Thursday, November 27, 2008

November is Wonderful

Truly. I love October, but I love October best in the Eastern Sierra. Down here in Simi Valley October isn't nearly as nice as November. The rains arrive in November. First it smells like rain, and the slate-colored clouds crowd the sky. Then suddenly it's pouring, the grasses bending low in relief, the streets flooding, water staining the trees and earth dark. And the next day everything is bright, even the sky is bluer with enormous white clouds rolling over the valley.

I open every window in the house to let in the crisp breeze.

In the oven are delicious Thanksgiving treats. Pumpkin pie sweetened with honey, NOT sugar. Delicious local honey, from bees who make it all by themselves from Buckwheat nectar. I like bees. I'm that girl that rescues an injured bee from the hot sidewalk and carefully puts him down in the shade.

Lover boy relaxes on the couch while I check on the pie.

On the windowsill, my vegetable/flower garden seedlings are enjoying the sun.

Lots to be thankful for today. I listed five (FIVE!) new journals in the shop - I had a very productive day off yesterday - the photo album I was working on went over extremely well, I have a brand new first cousin once removed, and I'm in love!

More details on the new journals and the photo album soon.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Holiday Shipping

I know many of you will be doing lots of holiday packaging and using lots and lots of tape. Well, perhaps you want to pick up a lead apron before pulling out that tape gun. Have a listen to this NPR story - and I promise, it's totally and absolutely amazing. The link takes you to the story page, where you can read about it or listen to the interview with the PhD candidate that figured it out. There are sweet photos too!

Science Out of the Box: Sticky Tape Gives Off X-Rays

Thanks everyone for your ideas on the photo album. I might just do a little video on it construction, since I've recently discovered the coolness of the MacBook built-in camera.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

New Rush Project

Yesterday my photo editor commissioned me to make a photo album to hold 50 photographs of A Midsummer Night's dream that she took a while back. It's rush becuase she needs it by the end of the week!

So considering the time crunch, I'm thinking about how to construct the book.

I would like to use a coptic stitch, exposed spine binding. I'll use cream, heavyweight drawing paper for the pages, medium purple cardstock for spine protectors, indigo linen for the covers, a pretty Florentine-style purple, yellow and white floral print for the endpages, probably light violet waxed thread for the binding... but what's tripping me up is how to attach the photos.

Her original idea was to put them in regular plastic page-protector style sleeves. I think that in a nice album like this, that would look exceedingly tacky.
So my idea was to slide the photos into translucent vellum windows - so just the very edges of the photos would be covered. Kind of like a translucent overmat window. That way I could glue the outside and bottom edges of the vellum windows to the pages so she could slip the photos into the windows from the top. My fiance thought that was much too complicated. He suggested cutting four slits in each page so she could just tuck in the corners of the photos and be done with it. I'm not sure that's a good idea.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Holidays are coming up and I am far too busy!! I can't imagine what it will be like as they close in on me. I'm feeling flustered lately... and drinking way too much tea and coffee. Curse it all!

On the bright side, I did manage to squeeze this little thing into my schedule today:

Monday, November 10, 2008

Economic Depression

Depression indeed, but fortunately ONLY economic. I've been in otherwise excellent spirits, driving my lovely miata around beneath positively stunning blue skies full of fluffy white clouds, cuddling with my sweetheart, pulling out my winter sweaters (i just love wearing knits), and drinking lots of coffee and tea.
I've recently developed a fondness for coffee - but what a coffee snob I am. I only like the Ethiopian Arabica beans from CB&TL, ground in small batches and immediately brewed, and only by French press. Add a bit of whole organic milk, and it's a marvelous after-supper drink. What an egotistical, liberal elitist I am! ... I rather hope not, and I hope that enjoying a bit of coffee made the simplest, most wonderful way possible doesn't automatically put me in that category. Pooh on conservatives for creating that stereotype, haha!
Anyway, on to the real good stuff. I was able to put a few things in the shop lately, but some have already been snapped up! I suppose it's the Holidays coming. I do need to get my ass in gear and start working on new pieces before Holiday shopping really begins.
So here's what I've been up to lately:

I put together this little pouch, on a whim because I haven't done any hand sewing in such a long time. I think I may do a bit more soon, I rather enjoyed it. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out, too.

I also bound this up - slender little thing, as I'm running low on paper at the moment, but nicely pocket sized.

These are still in the shop, and I'm hoping someone will fall for them soon. It's not that I'm so greedy for the money - although it does help pay for paper at a time when my wallet is stretched thin, that's always nice - I'm so much more excited about finding them a new home. I want someone to open up the package and be thrilled at their new journal. I want them to fill the pages with stories and sketches, populate the blank paper with trees and faces and long strings of beautiful words. It's the potential that I'm excited about. The pregnant book-ness, the opportunity to capture thought and stories. What a romantic I am, eh? Joe is always harping on me about the shops... he doesn't think I'm considering them real businesses. I should be thinking about Marketing and Sales and Overhead. But who wants to think about all that. These are Books! They are Magical!
Ah, I am a romantic fool. Haha...

