Category : Way Cool Stuff

Blu Dot + Blue Roof Designs = new table?

Today I read the article Fancy Furniture Seeks Talented Oddball Owners on Etsy – it details the modern furniture company Blu Dot and their call for proposals wherein one can exchange [insert stuff here] for one of their pieces.

If it sounds like I’m being vague, I am. Basically you can pitch any kind of trade you wish. Have a stash of U.S. thimbles in your basement? Go for it. Perhaps your handmade potholder collection has lost its luster…pitch it. Your trash could be their treasure and subsequently, your new sofa.

Check out the bids – some of them are priceless!

Note: I’m talking to you moldy growth (art) and Random Acts of Worm-ness.

So I decided to throw my hat in the ring with an offer of six handmade journals – here’s a screenshot of the bid:

Blu Dot Swap Meet bid screen shot

I’m crossing my fingers (and toes) that they’ll accept my offer and I’ll get me a lovely Minimalista Console Table.

In the meantime, it would be awesome if you’d make me look good and click on that there Swap-worthy? button. I’m not entirely sure what effect it will have on my chances, but you can never have too many thumbs.

Artisans Hand annual winter sale

Now through January 30th is Artisans Hand Craft Gallery’s annual winter sale. The gallery exclusively features work created by Vermont artisans. The sale offers items from 10% – 20% off, with each artist setting their own discount.

All of my work in the gallery will be offered at 20% off during the sale.

In addition, artists have brought in their seconds, experiments, and discontinued pieces and are offering them at discount prices during the sale. When you look at the seconds, you really can’t even see any defects (they’re more like birthmarks). This is your chance to get fabulous work at even more fabulous prices.

I stopped by the sale yesterday and made what seems to be my annual purchase of ceramics by Jean Meinhardt (I now have five of her pieces). I seem to have no control when it comes to her gorgeous glazes.

There are still lots of yummy goodies there…stuff that would make awesome Valentine’s Day gifts…hint, hint…

Artisans Hand Craft Gallery
89 Main Street, City Center
Montpelier, VT 05602
(802) 229-9492

Help me get to the gallery

The Great Katazome Giveaway

The Paper Place - The Great Katazome Giveaway – 12 Days of December

The Paper Place is currently running a rocking contest – The Great Katazome Giveaway – 12 Days in December. The contest runs from 12/1/10 – 12/12/10, with the winner being chosen at random.

You have to get in on this. If I you win, I you will receive one 8.5×11 sample sheet of each of the 169 patterns of Katazome they offer in their online shop.

You can learn about how Katazome is made on their website. FYI – it’s cool!

There are several ways to enter the contest:

  • Leave a comment on their blog post announcing the contest = 1 entry
  • Add a link in your blog comment to a photo of your paper art = 5 entries and
  • …if your paper art photo includes Katazome paper = 5 entries
  • Mention the contest on your blog (hey, that’s what I’m doing!) = 5 entries
  • Tweet about the contest = 1 entry per tweet
  • Create a video, upload it to YouTube, and add a link to your blog comment = 50 entries

Best of luck to all who enter!

Artisans Hand annual sale

ahgoudylogomid2It’s that time of year again!

Starting tomorrow, November 5th and lasting through November 7th is Artisans Hand Craft Gallery‘s 32nd annual birthday sale.

Everything in the gallery will be 20% off during the sale.

This is a great time to get a jump on your holiday shopping – the prices on my work at the gallery will be lower than at any of my shows this season. If you’ve seen something on my website and they don’t have it at the gallery, let them know and they can put in a special order for you.

As I’ve mentioned many times before, once upon a time, Artisans Hand took a chance on a curly-haired bookbinder and became the very first gallery to sell her handmade books. The gallery is nestled in a very warm place in my heart. I love the fact that the gallery is located in Montpelier, VT, where I live and work. The staff has always been very good to me and I feel like I’m at home whenever I visit there.

I’ll be at the sale at some point this weekend. I’m hoping to finally buy a zipper barrette made by my friend Stacie Mincher. I’ve wanted one for a while.

Maybe I’ll see you there!

Cheese Bound

Cheese at the Vermont Cheesemakers Festival 2010Unless you’re new to my blog, I’m assuming that you’re aware of my love for cheese.

This past Sunday, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the sold out Vermont Cheesemakers Festival. To say that it was a mind-blowing experience is putting it mildly.

I must have tasted over 50 different cheeses. I actually got to the point where I uttered the words that I have only spoken once before on a vacation to Paris in 2001: I can’t eat any more cheese.

I joked to my husband that the whole experience made me “weak in the cheese”.

[insert groan here]

I think I’ve now sufficiently recovered from my cheese coma and I’m ready to eat the goodies I brought home with me.

One of the best parts of the festival was this find from the Cellars at Jasper Hill (click on the image to enlarge):

Clothbound t-shirt by Cellars at Jasper Hill

I’m not sure why I never realized that the term “clothbound” was a bridge between my loves for bookbinding and cheese.

The world makes a lot more sense now.


