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March 15, 2008

Saturday morning musings…

Filed under: Morning Musings — jackie @ 9:48 am

Salutations dear readers.

My week long break from school is almost over. It seems to have gone by so quickly.

The weather here in the “burbs” has been wonderfully spring-like for the past couple of days. Today seems to be no exception. It’s bright and sunny and warming up as I type.

Yesterday I taught a class in boxmaking to a group of 5 really nice ladies. We meet at my friend Pat’s house. Pat has a great big studio space that she kindly offered to host the class in.

Here are a few photos from the day.

Painting crinkled paper

The hostess Pat

Covering the boxes

The results of the day

I made the little clasps out of Sculpey for my students. They really need to be painted or made in a colored clay.

I need to be better about keeping notes as I had a bunch of other things that I wanted to share with you rattling around in my head the other day but they all seem to have escaped since then. :( Perhaps they’ll come back to me and I’ll post later.

I do have another interview coming up and I have been working on the headband video. I found that my Flip camera does not take adequate close up shots so I have to switch to the MiniDV camcorder and then splice everything together. I want to take my time and produce a nice understandable video so it will be a few more days.

I hope everyone has a great day!

• • •

March 13, 2008

An interview with Ricë Freeman-Zachary…

Filed under: Interview — jackie @ 8:46 am

Salutations dear readers…

As promised…here is the first of my special interviews for this month.

Ricë Freeman-Zachary is a freelance writer and artist living in Midland, Texas with her husband, the ever gorgeous Earl and their cats. She has written articles for art/craft magazines such as Art-Doll Quarterly, Belle Armoire & Somerset Studio. She has also written several books on art and creativity.

Her latest book, Living the Creative Life: Ideas and Inspiration from Working Artists, is a series of interviews with artists from many different genres that answers questions about their creative processes. From the Amazon Review “Where do ideas come from? How can you capture them when they arrive, and what do you do with them then? What does it feel like when an idea comes to you–for a painting, a book, a play, a quilt, a journal entry–and you know it’s terrific? My job is interviewing artists and writing profiles about them and their art, and in the process I’ve become more fascinated than ever with all the aspects of living a creative life, getting ideas and making them concrete, arranging your daily life so you have time to make whatever-it-is that you make.”

TJookarts:I read on your blog that your parents were very encouraging when it came to art. Did you have any teachers that encouraged/inspired you growing up?

No!  I had the most hideous art teacher ever on the planet, Miss Sterns. She was my art teacher from 3rd through 6th grades, and it’s a wonder we all weren’t warped for life. (She told us she hated us and had the job only because there was nothing else for her to do.) I do so wish we’d had an art teacher who loved what she was doing and at least liked us a little. I didn’t think I could make art until late into middle adulthood, thanks in large part to Miss Sterns. Until then, I felt completely unable to make anything, thanks to those years of constant criticism.

TJbookarts: Are there any historical or contemporary artists that inspire you?

There are a lot of contemporary artists who are inspiring. Thank goodness for the internet and websites so we can see their work. (I don’t mention any names because I’d hate to leave out someone, given what I do for a living.)

Beware of Stan

TJbookarts:How would you describe the artwork that you create?

I call my fabric pieces Fabric Art Journals. They’re exactly what I would do in an art journal, but on fabric. Images, text, stories, journal entries. My photos altered and printed on fabric. The possibilities are endless, and it’s great fun. I can get lost doing all the hand stitching, and putting the text on the pieces is one of my favorite things to do. I almost always make myself laugh.

Breathe

TJbookarts: You use a lot of images of yourself in your artwork which makes your pieces very personal. Can you tell us a little bit about your process?

If you iron your fabric to freezer paper, you can run it right through the printer. Epson Stylus C-series printers use an archival quality ink. I use my photos or those my husband takes, work with them in Photoshop Elements, and then print them out on fabric and draw on them, adding lines and color and text or whatever. Then I stitch them to a fare-thee-well and go from there.

I hate clowns
 
TJbookarts: How do you know when a piece is finished?

When I’m so tired of working on it I can’t bear to do any more. I’m almost at that point with the piece I’ve been working on for the last six weeks. I’ve stitched on it for so long that I’ve got to finish it up and move on.

