Sunday, December 31, 2006

Me @ Del.icio.us

Due to popular demand I've added a link to my Del.icio.us account.

Of course due to my missing links (pun intended)I'll have more links as time goes on. The link to the Del.icio.us account will always be on the right.

Original Press

This is the light duty press that I bought on eBay a year ago. I used it twice, it works well and is very serviceable. I'll be putting it back up on ebay sometime this week (probably Tuesday) I'm not sure how expensive shipping will be, but it won't be too much.

this could be a useful press for anyone who is making hedgehogs or other Moleskine style journals. I thinklso one could glue up some hard cover books. Also, one of the things that I've used it for is t press my moleskine after I've been painting the pages with watercolors. I think it helped keep the cockling down a bit.




2's a pair

I made these 2 journals with matching spines. I used oil tanned sheep hide of one and the other with golden yellow deer hide. Both are 400 pages of Southworth, laid paper 24lb and 25% cotton. THe glden journal has lined pages and the brown is unlined. THe Golden journal has a tan lama li interior and the brown has baby blue. The each have coordinating straps and flaps.

The golden uses black Irish linen and the brown uses natural unbleached Irish linen.

I ink I'm going to put one on my etsy account and the other on my eBay account.




red edge

The following pictures are of a special order journal. 280 pages of ivory 24lb 25% cotton paper, edges trimmed even and hand colored with red ink. It has a red deer hide bookmark, a rough cut strap and a envelope style flap. The backing paper is a red lama li that was over painted with ink to match the edges. THe spine is a style of cut slots and stations. It's simple but I dummied it up with a few extra stitches here and there.






While it's a simple design the added features make it individual. I really like the red edge of the journal and I wonder what it would look like if I were to do it with other colors. I'll have to lay with it at some point.

Common Bug

I know everyone is waiting (hopefully with baited breath) for me to post something about books, but I hope every one can bare with me for a little bit. It seems when I updated Firefox lat time, I didn't shut down properly and I lost all my bookmarks.

I can't express how annoying it is to have to re-enter in all my bookmarks, and how many I have possibly lost. It will take me forever to find them all again.

Anyway. I had planned on spending a huge amount of time int eh studio today, but it will be cutback by a little bit of time as I delve into this issue and backup my bookmarks VIA a variety of sources.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Press

It's been so long since I posted a lengthy post that I almost forgot about this little gem of information!

Almost a year ago purchased a book press on ebay, it was not cheap but it wasn't expensive either. I purchased it thinking my Dad could make me one that was a little heavier duty that the one purchased. While the one I purchased worked well enough I knew it could use a few improvements. So I gave it to my Dad to figure out. Since then I've been dealing with out, quite a pain in the arse if you ask me. However on their recent visit to my new home my Dad brought with him, my old book press, still in barely used (twice!) condition and a brand new book press, only this one is super duty.

My Father and Brother took the old one and reverse engineered it to figure out areas of weakness and spots to improve it, with a little help from me (3rd support brace on base and smoother details) they figured out a solid and easy to use design. I can crank it down 3 cranks more than the original and it's a lot smoother to use, the action on the crank is smooth and the hardwood top brace is tough. They hid some stainless steel supports in the wood so that the upright and the base will never separate. I can wait to put it through it's paces with some hedgehogs next week.

I'll be posting some pictures tonight of the fabulous little press.

I also convinced him to make a few extras, so I'll be offering them for sale on the website and ebay. I'll also be selling off the original press on eBay as well.

So, pictures of it tonight!

Legality

Yesterday I received a little piece of cardstock in the mail, measuring about 3x7 inches, printed in green and black. It's my Sales and Use tax registration. This means that I can now get my Moleskines for the website as well as a few other items. I'm going to frame it up and hang it over my cabinet in the basement. Well it's all legal now.

So if you buy one of my journals and live in the grand state of Massachusetts I will be collecting 5% sales tax which I will then turn around and send to the state.