Well, anyway. Here's a new shop inhabitant, waiting for words:

A big bruiser of a book, Belgian binding and drawing paper inside. It was actually my first Belgian book, but these bindings really need waxed thread for stability and strength, and I didn't know that when I bound it. So I tore it apart this weekend and re-bound it, and now it's lovely and much more durable.

You may remember I mentioned these three a while back. I was thinking of stenciling something on their covers, or otherwise jazzing them up. But they've been sitting on my bookshelf and I can't bring myself to add anything to them, so they went into the shop unadorned. Simple and plain, but charming nonetheless.

Well, that's the news so far. Holidays coming up, and I think I will be making some new miniature books - I have lots of paper scraps waiting to be used, and there's a Stocking Stuffers showcase soon, so it's a good excuse to play with tiny books. :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I try not to make this blog too political. But two of my closest friends were devastated this morning, when we woke up to find that California Proposition 8, to strip away the right of gay couples to marry, had succeeded.

My very good friend Ryan Sas wrote this letter to his boyfriend, and I was so moved when he showed me, I felt it was important to share it with all of you. I have changed nothing but a few minor grammar corrections.

Don't give up. Please don't. I plead everyone who voted No onproposition 8 to not despair as the polls close in. As it stands we've made such gains in the opinion of California voters that it's foolish to give up.
When this started in may many doubted that we would last as the first polls showed our state against gay marriage. As the summer progressed we saw a shift in opinion from Yes to No. It was an exciting time. A time when I thought we had won.

Please click the "Read More" link below to continue reading. It's a short letter, and definitely worth the few moments it takes to read it.

Our mood changed when the lies began to come out, the Yes campaign knew that what better way to win then to sow the seeds of doubt in many of us. We questioned our Schools, and our faiths many of us fought battles deep within our souls.
As the time went on we saw polls up and down. We saw a military blitz run by the Yes on 8. And we persevered we confidently told our stories. We let everyone know that we will be hurt by this propositionand we are hurt today. At a time when giving up seems to easy we mustfight. Fight because there is nothing preventing our will. We've been through the darkest of nights and while that dawn might be farther off it is still there.
Last night we were given a new beacon of hope. Let president Obama nowlead us together in equality. Let his message of "Yes we can" resound in every individual. I would like to thank my peers who voted 2 to 1 against proposition 8. I would like to thank the mothers, fathers,sisters and any other family member for your support. We will fight and we will win.
The lessons of the past have gotten us to this point, we are fighting the good fair fight. In the past 8 years we've seen fear tactics used against us and they prevailed. Never fear as we are all known to grow. With messages of acceptance and love we can make even the coldest hearts melt. Yes we can do this, we can win this not with just the strength of our words but the strength of our hearts.
Equality is worth living for and equality is worth fighting for. Do not surrender, do not give up. There is too much momentum. I encourage each and everyone to begin spreading your word, your life. We make all the difference.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

Tomorrow is The Day!

Election day, of course. It's the first one I've really, personally felt passionate about. First one I've been nervous about. I mean really nervous - butterflies in the tummy, nail-biting, obsessively poll-checking nervous. It's so close, I keep hearing. Obama's a bit ahead no matter how you add it up, but that only makes me more nervous. What about all the minorities, the first time voters, will they really show up? The long lines for early voting seem to be a sign of what we'll see tomorrow, and I wonder if they will have the stamina to wait for hours.
So much passion in this race. I think it's good for the country. We're finally seeing cracks in the grey plaster cast of apathy.

Well, in honor of Election Day, here are some of my Ety favorites. Such creativity!

If you're not super sick of Election Day swag already, click here to read the full post!

This is a classic - old school voter cool. From sellerheather, $3.

If you need something a little more modern, a little more hip, a little more... gangsta, this should do. From lilylu, $16.

Here's a cheerful, totally adorable way to support McCain. From mullishmuse, $13.

But (no pun intended) if you need a sexier political statement, these panties are perfect. From pantyline productions, $12.

Some people want to make a patriotic statement, but aren't willing to drop their pants to do so. Or they like to wear a cape and tights. Here you go. From columbina, $30.

These are just so fun. Perhaps you could project them onto a blank wall, some political light graffiti? Brilliant. From orangemoontoys, $24.

Having nightmares about hanging chads? Wondering whether to circle, punch, connect dots, draw lines, oh my! Make it easy on yourself. From moesewco, $15.

Had to mention this one - it's exactly how I feel! Perfect for all voters, red, purple or blue. From gallardoworks, $2.

Good luck and be safe on Election Day! And of course, VOTE!