Welcome to my Book Arts site. Please feel free check out the information pages and tutorials. Also, if you find any of the information useful, please drop me a note (jackie at tjbookarts dot com) and let me know.

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January 1, 2010

Where do you like to write?

Filed under: Correspondence, Giveaway, Inspiration, Morning Musings — jackie @ 8:57 am

Happy New Year dear readers!

I hope everyone had a fun and safe celebration. Mine was spent relaxing with family.

I don’t know about you but I’m not too fond of standing in line at the post office just to purchase stamps. I prefer to buy my postage for shipping packages online or at one of the kiosks within the post office. Also, there’s no guarantee that they will have any of the decorative stamps that I want.

Recently, I decided to try ordering some stamps online. It was actually a pretty nice experience. I could choose from a large selection of designs, purchase with a credit card, pay a very minimal shipping charge and they showed up in my mailbox two days later. I love to mix and match stamps on my letters so I’ll buy a variety of different stamps in varying amounts. I almost always add too much postage to my letters but it’s ok because I am personalizing my correspondence. Alexandra Stoddard taught me to do this in her book Gift of a Letter .

Years ago when I wrote letters on a regular basis I would write early in the morning before I went to work. I would sit at my kitchen table with a cup of coffee and my stationary and pens and write letters to friends near and far.

Where do you write? When do you write?

I mentioned the other day that I was going to have a little giveaway for the new year.  Post a comment here and tell me where and when you like to write.  I’ll put your name in a hat for a special little prize and I’ll pick one this coming Sunday evening.

I hope everyone has a great day.

• • •

December 29, 2009

Write…the preparation phase part two…

Filed under: Inspiration, Morning Musings, stationary — jackie @ 12:09 pm

Good morning readers…

So…I’ve picked my pens, still need to decide on my basic ink color (possibly dark blue) now it’s time to decide on the type of paper I want to use. Paper can be as simple as a lined pad from the stationery section of the grocery store or as fancy as specially monogramed paper from a fine stationery store.

Paper is definately a personal choice. Me? For general correspondence I love Crane’s paper. I’ve been using it for many years. It’s 100% cotton, has a nice smooth finish, comes in many colors and styles and fountain pens write like a dream on it. It’s not too horribly expensive. I think I’ve paid between about $8.00 for a set of 25 plain notecards and I think a box of paper without envelopes is between $12 and $18.

For a more cost effective stationery, I like to buy various 8.5″x11″ papers from our local business paper supplier. They have a lovely paper called Via natural that has a nice smooth writing surface. It’s fun to setup and print my own letterhead on them using the Inkjet printer. I also make my own cards out of art papers or card stock sheets cut in half and folded.  I glue pretty photos to the front or sometimes draw, paint or collage on then.

For friends or family, and even strangers, it’s sometimes fun to send decorated mail. I recently purchased a book called Good Mail Day: A Primer for Making Eye-Popping Postal Art. It’s definately a fun book to look at and a good source of ideas for your own decorated letters and envelopes.

For those of you that write letters. What type of papers do you like to use?

I’m thinking about having a little New Years’ giveaway here on the blog. It will be writing related. Please check back during the week for more details.

I hope everyone has a great day.

• • •

December 15, 2007

Cool stuff…

Filed under: Inspiration, Morning Musings — jackie @ 3:35 pm

Good afternoon readers… 

Check out these journal shells and wraps by Sue Bleiweiss. I’ve made book covers similar to these as gifts for friends in the past. Sue’s unique covers have definitly sparked my interest in making some again. She has tutorials for a wrap and a padfolio here.

I’ve been playing with ideas for a scketchbook cover that holds my pens and pencils. I really like this book by Jenny Gunter but it’s a shame that the insides aren’t replaceable as you can’t use the pencil case on another book once the pages are filled.

I hope everyone is finding a little time to relax during this crazy holiday season.

• • •

December 9, 2007

The final push and a few musings…

Filed under: Inspiration, Morning Musings — jackie @ 10:53 am

Good morning readers…

Just two more days of classes and studying for finals and then I’ll have a few weeks break before jumping into school head first again at the beginning of the year.

I started a bit of holiday baking last night. I made two batches of cranberry almond biscotti and this morning I am preparing the dough for Stollen, which is a type of yeast bread made with nuts and candied fruit.  I used to bake tons of cookies but now I just bake breads and biscotti’s. Though I have been tempted by the cookie recipes delivered to my inbox from the Food Network this past week.

(Please note that the gratuitous mention of baked goods was for Diane and Clara. :) )

I’ve been doing a bit of reflecting recently and I found this quote on another blog and thought it very apropo as we leave one year an embark on a new one.

