August 31, 2011

handmade notebooks, washi tape and paper crafting


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Hello there,
if you read my review of the book Letterpress, you might remember my crazy love for stationery and paper stuff. These are a few things I've been making with my paper, washi tape and other craft stash.


A6-size notebooks
notebook


The notebooks on the left are a very good size for sticking in any bag, they are A6 size (about that of a postcard). I made a lot of those and gave them all away. The one above on the right is very small, I think less than 10cm (3-4 inches), I sent that to my blog friend Lynn. It has a lot of different types of paper inside, including some cute Japanese paper.


handmade journal with prompts

variety of paper inside prompt journal

I also made a couple of journals like this one, which was also sent to Lynn. I put a lot of different papers of about A5 size inside: craft and scrapbooking papers; free patterns printed from the Internet and Reprodepot Pattern Book (Flora); some sheets I designed with text or visual prompts for journaling; other papers I decorated with washi tape and homemade tapes and stickers. I also sewed some envelopes from patterned paper like the burgundy one with the leaf design at the top of the pile. Inside the envelopes, I enclosed small surprises and gifts like stickers, tags, postcards and more paper that can be used to embellish the journal.

I really enjoyed making these journals. I loved making up the prompts, which included some quotes I like and that I find inspirational. It was also fun playing with different ideas to come up with designs for my own prompt sheets. I left the papers mostly plain so their owners can fill the journals with their own thoughts and creative works. I don't text journal regularly anymore but I use a journal like this as my own mood board and visual diary, where I paste photos of things I like or stuff I find in my journey through life.


I've been pretty obsessed with washi tape since joining a card swap in June. I ended up buying a whole lot of Japanese and other masking tape, and even made some of my own!  I posted the masking tape cards I made for the swap earlier, here are a couple other things I've been making with washi tape.

washi tape-decorated gift bags
These are good for party favors as they're very small, the bag is only about 10cm (4 inches) tall.


cards made with washi tape
These are 4 different cards decorated with washi tape. I ran my sewing machine through the card on the bottom right ; I thought that flowery stitch went very well with the gold tape.


card decorated with washi tape
This card took me ages to make but I really love how it turned out. I scanned it (as I did my recent creations as I finally bought a scanner - yay!) and I'm going to make patterned paper from it. Maybe even fabric - if I can figure out how to print my own fabric!



 butterfly playground card made with washi tape

I like this card, too. I made it over the weekend with my new butterfly punch and an old tree punch I have from Daiso. The card puts me in a very lght and happy mood. I'm going to replicate it with different tapes and in slightly different styles and make a set of butterfly cards. Wouldn't that be cool?

And finally, here are the cards I received in the masking tape swap:

card with washi tape decoration from Cheryl

stamps on envelope


washi tape card from Lay Hoon

another card from Lay Hoon

stamps on envelope

 
washi tape card from Nicole

mixed-media card from Wendy


[ check out my other handmade things ]
[ check out my posts on paper crafts ]

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by liberal sprinkles



August 29, 2011

good enough to eat!


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These are super cute! I could eat it all up...

Sandwich tag BLT, 10 sheets each of 5 tags | $19.50 at uguisu
Sandwich tag BLT, 10 sheets each of 5 tags | $19.50 at uguisu

This BLT sandwich tag set includes sticky notes in the shape of bacon, tomato and lettuce.
They're on sale at Uguisu, which sells really cute Japanese stationery.
It has a huge collection of washi tape and other tapes :)
Look at these, I have to control my lust!

Little Garden masking tape | $8.50 at uguisu
graph masking tape | $10.20 at uguisu
craft paper grid tape | $10.20 at uguisu

Uguisu also has a nice collection of Japanese craft books.
I don't understand the text but they look fantastic!

