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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i can be pretty unobservant….

Gah!

I made a pretty silly mistake on the workshop poster… The date is wrong… Well, wrong in the sense that Thursday the 21st of Feb. in the year 2014 does not exist…. it is supposed to say FRIDAY the 21st.

Oy vey…. Here is the updated poster……….

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Mule Mother’s Etsy shop is back in action

Finally putting some long awaited energy into the shop….I’ve had it with the sad looking page!

I’ll be posting things throughout the day, so go ahead and take a peek… (click on the screen shot and it’ll take you there!)

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Time-Lapse Book Making/ studio noise #2

I forgot that I had started a video book making project when my partner and I first got to Toronto back in December. I wanted something that I could edit a bit more but I wasn’t really in the position to be buying software. Luckily I found this free stop-motion-maker online and recorded myself making a batch of books from beginning to end. It goes really fast because I didn’t have any control over the speed (which is actually pretty funny at times) but it gives you a pretty good idea of what the whole process is. Its recorded in steps over the course of a few days (hence the wardrobe and hairstyle changes) and has a few cameos of my partner Naryn. (pardon the smooch at the beginning, I couldn’t edit them! Very PG, no worries )

I am planning on doing it again, with a different program that has more editing capabilities, a real video camera instead of the computer one and some music.

…and for your listening pleasure today, I discovered this song just today from my super rad, finger-on-the-pulse-of-everything-awesome, sis-in-law who posted it on facebook and I think I just might be inlove…

craft show micromanaging

With the Halifax Crafters Christmas market a month (give or take) away, I am only just starting to freak out… I am sure a much more profound and severe freak out is on the horizon. I’ve now done a few of these craft shows and am only starting to get a kind of rhythm down for what to expect, how to get ready and how to manage making so many things! For the first time I’m micromanaging everything. I made a spreadsheet of what I wanted at the show and broke down all the materials, priced them out and then went about searching for the best places/ cheapest deals.

So after I got this mega-load of supplies in the post, I took a trip to the Dawson Printshop and Letterpress Studio at NSCAD University here in Halifax (where I also graduated from… this printshop is a priceless gem here in the city!), and went to work on this beautiful machine (also other machines, but this one is my favourite!):

Speaking of a priceless gem, this machine is actually called the “Peerless Gem”.

So, what would have taken me probably 2 full days of work with this guy:

… Took 4 hours with the Peerless Gem… Oh Cutterpede (thats what this little plastic cutter is called) When I use the print shop, I realize I am crazy for not using it more. Cutting insane quantities of paper with the Cutterpede or worse- by hand is one of the reasons my back is ruined (the other one is food service + bad shoes … damn you food service!!)

So now I have all this paper cut (so. much. paper.)

(this doesn’t look like that much paper… there are stacks behind me also.. I’m known to exaggerate, but really though, there’s a lot)

Also, yes that is the show Lost playing on the laptop…

So, instead of doing what I normally do, which is just to go at it at random, I am taking it slow and doing one thing all the way through and then moving onto the next thing. I have already gotten through awling and have made the tiniest of dents in the sewing.

I am guessing this will take at least until the 3rd or 4th season of Lost to complete (I know, I know…)

Even though things feel a bit slow getting done because of the way I am working, I think in the end I’ll save a ton of time doing things this way, which in and of itself is worth its weight in gold. It’s also just a great exercise in managing my attention problems…

After I’m through with all this sewing, I’ll prepare all those spines and then I get to the best part which is designing book covers. It’s killing me that I am not allowing myself to put down the sewing (my least favourite part!) and do something more fun, but I think this is just a much smarter way of working.

Someday, I swear I’ll learn some discipline.