Secret life of cats

TJbookarts: In what way, if any, has the digital era influenced your work?

I love working with photos on the computer, being able to size them and alter them and crop and cut and paste and then print them on fabric. It’s opened up worlds of possibilities.

TJbookarts: What is your favorite part of being an artist?

Making stuff, pure and simple. All my life, that’s what I’ve wanted to do:  make stuff and tell stories. With these fabric journal pages, I get to do both.

Wine is good for you
 
TJbookarts: If you could offer only one piece of advice to a new artist what would it be?

Find your own voice, your own style, your own images. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing, and never, ever start any piece of art with the idea that it’s going to make money.

***

To read more about Ricë’s adventures with life and art, visit her blog Notes From the VooDoo Cafe as well as her website The Voodoo Cafe.

(Please note: All photographs/art featured in this article are copyright of Ricë Freeman-Zachary.)

• • •

March 12, 2008

Wednesday morning musings…

Filed under: Morning Musings — jackie @ 9:53 am

Greetings dear readers…

I’m still a bit under the weather here. I seem to have caught some 24 bug right on the heals of last weeks sinus infection. Which mean’t that I spent all of yesterday on the couch or in the bed. Blech!

Thanks to all who have written in with comments on my new journal. I’ll try to get some more detailed photos up later today for those that asked.

I have an interview in the works that I’m just finishing up on. I’m planning on posting it later today and… I haven’t forgotten that I promised you all a little video. That’s coming too.

I recieved a Kind Heart Award from Astrid for being a source of motivation and inspiration. Thanks Astrid!

Don’t forget that every time you comment your name goes into the jar for the prize(s) at the end of the month.

I hope everyone has a great day.

• • •

March 10, 2008

Monday morning musings…

Filed under: Morning Musings, stationary — jackie @ 9:03 am

Good morning readers.

One of the special projects that I am working on is a refillable sketch/note/date book. This one has a leather cover and inserts that you can switch out or replace when filled.

I recently became enamored with the Midori Traveler’s Notebook. These books are made in Japan and quite popular there. Like the Moleskine, they are gathering a bit of a cult following. I discovered them on Patrick Ng’s blog Scription, which is all about stationary and cool notebooks and is a visual treat. There is also a Flickr group for owners of the books.

Since they are so hard to get here in the states, I decided to make my own version of it.  The size is a little different. It’s slightly taller and wider. (The Traveler is approx. 8.58″x5.11″ in size) I sized my version so that I could make my own refills out of folded 8.5″ x11″ paper.  The folded cover size is 6″x 9″ and the refills are 8.5″x5.25″ after I trim off the feathering at the foredge. The cover is a nice soft leather that will wear very well. I still need to make a book mark and a pen holder.

My version of the Traveler's Notebook

This is the front inside side of the cover. The cover leather wasn’t stiff enough to stand on it’s own so I lined it with a sandwich of bristol board and wool felt. I added a business card pocket and a slash pocket for holding papers, tickets, etc. The inserts are held in with elastic cord that can be tightened with an attached cord lock. There is an elastic cord that holds the book together but I’m thinking of making a version with a strap and velcro closure.

This is the back side of the cover. Another card holder and slash pocket in contrasting colors. I’m thinking of making another with the back pocket a little different. Perhaps an envelope style pocket with a velcro closure. What’s cool about the wool felt is that it comes in an array of colors.

There are two inserts in this book. They are nested with each other but could go in seperately as there are two cords available. One insert is graph paper and the other is a soft flannel color recycled paper. I am planning on making an insert with some Stonehenge, which is my favorite sketching/art paper. I’m also thinking on making a calender and am working on what would be the best way that to utilize Daytimer plastic accessory pockets for further customization.

I really like the idea of a refillable book. The fact that you can put inserts in depending on what you’ll be doing that day is really cool. I’m thinking on calling my version of these books The Itinerant Artist’s/Journalist’s Notebook. What do you think?

If you have any suggestions or ideas to make them better I’d love to hear them.

I hope everyone has a great day.

