Saturday, February 14, 2009

Books and more books!

So much book-related news lately! I took a ton of photos so you could all see the wonderful happenings of this week. 

Here's a book my mother bought me. It's a collection of classic children's stories, all packed into one volume. It's part of a set of these collected stories in different themes, but this particular one was the one that caught my eye. 
Strangest thing, I saw this book in a tiny used bookstore about two weeks ago, when I was absolutely scraping the bottom of my bank account, and I carried it around the store for about an hour. I looked at it and the beautiful illustrations, the gorgeous endpages, the wonderful little stories. I put it down, picked it back up.... put it down, picked it back up. I thought and thought and finally decided I would have to come back for it, since I didn't have the cash just then. After which I went back to work and promptly forgot all about it. 
Then yesterday, I go to my mother's house and she bought me the exact same book! She had no idea I had drooled over it - I never told her! She found it in a different thrift shop, thumbed through it and thought I might like to use it for bookmaking. She gives it to me on Friday the 13th! Weird.... very weird....

Another book arrived today - I forget where I read about it - but the description was so charming I immediately ordered a used copy from Amazon. 
Absolutely hilarious. If you can find a cheap used copy (mine was $5 with shipping) it would be worth your time. Good for a smile on a rainy day. 

My mother also bought me this brilliant book-reader silhouette magnet for Valentines Day, which occupies a place of honor on our already full fridge: 

In other creative news, I found a bit of fake moss and an empty frame and made this the other day... 

I saw these lovely little word puzzle pillows just two days before Valentines Day and knew they wouldn't make it in time even if I bought them that very day, but I adore the concept! So I decided to make a pillow of my own for my mother. I stamped out the puzzle, circled with a Sharpie, embroidered the outline, sewed it together, stuffed with polyfill, and ta-da! She loved it. 

And then... oh, this was the highlight of my weekend.

This little darling was sitting in a tiny thrift shop a couple cities over and I circled the shop at least fourteen times, looking longingly at it each time, before I decided to splurge. A Remington Portable Noiseless Model Seven, manufactured 1931-1941. On sale for $50 - I'm broke right now, but it was worth it. The advancing mechanism is busted, but I found a service manual and upon inspection, it looks very simple to fix. Hooray! The ink ribbon is even still good. And it's got the little bell that dings when you come to the end of the row, and all the keys are there and functional and and and... !

Just look at the typewriting loveliness! I can't explain how EXCITED I am to have found this!! 

And lastly. I always like to see other people's workspaces and such. Here's mine: 

Those are my handbound books on the top shelf. To the left of them is a vintage metal cabinet with plastic drawers full of antique buttons and beads. They were Lover Boy's grandmother's, and his mother gave them to me when grandma passed away earlier this year. The bookshelf itself is a white pine shelf my father made for me when I was about 10 years old - I mentioned it  in an earlier post. 

I know all you bookmakers have fabulous bookshelves too! What does yours look like? I'd love to see portraits of you with your shelf. :)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Things About Yesterday

Well, it's officially tomorrow at this time (12:26 am) so I can now post Things About Yesterday. 
1. Bought some soap. Because the only bars we had left are Lover Boy's bars, and when I shower with them I smell like Love all day, which is distracting. 
2. Fed the cat. When he is hungry he is obnoxiously friendly, and he tries to sit on my head while I am sleeping and stick his wet whiskered nose in my ears. 
3. Opened up all the windows. We had a lovely spring storm move in on Wednesday, and it spent all day yesterday packing up and moving out. So the afternoon was full of enormous clouds and blue sky and bracing cold air, smelling of rain. 
4. Pushed a whole lot of ickiness out of the second hole in my left ear, which has been acting up lately. Ewwwww is right. Funny, the right ear couldn't care less about being newly pierced. 
5. Found bunches of new favorite blogs (thanks, blog friends, for also having lists of your favorites!). My list is getting too long to keep up with!
6. Bought some chocolate. I never much cared for milk chocolate, and then one fateful afternoon I discovered Lindt Milk Chocolate. I always wish the bars lasted longer. Made a hot cup of chai to go with my rapidly disappearing chocolate. 
7. Watched Lover Boy fall asleep on the couch. He always says he won't, and he always does. And I'm always up for hours after him, wandering the internet and making books. Though there are late night activities I'd much rather be doing. Bother. 

I'm sad to hear that many local friends and some of you, my blog friends, lost jobs recently or had hours cut. My very best wishes to you and your search for employment. I'm desperately hoping that here in California, where we still have no state budget, we don't all end up with I.O.U. slips in our tax return envelopes this spring. Every penny counts right now, for all of us. Best of luck, friends. 

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Been busy...

Working on a bunch of new books! Mostly minis, though today I did finish a lovely keyhole book using a National Geographic illustration I'd been saving a long time, and some paper I had cut, folded and saved. I had a flurry of activity earlier in the week, when some gorgeous chiyogami scraps arrived from Lilliput Books. They're exactly the right size for making minis.

They were so pretty I just had to try them out right away! My minis are getting better and better. And they have helped me get over my problems with case binding! It was all a casing-in issue. I wasn't setting the book block far enough into the spine, and I wasn't leaving enough room in the spine for proper placement. So hooray! 

I worked on some super teeny headbands for one of the minis, with fly-tying thread. Whew! That was so difficult, keeping the little bitty threads in order. Here's the result of this particular effort: 

And here's that keyhole book, using the illustration. Hooray! 

I think more keyholes are in my future...