I have tomorrow off but a New YEar's eve party have to attend, but before hand I'll be in the studio for the day, now that he family has come and gone and the holidays are f the most part over (Valentine's fast approaches) I plan on spending a large amount time in the studio. What can you expect from the long hours spent in the studio- more books, a website that functions a little better, moleskine's ASAP, some more YouTube action and more books.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

400

I have a journal ending on eBay today. IT's 400 page monster ofa journal in deep dark chocolate and blue marble paper. it's here:
400pages of paper 1 years worth of journaling

I have a similar journal on Etsy for $100 and have sold other journals like it for upwards of $125.

Long Weekend

As many of you know I have what i call a DayJob that I us to support my art habit and pay my bills. It also provides me with health, dental and vision as well as a few other fringe benefits. While I hope that someday I can support myself on Art (which is the reason behind expanding the website but that's a whole other entry.) I know tat it's not an expectation that I can have for a few more years/decades.

My DayJob is in something that I like to refer to as Retail Hell for a major organic grocery store, or as my friends and I refer to it as: The Hippy Grocery Store. I won't go into specifics since they have made blogging about them a major offense,i.e. one that could get me fired, but I'll tell you a little bit about what I do there. I'm a little better off than the average Wage Slave as I'm the manager of my department, the floral department. This means that I am able to make the schedule of the department, order all the flowers, and take all the heat when I don't make my profit margin or something goes wrong. Unlike most grocery and retail businesses the model that the Hippy Grocery Store takes is that the managers of the department work hand in ha with the lowest paid employee on the sales floor, and are expected to do as much hard physical work if not more than that lowly paid member of the team.

The philosophy behind this is that you eventually know the business so well that it is hard to fail. If you handle your product every work day you end up knowing exactly what you need to order. You also get to know your customers and staff. Who can you rely to buy which product, who can you rely on every day to deal with every issue that arises.

Anyway, I digress, that was not why I started to write this, there are many things I can say about HGS but this isn't the place. I started to write this to describe the reality of retail the 2 days before Christmas and encourage people to plan ahead. It's hell, if you think that you can wait until 2 days before a holiday and find exactly what you want en you go to the store, think again, and please don't yell t the lady in floral when you CAN'T find it. It's not my fault that you waited until 24 hours before the holiday to do your shopping, there is noting I can do.

Nor should you think that you can drive anywhere safely the 2 days before the holiday. I tell you this: people are crazy those last 2 days before the holiday and road rage is rampant. I saw a normally pleasant 90year old man drive laps around the parking lot, blowing his horn at anyone who got in his way. It was painful to watch as the parking lot was full and busy.

So next year plan ahead, make some eBay, etsy or web purchases and stay off the roads, it's all a lot easier if all you have to do is walk to your mail box!

Friday, December 22, 2006

quickie before the DayJob

Well, I thought I was all set with my Tax ID number and things like that, but, it seems that the grand state of MASS wants to force me into many regulations and rules that I must follow. So I must fill out paperwork otherwise I'll be fined. I did find a great resource- SCORE, a groups of retired and semi-retired persons who counsel people who are starting new businesses. I emailed a woman in Cali, who was a great help in helping me to figure out what I have to sign up for and what forms I MUST fill out. So if there are other entrepreneurial artists out there I highly suggest that you head over to SCORE to either speak with or email one of their professionals, it will help to sort you out.

I spent last night working on my business plan. It’s an odd thing as an artist to write. In the past I just made books, with no thought to the financial end of things, I just made it. Now I’m thinking in terms of how am I going to make a profit with everything I do I find it a hard way to think about art and my process, but I suppose its good for me to think about it, especially if I want to quit the DayJob and have the website support me. It’s not a totally alien thought process for me, as do that with my DayJob, every day is about the product coming in and the product going out as well as directing the people that I work with to maximize that profit.

