Category : Way Cool Stuff

Foliage Vermont Open Studio Weekend – Central VT Artists

Central Vermont Foliage 2011 Open Studio Weekend map with heart

Vermont’s Open Studio Weekend is 1 1/2 weeks away.

Yep, you heard that right!

This year is the debut of the first (and hopefully annual) Foliage Vermont Open Studio Weekend!

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.

And as you can see in the image at right, the studios in the heart of Vermont form a sweet little heart.

Central Vermont has a lot to offer this October – exhibits and demonstrations of pottery, jewelry, sculpting, weaving, painting, photography, illustration, and more.

I’ll be referring to studios by both name and number – the number refers to a listing in the Vermont Foliage Studio Tour 2011 Guide. 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. Depending on your route, you should double-check for any road closures that are still in effect due to Irene. The State of Vermont created this awesome map that has the most up-to-date information on road closures.

Have fun!

Make that map bigger! I like my studios ginormous!

The rebirth of Innovative Bookbinding

Innovative Bookbinding by Shereen LaPlantzIn mid-July, I wrote this post about Shereen LaPlantz’s fabulous book, Innovative Bookbinding: Secret Compartments and Hidden Messages.

The book not only explores different book structures, but also incorporates some of the techniques in the book itself. I plan to write about the book in an upcoming blog post.

Before I wrote the post, there was a lot of discussion on the Book Arts listserv about the book and people were asking me if I’d loan out my copy or make copies/scans of the pages.

As I didn’t feel comfortable making copies without getting permission, I contacted David LaPlantz, Shereen’s husband.

After taking some time to consider the request, David contacted me with this amazing news:

I have begun the process involved in reprinting Shereen’s Innovative Bookbinding!

The exciting process of generating a very clean copy of Shereen’s book is happening, but exact details will be forthcoming, when I know more about the when, where, what and of course the price and ordering details.

My goal is to reproduce, with clarity, Innovative Bookbinding, Secret Compartments & Hidden Messages as close to the original as possible. I am holding in my heart the way I know Shereen would wish her most prized book to look and feel.

Out of respect for Shereen and her Bookbinding legacy, this re-print will emerge to satisfy the educational needs while extending Shereen’s vision and incredible writing/bookbinding methods for future generations!

Can I get a woohoo?!

If you’re interested in buying a copy, please contact David via Email: He’d like to get a sense of the interest and get an idea of how many copies to print in the first run.

Worktable Wednesday

Something I’ve learned over the years is that it never hurts to ask. Ask about what? Well, pretty much anything. As long as you’re prepared to hear “no” a lot of the time, the benefits are worthwhile.

Case in point – Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery. From this point on, I’ll refer to them as VBCC.

When I attended the Vermont Cheesemakers’ Festival last year, I noticed that VBCC had a bunch of wooden crates stacked up behind their booth. The crates are part of the packaging for their cheese.

Not only do they look cool, but they also have a job to do – from their website:

This wooden crate and micro-perforated film allows the cheese to breathe and continue to ripen while maintaining the proper level of moisture.

Fast forward to this year’s Cheese Festival. I’m looking at the crates behind their booth and thinking that they must be trash. They can’t reuse them for food – it’s probably against some kind of health regulation.  I decide to ask if I can have them

Score! I think I got 3 crates that day and I was in heaven.

Fast forward to this year. I go by the VBCC booth. Once again, there are stacks of crates.

I ask. I score.

They give me a box full of crates which includes 10 large and 12 small ones.

Piles of wooden cheese crates

Sadly, some of them have to be discarded because there’s cheese stuck to them (gross). A couple of the large one were broken and aren’t repairable. No worries – there’s still plenty to play with.

I decided to use the large crates to organize my paper and bookcloth sample book collection. They are the perfect size.

Paper and bookcloth sample books in cheese crate

Paper and bookcloth sample books in cheese crate

I keep the sample books on the top shelf of my bookcase and whenever I need them, it’s easy enough to pull down the full crate.

Many thanks to Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery!

By the way, you have to try their Cultured Butter with Sea Salt Crystals and Fresh Goat Cheese with Herbs.


Worktable Wednesday

I can’t say that much happened in the studio today because I still haven’t finished unpacking from my recent trip to the Focus on Book Arts conference.

Since I have to unpack, I figured that now would be a good time to show you the awesome goodies I bought while I was away. Almost everything I bought was from Colophon Book Arts Supply.

Nancy Morains, Colophon’s owner, had a basket of hand painted linen thread by Kinglet Cottage Designs. This stuff is so beautiful! I must have studied those skeins for at least 10 minutes before finally settling on 8 different varieties.

Hand painted linen thread by Kinglet Cottage Designs

I bought two Anza glue brushes, which are great because each has a built-in brush rest/cup hanger thingie. No more rolling brushes! A friend of mine has some of these and in the past I’ve experienced brush covet – I covet no more!

Glue brushes

I got a 1/4″ steel rule, even though I already have a 1/4″ brass rule. Apparently the steel is more durable. The microspatula is different from the one I already have – this one has a squared-off end, which has already proven useful for scraping PVA out of tight spots.

1/4" steel rule, micro spatula, bone folder

The bone folder was a total impulse purchase (sorry for the glare). I wasn’t in the market for one, but I picked it up because I liked the shape. It felt as though it had been shaped for my hand and no one else’s. Unfortunately, I don’t know what kind of bone it’s made from.

I seriously, super-love Duo bookcloth. I bought 1/2 yard pieces of 8 different colors. I just want to eat them.

