Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Custom Card Folio

I'm not really sure what to call this so I'm running away with this title. At work some of my colleagues knew I make books cos they are the ones I go to show whenever I happen to have a finished book in hand (stayed in for lunch just to sew the binding) One day one of them was telling me how she has been keeping her wedding cards and cards that she and her husband had sent to each other back in those days for the past twenty years and worries that as the years goes on they will get lost. I then said to her, "Just pass them over to me, I'll turn them into a book for you"

Here's the prototype. Not too shabby. I kept the cards to the centre of the spine of the concertina, chose that to accomodate the swell from the cards. I decided to sew on both the valley and mountain fold just to see what happened. Next time I'll do one or the other. I wove the ribbons that ties through the binding, It works and I have now worked out how to improve it next time round.

When I gave it to my colleague, she was so happy it caught me off guard, (remember I was being critical with the workmanship) you know the butterfly effect, wing flap here and a tornado on the other side of the world, it was like that. My action of making the book for her was a priceless thing. She was so happy with it she couldn't stop smiling. She paid me more than what I asked for because to her, it was nothing compared to the memories I was able to put into book form.

Your action may seem insignificant but to another it means the world... Awareness of the day.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Life Board III

It was art night, of a sort, at Canopy. A bunch of us were making life boards. For some it was their first time, for others their second, for me, this was my third life board.

Life boards are done annually. It's a subconscious way to show what's in store for you for the next twelve months. You have a set time limit to how long you should spend on it, in this case, twenty minutes to hunt and cut your images out, and twenty minutes to stick them down. It's all to do with instinct, no thinking involved. Well, not over think it. And because of the time limit you can't really think of your layout too much or else you wouldn't have a chance to stick down what you wanted to stick down. You can pre-cut your images prior if you like but no guarantee that you'll stick them all down. The images you selected go by what you like, images, colours, words, those that appeal to you.

Comparing my first life board, my second and third, mine just got more wordy. First one, no words, second got some words and third, I couldn't stick them all down. There were those that I thought I was gonna stick in but decided against it at the last minute. There were bits that I glued up and stuck down and a second later ripped it off again.

The base colour of the board have meanings to them. My choices for the first life board was orange, second was dark blue and now my third, pink! I honestly never thought I would've chosen pink. You only get to choose the colour of the board on the spot. Even though I had prepared my images I was still hunting through the many stacks of magazines that we had out.

Everybody came out with their own life boards. All I can say about mine, I'm gonna have a very busy year.

Yes, I like hearts.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Princess

Like I said, I'm so loving this look at the moment such that I have already made another. This book is the first of the Princess series. Delivered today! It was an order with a request which when discussed further with the client the project was dubbed 'love book'. With that in mind, I was wondering how to interpret it. I sketched out various concepts and I over thought it again and I in a way I already knew what I was going to do in the first place anyway. Well... what was suppose to happen didn't happen and what happened are wonderful accidents. Isn't that great! My initial idea have grown by the time it manifested physically and it's always better than expected. So if I give you a proposal, it's just to reassure you ;-p

Don't you just love the colour combination. Beautiful white paper with blind embossed butterflies and ribbons I picked up while in Singapore... damn, two years ago! I kept it all these while waiting for the perfect project. And the pink paper is blind embossed as well. The ribbons I used three different width in five different colours. And on the ends I stuck on hearts in complimentary colours. And of course, pearlescent(?) pink end paper.

Darn, couldn't seem to get the colours right in this shot, nevermind. I just wanted to show the top view. Either way, I'm loving the look.

Love it love it love it!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Ooooh, Curly Ribbons...

I am so loving this book! Don't you just love the way the ribbons curls, and hearts! Hearts at the ends of the ribbons! And the colours, so sweet! I have decided to make more of these until the materials runs out... that's probably another three or four more... They will be named the Princess Series because they reminded me of Barbie dolls so... heh....

Will post up pictures of this book after tomorrow, this is more of a sneak peek because I can't wait to share the book with all of you and the book is... well, we'll continue this story later ;-)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Little Journals

As part of building up my stock I made these fat little journals. I used 80gsm paper as pages for the books in various colours and each book is about 200 pages thick, apart from the one on the far left of the picture, that I turned into a mini photo album. They're all about 1.2 inches x 4 inches x 6 inches or 3cm x 10cm by 15cm.

The materials I used were small pieces of left overs which are too big to just throw away and too small for the regular sized books. I even managed to scrounged enough for another little book from the dragonflies albums leftovers! Plus the binding method I used are easy and a couple of them are experimental bindings as well, like the rainbow exposed spine, using the glitter red and green thread, I did what I did cos I wasn't too happy with my button hole binding and I already made the cover for it, and it came out great! Will definitely do more of that binding, and maybe more experimenting, never know what else I can come up with.

The mini photo album came along cos the cover was originally for the rainbow pages. But when I put them together it didn't look so great, and made the silver cover instead. With a cover to spare I used up the leftover black card stock paper I had lying around and with an experimental binding I had used before on one of the little pink journals, and it looks really striking.