So for the next few days I probably won’t post often as I’ll be at the Day Job for inhumane hours. But I do have 3 days off next week and I’ll make up for the lack of posts with some great journal videos and lots of pictures!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Monsterous

I just posted this 400page monster to eBay:




















It's 400 pages of southworth 24lb ivory laid paper with 25% cotton, acid free of course. The spine is a pattern I created for a single spine that I enlarged for a larger spine, I think it worked quite well.

Monday, December 18, 2006

My new toy Tool

I'm very excited to say that I figured out how to imprint the cover of a moleskine as well as any of my journals.

I had figured it o previously but I also purchased a chase to hold the type.

If one were doing this on a small scale one could do what I did the first time and scotch tape the letters together.

I'm getting ahead of myself. I have a set 20pt century gothic BOLD Letter Press type. I had hoped a year or 2 ago that I would buy a small Kelsey press and use that n combination with type to print card and what not. IN theory it was a good idea, only the small vintage presses I like are very over priced and I need to play with a good one t figure out how to fix a broken one and a broken one was all I could afford. Needless to say, I bought a heap of items with which to print, quions, keys and type. Which I have up until now never had chance to use.

To imprint the cover of a mole without a chase- simply select your letters, arrange them, mirror image, and then use tape to hold them together. After that you can then whack the backside with a hammer or apply pressure in a vise or press of some type.

I managed to find a hot foil chase for type holding purposes, in a size that fit my type perfectly. I'm thinking of adapting it for my use, but I'm having a hard time reconciling my need for adapting it, the price I paid for it and the fact that it's an antique, and I could probably find a chase without the design if I looked hard enough.

That being said the results withe chase were very nice and the chase is exactly what I had beening thinking about when I first started monkeying around with the type.

I've decided that I'm going to offer this as a service on my website as soon a Kikkerland gets off their duffs and charges me and mail out my moleskines. I ordered them ages ago and haven't seen or heard anything. humph.


Sunday, December 17, 2006

Quick Sketchbook



I don't know why I never filled this sketchbook, it has pages of all my favorite paper, arches, canson, stonehenge, copperplate, and others. I love them all, but for whatever reason this journal and I never became friends. I also tore an entire signature out of it...this was back when I lived in Maine (2002-2003) and I was selling a lot of pieces on eBay. It's also from around the same time I started working on my website. It's come a long way. Most of the pieces are quick watercolor sketches, done while sitting on the waters edge, usually between the hours of 7 and 9 for one beach I would then travel to the next waterfront location and work until 1 or 2pm. I'd then go to the local natural grocery store and pick up lunch. Or if I was being smart eat a bag lunch I would bring with me. These summers were great summers I worked a mere 20 hours a week and my bills were low. I was able to afford my meager lifestyle on those 20 hours a week and my eBay sales.

I tnk that because of the paper in this sketchbook I felt like I couldn't use it, intimidated by the paper.

That is a point I would love to get to again. 20 hours on the DayJob and full time on art. That is the life. Not to say that art isn't hard work, hell I used to put in a full 40 to 50 hours a week on art, stopping only for meals often those 2 summers I would stay up late and get up early.I was perhaps the hardest working artist out there. What I mean to say is that I would love to work on something I love again, rather than something I tolerate.

BLack and red all over

I just put the journal below up onto eBay. It has an integrated penslip. I like how it came out and I've figured out how it can be done without adding a whole addition strip of leather, I could simply turn over the leather and add some eyelets. Trial and error. I went with my gut on this one and I think it turned out well. It perfectly holds a pencil or two. It's pretty sweet! 200 pages of Southworth linen textured paper in light gray. I used brht red linen to sew it up and cut a rough jagged edged red strap from a deer hide. Pretty good if I do say so myself.





I used this book as a way to experiment with a few things for a couple of custom orders I've got in the works. I'm pretty happy with both of the things I'm playing with here.

