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Thursday, April 28, 2016

May Day Book to Make and Share

We celebrate May Day every year starting early in the morning at a gathering on the banks of the Charles River in Cambridge, MA. We dance and sing from song books are distributed and collected throughout the morning. My favorite is the Padstow May Song which is traditionally sung on May Day in Padstow, Cornwall. Here's a little accordion book for you to print, fold, and color. Part of the refrain is the centerpiece of the accordion and the complete lyrics (at least what we sing in Cambridge) are on the reverse side.

1. Print the pdf. If you want to color in the flowers, I think it is easiest to do that before you fold.

2. Fold the paper in half so it is long and skinny like a hot dog with the writing on the outside.

3. Fold the folded piece in half so that the calligraphy verse is on the outside.

4. Take one layer, flip the edge back to meet the fold, and crease.

5. Turn the paper over and do the same on the other side.

6. Your book is complete. Happy May!

Print the pdf here.

Here's a fan book project using the same verse from from 2012.

Friday, April 22, 2016

A Book to Make for Earth Day

A lot of the book samples I made when I was working with children don't translate into books for adults to make for themselves. I think this one does. The accordion is made from a front or back panel of a brown grocery bag folded in half like a hot dog. There are directions for folding a four page accordion book at Because the folded paper gave it thickness, I didn't bother adding a cover. Lately I prefer reading paperbacks (larger format not the smaller mass market size) and am appreciating handmade books without hard covers as well. The book was inspired by the children's book (again not just for children), Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message by Chief Jake Swamp.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Studio Sunday-Paper from the Ukraine

Paper I ordered from Paszkowski Paper in the Ukraine on etsy came via post this week. This is my second order. I made Spirit Book #85 with the first batch and will also be using it in books 87 and 89. Since I have had difficulty finding gray papers that work with the natural cradles, I was so pleased to find this paper made from cannabis fibers.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Book Arts Tuesday-Stephen Rapp on Working Methods for Lettering

I have long admired the work of Stephen Rapp. His website has inspiring examples of his work. In January he made his first blog post adding insights into his process. Here's how he starts the post:

This is the first of what I hope to be many blog posts. I like to share what I do, so I thought it fitting to start with a simple tutorial on working methods for lettering. This is centered around lettering for reproduction rather than fine art or something like envelope addressing.
In order to be successful as a commercial lettering artists you have to use both sides of your brain so to speak. You need to be both practical and analytical while at the same time maintain a creative flow. It helps to see these as supportive of each other rather than as opposites. Most lettering artists who do a lot of work for reproduction tend to develop and use their own working methods to get from an idea to a finished design. That being said, having more than one way of working can sometimes yield better and faster results.
He goes on to describe the process from concept to handwork to digital. Thank you Stephen for sharing. Lots to learn!

Working Methods on Lettering by Stephen Rapp

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Studio Sunday-Books in Bloom

Last night was the fifth annual Books in Bloom, where flower arrangements are paired with books, at the Newburyport Public Library. The event is a fundraiser for the Friends of the Library and the Newburyport Horticultural Society. My contribution for this year accompanied the book, The Language of Flowers: A Novel by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. Here's what I wrote about it:

I had the idea for the arrangement before I picked out the book. Last year I combined calligraphy with my arrangement and I knew I wanted to do the same this year. I have several books about the Victorian language of flowers which assigns meanings to flowers. I thought I would use one of them. Then I came across The Language of Flowers: A Novel by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. It’s the moving story of Victoria Jones, her childhood in the foster care system, and her journey into adulthood which involves, among other things, woking as a florist. I chose flowers that were either in the story or in Victoria’s Dictionary of Flowers at the end of the book. The vase is wrapped in brown paper, just as she wrapped the bouquets of flowers she carefully selected to suit the recipients’ psychological and romantic needs. 

Here are some close ups of the flowers (special thanks to Jan Lorrey Flowers for advice and flowers) and lettering:

Ranunculus: You are radiant with charms
Lisianthus: Appreciation
Bellflower: Gratutude
Stock: You will always be beautiful to me
Agapanthus: Love Letter
Chrysanthemum: Truth
White carnation: Sweet and lovely
Alstroemeria: Devotion
Tulip: Declaration of love
Daffodil: New beginnings
Phlox: Our souls are united

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Book Arts Tuesday-Spirit Books at Don't Take Pictures

I am so pleased to share this lovely feature on the Spirit Books in the online magazine, Don't Take Pictures.

"Aesthetically, her artist books have the appearance of found woodland objects. Whether perceived as a product of an ancient people or originating from the woods themselves, Kapuscinski Gaylord’s Spirit Books leave her audience questioning their origins and their meaning."

You can see the page here. While you're there, take a look around. There's lots more to explore.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Spirit Book #86 is underway. The cradle is made from two pieces of birch bark, one found on Plum Island last summer and one at Maudslay State Park on the first day of spring. 

The pages are made from a gray amate paper from Mexico and a paper from Bhutan. There is stitching with gold and silver thread and a small metal circle ( I bought a package to repair a piece of jewelry)  on each page. The binding and base are still to be done.

I'll be bringing home the first three I made this year from Mercy Center (which I didn't have time to photograph) in early May and hope to have a few more new ones to photograph at the same time.
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