Chris Cozen stopped by for a book signing and book talk.
John and I made more birds, most of which have sold already. Here is a sampling.
Don't forget Saturday's Book Envelope class with Margaret Bakke. There are still spaces available. This is a very cool book. Details on our website.
Hello everyone. Grandkids are visiting so I have been busy playing grandma and having so much fun with my kiddos. We made books.
I received this from The President and Michelle Obama at the store yesterday:
I have to apologize yet again for our website being so very behind. I know how frustrated you are. Several of you have asked about the Envelope book. The cost is $60 and it will be held April 27th, 10:30-4. Hopefully the description and supply list will be up soon.
I taught a little book class at Small Studio today. I haven't taught a class in years and i had forgotten how fun and rewarding it is to teach excited and creative students. Everyone's finished book was perfect and beautiful. I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did.
Our next store class is the 23rd of Feb. with Aimee who will be teaching a drawing class on Face Basics. There are still a few spaces left.
Ingrid is a really good instructor and her classes are always popular here. Be sure to go to our website and fill out the registration for her workshops. While you are there check out our other wonderful instructors and sign up for those too. Registration is ongoing until the workshops are full.
Ingrid is one of my favorite people and now a whole bunch of students know why. We had two days with Ingrid and each day was a different journal. I loved the process of the first but was too busy during their show and tell period to get photos. But they sewed...
They spread out while they worked...
And they were very happy with the class...
The Twirly Swirly Journals were great fun, too. Here are some of the covers:
Ingrid is a wonderfully generous and interesting instructor. The students were very happy with both workshops and Ingrid has agreed to come back again!
Here is one of the interior pages, this one by Ingrid:
Thank you, Ingrid and thank you to the students for everything!
I haven't been doing as much recreational reading since I opened the store last February. The main fare has been business books relating to retail and perusing catalogs, but lately I have gotten back into reading to relax. Here are a few of my favorites.
1491 is a scholarly book that paints a vivid picture of the Americas before the white man came and how the original explorers and settlers decimated the existing tribes. Everyone should read this.
I have always been interested in reading about the American writers and artists who lived in Paris in the mid 1800s through the early 1900s. I love this book, The Greater Journey, with all the stories and references. It made me look up paintings, books and so many other things online.
I seldom, if ever, read formula books like Nora Roberts writes, but this one was about restoring an old Inn. Ms Roberts' descriptions of the restoration and the decorating had me from the first page.
What would you recommend to read this summer?
The wonderful Carol Owen spent the weekend at Small Studio with a group of lucky students. They made a really happy mess while learning technique after technique to use in their altered books.
Carol is one of those exceptional instructors who while appearing to be relaxed keeps the class on task and paced well. She was attentive to everyone's needs whether they were very quick or a bit slower than the rest of the group. This is a strong sign of a good teacher.
This was a two day workshop and it was chock full of great ideas and examples.
Thank you, Carol, for making Small Studio a special place this weekend. You are a wonderfully creative and kind human being and it is a joy just to be around you. Carol has promised to come back again next year. Woohoo!
One of our students this weekend was Phyllis.I commented on her shoes and she told me that while painting an art project with a group she belongs to, she would use up the paint on her brush before cleaning it. This was the result:
It was like Christmas at the store this week. So many deliveries and no time to play with the new products. I showed you some of the new arrivals earlier this week and here are some more:
Fun tape for your journals, mail art and other projects. Also some fun stickers:
My favorite arrival came all the way from Mexico. We received an order of tin nicho shrines in many sizes.
And in many, many styles:
We had our first real class at the store on Saturday taught by Candace Rich. It was a great class making cloth-paper by layering and layering different papers and materials. It was a success and the classroom has been officially christened by students using glues and paints and sprays and other messy, fun art supplies.
We are so lucky to have so many wonderful instructors coming to Small Studio to teach.
April brings Barbe Saint John to steampunk us up with some wonderful jewelry classes featuring Susan Lenart Kazmer's Ice Resin. Have you seen Barbe's book 1000 Steampunk Creations?
Then we have Ingrid Dijkers who has taught at Art Fest and other national retreats coming here to teach her whimsical techniques of making journals. Ingrid is such a talented artist and a real sweetheart.
Following Ingrid we have our first workshop instructor, Leighanna Light. Hurry and sign up for her classes which are just one month away. Leighanna has also taught at many national retreats and we are excited to have her here in the greater Cleveland area.
All information, photos and supply lists can be seen on our website. Go here to read all about these wonderful opportunities.
Last to be in the Loop: That is me. I just found out about Martha Stewart's new alliance with Avery labels.