• • •

March 9, 2008

Sunday morning musings…

Filed under: General musings, stuff to buy — jackie @ 10:05 am

Good morning readers…

The weather here is crazy. Yesterday it was in the high 60’s and windy and rainy and this morning it’s in the low 30’s and windy and sunny. Which is, of course, not helping me get over this sinus infection at all.

Friday I caught up with my good friend Holly and we chatted over coffee and then took a trip to one of our favorite local stores. Holly bought a few new notebooks and I purchased a bottle of black Noodler’s Ink that came with a special fountain pen. Instead of filling a cartridge, the ink has a dropper and you actually fill the body of the pen with the ink. It’s not an expensive pen by any means but it writes pretty nicely and seems to be leak free. (A problem that occurs with most really inexpensive fountain pens.) If you’re in the Virginia Beach area and love pens and stationary, you definitly need to stop in and check out A Pen Lover’s Paradise. Did I mention that they have a “great wall of ink”? For everyone not in the area, they do offer mailorder. :)

And lest you think I have been a slacker in the book creation department, I am working on a two special projects. One will be finished this afternoon and the other is still in the planning stage. And…if my voice gets better I’ll record an instructional video later on today for posting this evening.

Of note…

I think I’ve mentioned them before but, there’s some great bookbinding videos over on YouTube here. If you haven’t checked them out definitly take a look as they walk you through the process of creating a hardcover book from start to finish. The videos are by Peter Baumgartner and based on his book Make Your Own Books and Boxes.

I hope everyone has a great day!

• • •

March 6, 2008

I got Bested!

Filed under: General musings — jackie @ 6:49 pm

Good afternoon readers!

Sorry for the absence the past couple of days. I’ve been a little under the weather. I came down with a nasty sinus infection last Friday and between that and finishing mid term projects I’ve been pretty out of it. But…I’m back and feeling better and next week is spring break so I’ll have time to work on book and blog stuff. Yay!

I got a nice surprise today when I saw that the Etsy Bookbinding Street Team had listed the forum, blog and Flickr group as some best online resources. That means alot coming from that wonderful group of binders. Thanks ya’ll!

I’m working on a few little videos for you all. I need to wait until I don’t sound so much like a frog. I’m also working on some interviews that I think you’re gonna like. So…I know I keep saying this but…stay tuned. We’ll have some fun around here next week.

Also, I’ve been adding links to the online resource page so don’t forget to check it regularly. Oh and don’t forget to comment as each one gets an entry into the drawing at the end of the month and I’ve got some cool prizes to be given away. (Edited to say that the resource link should be working now. Thanks Judy. :) )

Of note…

Ever been interested in what writers studios look like? Well, I don’t know about you but I love seeing other peoples studios and work areas. The Guardian has a great online article with a peek into many writers studios. Check out these writer’s rooms.

That’s it for now…I’ll leave you with one of my semester projects. (The only one that would fit on the scanner) This is my friend Holly’s rooster done in scratchboard. The original is 8″x10″ in size.

Holly's rooster

Till next time!

• • •

March 2, 2008

A quick note…

Filed under: Morning Musings — jackie @ 3:26 pm

Good afternoon readers.

I’m busy with a mid term project for one of my art classes but I wanted to stop in and let you know that I’ll be having a little giveaway at the end of the month as part of the site’s birthday celebration. To be entered, all you have to do is comment on a post during the month of March and I’ll put your name into a hat and draw a winner on the 31st. You’ll get your name put in the hat for each time that you post a comment. Of course, that’s more chances to win. :) Good luck!

I hope everyone has a great day!

• • •

March 1, 2008

We’re two today…

Filed under: Morning Musings — jackie @ 8:56 am

Today is TJBookarts second birthday. We’ve grown from a small site with just a few visitors a month to over four thousand. Pretty neat huh?

I’m working on a few special projects for you all as well as a little giveaway. So, stay tuned.

Also, it was one year ago that the Book Arts Forum opened it’s doors and we have been growing ever since. If you haven’t been there, definitely check it out as it’s a great resource for new as well as experienced binders.

I hope everyone has a great day!

• • •
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