Category : Way Cool Stuff

The Paper Place and their rocking giveaway

Pile of Chiyogami papers

Sakes alive, that’s a lot of dreamy paper.

Mine mine mine please.

Everyone is talking about this giveaway…but can you blame us? The generous folks at The Paper Place are giving away a super fat sample pack, which includes an 8.5″ x 11” sheet of every Chiyogami paper they carry – 637 patterns in total with a retail value of $1911.

You can enter the giveaway on The Paper Place’s website.

If you’ve never worked with Chiyogami paper (a.k.a. Yuzen) before, it’s just fabulous. I’ve often referred to the stuff as the butter of paper – it just behaves so well.

Compliant paper makes me happy.

The Paper Place is located in Toronto, Canada…luckily within driving distance for me. In addition to their fabulous Chiyogami selection, they also offer workshops, art & papercrafting supplies, and gift items. You can even shop online if you can’t tolerate a trip out of the country. So if you don’t like what you got for the holidays, now you know what to do – return that crap for cash and go shopping for paper.

Not that I’d ever do that…

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

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!


Writer’s Block Soaps by Soapylove

Sometimes I see something and it just clicks with my book-making brain. I found these fabulous soaps by Soapylove, a.k.a. Debbie Chialtas.

Writer's Block Soaps by Soapylove

Debbie explains on her blog, The Soap Lab, that her Writer’s Block Soap is “handmade with a unique graphic design on the surface which is reminiscent of old typewriters and scrawled notes on napkins.” I have no idea how she did that on soap. And I don’t want to know. I want it to stay magical. They are just so lovely!

Her soaps are like open-faced books. The concept of soap as a book form is really intriguing to me. You create text and/or an image that gets used up/consumed. It dissolves/disintegrates/melts away. You clean/nourish/soothe yourself with it. You get to create content that isn’t meant to last/as a limited lifespan. The whole idea is rich with metaphor (there’s my inner art therapist again).

Writer's Block Soaps by Soapylove

And better yet, the soap is coffee-scented. Geez, I just wanna eat one!

Debbie hasn’t added the soaps to her Soapylove store yet, but you can purchase them on her blog. Make sure to turn up the sound on your computer when you visit her blog – she’s got Black Coffee in Bed playing in the background. You have to appreciate a sense of humor that’s based in 80’s music.

Many thanks go to Debbie for allowing me to use her wonderful photos.

UPDATE: These soaps are sold out. 🙁

Supplier Rave – French Paper Company

Yay! Today I get to buy paper.

As soon as I’m done with this post, I’m going over to the French Paper Company website and I’m going to buy me some paper. There are a lot of reasons for me to love French Paper.

Speckletone is my longtime love. I use the text weight for my journals and the 80 lb cover for my photo album pages. It’s such a lovely paper, nice and smooth. French Paper claims that Speckletone was the first recycled paper to include visible flecks. I’m inclined to believe them. They wouldn’t lie to me. Liars don’t make paper.

I also love Frostone, which I talked about in this post.

Ooohhh, and I also love their Pop Ink Patterned Papers.

Okay, all of the papers rock. They’re also environmentally friendly. They have used water to power their plant for the past 84 years. And they’ve been making recycled papers since 1953. They also have great customer service. If your order arrives damaged, they’re always quick to remedy the situation.

Annddd…they have the best sense of humor. Below you can see the lovely surprise I received with not one, but THREE of my orders last year.

Inflatable Jerry French

It’s the one, the only, inflatable Jerry French (he’s the Big Cheese). Inflatable Jerry has become one of studio mascots and he guards my bookboard. Maybe I’ll have a contest and give away a Jerry as the prize.

But wait, there’s more. Before I received my first inflatable Jerry, I received a Jerry French action figure. I call him Little Jerry. Not to be confused with Little Jerry from Seinfeld.

As you can see in the photo below, he kinda looks like a monkey. In a suit. With a comb-over.

Jerry French action figure

Okay, so he’s creepy, but he’s still THE MAN. Do you have an action figure of yourself? Do you? Do you? Didn’t think so.

Don’t worry, I don’t either.

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