I think these are only available at Staples. I really like them and the way they look a bit like the vintage Avery labels we all covet. Martha's are even a bit yellowed. Have I mentioned that Martha and I both lived in Westport CT at the same time? She used to cater parties I attended. I was at her home once for a fundraising event, but that would be another post.
Am I the last person to be reading "Unbroken" by Lauren Hillenbrand? I am engrossed in this book. I may have to close the store to finish it. Well, no, I wouldn't do that. It is intense and full of history and very well written.
Do you need ideas for Easter eggs?
There are some lovely ideas here.
Before you go, here is another use for the trendy tapes we all love right now. This is a great way to keep your flowers upright. The photo below may have used ribbon, but the tissue and washi tapes would work great for this.
This unintentionally seems to be a red/pink post. That is okay because red is my favorite color, although I am really drawn to red and yellow together. Do you have favorite color combinations?
Gasoline is $3.65 a gallon in our town today, down from $3.89 over the wekend.
Have you signed up for our store class March 31st? Mix it Up is all about combining layers of paper and other materials to make a sturdy craft paper-cloth. It will be a fun class with Candace Rich. Call the store to sign up: 440-808-8599
Small Studio Workshop Series sign-ups are strong, but there is still room in all workshops.Fill out a registration form (the paintbrush at the bottom of the page is the link) and mail with a check to secure your place.
May: Leighanna Light
June: Michael De Meng and Andrea Matus
July: Carol Owen
August: Teesah Moore and Tracy Moore
September: Pam Sussman
October: Keith Lobue
Talking, that is talking a lot, runs in our family. We have spent a wonderful amount of time catching up since my brother and sister-in-law arrived. But we have also managed to do a bit of rambling about in spite of the rain and wind. I am loving every minute of their visit. I love my brothers!
One of our favorite places is the Morgan Conservatory. But then, you knew that. Lauren, who is the program coordinaror gave as a wonderful tour of the facilities.The Morgan grows their own Mulberry trees to harvest the Kozo bark.
The bark is stripped and cooked and then pounded into a pulp.
Then it is made into paper.
The Morgan also had a great display of handmade books and papersd. I was enjoying looking at them so much that I forgot to take photos and only took these three:
We also took a ride over to Westside Market which has been in business for 100 years. This is an extreme farmers market with one building full of fruits and vegetables all displayed beautifully. The second building has vendors selling cheese, meats, spices and bakery goods. A feast for the eyes and the hips!
I love the architecture of the building. Here is a section of the ceiling and the front of the building.
We have done some other things, too, but no photos. It is tough to remember taking photos when one is having such a good time talking and laughing,
John cut wood. I painted wood. We glued. We clamped. We were happy with the results.
These particular stencils had been used over and over and had several layers of paint which suggested Halloween to us. So we made up as many words as we could and off they all go to our booth at Brothers Antique Mall in Medina OH.
The other spooky thing is our local Borders store with the huge "going out of business" banner in front. We went in for the first time since they started to close. It is a shambles. It looks like the worst second hand store. There seems to be piles of stuff on sale that I have never before seen at a Borders. Chairs and empty display racks are jumbled up towards the front of the store. Bookshelves are mostly bare. Half of the lights were off so there was an eeerie feeling to the whole store and it was so quiet.
I will really miss this Borders. I will miss the perky clerk with the enviable curly hair and lovely Irish accent. I will miss the great craft section of books and the nice selection of stationery items. I will miss the live music in the beautiful gardens and patio. I will miss the great selection of magazines and the easy parking. I will miss walking out of the movie theater and right into Borders. We have a Barnes and Noble nearby, but the parking is more difficult and the selection of books I like is fairly bleak. Our Borders had a wonderful vibe to it that was very welcoming and always full of people. I will really miss our Borders.
During the "Book Week", Pam hired a van and a driver to take us into Chicago to do a little shopping. We stopped at a fabric store, Dick Blick and Paper Source because not all of us are lucky enough to have those stores nearby.
We also stopped at this little jewel box of a store call Soutache in the lovely Bucktown area of Chicago.
There were unususal feathers:
There were lovely ribbon roses galore:
There was a wall of ribbon bolts and a wall or two of buttons:
On the way home we stopped at Hollander's in Ann Arbor. Hollander's is owned by the very lovely Cindy and Tom Hollander. I think they may have the largest selection of decorative papers I have ever seen. It is a candy shop for paper crafters. They have excellent classes, bookmaking supplies and they just added a wonderful kitchen store upstairs. Many of their papers are online, too. Go have a browse. I forgot to take photos because I was too distracted by the hundreds of decorative papers.