The pink and white is also a favourite using embossed paper. It's just so pretty don't you think? I'm trying out a bigger version using the same paper to see how it goes, great paper but hell to glue up. Also I had to be ever so careful putting this cover together because it was white I had to be careful not to get it dirty.

Two of them are booked already, just waiting for their owners to pick them up. Gotta make more...

Saturday, February 16, 2008

1st Valentine's Artist Book

If you want to read my rambling on how the book was made, go here. For more images of the pages in the book go here. For the short version of the story, read on...

Here are some images taken by my wonderful sweetie of the valentine present I gave him. Conceptually this was conceived back in December, mulled over in January, planned out in February, and physical form hashed out in a week just because D day was coming up fast.

The wrapper I used to wrap the book was from the first bouquet of roses he gave to me in the beginning of the relationship. It' was a conscious decision to use it to wrap up my present to him. The significance and meaning behind it, I'm like that. Yes, I saved it all these while waiting for the opportunity to use it.

This is the book, size dimension is 10cm by 10cm, I actually planned the cover to be something else but it would require the cover to not be stuck down yet, but my hands had automatically glued it up and pressed the cover down before I could remember and whacked myself in the head and had to think up of something else to put on the cover as I continued to finish the book. Mental note: do covers last last last!!

I'm not too sure if this is how a star book is suppose to be when close, a wedge. Is it? I have never seen an actual star book before so...

Here's the book, partially opened, see all the punched out hearts, stars and teddy bears I stuck on around the windows, took me a whole afternoon just to do that. But well worth it. I love the effect it creates.

This is page one of six pages in the book. Each page consists of a selected quote from the many text messages we sent to each other since the beginning of the relationship. The tiny red heart highlights a key word in all of them. The white heart pop up component was stuck on after I glued the covers down. It was most difficult to do. Mental note II: do covers last last last!! (ooh, I hear an echo...)

Top view of the star book, I like how the whole thing looks structurally. Especially how the pop ups crosses through the black middle layer, that was a bitch to stick in. And the fact that the initial adhesive I used came off after spending another whole afternoon just creating the pop up components and sticking them into the book. And I had to redo them quick using another type of adhesive and just managed to stick the last bit in before his car pulled up, thank god... Mental note III: use a very strong adhesive when gluing pop up components.

All in all, it's a pretty good prototype I must say. Now I know what works and what didn't and how to improve on the next one. I'll probably attempt another, just need to work out a content is all. The valentine theme leaned itself perfectly for this. I love this holiday, just because it contains all the things I like!

Since I have decided this is going to be an annual tradition, I'm already thinking of the design for the next valentine book he's going to get!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine's Artist Book Preview

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Here's a sneak peek to the valentine artist book I wanted to make for my significant other. This is my first star book having never made this structure before... I sewed the three layers together using the three hole binding instead of gluing, like they do with the ones I've seen when I did research for the book. I used craft punches in shapes of stars, hearts and teddy bears to cut out the shapes to stick onto the white windows. White on white looks so chic. The black layer had heart shaped cut outs, a total of six pairs of hearts.

After this shot was taken, added on the covers and pop up hearts placed in the center of each section. As I was gluing the last pop up component his car pulled up to take me out for dinner. I didn't get the chance to take pictures of the finished book, so wrapped it up and gave it to him over dinner. My lovely guy said that he will take pictures and we'll just have to wait for those... I got a dozen red roses from him :-) Thank you Sweetie, they are most lovely xoxoxo

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Chinese New Year 2008 week & A Book

Been busy making a mess in the studio... Helped prepare a cousin's wedding... My laptop went into stasis cos something was wrong with the power supply and battery went all flat... Went out visiting and celebrating Chinese New Year at families and friends... The Western world got their Mickey Mouse, we got the lions from the Lion Dance performance!!! Finally a picture with one of the many lions with my wonderful significant other!

In the mean time, here's one of the many books that is currently in my stock. It's a long stitch binding on a hard cover using paper which I kept for the past... fifteen years and only now I decided to use it, or finally figured out how, where and for what. The paper is either Indian or Nepalese origin I picked up from a bazaar all those years ago... Striking, no?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Art Night

Figured it'll be nice to do an art night, a bunch of friends hanging out together doing our various arts and crafts at our regular haunt. The last time it was held I came up with the purple flying elephant. This time I painted a rose, painted a petal at a time, like the layers I started from the outside and worked my way in. The center of the rose was a bit challenging and it took me another night just to get it right. I'm quite happy overall how it turned out and I only use five colours for it.

Well, that was a nice break, gotta start on my next book commission now...

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Winged Books

This is what happens when mistakes are made. Don't they look fun! I was cutting up a block of coloured sheets and made a mistake in the measurements and was left with a narrow strip. Oh well, waste not want not. Cut up some cards, wrap them up, sew on a pair of wings, did a perfect binding all adhesive. And done. These guys are 6 cm by 7 cm in size, fits into the palm of your hand. Fun fun fun experiment!


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