Maine Festival Volunteer Journal

This journal details my experience volunteering at a festival. It was a headache and a weird experience. I won't go more into it here, but I would suggest that if you get a chance to volunteer at a festival make sure that everything is well planned in advance. Make sure you get a firm commmitment from the people in charge of everything that they intend to provide, if they don't' you'll be up a creek without a paddle.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Late late for a very important date

I had to stay late at the DayJob, while it's a consternation it's a necessary evil for the time being. I really can't wait for the holidays to be over. Not to be a scrooge but it's a hard time of year to work in retail. I'm pretty exhausted.

I've been working on a few projects, one very cool project which includes adding secret compartments to a journal, I'm having fun with it, but I hit a major snag when it came to gluing up the journal. The glue I normally use fouled up a pocket, so I have to rethink what I'm going to use for the pockets....I'm getting lines printed at a local print shop, though, each time I have time to stop by they aren't open!!! So hopefully Tuesday I'll be able to get the lines printed.

I noticed this several days ago, but I thought that I would point it out before anyone else did that my user name on youtube was intended to be ComfortableShoesStudio. What I didn't realize that e I hit enter my user name was 2 letters too long and thus YOuTube automatically cut off 2 letters, the last 2 letters.














So my user name ComfortableShoesStud. I'm hanging my head in shame that I didn't notice this before I finalized everything. But this also explains why I've gotten several messages from users who have "invited" me to view the close up videos of their Brazilian wax job. Which seems like a horrifying prospect to me. So yeah, head over to YouTube and checkout ComfortableShoesStud, it's not some hot oiled down hunk of manly muscle it's just me, kind of soft and pudgy Leslie. I swear there will be no "studly" videos!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Journal #5 Youtube



Another You Tube post

Not quite as personal as the last but it's one of my first leather covered journals. I think I made it in 2002. I last wrote in it in 2005. It's survived a lot- my backpack for 2 years, camping and many moves.

Lazy Thursday

Since I've been working retail, and don't get weekends off, its still a little weird for me in comparison to when I was teaching and when I did other things. I almost always had weekends off then. So, I'm still not used to having random days off int eh middle of the week, it still feels weird. So today I was off from the DayJob and I'm feeling wheezy d tired, so I took a long nap. Upon waking was still wheezy and tired. That being said I didn't get much done in the studio. I'm prepared to press on through it for the evening. I have several projects going, the red edge journal, the secret compartment journal and several 400 page 6x9 journals.

What I did get done was listing these 2 journals on etsy:



The details are as follows: 200 pages of Southworth 24lb 25% cotton paper in a aid texture and an ivory color. On is a linked long stitch in black Irish linen thread and the other is an alternating long stitch in red Irish linen thread. Either one is $27.99 pus shipping on my etsy shop here:
ComfortableShoesStudio

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

moving journal



At this point I've decided to try to create these videos in roughly chronological order. The moleskines I first uploaded are recent. This journal was created after the Maine vacation journal, started while I was in transition to Maine, moving my belongings to my new place after I spent several very difficult months with my life in complete transition. This is essentially my last month in Mass in 2001, probably February March.

I think that while the art in this journal is not my best, it has the most feeling.

Technically-wise this is one of my first multiple signature books and is mechanically terrible. It'sbound with a double thickness of dental floss, on a covered cardboard that's covered with a metallic gift bag. The cord is a heavy cotton cord stripped from a pair of shorts. The paper is canson mein tents in bone or a similar color. I used mainly ink, watercolor crayons and collage. Shortly after making this journal I learned to make structurally sound books

Monday, December 11, 2006

vacation in Maine

This journal was made by me and it was the first multi signature journal that I made. It is a truly horrible structure and I'm surprised that it survives and has survived my former evil dog and the may moves since it was created and used.

IT chronicals the best vacaton that I've ever taken, the most relaxing vacation ever and thonly vacation C and I have ever taken that we still talk about. 7 days in Maine, on a lake, with no running water or electricity.

