Post hiatus post haste blog post

I’m not even sure that title makes sense…
Ooofff  definitely my longest blog dry spell. I did three posts in September! Geesh, what a go-getter I was.
Here’s a list of all the things that have happened since my last post…

1. Halifax Crafters Winter Market – always so much fun. Maple’s second show at a whopping 4 weeks old. Fun was had by all.

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2. Holidays with both my family and my partners family. The Davar/ Listons meet the Murphy/ Papierski’s (minus my biggest bro…) !image

(family walk on Citadel hill)

3. My partners grandfather passed away. Very sad and right before he could meet his great granddaughter. Death is always a shocker no matter how old you are. The silver lining was being able to see family again so soon after the holidays (a rarity unfortunately) and having Maple meet her great-grandmum who was over the moon hanging out with this little squirt.

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4. So much snow. SO MUCH SNOW

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5. Also ice… Ice everywhere trapping us all in our homes for weeks and weeks…

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6. Halifax Indie Wedding Social. My first ever and, although the weather was despicable, there was a great crowd, the other vendors were lovely and I’ve received a ton of custom wedding work since.

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7. Halifax Crafters Spring Market! The sun even came out and the crowds beat out last year’s numbers in the first day. As always, a blast…

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8. More snow, not as much but enough to piss everyone right off, just enough to crush their hopes of spring.

OK, a bit of a truncated list, but I’m doing this on my phone while Maple plays on the floor so, I’m just giving you the highlights (and I’m probably forgetting a lot…)

So here we are May!!
Gearing up for my very first East Coast Momma Collective show taking place tomorrow, May 2nd at St. Mary’s Boat Club. Looking forward to it and I think the sun might just be out!
Will also be stopping by another craft show this weekend, this time just as a customer. The Dartmouth Makers are hosting their first ever show at Kings Wharf this weekend and it looks like it’s going to be great. Admittedly I missed the boat on applying as I had already been accepted to the ECMC show and was strongly advised by friends who have done it not to do two shows in the same weekend while being a breastfeeding momma. So after some hemming and hawing, I’m feeling good about skipping out and just being able to go to a craft show with my family. (Also I hear there is a holiday show in the works so I’ll definitely hop on that one!)

Hooray! All caught up.

OK with any luck it won’t be 4 months till my next post…

Etsy Made in Canada Pop Up – Halifax edition

This past weekend I took part in the Etsy Made in Canada Pop Up at the Halifax Forum and it was incredible! I had no idea what to expect and was so pleasantly surprised by pretty much all aspects of the show.  First off,  the organizers were amazing.  They did such a bang up job putting it all together and keeping it all organized. A HUGE thank you to Oh My Handmade , Silver Lily Jewelry and all the rest of the volunteers and shops that made this all happen !
Secondly,  it was great to see and meet some of the local sellers that I’ve only seen online. It made me realize how big the craft community is in this province,  it’s really impressive and makes you really proud to be part of such a talented community.
And lastly,  holy cow there were so many people who showed up! The line up before we opened wrapped around the building. We were immediately flooded and busy pretty much the whole time. It was amazing.
I think the response all around,  from vendor and customer alike,  was super positive and I’m pretty sure from reading some reviews from the rest of the Made in Canada pop ups that this will no doubt happen again.
Here are a few pics I took with my handy dandy little phone…

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tricky fixes

This past week I had a very interesting request for a wedding guest book on the fly. They asked me to bind a children’s book the groom had written a few years back that would serve as their guest book. They decided on a Japanese stab binding and some lovely book cloth, but the process was a bit tricky so I had to get crafty fixing this bugger up. The loose pages they provided me with came from the proofer and were pretty roughly cut, not leaving a whole lot of room for the spine space that stab bindings require. After carefully trimming the pages down, I decided to add little extenders to each page with some white acid free paper. I feel like I’ve done this before, this same fix up, and then realized that there is a bulk where the original pages overlap with the extenders. To solve this problem I glued in some spacers so that the spine thickness would be even throughout. I left it a bit rough because I liked how it looked rather than attempting to make it all flush and having it be not quite so (what I wouldn’t give for a nice big stack cutter!). I think it came out really sweet looking and the bride told me it was a hit which made me very happy. Here are a few images I snapped of the process…

 

I love projects like this, so sentimental, practical, functional and a bit of a challenge.

So aside from a few project I have on the go in the next few weeks, including another miniature leather bound book with author Meghan Marentette (!!), I’m just getting ready for this weekends workshop at Patch Halifax and then the Etsy Made in Canada show on the 27th at the Forum. Still need to get my applications together for the Halifax Crafters Holiday show, a 3 day event this year to celebrate 10 years of the HFX Crafters (hot damn!) and the NSDCC Christmas show. Life is pretty bonkers at the moment, only to get far far crazier… My goal is to have all my holiday show stuff ready by mid-October so I can spend the (hopefully?) two weeks before this baby arrives (please be on time little bean….) getting cozy and doing random things around the house like organizing the junk drawer and baking and cooking like a crazy person. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking… but a girl can dream, right?

