Saturday, March 31, 2007

just a bit

I’m in Maine visiting my family. Its significantly coder here than it is in Mass. But it’s nice.

I have several items ending on Bay tomorrow. Several recycled covered notebooks, jotters and a hedgehog. You can see them here.

I made a custom hedgehog for someone, pics below. The pictures aren’t very special but filled the inside with 100% cotton paper. I so used a different method for gluing it up than I normally us. I clamped the block with binder clips applied thick glue, removed the clamps and then pressed it until it dried. It made a very good binding. The spine is no thicker than the rest of the book block- binding perfection. It heads for England.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


One of the many reasons I love the laser printer and initially the reason that we got one is that I use it to print lines for journals. I don't do lined journals often, usually at request for a custom order. Since I may or may not whole sale the recycled journals I bought 3 reams of Wausau paper in cream. I thought I might make a few journal with lines.

Being myself I couldn't just print 2 or 3 journals worth of lined pages. No, being me, I had to print a full ream of paper, 500 pages. It takes a long time to print 500 pages of lines. I've been chipping away at it all evening.

I also found that the printer didn't like printing essentially 1000 sheets in one day.

From now on I vow to print fewer sheets per day. Besides printing 1000 sheets is boring.

Also if I can urge anyone to get a laser printer- even a black and white one I would do so. They are just as fast as an ink jet now, but the amount of sheets you get out of one cartridge is crazy, usually they rate the cartridges for 500 sheets less than what they will actually do. My cartridges are rated for 2500 sheets, but usually I get 3000+ out of them. The other fantastic thing with them is that they never clog up. THey are virtually maintenance free. Go laser you'll be happier.

Monday, March 26, 2007


Another thing that has been taking up a lot of my time is that my DayJob boss has offered to sell my recycled books in the store. In the past I’ve avoided wholesaling my work partially because I always get almost what I want for my books on eBay or etsy, I’ve had no reason to sell them wholesale. I also had a very high end product, or so I think. My books are an artistic extension of myself. That being said the recycled notebooks are as well, but less so. I love the experimentation with the material and the interesting nature of the material. I also love that it fits in with my recycling and ecological perspective of life- there is nothing more fulfilling than helping save the planer, in my own little way. It’s great to take signs that would have otherwise been destined for the landfill and turn them into something else entirely.

Anyway, I’ve been trying to determine what I should charge as a wholesale price and in what quantity.

Ultimately this comes down to a business decision, I know that doing this can expand my local visibility, which leads to larger online business. It’s also a way for me to unload a large quantity of books all at once, which leads to a large amount of income, all at once.

whirl wind

Whew I realize that it’s been awhile since I’ve done a substantial post. It’s been a whirlwind few weeks in my life.

With my new job, it’s regular but there is so much going on. I must keep my head a float. Don’t think I’m saying it’s bad; it’s very nice to use my brain, a lot. This week is the first that I’ve had where everything has been going along just fine. And I must say that it’s freaking fantastic. Of course this is only Monday and everything could go to hell faster than it took me to type all that.

So the DayJob has hit an even keel and with that my regular hours are just fantastic. I work regular hours all week and then get my weekend off, which leaves me to make books all weekend. Because I’ve worked retail for so long I’m always shocked at having 2 days off in a row, it’s like having a mini vacation every week. Because the rest of my week run s long I end up leaving work an hour or two early every week. And that means that I get to have what seems like an extra long weekend almost every week.

That means I get to make a lot of books and list a lot of items.

I’ve been experimenting a lot too. Which also makes me very happy.

The sign vinyl has been fun to mess around with. I’ve come up with all sorts of things to make with it and it’s all pretty cool.

I think the coolest thing has been the penslips. I think that making them out of the vinyl is a natural progression of materials. I have a bunch of them up on eBay and I’ll be making more of them as time goes on. I love the randomness of the images and colors.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sales and what not

I've done a load of listing Items today! I've got 7 items up and I'll have an 8th up shortly. HEre they are:

sewing cradle:
Another of Allen's sewing cradles. I included a lower buy it now. This one with show up on eBay around 8pm PST. Around 5pm my time.

