.

Vermont Open Studio Weekend – Central VT Artists

Vermont Open Studio Weekend logoVermont’s Open Studio Weekend is 1 1/2 weeks away. Time to start cleaning the studio.

Ugh. Any volunteers?

If you’re planning on visiting my studio (and you totally should!), you can visit other great artists within a 20ish minute drive of here. This year, Vermont Hand Crafters has a hub location at Vermont College and is hosting seven artists.

This adds up to a total of 24 artists participating in the central Vermont area (we represent!). Artists are offering exhibits and demonstrations of pottery, jewelry, sculpting, weaving, painting, rug hooking, and more.

I’ll be referring to studios by both name and number – the number refers to a listing in the Vermont Studio Tour Guide 2011. There are several ways to get your hands on a map:

Here’s the rundown of who’s who (click on the links to learn more about specific artists):

I created the map below to help you plan your travels. Because the studios are so close to each other, you can visit quite a few of them within a short period of time.

Have fun!


Make that map bigger – I like my studios large!

Worktable Wednesday

Handmade guest books in progress

Today was pretty mellow. I worked on some guest books, including one for my sister in-law’s upcoming wedding.

Have I mentioned that I’m going to be a bridesmaid for the first time in my life? The bookcloth spine on the guest book is almost an exact match for the bridesmaid dresses (I actually like my dress) – it’s a lovely color.

The air in my studio was really interesting today – not good for curly hair, but still pleasant. Once I had the PVA open, it smelled sooo good. It actually made me think of ice cream.

I’m not really sure what PVA ice cream would taste like, but I don’t have a pressing need to find out.

Speaking of pressing, this is where the guest book covers ended up:

Two book presses on top of a library card catalog

I finally own a library card catalog that fits in my studio – I got it off Craigslist last month for $25.00! The size is perfect – a smidge wider and it wouldn’t have fit. It didn’t come with a top, so you can see into the top row of drawers. After I get through Open Studio Weekend, I’ll work on fixing that.

In addition to being awesome in general, the drawers elevated my presses high enough so that I can access and use both of them. Before, they were too low and I could only use one of them.

Now I just need to figure out what to put in the drawers…

Blue Roof Designs is on foursquare!

Blue Roof Designs on foursquare

I’m considered an advanced technology user by those who know me and that’s why it’s embarrassing to admit that I don’t own a smart phone. Hopefully that will change soon…

In any event, I don’t have a lot of personal experience with foursquare, except for when I’ve been able to access wireless internet on my iPod. I’m happy to say that for those of you who are into foursquare, my studio is now registered as a venue.

If you have plans to visit my studio during Open Studio Weekend, then that would be a great opportunity for you to check in. I’m currently mayor-free, so the badge is up for grabs.

I also have a Check-in Special for foursquare users during Open Studio Weekend – I’m not giving any hints on that, so be sure to come by. 🙂

Note: My studio is open by appointment year-round. Feel free to contact me if you’d like to stop by (I need time to clean).

Worktable Wednesday

After last week’s custom-wedding-invitation-cram-session, I was burnt. If I were a super hero, my name would have been Super Burnt.

Not creative, but accurate.

After a weekend with my sister, I was ready to get back into the studio.

Except that it was trashed. That’s what happens when I throw myself into a project – I tend to throw things around.

So today was spent cleaning the studio. And it’s still not done.

I can say that right now, it looks better than the photo at right.

Since I’m participating in Vermont’s Open Studio Weekend, which occurs in a month, I realize that I can’t let it get this crazy again.

I am hereby publicly committing to a month of cleanliness. Starting tomorrow.

Wait – if I’m going by calendar months, then I really don’t have to start until Sunday…

Worktable Wednesday

I spent a large amount of time today working on the newsletter for the Book Arts Guild of Vermont. If you’re curious about what we’re doing, you can check out our newsletter for yourself.

Today’s adventure in the studio was pretty straightforward – inventory.

I decided to tackle the most complex drawer in my flat files – the one I call Solids/Brights. What that boils down to is a drawer full of random papers with any amount of color to them.

I love this drawer.

I hate counting the papers in this drawer.

I love love love walking down Paper Memory Lane.

I’m thankful that I have created a detailed inventory system. The one thing I haven’t added to my spreadsheet is country of origin. Although it doesn’t really impact my inventory, I just love knowing where my paper was made.

I love love love the Chinese stone embossed metallic papers that I bought at Paper Mojo.

Stack of handmade papers

Hello Japanese gorgeousness.

Stack of handmade papers

Then the papers get smaller and increasingly random. This is when my brain starts to ache.

Stack of handmade papers

And I almost, almost regret having purchased so much paper. I recover from that quickly.

Stack of handmade papers

Then I take a look at my paper-covered worktable and call it a day.

Oh yeah, that walk into the studio tomorrow morning is not going to be pleasant.

Worktable Wednesday

Sadly, today was much more office-based than studio-based. Phone calls and Emails and bills...snooozzze!

I cut materials for two photo albums I’ll be working on tomorrow – I’m feeling sick and didn’t think I’d have any muscle to put into gluing.

Everything is ready to go first thing tomorrow morning:

When my energy ran out, I worked on inventory. I love math, but really hate hate hate counting things.

I have an Excel spreadsheet that I use every year for my inventory. I start out by updating the costs for any recent purchases. I also have a rocking checklist (who, me?) to help keep me focused.

As cranky as I was about counting, I was happy to rummage through my two shoe boxes full of chopsticks. Yes, I said two. And now I’m craving noodles.

Here’s hoping that I’ll feel better tomorrow!

Worktable Wednesday

This morning I had to prepare for a trip to Sewly Yours & Once Upon A Bride, a holy-crap-stunning bridal salon in Burlington, VT. I met the owner, Debbie LaFromboise, at a craft show a few years ago and she’s been carrying my guest books since then. I was thrilled to hear that she wanted to have photo albums added into the mix!

In addition to bringing a selection of books, I brought my bookcloth and paper sample books so Debbie could make custom choices if she desired. My paper sample book is probably one of the first things I’d grab if my house were on fire. I’ll be doing a post about it in the coming weeks.

This is the process I go through any time I take large books out of the house. I don’t care if it’s sunny and 0% humidity – my books are getting packed in plastic. I don’t mess around.

We had a winter weather advisory today and the snow made for sloppy, slow driving. Traffic actually crawled to 25 mph on the interstate.

Once I got home, I worked on a blog post for the Bookbinding Etsy Street Team. I’m working on a series of posts about craft show issues and how they relate to book artists. In case you didn’t know it, we have needs. Today’s post was about book stands.

After finishing the blog post, I finally got into the studio to continue work on a book repair – the 5″ dictionary from last week. Tonight I worked on reattaching the board pieces that had separated from the covers. I was psyched to use up some really thick PVA – it was perfect for the job.

I am now squeezing the juice out of pressing the covers. Tomorrow I’ll put it all together and it can go on its merry word-defining way!

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