Girl Scout bookbinding badge

Girl Scout bookbinding badgeAs I mentioned in this post, I recently purchased a Boy Scout bookbinding merit badge. It now lives on my work apron and I love it.

Before I continue, I have to tell you something about myself – after I buy something, I feel compelled to do a search and see if it’s for sale at a lesser price somewhere. It’s stupid and serves no purpose, but I do it anyway.

So I did a search on Ebay for bookbinding badges and discovered that there’s a similar badge for Girl Scouts. I was a Girl Scout. At some point in time, one of these badges will be mine.

Oh yes, it will be mine.

I spent a couple of hours online trying to get more information about the badge – anything about its history. All I could find is that the bookbinding badge was previously called “Scribe” and was produced from 1938 – 1948.

I’m thinking that I’ll actually have to do some hard copy library research to get more information about the badge. People still do that, right?

Many thanks to Amanda Dorris (a.k.a. pacificgroveinnkeeper on Ebay) for generously granting me permission to use her badge photo.


Boy Scout bookbinding merit badge

Boy Scout Merit Badge - BookbindingEarlier this year, I talked about my purchase of bookbinding merit badges I bought from Pod Post. I somewhat jokingly mentioned that perhaps I’d add a Boy Scouts bookbinding merit badge to the mix.

It’s official – I have mixed.

I purchased my new baby from Ebay seller TSPA, an outlet for Scouting collectibles. It cost me all of $2.95, including shipping.

I love love love it!

I just finished sewing it on my work apron. I have absolutely no future in any type of sewing profession, but I was successful in getting the thing on securely.

My badge looks kinda lonely on there, all alone on the right side of the apron. Hopefully I’ll find some more badges to keep it company.

…and my other new baby – a book press

Not only did I get a library card catalog from Maureen Cummins, I also got a new book press. Well, it’s not really new, but it’s new to me. It’s the same size as the one I already have.

I have decided to name it Pressley. My other press is named Preston. They’re married (it was arranged).

I have to get it sandblasted and repainted, just like my other one. I wish I could be brave and super-cool and paint them fun colors, but I’m not sure I can go through with it. A voice in my head keeps saying, “Book presses are black, you silly girl. Blah blah blah.”

In an attempt to inspire bravery, I did a search on Flickr for colorful book presses. I created an image gallery of my findings – This ain’t your plain black book press.

I’m leaning towards orange and/or lime green. We’ll see where that goes.

My new press has a lovely swirl detail on the side. That’s how I decided it was a girl.

Closeup of book press

I’m just now realizing that my book press has curly hair, just like me. Definitely my baby.

My new baby – a library card catalog

I am such a happy duck.

I have a new library card catalog. I have wanted one forever. Now I have one. It’s mine. I love it so so much.

I drove 4.5 hours-ish one-way to pick it up. In total, I drove about 10 hours that day (I had a meeting in the morning). I think that’s the most I’ve ever driven alone in one day. I don’t ever ever want to do that again.

Unless it’s for another card catalog, in which case where are the keys to my van?

I got it from Maureen Cummins on the Book Arts Listserv. She’s my card catalog guardian angel. She gave me the following information about the piece:

  • She originally got it from an antique shop.
  • It’s handmade. Each of the 60 drawers is numbered on the back because they only fit their designated spaces.
  • The history of the piece includes some work on it that was performed by someone who had hoped to have some kind of relationship with Maureen. Didn’t happen. Sorry guy.

Unfortunately, the piece won’t fit in my studio, but it really looks at home in the spot where it now lives. That is, it looks so at home in my home.

My husband has started planning on what he’ll store in those drawers. I can already tell that this is going be a problem. I have to start training myself now to SHARE. I can’t possibly fill 60 drawers by myself.

That’s a lie. Yes I can.

Elissa goes to the library

I have a terrible habit of reading only two types of books:

  • Anything about bookbinding and paper arts
  • Anything about social media and online marketing

Every now and then, I run downtown to the Kellogg-Hubbard Library in an attempt to combat my niche reading preferences. I usually browse the new additions section and pull things out at random.

Yesterday I grabbed All My Life for Sale, by John D. Freyer. In the book, John tells the story of how he sold all of his possessions on Ebay in an attempt to rid himself of his “stuff addiction”. He includes images of everything he sold along with the original product descriptions and a brief update of the item’s post-sale life.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that John has a background in the book arts and he carries this theme throughout the book.

And I was trying to find a non-book arts book. Go figure.

My favorite part of the book was in his update on a U.S. Army chair he had sold for $2.25.  The buyer didn’t want to pay for shipping and asked John to give it to a “good home”. For two weeks, he unsuccessfully tried to do so.

Finally, he had an idea:

I decided to send the oversize box chair unsolicited to the Franklin Furnace Artist Book Collection at the Museum of Modern Art. When Franklin Furnace donated its collection of artist books to MoMA in 1993, it did so with the requirement that MoMA continue to maintain an open accessions policy, taking any item that an artist submits as a book. I submitted my chair.



Many thanks to John for granting permission for use of his handmade book image.

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