Day program sketchbook

This sketchbook was created over the course of 2 years while working at a day program. It's cheap paper- standard 20lb printer paper drawn on with crayon, pen, watercolor and ink. Mostly crayon. Have I mentioned that I really love crayon? It has a certain feel that I love for drawing, plus one can lay on layer after layer of color.

Anyway, many of the people pictured are dead. Sad but true. I've also lost touch with many of them. Also sad but true. THis is a sketchbook that makes me sad when I look at it. One of the guys I sketched had all of the money that his very rich father left him stole from him from his able bodied siblings and lawyers. Another was in Fernald State. I won't talk about the atrocities that occurred there, but it's sad. While the art contained in this sketchbook varies from bad to wonderful I feel that more than in any other body of work, these little sketches truly capture these people and the terribly difficult lives they endured.

I made hundreds of these drawings over the course of 2 years. I know that several of the residences had them framed and several pinned them to bedroom walls. So:


reeling with the feelin' don't stop continue


So my head is spinning with all of the things I worked on in the studio last night and as such i had a a hard time heading for bed last night! I wanted to keep on working in the studio and keep that artistic mindedness going. With that being said one of the most exciting things I worked on was imprinting my moleskine with my 20pt century Gothic type, oh it's cool very very cool.

The moleskine in the picture above was imprinted with type and hammer blows. I figured if I could put it into the vise I could use it as a sort of press and get even slow pressure, which seems to be important when pressing items like this. It's also a tone more controllable than hammer blows- I tighten the screw and so I can put exactly the right amount of pressure on the type as I want.

Needless to say I played around with my 2 finished moles that are in the videos below and really came up with a way to make it work. SO now my next objective is to make a type holder.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

youtube 2

Here is the second video on you tube of my moleskine.

You Tube

I just signed up for a youtube account and took a video of my first moleskine. You cansee it here:

Seems like it's been awhile

I like it when I have a full day off with a day before that I get out a little early, I feel like I get lot done in the studio. Like I did last night and this morning. I managed to get 4 of the giant stack of journals finished. I've listed 3 oneBay and 1 will be on etsy.

SO these 3 are on ebay:


They are either linked or alternating long stitching with 24lb 25% cotton paper and deer or sheep hide. Message me for more information or pictures.

THis is on etsy:
It's also a linked long stitch that is alitle more complex than the othrs I have on ebay. All the same specs and a very cool piece of leather for the cover. Have I mentioned that I lust after thi leather? It's so cool, soft but rough.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

This day in my life

Here's what I've been working on the last few days. A giant stack of journals. I think there are 11 or so here. I've also cut covers for a half dozen 400 page 6x9inch journals and 5 hedgehogs. I was super productive in the studio. (BTW the Raspberry UFO in the left is a very tasty beer and I highly recomend it.)
Here are 8 of the above covers all trimmed and ready for their spines to be cut.
Here are all the spines cut and ready for sewing.
The journal on the left here with red edges is a special order. Sort of experimental or me. He asked for red edges on the paper and it was/is possible with a little extra work, think it's worth the time for a very special look to the journals. I used Higgins waterproof ink which I purchased at a new art supply store here in town NEver Say Never Ink. Check them out, the prices, what few I checked out appeared reasonable and the guy behind the counter seemed nice. Also had I known their website has a coupon for 15% off the price of anything in the store except for gallery work. Anyway, I'll head back in for other inks as I rely like the technique.

Working it

I just picked up waterproof red ink for a project. I'm interested in seeing how it all works out. Hopefully well!

The DayJob has been a time sink lately and as such I've had to spend a lot more time on it than Wish to. Also I've been sinking a lot of time into the website. Here's to hoping it pays off and works out for me!

Anyhow, my plan is to spend much of my day in the studio, working on various projects. I'll let everyone know how the ink works out.

Really enjoying this tea. The benefits are fake but it is super tasty.

via Instagram http://ift.tt/2j2HtmB