Discipline is remembering what you want.
- David Campbell

The biggest complaint I hear from my artist friends is that they don’t have the discipline to sit down and work on their art on a daily basis. That they are “too busy” doing daily chores or talking with friends or running errands or…

I am certainly guilty of this too. When you work for someone else you have no choice but to be there or not get paid. When you work for yourself you choose to work because if you don’t you won’t make any money.

A few years ago I stopped making New Year’s resolutions. I now call them “goals for the new year”. I found that calling them resolutions made it more stressful as it’s alot easier to try and make your goals than to keep resolutions.

With school added into the mix for the coming year I am really going to have to work at being more disciplined as well as {{{shudder}}} more organized.

I will be formulating my goals for the new year in the coming weeks and will share them with you on the first in hopes that announcing them to the world it will keep me on the path to fulfilling them. :)

I hope everyone has a great day.

• • •

August 29, 2007

Wednesday morning musings and 117 days…

Filed under: Inspiration, Morning Musings, online tutorials — jackie @ 7:18 am

Good morning readers.

The weather here has been mild the past couple of days which has been a nice change. I’m trying not to whine about wanting fall to come and having fairly nice days really helps. The one thing about fall that I don’t care much for is the shortening of the days. I realized walking out of my evening class last night that before the end of the semester it would be dark by the time we got out.

That being said, I really want to break out my knitting and finish that wool sweater I started last winter that only has one sleeve and half a body. Also, I have socks and a pair of slippers on needles in a bag somewhere. It seems that I am a seasonal knitter.

Ideas for the Holidays:

Leslie of the Comfortable Shoes Blog has posted the rest of her tutorial on using coffee bags for making the little notebooks similar to the Moleskine Cahiers. These would make great little gifts for the coffee drinker in your life.

Theme baskets always make nice gifts. For a journaler you could include a handmade journal, a nice mug, some fancy coffee or tea, a handmade bookmark and some baked goods or sweets.

For a reader just substitute the journal with a book in their favorite genre or perhaps a gift certificate to their favorite book store.

For a letter writer add some handmade stationary or cards and a nice pen.

Not necessarily book related, but for my sisters (they don’t read my blog) this year I plan on making a bread baking kit with a cookbook, a handmade bread cloth, some yeast and some fancy flour all packed into a clay bread pan.

Of note:

If you’re interested in type here is a two part article on 70’s type. From the site: The decade from 1970 to 1980 stands out for many reasons, from sideburns to Richard Nixon to disco. But the things Gene Gable remembers most fondly are the decorative, bold, and sometimes goofy type designs. Gas was in short supply during some of the 1970s, but not so great type designs. Several new companies and technologies emerged that made that period the decade of display type. While good headlines were still set one letter at a time, new technology gave both designers and typesetters almost unlimited options. The results, says Gene Gable, while not always readable, were at least nice to look at. Part 1 and Part 2.

I hope everyone has a great day.

• • •

August 2, 2007

Thursday morning musings…

Filed under: Inspiration, Morning Musings — jackie @ 9:32 am

Good morning readers… 

Did I mention yesterday that my Dad (the guy who made my cool desk) is almost 90?

My Dad

Of note…

Convivio Bookworks has the August edition of their Book of Days posted.

If you are looking for fonts for a specific project DaFont.com has a bunch of new ones available for download. Most of the fonts on this site are uploaded by the authors of them and are available as a free download for your personal use.

For a little book making inspiration, Jenni Bick has a nice blog. It looks to be updated only occassionally but if you look through the archive of past posts there is some great inspiration there.

I hope everyone has a great day.

• • •

August 1, 2007

It’s Wednesday and there are only 145 days until Christmas…

Filed under: Inspiration, Morning Musings, stuff to buy — jackie @ 10:12 am

Good morning readers…

I got some great comments by Marloes and Clara to my post on pricing yesterday. Over the coming weeks I will occassionally be revisiting the subject as I prepare for upcoming pre-holiday craft shows. Pricing is def. something that everyone who creates handmade items struggles with on an on going basis.

Speaking of handmade items…for those of you who celebrate, did you know that there are only 145 days left until Christmas? If you’re planning on making your gifts this year you may want to think about getting started and not waiting until the last minute as I do. :D

This year I am planning on either making my holiday gifts or buying handmade ones. Over the coming months every Wednesday I will post links to sites that sell handmde items as well as ideas and tutorials for making cool gifts for your friends and family. All book and paper art related of course.