Distressed hedgehog
Distressed hedgehog This one with linen textured white paper. I don't do white paper often, but I have ton of it int he studio, so I thougth I'd use a bunch of it.

Blue Recycled:
Another blue covered recycled journal. This one is light blue with some dark blue areas. Heavy hemp cord to sew it.

Red and Green recycled:
A different sign a different texture the texture on this is smooth. I've been noticing a difference in the signs that are meant to be hung inside VS outside . Most of the store hang the exterior signs inside but the signs that are meant to be hung INSIDE are smoother vinyl. They are also a little lighter weight. Anyway, the colors of this vinyl are cool. I love the burgundy with teh sap green. I used hemp cord to sew this.

recycled jotters:
Smooth vinyl meant to be hung inside. Almost 100% recycled, the only virgin material in these is the thread used to sew it. the covered are sign vinyl and hte interior ir reused paper, destined for the recycle bin.

Blue Jotters:
Covered in canson mein-teintes paperand filled with strathmore ivory linen paper, these closely resemble the moleskine cahiers just with a better color. These beg to be decorated. 2 different colors of blue in one auction.

Bright Blue Jotters:
Covered in canson mein-teintes paperand filled with strathmore ivory linen paper, these closely resemble the moleskine cahiers just with a better color. Bright blue for when you want to visually seek your notebook.

I've been making the penslips out of leather for awhile I figured I might try and make them out of vinyl. The result? A fantastic Penslip that is secure and tight around a pen or pencil. I love it.

Monday, March 19, 2007

ending today.

I've got 2 auctions ending on eBay today, one is for a small pocket sized recycled journal, made of a cardstock sign coated with vinyl and filled with paper printed on one side with advertising. It is here and looks like this:

The other is a hedgehog filled with ivory paper and has a fantastic leather cover, soft and smooth. The bidding is super low- only at $7 this AM and I've never had a hedgehog go so low. It's here:

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Signs signs signs everywhere is signs

These pictures are an example of the recycled journals that I made with old vinyl signs and vinyl coated paper signs. The cover is vinyl and the pockets inside are the coated paper signs. The pockets formed by sewing the coated paper signs stiffen the covers a lot which is needed since the vinyl is quite soft and flexible.

One of the things I noticed when I cut the signs is that inside the signs to strengthen them there are fibers, thin strands of thread. I also notice they become more prevalent as I’ve been ising one of these signs notebooks at work. Use of the book frays more of the thread from within the covers. I’ve hit them with a lighter to melt the threads back into the cover itself, and that seems to do the trick.

These are filled with 24lb Xerox brand paper in ivory. Which looks more like a very light tan to me. Each book has 4 signatures of 10 sheets for a total of 160 pages.

I’m pretty happy with how they turned out.

The offical Count

As I'm sure many of you know the Northeast was hammered with a Nor' Easter last night. In my area, coastal northern Massachusetts was dumped on with about a foot of snow, white hell as I call it. Before it switched over to rain I went outside and shoveled. I'm glad we decided to do that, because the same height of snow is out there now but I can see the water seeping out into the shoveled areas, and that means it's going to be damn heavy. I'm not sure what the offical count for the snow is but I dare say we got about a foot of it.

I'm about to go out and further scape the white crap from my driveway and end of the driveway before it freezes into a dirty gray hump.

Because of the snow and rain last night we stayed in, turned up the heat, watched Casino Royale and I made some books. (Side note, CR was the darkest grittiest Bond movie yet and I loved it. I agree with much of the critics that Craig was an excellent bond, that the darkness finally matches the tone of the books and this was a great bond film. I did miss Q though.)

I played around with making the recycled covers with pockets. I made a few of them and they came out quite well, I'm pretty happy with it. I also worked on the sewing machine and have it set to work properly. I need to find a good website that explains everything there is to know about sewing machines.

I'll take some pictures when I'm done shoveling.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Current eBay Sales

A quick note about my current eBay sales:

I have a sewing cradle up that is ending today, around 6 pm my time. See the cradle here.

I have 2 hedgehogs also ending today that will end around the same time as the sewing cradle, a little later though. This one has no bid

and this one is at the starting bid.