Duo bookcloth

Top row, left to right: Chili, Laguna, Sunshine, Nile
Bottom row, left to right: Barley, Henna, Berry, Cinnamon

I have a Duo sample book that I got from Bamberger Kaliko and I like their color names better, so I’m going to do that again:

Top row, left to right: Peperoni, Libelle, Sonnengelb, Fango
Bottom row, left to right: Herbstlaub, Klinker, Traube, Abendrot

I bought 2 packages of black photo turn mounts at the Accidental BookMaker (a.k.a. Green Heron Book Arts). I’m not really sure what I’m going to do with them, but they seem like a good thing to have around.

Last, but not least, is the book that I won in the scholarship raffle.

The Colophon: A Quarterly for Bookmen

I haven’t read it yet and I know a whole lot of nothing about it. All I can say is that it was an old book in a raffle and I wanted it. Intriguing-sounding chapters include The American Conchology: A Venture in Backwoods Book Printing and The Pursuit of a First Folio.

If you’re interesting in getting your own copy, there are several available on Amazon.

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…

Worktable Wednesday

Today (and for the past several days) I’ve been working on my sister in-law’s wedding invitations.

In case you’re counting, here’s where we’re at:

  1. Campbell #1 (somehow I never wrote a post about these)
  2. Campbell #2
  3. Campbell #3
  4. Campbell #4 (post coming soon)

Yes. This is my husband’s fourth sibling to get invitations as a wedding gift. Thankfully, there are no more siblings left.

Because the invitations are in the process of being mailed and I don’t want to ruin the surprise, I can’t show you the finished product. This, of course, makes for a rather dull Worktable Wednesday.

The best I can do is this – I used funky scissors to cut the corners off of pieces of paper:

Mmmm…vague-y vagueness!

The highlight of my day was when the mail came. Awesomeness #1 came in the form of Jane Davies‘ new book, Adventures in Mixed Media. Hmmm…and what do we find on page 40?

Elissa Campbell's handmade books in Jane Davies' book "Adventures in Mixed Media"

That would be two of my pieces!!!

Woohoo! I didn’t believe that it was really going to happen until I had the open book in my hands. Now it exists. I have published work. Woohoo!

Then came Awesomeness #2:

Shereen LaPlantz's "Innovative Bookbinding: Secret Compartments and Hidden Messages"

This just completely blew my mind. Someone on the Book Arts Listserv was kind enough to sell me a copy of Innovative Bookbinding: Secret Compartments and Hidden Messages by Shereen LaPlantz.

This is such a treasure – it’s part of an edition that she made by hand. Shereen’s hands were on this book. I love my book.

I will devote a future blog post to the book so I can show you how fantastic it is.

And the leathery, 3-year blogiversary winner is…

Random number generator

…buechertiger (a.k.a. Hilke)!

Congrats – you are the winner of my Budgie Grabby Journal! I’ll send you an Email so we can work out the delivery arrangements.

Hilke is a super-awesome bookbinder – check out her Etsy shop. I highly recommend her Instructional Book on Coptic Headbands (I own a copy).

I decided that going forward, each blogiversary will be marked with a handmade book giveaway – the book will include (in one way or another) the traditional and/or modern gift for that year.

It looks like my 4th blogiversary will involve one or more of the following:

  • linen/silk (traditional)
  • fruit/flowers (traditional)
  • appliances (modern)

This is going to be interesting…

Why me? Wednesday

At first, it seemed as though it wouldn’t be that hard to rebuild my desktop after it had a virus kablooie. I did a system restore, which cleaned everything up and kept my files intact.

Having to reinstall all of the software was a pain, but I was handling it well.

Then came TurboTax. I was on the phone with TurboTax tech support for 1.5 hours on Wednesday.

That’s when I went kablooie and couldn’t handle Worktable Wednesday. There was definitely no action in the studio that day. By the way, my tax return is not lost. It has, however, taken up new residence.

Blah, blah, blah. Enough of that.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the submissions for my blogiversary giveaway. There’s still time to enter – you have until midnight E.S.T. on Sunday, April 10th.

I would like to submit my own computer revenge fantasy for your enjoyment.

I have thought about this a lot this week and it pretty much all comes down to the same thing – acid. I want to pour gallons of acid on my computer and watch it melt, just like that dude’s face at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. And I want to hear it scream like him too.

Ahhh…it warms my heart just thinking about it.

If you’ve never seen the movie, you can watch the scene below. WARNING: This video is full of face melty goodness and is not for those with weak stomachs.

I look forward to getting more entries…keep ’em coming!

It’s my 3-year blogiversary!

Actually, yesterday was my 3-year blogiversary. Tardy slip for me.

I’m still excited – I’m three! I’m three!

It seems that the traditional gift for a third anniversary is leather, so I’m going to do a leathery giveaway.

The winner of the giveaway will win one of my Budgie Grabby Journals. As you can see in the image above, the book is bound over leather straps.

I’ve been trying to think of something book-related to request in the entries, but the fact is that my computer crashed today and I’ve been reinstalling programs for hours.

Can’t think – brain ache.

Due to lack of proper anger management, I have decided that the requirement for entry is that you leave a comment including some type of awesome computer revenge fantasy and/or spectacular act of destruction.

If you were to kill your computer, how would you do it?

The winner will be chosen at random, so don’t feel too much pressure to entertain. Entries will be accepted until midnight on April 10th and the winner will be selected on April 11th.

Let the technological mayhem commence!

Pin It on Pinterest