Pt. 2 of new things debuted last weekend, the weekend and some new projects

Woops

I forgot to follow up on this post, just got too busy with the NSDCC summer show that completely let it slip! I always think I’m ahead of the game till the last minute…

SO I’ve been working on some great new printed books ( meaning books with a specific purpose instead of blank books) that finally came together for last weekends craft show. The first is something I’ve gotten quite a few requests for which are wine journals. I love a good glass of wine as much as anyone and I usually end up buying the same bottle as good wine can get pretty pricey. But after a few bottles it does get pretty tough to tell which ones you really loved and why you liked them so much. To solve this little problem, I designed a nice little book where you can write all the specifics, paste on the actual label and give it your stamp of approval or a note to never buy it again.
I bound two different styles, a coptic version and a case bound version… I think they came out pretty classy if I do say so myself.

I’ve also gotten more than a few requests for lined books and specifically half lined and half blank. I thought this was genius so I designed a layout and people seem to be really into it! Here are a few of those covered in leather and book cloth:

The last product to debut over the weekend were these here pregnancy journals! I’ve kept one of my own 2 subject notebooks as a kind of “pregnancy journal” because I usually dig stream of consciousness kind of journalling and I tend to lump all of life’s events into the continuous stream rather than separating them all out into separate vessels (that’s kind of a lie, I actually have a book called “Pregnancy Journal” but it’s really more of a book that tells you what’s happening physiologically to you and the babe everyday of the pregnancy and leaves little spaces here and there to write notes and things. The bulk of my “pregnancy writing” (really just writing while being preggo) is done in my regular old journal…. very long explanation with not just one but TWO sets of parenthesis).

So, anyways I was pretty ignorant of the variety of pregnancy journal out there and when I started to have a look around I found that a lot of them were a bit kitschy and ‘pretty’ and very structured which lots of ladies dig, but I wasn’t really into. Many preggo journals have a lot of questions that leave tiny spaces to answer where I thought I would need pages and/or there were too many questions and/or they were super conventional and very gendered and/or they were just really flowery and overly feminine which is great for lots of ladies… But I couldn’t see myself using one. I figured there might be lots of pregnant women out there who just wanted some lines and spaces to fill in their thoughts while being pregnant, and that’s it. So I designed the Mule Mother Pregnancy Journal as a kind of bare bones, über simplified preggo journal for the gals who want just that. I added in a few questions at the beginning because I liked the idea of being prompted a bit. Being newly pregnant, it’s nice to have a few questions asked of you that make your gears start working. There are so many things that go through your head! It can be a little maddening at times… So I constructed the book with three thick signatures, sewn pamphlet style, and each signature is a new trimester. The layout is just like the lined book in that one side of the spread is lined and one is blank because I liked having the option of making doodles and pasting things in if you wanted to. I included a back pocket as well and a strap to keep it all closed and then left a few pages at the end to write in the birth story. (I’ve heard so many ladies tell me to write down what happened at the birth as soon as you can because you tend to forget what the hell just happened.)

So here are the first 5 that I made and I’m sure that after my own babe is born I might modify it a bit here and there. I thought I’d also make a baby book with some of the same considerations in mind and include some of my own visual art (because I also make art! It’s just taken a bit of a back seat since I started the book biz…), but I think I’ll have a better idea of a great baby book once I have my own babe and see what kinds of things I’d want to record.

Ok now the weekend! The NSDCC Summer Show was great, the weather couldn’t have been more perfect and the staff and volunteers were, as usual, were incredible and superhero-like. Here are a few shots I took:

So finally, just one last thing, these sketchbooks are getting so popular! I love making them and they are awesome sketchbooks, so meaty and satisfying, covered in leather and filled with lovely 140lb watercolour paper… Here are two in the works. If you’re interested in your very own custom sketchbook, they have 60 pages (120 sides), measure 8×8″ and are $90 plus shipping (taxes in) and you can pick two suede colours from my leather selection to cover the book. They usually take about a week/ week and a half for me to finish and send out to you. Send me a message if you’re interested or have any questions!

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new things debuting this weekend- pt.1

Just in time for wedding season, I’ll have a slew of beautiful handmade guest books and photo albums to choose from at the NSDCC Summer Show this weekend.

Here are a few sneak peeks:

 

Fat leather sketchbooks and upcoming show news

I had a lovely gal from BC ask me to make her a custom leather sketchbook recently, one very similar to the one I made for local Nova Scoria artist Daina Scarola for her Painted Road Project. I really love this style of book, the thickness, the material, the weight… It’s inspiring just to hold it. Here are a few shots of the finished book I sent out last week.

 

She really loved the finished product and hopefully the word will spread and I’ll get to make some more. I think the next one I make will be for myself.

 

This week I’m getting ready for my second NSDCC Summer Show in Victoria Park here in Halifax. Last year was great despite one rainy day (which oddly enough was my busiest) and I’m sure this year will be even better. I have a few new books I’m pretty stocked on like wine journals, address books, a pregnancy journal and some great wedding albums and guest books that are looking pretty fab. So I’m going to now get off the computer and get to work so I’m not kicking myself in the pants come Thursday.  See you all there!