Handmade Books

During my first senior year of college I took a studio class called Bookmaking from a very inspiring professor.  Her class was the first studio class where I felt completely free to create without any restrictions.  She would begin our class with meditation, and then we would spend the following twenty minutes free writing or free drawing.  This by far was the most relaxing and organic start to get into the creating process that I have ever experienced.  We were all safe in that space to try new processes, materials, and concepts.  Nothing was ever forced or contrived and my classmates were comfortable in their own talents to share opinions and suggestions.  I even looked forward to group projects and collaborative work, a task that I dreaded in other classes.  Since this was my favorite class it is no wonder that I still treasure the books that I made that semester. 

Yesterday I mentioned handmade books on my new floating shelves.  These books were created from cardstock, thread, paper pulp, cereal boxes, Japanese paper, magazines, ribbon, wood accents, and of course- buttons.  Most are functional art that later became a journal but some are almost sculpture.  

This book was made with fiber paper, a vintage pattern, and ribbon.

The ribbon goes through the dress and ties the two covers closed and accessorizes the book. 

This is a mixed media book, with wooden covers, accordion folded card stock and sewn 'pages' that have unexpected messages on the front and back.

This burnt orange book was made with ribbon, wood flower accents, scrap booking paper, Japanese paper, and recycled brown wrapping paper.

'Home' was created with blueprints, vinyl, scrap booking paper, and brown thread. 

 I am excited to see this art form is growing in its popularity and the wide possibilities of being able to create new books out of old books and any found object that you already have lying around the house.  Since i was broke in college it really forced me to be clever in acquiring supplies, most that i got for free at a thrift store i worked at.  The vinyl came from my mother who was reupholstering a retro chair, and most of the paper came from a bookstore on my college campus.
Now that i am not living off ramon noodles and canned tuna, i still think it is smart to upcycle and give items new life.  It’s more of a creative challenge to use what you already have than to run out and buy new supplies.  I think that gives my books more charm and makes them worth displaying.  I was able to be innovative by manipulating unusual materials for my books, and i challenge you to do the same.

Who ever said don't judge a book by its' cover?  I dare you to.


Floating Books

One of my many New Year's Resolutions was to get ORGANIZED this year.  Organized like- no more piles of clutter, or stacks of projects that i am working on, or spending countless hours shifting things to look for other things that i have misplaced.  My new found love is The Container Store that has graced Nashville with everything  you could possibly need or want to get your act together and make your life amazing.  I can easily talk about a two dozen products that i have recently bought that have saved me time and space.  But today i will just mention my first favorite solution for my cluttered book problem.  I want to become an avid reader but didn't have the space (until now) to store books that i have purchased and made. 

This is what the wall looked like pre- floating book shelves.  Empty and not using the potential vertical space.

After drilling screws through the floating bookshelves that i got from The Container Store, and mounting them to the wall...

I was able to chose one book for each shelf that would become the 'base' of each shelf.  The back cover hooks into the bottom, and the front cover rests on top of the extending metal. Which ultimately hides the shelf itself. Brilliant!

I am so amazed at how many books i was able to put on my floating shelves!  Having these books on the wall opened up other space in my room and de-cluttered my nightstand.  It also is a great way to display some of my decorative handmade books.

And of course i had to add an owl to the bottom shelf!  So wise!
I'm excited now to finish reading the books that i started so long ago!  Resolutions here i come!


Im Back!
Hello friends! Sorry if you were starting to worry about my absence, and i apologize if you never knew i left... but this is my first post in about two months and it feels like a lifetime since i have created and blogged.

A crazy amount of change has happened in my life. With the whirlwind of the holidays, illness, and my computer getting a virus worse than mine, i feel that this weekend was the first time in a long time that i could literally breathe and relax.

Since i have last spoken to you guys my little blog has done something i never thought that it would. It won not one, but two awards! I am so blessed that i have been able to accomplish what i have, but still have so far to go. If you are visiting from Two Hoots & a Holler or Shoe String Bean, i welcome you! You are the reason that i have started this little crafting blog!

I started blogging so i could start to document my creative processes and finished products. Through this outlet i have begun to build a new artistic and creative community that is more supportive, encouraging, and inspiring than i ever imagined. I cannot thank Julia and Mae enough for their words of affirmation and backing my crazy ideas (and lending their amazing ideas in the meantime!)

Okay so enough of me pretending that i am on the Golden Globes of blogging. i need to stop feeling guilty about winning an award while not actually blogging and get to work! Stay tuned for actual crafts and pictures and less ramble of words.
It's so good to be back!