Thursday, January 31, 2008

Current Addictions

Making Books

I got several projects all lined up as well as spur of the moments stuff that are just as important. I got two artist books that needs to be ready before V day and that's not including commissions I have to do on top of that.

Very tempting to take leave so I can stay in my studio and cut, fold, stick, sew, all day. I have no reason to go anywhere (maybe Singapore to pick up dive gear). It's a sign when I start bringing my books to work to bind in between everything else I have to do. And lunch time I'll head home happily trying to squeeze in two hours of studio time (more or less enough to make one book cover from scratch). But I can't take leave cos I only have a week left to last me until my next batch and it won't be anytime soon, must conserve

Kiwi Fruits

Ripe fragrant kiwi fruits... just peel off skin... savour sweetness... yummm...

Disc World

I just finished reading the Terry Pratchett novels I bought last November. It was my car book (a book I leave in the car solely for the purpose of filing in time when I'm waiting in the car or some other place for a reason or another) I always love the Disc World series he got running and I wish I got all the books, even if it is second hand I don't mind at all as long as I get to reread the stories. They're fun silly reading I enjoy. Been reading it since I was 15. Man... favourite story lines got Death, The Watch and anything to do with Ankh Morpork!


Not getting enough of. How did my significant other put it, "if it's productive baik jua". Basically I can't stay up for no reason, eg trawling the net. If it's because I'm finishing off an art piece its allowable, chatting with his sister in Germany at 2 in the morning, "NO"

Arty & Crafty Blog Sites

Ever since I set up a blogspot account I've been reading other artist, artisan and crafters blogs. If I like em, I'd read them until their very first entry, and some of these guys agot really long entries. You never know what cool ideas they have and looking at all the wonderful stuff they've done and wonder where they get the time to do all that. I have a feeling that's where I'm getting my domesticated-ness from (my interest in wanting a sewing machine, how to knit and patchwork). All those pretty things that they've made, so cool!

And I joined a Book Arts Forum. Never joined a forum before but it's like a duck to water. I found a community and we all love making books! Can't wait to be in my first swap and I'm trying to participate on the weekly book challenge and I kept on missing the deadline, bummer. Not to worry, will get myself into the groove eventually.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

What Colour To Use...

I made this cover for a long stitch dos-a-dos. Unfortunately I can't seem to work out what would be a nice corresponding colour for the inner sections to bind the cover to... One side of the cover is black with gold and the other is white with gold, the paper came from India. The end sheet I used inside is red with embossed gold specks which I found. I want a colour that complements the whole thing. Any suggestions?

Friday, January 25, 2008

Dragonflies Albums

Aren't they gorgeous? Lovely aren't they, I didn't need to do anything to the covers. The cotton material I used speak for themselves. They came from Sam (lovely expat lady who taught here for nine years) and she figured they might have come from when she visited Japan. Either way, reason being she loves dragonflies and one of the material had dragonflies print on it and the other was just beautiful, she didn't intend to use it but when I saw it I just had to turn it into a book for her. Sam asked for an album for her pictures, I had the opportunity to see what she was seeing and nature is just fantastic being the model. The images she captured was just gorgeous, I felt lucky being able to see that, she showed me one of the albums she kept them in. I instinctively checked out the album, how it was constructed and put together. Book structure... not too bad. Handmade paper and carved bamboo... wow!

Anyway, from the cloth Sam gave me, I was able to make her two stab albums. The black one the material was just enough to cover the board and a teensy seam allowance to fold over the board. Added black ribbons to tie the covers down and my signature whenever doing a stab binding to finish with a little bow at the top corner, and Sam is dragonfly mad, I managed to find these dragonfly charms which are tied to the ends of the ribbons.

The blue album, the covers are padded front and back. The material had prints in squares and I used the portion that had the dragonflies on it for both front and back. Added more dragonflies as embellishment and if you noticed the black ribbon bows echoes the dragonfly wings! How fantastic is that?

Since Sam is moving away to Oman I made her a little A6 journal as a going away present using the leftover cloth. I stitched the five sections with long stitch binding of a sort, was working one end at a time, did the head part then the tail part of the book. I numbered the sections in pencil so I know which order to bind them in after I marked the holes so they'd lined up, and now come to think of it I forgot to rub them out after I was done binding... Nuts... Anyhoozy.

I delivered the books to Sam in the evening, after doing a quick photo shoot before wrapping them up, and she was so happy when she unwrapped them. Oh you should see how her eyes lit up when she saw the dragonfly charms. They were such great finds, there's a reason why I check out practically every single thing in a shop or stall, because you never know what you might find that will be perfect for that art piece, and why I like to have a lot of time allowance for that perfect add on to present itself. When I presented her the journal she was really pleased and decided that all the books will be used for Oman.