Scrapaholic book | $20
Book of Masking Tapes | $26


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Painted Pages by Sarah Ahearn Bellemare [book review]


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Painted Pages: Fueling Creativity with Sketchbooks and Mixed Media
buy at Amazon
buy at The Book Depository (free shipping worldwide)

Painted Pages by Sarah Ahearn Bellemare

This book is filled with such beautiful works I could probably spend hours just flipping through the pages while sipping my coffee (I did spend a lot of time at several sittings but not hours - yet!). Author Sarah Ahearn Bellemare invites the reader into her studio for a look at her workspace, her tools and her creative process. You'll see her mood board, her colorful scrapbooks, lots of gorgeous photos of her works in progress, completed canvases and even some pieces by several guest artists.

I like the book. There're lots of examples of collages and mixed media works, as well as quick prompts to get you started on creating and trying out new materials. Basically, the advice is: don't think too much, just try it out. Collage with scraps or clippings, paint with colors, experiment and have fun.

But, this is not a how-to book. There are no step-by-step instructions to show you how a work was conceived and completed. The book's introduction does say it is about getting the reader to find their own way to make art and be creative. The author nudges the reader in that direction with a peek into her process and and explanations - though somewhat superficial - of how a chosen text (eg Pablo Neruda poem) or idea (eg, bird ephemera) inspired the final work.

Ahearn Bellemare has a very distinctive style: it's very pretty, bright and breezy but there's not much variation in her art. You have to like it to enjoy this book, I think. Here are some photos of Painted Pages.


workspace, from Painted Pages by Sarah Ahearn Bellemare

from Painted Pages by Sarah Ahearn Bellemare

from Painted Pages by Sarah Ahearn Bellemare

from Painted Pages by Sarah Ahearn Bellemare

from Painted Pages by Sarah Ahearn Bellemare

You can see more of the author's works at her website, blog or Etsy shop.
More from the book in Google Preview.









Painted Pages: Fueling Creativity with Sketchbooks and Mixed Media
Author: Sarah Ahearn Bellemare
Publisher: Quarry Books (May 1, 2011)
ISBN: 978-1592536863


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August 28, 2011

Go camping with Lego


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Lego's toy camper




Awww, how cool. A VW campervan made of 1,322 Lego parts, a recreation of a T1 camper from 1962. On sale from October 1, 2011 at Shop Lego or retail stores.


LEGO camper van



other cool stuff


:: Paris city templates from Made by Joel

:: some very nice aerial photographs of Britain at this Fubiz post.

:: Post-it war: art created using post-its.



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Penguin Extra Bold building block chairs


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I saw these chairs at the library recently. Aren't they cool? Typography chairs!


chair made from Penguin Extra Bold font wooden blocks

chair made out of Penguin Extra Bold font wooden blocks


I couldn't find out much about them but they are made out of wooden blocks of letters created from  Penguin Extra Bold, a single upper case, sans serif font whose shape allows for the creation of a system of type building blocks. The font is designed to be applied in 3 dimensions, allowing the user to build a range of fun objects. Very cool!


Penguin Extra Bold font wooden blocks


chairs made from Penguin Extra Bold font wooden blocks

seat made from Penguin Extra Bold font wooden blocks


[ check out my posts on typography, typefaces and fonts ]
[ check out my posts on design ]




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Letterpress by David Jury [book review]


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Letterpress: The Allure of the Handmade
buy at Amazon
buy at The Book Depository (free shipping worldwide)

Letterpress: The Allure of the Handmade by David Jury

I have an irrational love for stationery and paper products. If you're like me, you'll have noticed how letterpress seems to be everywhere these days (a bit more about after the photos). I have a nasty habit of buying and hoarding things and if a letterpress machine weren't such a novelty (and big and expensive), I'd probably already have one at home. Not having such luck, I have to settle for looking at all the lovely stuff at Etsy and other online stores.

I was delighted to get my hands on a copy of Letterpress by David Jury at the library. A happy accident. While I'm a great admirer of the printing technique (you only have to look at those beautiful end products), I have limited knowledge about it so the book was an eye-opener for me. It is actually an updated edition of a book first published in 2004, which is timely given letterpress' comeback in recent years, and not just within the handmade community.

Jury's book is a comprehensive take on the history of letterpress, which has been used commercially for over 500 years. He discusses the art and craft of the medium, as well as related issues like digital technology and mass production versus handmade, design versus art versus craft. He says letterpress is "not innately superior" to digitally designed and mass-produced print and has to be flexible and stay relevant and functional, not not be just decorative if it's to survive. A lot like other (sometimes dying) crafts and traditions, really.