Next door and upstairs is "Found". Found is a fun little store with vintage based art pieces and other goodies.
This past week will stay with me for a long time. I loved every minute of it, even the minutes when I got all stuck with paper on the box interior and had to tear it out and start over.
I am back from a great week of bookmaking with a great bunch of women. Pam Sussman put together a wonderful group of projects for us and fun activities to round it all out.
We started with some easy and clever projects that could easily be made assembly line for gifts or favors. Above is a two-ring mini binder made from scratch and a clever elastic binding for a notebook that can be refilled. Below is a note pad that goes together in a flash. We all made several of these.
One morning was spent silk screening with the Yudu machine. It was so easy and so addictive. The tall narrow book below was covered with a sheet of printed scrapbook paper that I screen printed over. I love the binding stitch on this booklet. So loopy!
Another day we made a book that had a zillion pieces to cut and was rather complicated, but when it was all finished, it looked simple, but quite nice.
My favorite project wasn't even a book. We each made a box. We built the basic form and covered it all with papers.
Our last project was a wooden triangular shaped book sculpture that fans out when laid on a flat surface.
We also spent a day shopping in Chicago for papers, ribbons and art supplies because you all know that if the instructor has cool tools, the students must have them too.
Thanks Pam for a great time.
Last week we filled our room at the antique mall with 1920s linen bus numbers. They sold the next day. Back we went and put up the remainder and that same day all the single numbers sold...all 17 of them! So again we spent our week cutting and framing bits of those rolling signs that tell one where the transport is going. Our wall at Brothers Antique Mall (Medina OH) is now loaded with 1940s London bus signs. I forgot to take my camera so you will just have to be satisfied with seeing the one that came home because it wouldn't fit on the wall.
I am so enamoured with these signs and we have quite a few to sell at our antique mall shop. Too big to ship. Sorry.
John and I really enjoyed the Small Studio Workshop Series that we did in 2010. We had to cancel it for this year due to some pesky medical stuff, but we are planning our Series again for 2012 and we have lined up Keith Lobue and Michael deMeng already! All info will be available on this blog when dates have been confirmed. I am awaiting word from other instructors.
Last, but certainly not least, I am abandoning John for a whole week while I go make books at Pam Sussman's. She hosts and teaches 6 students in her home studio for a one week intensive workshop.
Here is what I made last time:
I can't wait. Working with Pam is always fun, well organised and so instructive. I haven't made anything artsy in quite awhile so I am excited to begin.
While I am gone my etsy shops will be closed and will reopen Aug 27th or 28th.
Remember last year when I was showing you unusual chandeliers? Well, here is another for you.
And while I am hooking you up to other websites to visit, I would like to mention that my good friend Gaye Medbury is teaching this spring in Virginia. Gaye is a wonderful instructor and often taught for me at Art Continuum, Artful April and at my store. Her projects are always well thought out, organized and she is a very generous instructor. Here is the link to Art and Soul where she is teaching.
Don't forget to check my Etsy shop often. I add a few new things almost daily. Yesterday, I was going to announce here that it was LetterPress day because I had listed 5 boxes of letterpress, but by the time I got them all uploaded, they were sold. But I do have other new items, too.
We can't tell if it snowing or if all the snow swirling about is being blown off the trees and house. It is cold and the forecast is ice and snow. We are on the edge of that big storm that is being reported. John and I were discussing at dinner tonight our survival skills if we are without electricity.
Food that can be cooked without our electric stove? Hmmmmm
Crackers and cheese and wine? Check
Wish us and everyone else in the path of this storm good luck.
The petite little ceramic box above was a surprise gift from my LA friend, Judi Delgado. She is the most thoughtful person. It is tiny, maybe just the right size for a ring. Love it! Thank you so much, Judi.
I have spent the last week in doctor's offices and labs. I had a really bad reaction to some medication. It was one of those side effects they talk about on TV ads that doesn't happen to everyone. I was down and out and pretty miserable. In fact, my whining about how long it was taking me to get over the flu was part of this side effect (not the whining...the getting over). The medication was shutting down my kidney function. Very scary.
I leave you with this photo of some of my old ledgers. Why don't they make books like this anymore?
I loved all your comments on the tv shows. We watched Pawn Stars and Chumlee which was recommended by several of you. All of these shows are so interesting, aren't they? I am amazed at the prices both high and low.
A few months ago I listed the books I had read during the summer and asked for recommendations from my blog readers. Good job, my friends. I liked every book that I read. In fact, I have tracked down several other books by the authors and they are waiting for my winter read ing session.