My books are going to Oman! Yay! My work are traveling the world! They get to see more places than I do... sorta like they're the diplomats for me, heheheh, how ironic... (personal joke there)

For more pictures of the albums and notebook, they're all here!

I wonder if I have enough material to make another little notebook, it's so sweet!!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Little Pink Themed Books

This is what the client is going to get

And these are what's inside when she opens them up!

Three little journals, with three different bindings. The pink and silver was an experimental binding, the thread loops in one direction and then goes back creating a criss cross pattern through the silver beads. Also my first soft spine binding, was worried how it was going to turn out, kept on reminding myself just have fun with it, you never know how it's going to turn out, and it came out great! Silver ribbon to finish off the look. An A6 with about 200 pages if I'm not mistaken.

The one with the roses is a coptic binding. The roses in the center can pop off to make writing easier in the book. The covers are slightly cushioned, the butterflies and pink ribbons ties the whole thing together. It's about 15cm by 15cm with 120 pages.

The mock leather cushioned wrap with pink leather tie I think it's a long stitch, I like doing this one, and it came out beautifully. I had this knocking around in my head, I just wasn't sure how to bind the whole thing. Saw Rhona's pink leather journals and those were gorgeous, I could've subconsciously picked it up from there.

The wrap came out from the jungles of the content of the studio so it's a one and only piece. If I could, I'd love to make more of these. The holes for the binding I pierced as I was binding so it's looking uneven. How do you guys know how to space out the holes and prior to binding the sections? That part I couldn't figure out. I tried measuring but I end up spacing the holes too far apart. Trial and error I guess...

The leather cord was a lucky thing I had, I just simply wove it through the binding threads and it stayed there relatively well. I forgot the size to this one... it's slightly taller then the pink and silver book.

So overall apart from the coptic, the experimental books went well. Feeling very happy. Can't wait to see the client's face tomorrow!

Add on: The books were for her sister, but when she saw the leather wrap one she immediately stalked claim of it. It is a very pretty book, very elegant I might add :-p Anyway, you can see more detailed images of the books here, the insides and out.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Productivity Streak!

I took two weeks off from doing anything, it was only meant to be a week, time to think and plan supposedly and then it turned to fear of starting a new project. And I wasn't sure how to approach it, ie design, binding style, type of paper to use for the pages. I procrastinate and delay and deadline looming and bam! Finished two books and prepared three others in one day. Now just waiting for the glue to dry on the end sheets before I can start binding them. My productivity rate per day has increased! Yay! Now if only I can do this consistently enough...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Pop Up Flowers Book

Unassuming isn't it... Until you open it up and this pops out...

Don't remember how long it took to just cut out all the shapes. It would be alright if I had a bunch of people cutting out the forms for me... or I have some sort of die cut press to cut out all the shapes... And then putting them all together... So far I have made two of these books. Better make another one as spare for when someone decides to order it... More pictures here!

Buku Hantaran: Green & Gold

I got this email one day asking if I could do a simple folder and it came with the following attachment... After much brainstorming I came up with my interpretation of it...

Needless to say the client was blown away, how did she put it...
"I didn't expect for it to look this great!"

I do not disappoint.

A painting For A Cover

My sister and I went to Cambodia a while back and at the market she immediately took a liking to a colourful buddha half a head painting. I said to her I can turn it into a journal cover if she can find the other half.

I timed myself making this journal, from the very beginning of cutting up the chipboard to the completed book. The only thing I didn't do was folding the sections, I got my sister to do that one beforehand. The binding method used is long stitch with exposed spine, it's so easy and quick! Thank goodness for that because I started at 1.30am and went to bed at 6, after the photo shoot for record purpose of course. Needless to say I was quite groggy at work two hours later. I had to finish the book then because by noon it was on a flight to the States. But I didn't mind, slightly tired from it, just glad I finished it!

She was using the journal for the course she was attending and it created quite a stir from the participants there so I'm quite pleased with the attention it got. And a possibility of orders coming in, yay!

The Golden Shell

This was a challenge to make because of the material, it frays so easily and trying to make it look neat at the corners and turn ins. And then I had a challenge with attaching the shells. They came off a charm bracelet I took apart.

Current favourite binding method and structure *grin*

Story here on how it was only a day old before it was bought.

Books In A Week

Considering I have a day job it's pretty good I was able to make all these in a week. Full story here and more pictures here.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Books Abroad!

The first pioneer of my books that crossed the Atlantic! More pictures here and detailed story here.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Truth Be Told

You got to have something that makes you happy no matter what happens to you...


Contact me at