The book is written a little like an academic thesis though it's a little heavy at times, it's not unapproachable. The plus is there's tons of information and some gorgeous examples of pages and materials printed by letterpress, wonderful for those interested in typography, print and design. I thought it was a pity that the cover of the paperback wasn't letterpressed - wouldn't that have been lovely?

from Letterpress: The Allure of the Handmade by David Jury

from Letterpress: The Allure of the Handmade by David Jury

from Letterpress: The Allure of the Handmade by David Jury

from Letterpress: The Allure of the Handmade by David Jury



Letterpress: The Allure of the Handmade
Author: David Jury
Publisher: Rotovision (February 2011)
978-2888931638


buy at Amazon
buy at The Book Depository (free shipping worldwide)






In a recent article, the Wall Street Journal said social media fans are embracing stationery, helping give rise to small stationery-makers, many of which produce letterpressed products. Isn't that cool?

In this video, Harold Kyle, founder of letterpress print shop Boxcar Press and co-owner of online shop Bella Figura talks about the rebirth of letterpress.



Harold Kyle, Boxcar Press: the growth of letterpress (YouTube)

More videos of Kyle being interviewed about running an online business and keeping up with design trends at the Felt and Wire site, which also writes about stationery's comeback. Hooray! Just look at these wonderful designs.

FB-inspired congratulations card from Kiss and Punch

eyelet lace, letterpress card set from pistachiopress (etsy)

vintage camper trailer letterpress note card from sweetharvey (etsy)



[ check out my other book reviews ]
[ check out my posts on typography, typefaces and fonts ]
[ check out my posts on design ]




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Fabric Remix by Sandy Stone [book review]


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Fabric Remix
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Fabric Remix by Sandy Stone

I really enjoyed this book. It's great for people who love to craft and recycle. While it focuses on recycling things you can salvage from thrift shops, antique stores, sales and other venues, many of the projects can easily be tackled with materials you may already have in your own homes - things that are a little dated or that you haven't used for their intended purposes for a while. Instead of throwing them out, why not give them a new life?

I've done projects similar to some of those here but Fabric Remix has given me more ideas for crafting and making special things that will make my home unique and my gifts different from store-bought products.

The book is laid out unconventionally. Author Sandy Stone begins with chapters on finding inspiration, gathering materials and a tour of her beautiful home, where she's left a personal imprint on every room with her crafted items. She talks about the pieces she's custom-made for her home. There are stories behind some of the work, like how she handled "the beginning of the empty nest" - she turned her daughter's old bedroom into a fancy guest bedroom after she graduated from college and moved away, leaving "a big space behind".

After the home tour, there is a gallery of closer-up photos of the projects in the book, followed by the tutorials chapter and then a section on information about tools and techniques used.

Among the 35 projects: embellished lanterns, a scarf lampshade, a canvas signage satchel, a wire basket embellished with measuring tape, a doggie bed, a headboard and a chair back upholstered with ties.

Here are photos of my favorite projects - the bench cushion (love the numbers!), the zipper tapestry and scarf-painted cabinets (just like my decoupaged cabinet although Stone's fabric choices are spot on wonderful) - and a look at a few rooms in the author's home. Enjoy.


window bench cushion from Fabric Remix by Sandy Stone

scarf-painted cabinets from Fabric Remix by Sandy Stone

damask drapery coverlet and sham | zipper tapestry from Fabric Remix by Sandy Stone

living room from Fabric Remix by Sandy Stone

kitchen space from Fabric Remix by Sandy Stone

dining room from Fabric Remix by Sandy Stone

Over at Lark's blog, you can get instructions for a free project from the book, the Coffee Bag Basket Liner.





Fabric Remix
Author: Sandy Stone
Publisher: Lark Crafts
ISBN: 978-1600594854


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[ check out my other book reviews ]
[ check out my posts on fabric ]
[ check out my posts on recycling and repurposed objects ]
[ check out my posts on homes and interior decorating and design ]



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