I will also be posting ideas on the Gift ideas for the book artist in your life” page. If you have anything you’d like to see listed there please shoot me an email. 

Here are a few sites to get you started thinking…

The Jotterblog is “about stationery, handmade craftery and the things that bring us cozy happiness”. All of those are included on my favorite things list.

Tyler Bender takes old classic books and turns them into blank journals and sketchbooks.

Ex Libris cuteness has items such as library card bookplates, reading glasses holders and reading lamps.

Tirzah has taken old book covers and made handbags out of them. Way cool.

Photobird has lovely photo cards and postcards 

Paperedtogether has a great selection of nice letterpress printed cards

These are just a few of the shops over on Etsy that have wonderful handmade items available for your gift giving pleasure.

I hope everyone has a great day.

• • •

July 30, 2007

Monday morning musings…

Filed under: Inspiration, Morning Musings — jackie @ 8:31 am

Good morning readers.

Looks like we may have rain today as it’s dreary outside this morning. We had a bit of rain yesterday in the evening though we had overcast skies and thunder througout the day.

This past weekend my brother Rob was admiring one of my handmade sketchbooks. He said that he wished that he had the nerve to pick up sketching again as he did alot of it as a child and young adult. I know he has the desire but I think he feels shy about it. I understand where he is coming from. As adults we are sometimes so hesitant to start something new for fear of not being good at it. Of course we won’t be good at it at first but we get better the more we do it. Though that doesn’t keep us from being embarassed about our first tries.

I pulled out two books yesterday. The Creative License: Giving Yourself Permission to be the Artist You Truly Are by Danny Gregory and Color: A Natural History of the Paletteby Victoria Finlay.

The first book I will send to my brother in hopes of getting him fired up to attempt some drawing. The second book is about color and the quest of the author to find out where certain colors came from. She is like an archaeologist digging for clues from the past. It’s very interesting. I started it a while ago but my short attention span theater brain moved on to something else. I was reminded of it yesterday while I was surfing around and am reading it again.

If you are interested in learning to sketch Danny Gregory’s site Everyday Matters is a great place to start. He also has a Yahoo group of the same name that is pretty active.

Here are a few more sites to spark your interest in keeping a sketch journal.

Illustrated Watercolor Journaling from the site…”As the world gets more immediate, more online and easy to delete, the journal is a low tech, highly tactile method of capturing aspects of your world. A variation on the written journal is an illustrated journal — adding the richness of hand drawn images to words.”

Michael Kluckner’s Travel Art Lots of journal pages to look at.

RozWorks Roz has lots of great pages from her journals posted on her site.

Moonlight Chronicles if you haven’t seen one of these little books you’ve missed out on a real treat. Dan is also the author of How to Make a Journal of Your Life. Which is a great little book to get you started sketching and writing about your daily life.

I hope everyone has a great day.

• • •

July 23, 2007

Monday morning musings…

Filed under: Inspiration, Morning Musings — jackie @ 7:49 am

Good morning readers.

I’m off this morning to pickup my books that were in a local exhibit for a few weeks. I’ll be happy to get them back. I’ll be putting this book up for sale later today if anyone is looking for a nice journal.

Of note…

Artist Tanja Bolenz has some really interesting books on her site. In particular check out the restoration and repair section as she has created some books with the leather covering cut away to show the details underneath.

For the visual journalers out there artist John Copeland has some photos of his journals on his site. Some of them you can click through and see the pages.

The Syracuse University Library has some great examples of artist books and book structures in their collections.

I hope everyone has a great day.

• • •

July 22, 2007

Sunday morning books and coffee…

Filed under: Commissioned Works, Inspiration, Morning Musings — jackie @ 8:02 am

Good morning readers.

A few years ago I wrote a little booklet on making Polaroid image transfers. I use it regularly as a handout when I teach my classes. Even though it’s not a book arts technique, it is another tool in the box for creating visual journals so I have reformatted it and have to made it available on my free tutorials page.  Enjoy!

So…I was digging around in some old files looking for some specific pictures and found these photos of a custom book I made many years ago. It was commissioned by a friend’s husband for said friend as a holiday present. The binding is leather and fox fir (the fox fir was from a road kill) with a metal and antler closure. The box is custom made to look like a cigar box. It is padded and lined in velvet. If I recall correctly, the book size is about 5″X6″ or so.

Fox's Folly

Fox's Folly

Of note…

The site of Estonian Leather Artists Association is not in english but if you click on the name of each artist most of them will have some great examples of some books done in unique leather bindings along with their info.

I hope everyone has a great day.

• • •
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