Also I have a book press ending late tomorrow night. The bidding on it is SUPER low right now, so you can get in now and hope that the bidding doesn’t go higher. You can see the book press here.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

a few words about my week

I have 2 days off in a row, I’m still not accustomed to it. I love it though. This week at the day job has been filled with ups and downs. Many of the downs could have been avoided if I knew more about my job and the tools I’m using. Given the amount of time I’ve been trained I’m not surprised about the downs. That being said they were sort of a blessing in disguise as I now know just about everything there is to know about these tools.

I was able to spend a few evenings in the studio mucking about with my recycled materials. And I’m quite pleased with the results. I made 2 proto-type books with old signs and pockets inside. I’ve learned the right sizes to make the covers to hold a useful pocket as well as make a neat cover that perfectly covers the book block.

I’ll have to take some pictures. The one thing that I don’t like is that the signatures use a LOT of paper, so I’ll try it with fewer pages and see how it works. I just wanted to make sure that the book felt full.

On my way home I stopped at an office store to find some different paper than what I currently have, I found a new line of paper at office max that I like a lot. I’m sure a major manufacturer makes it for them, but it’s watermarked with some odd logo. I’m going to investigate and see who makes it because it’s really very nice.

Anyway, I’m going to spend some time in the studio tonight and tomorrow and I’llpost more then.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

simple and effective.

The picture below is of my sewing awls. Essentially I took a large dowel- broom handle sized cut it to my hand size plus an inch. so they were about 5.5 inches long when I started. I then put a drum sander, 90 grit, into the drill press and set it to a medium rotation. I rotated the dowel and sanded one end down to create a taper. I also rounded over the other end. I also added some additional divots to make it feel nicer in my hand. I rubbed it down with some fine sandpaper to eliminate any splinters that the drum sander may have left.

Then I used a drill bit slightly larger than my needle and bore a hole into the tapered end of the handle. I filled the hole with 2 part epoxy and set my needle into the epoxy. I bore the hole so that it would leave about an inch of my needle exposed. The head of the needle is in the epoxy. I then made sure my needle was straight and let it set over night.

I trimmed off any excess glue with a razor and polished my needle after sharpening it on a diamond stone. I didn't finish the handle mainly because I wanted to use it right away but also because I like the patina wood gets after you've handled it. I also knew that when I use my awl my hand is usually covered in bee's wax which also give wood s nice glow. Simple and effective.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Listed on etsy

THe following items are up on etsy here. I put up 2 hedgehogs and one set of 2 blue canson mein-teintes covered jotters.

Hedgehog filled with 160 pages of strathmore Ivory linen paper.

The darker blue set of jotters is on etsy right now. 50 pages of southworth ivory paper. They are covered in heavy Canson Mein-Teintes paper.

This last notebook is on etsy. Filled with 160 pages of ice blue strathmore paper, hand stitched and glued.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Sewing Cradle

So My brother has 3 sewing cradles made. 1 will go on my etsy account, one on his and one is currently up on eBay right now. You can see it here He did a great job with them and all the pictures I've seen look fantastic.

A few Hedgehogs

So over the weekend I’ve been working on a massive stack of hedgehogs. Of the 9 that I made 2 are spoken for and the rest will go to either eBay or etsy. It was good to be in the studio and making hedgehogs. I feel like I focus on one variety of book per weekend. I’d like to expand that and make a bunch of sewn books as well as hedgehogs. Alas I do have a life outside of the studio.

Each of the hedgehogs has a different paper inside, some have Strathmore laid texture with an ivory color, a few have white laid paper and one has Strathmore ice blue wove texture paper. Each one has 160 pages, a pocket, bookmark and an elastic closure. I’m very happy with how they turned out and how the press worked on them.

This is also the first batch of books that I used my new sewing cradle to punch the stations.

This one is up on ebay here.

This one is up on ebay here.

This one isn't listed anywhere yet.

This one is claimed.

This one will go up on etsy tomorrow.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Ending Tomorrow

Tomorrow around 9am Eastern time the press listed on eBay here Ends it's auction. I'd like to also point out that my brother also has one listed on his etsy account here.

THe original post about the press(es) currently on sale is here