Lorrie Grainger Abdo recommended "Stones from the River". It is the story of a small German town during WWII and the people who lived there. Great characters and intertwining stories kept me reading.
Bonnie Boyle recommended two books. One was the "Book Thief", again a WWII novel about a young German girl and how she comes to understand what is happening to her friends and family. Good book.
Bonnie's 2nd recommendation was a true story called "Devil in the White City. It is quite a story and more so because it is true.
Next was "Star of the Sea". From the first paragraph I was hooked and liked it to the end. What a storyteller the author, Joseph O'Connor is. Thank you, Andrea Harchar for recommending this one.
Last is "Cutting For Stone". The author is a surgeon and he writes about Ethiopia during the 50s and a Mission Hospital with great, almost gory detail.
So now the Christmas season begins. Are you doing anything new this year? I have read on the internet in several places that instead of gifts, this would definitely be the year to donate money to a food bank, shelter or other non-profit that helps those in distress. A real gift would also be to donate time.
My daughter-in-law wants her gift to be John taking out a low kitchen ceiling cupboard that interferes with the view from the kitchen to the breakfast room. Unfortunately, my son, her husband absolutely does not want John to do this because, he says, it will lead to a dozen other more expensive projects.
The "book" shelves above are from Real Simple Magazine. Cute. And they are real simple.
After all the good food we ate this weekend and the running around, I just want to sit and read a book.
Kelly Kilmer always lists a few of her favorite blog friends' posts at the end of her entries. I love blog-hopping over to each one to see what I will find. It is always interesting and varied. Following is my personal version of places I visit. If you haven't seen the websites or blogs of these people below, join me for some wonderful content.
You all know how much I like big bold words and numbers. I love this website.
Cake. Ace of Cakes. Cake Boss. Magnolia Cupcakes. Trendy and tasty rolled into one, but these cakes are truly art.
I can never get enough books to read, to look at or to use as design/decorating elements. Go have a look at Lisa Porter's blog entry about books. Lisa is a designer/decorator. Great photos.
I am going to try something new here. I will be responding to most comments in my comment section rather than privately. Let me know if that is okay with you.
We think we are all ready for Lynne Perrella's arrival tomorrow. The guest bedroom and bath have been cleaned, the snacks for the students have been bought, the supply list is complete (I hope) and anticipation is at an all time high. I love how Lynne just layers and layers her work. I love that look, but always stop too soon to get the richness that she achieves. John feels the same way. We keep looking at her website and hope that we can learn to collage in such depth.
The workshops are sold out and they begin on Friday. I will have my camera ready and I will chronicle the workshops for you, showing you student work and progress, but for details, sign up for the workshops early next time around.
In the meantime here are some cool book sculptures:
The Censored Book Barton Lidice Benes
Keith was successfully launched toward home this afternoon complete with three huge suitcases and two carry-ons. We really enjoyed his visit. Keith is like one of the family. We will miss him, but at least we have his two blogs to read. Have you seen his newest blog "Stuff Smith Times"? Currently he has a post with a number of music covers that he designed before he became Lo Bue Art full time. Go have a look.
While Keith was here, I received a book I had ordered after reading about it on Kelly Kilmer's blog. Kelly always costs me a bunch of dollars because she finds the most interesting things.
It is the true story of mail art pioneer Reginald Bray who in 1898 began testing the British postal system regulations by mailing all sorts of objects adorned only with a postage stamp. Eventually he mailed himself. Keith was so taken by it that I gave him my book and ordered another from Amazon. It came the next day! It is full of interesting illustrations.
Kelly also posted a note about Vintage Magazine. I ordered it and received it. This is also very interesting.
It is an oversize magazine and appears to be hand-bound and includes all types of inclusions like this book within a book:
And this shopping bag with pull-out story:
There are pop-out ads, folded pages and a number of different types of paper within the magazine. The only trouble I found with it was that I could not discern the focus or the purpose of the magazine. There were stories and articles about old hotels and old typewriters, but nothing really held together for me. Has anyone else read Vintage Magazine?
This little gem of a book arrived today. It is small but loaded with inspiration. The cover book is a Gerri Newfry book made with her signature polymer clay covers. Love her work. The next 200 pages are each dedicated to one book.
The book has no instructions, no information really, yet it is just perfect to inspire and to slip into the purse to look at while waiting for an appointment.
This post is brought to you by the change in seasons. You know how I know? It was consistently in the 90s last week, but now, this week, every day is cool and in the 60s. That is one clue. John and I were out and about yesterday and saw the corn fields ready to be plowed under.
And the pumpkin fields laying in wait.