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.

image

image

image

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.

2015-01-18 16.43.44

4. So much snow. SO MUCH SNOW

image

image

image

image

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

image

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.

image

image

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…

image

image

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…

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?

Wedding book

A wonderful couple I made a wedding album/ guest book for a few months ago sent along some images of their book filled with notes and pictures. I love seeing my books used!
I like how they have pictures of each other and notes from their guests, it’s a really lovely keepsake for their family and a good idea for anyone looking for something memorable to make for their own wedding.
Have a look:

If you’re on the look out for a wedding book of your very own, send me a message at mulemotherbooks@gmail.com to get started!

Have a peek through some past custom books here and here

 

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:

 

June came and went. Part two: Montreal!

I had the privilege to take a little visit to Montreal this month for a little solo vacation time and to go to my wonderful cousins wedding… So much fun! I love Montreal and this time around I think I finally figured out where I was going and where things are (I’m more than a little bit directionally challenged)… I stayed in a great little place I found on Airbnb, I’ve never used it (Airbnb) before but it’s great, I would totally suggest trying it out. I walked incessantly for 3 days straight till my legs were like jello and I had a good 2 hour nap every day, which was awesome. I saw some beautiful art at the Museum of Fine Arts (which was free for folks 30 and under… I’m still “young” for another 6 months, thanks heavens….), ate delicious smoked meat sandwiches at this really super deli/ restaurant on St. Laurent St, also waaayyy too many bagels and cream cheese, and went to Cirque du Soleil which was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life. I may or may not have cried during the entire first half…

Here’s some pics from the trip!

Finally, I met up with my brother and his wife and eventually my partner, Naryn and we headed to a wonderful wedding… Here’s a pic or two…

Nayrn, me and our tiny bump getting classy and one quick image from the ceremony..

 

 

 

June isn’t over yet! Part three tomorrow: Full Circle Festival and the Avondale Art Fair

new custom work

I’ve had the opportunity to work on some pretty fantastic custom books in the past few months. Wedding guest books and photo albums have been picking up big time which has been really great because I am finding that I am getting a lot of requests that really work with my aesthetic. And that’s always nice.

The last big custom job I did was a gift from someone I had as a customer at a cafe I used to work at. He, along with about 25 other fellows, were mentored by this one doctor (for whom the book was for) who seemed to have had a pretty profound impact on all of these peoples lives and careers. The book was comprised of pictures and stories from each of the fellows dating back to the 70’s and as recent as the late 90’s. The words and pictures in the book are really lovely and I was so honoured to have had a small part in the story of this remarkable guy.

Here’s the book finished:

SMDbook2

SMDbookSMDbook3

The book is covered with brown suede and linen book cloth. For the end papers I used my favourite St. Armand paper.

process

I took a few photographs while I was making the book and I always mean to take more! I tend to get absorbed in what I’m doing and before I know it I missed capturing some integral step… Anywho…

BALproSHOT BALproSHOT3

This image on the left is the suede attached to the covers before the linen cloth and spine are attached. The right image is measuring out the corner cloth and the bottom is the cover before it is used to case in the text block.

BALproSHOT4

tiny little books

The next project I have been working on is with this really awesome author I met at the Halifax Crafters Spring Fair. We’re working together to make some prototypes of tiny story books. The process has been unbelievably enjoyable as we are both in love with tiny things and just seem to click really well. Here’s a few shots of the books I have made for her so far.

2013-07-23 15.18.43

 •Awling tiny pages.2013-07-23 16.01.16

Sewn up •

2013-07-23 21.23.24 This kills me… It’s just so goddamn cute! Tiny text block with mull, spine strip and head bands.

2013-07-23 21.27.58-1All ready to be cased in while fat cat sleeps in background •

2013-07-27 19.01.33-1• And finally all done up in orange suede. Oh my. What a handsome little bugger.

I wanted to do another style of book so I printed the text out and made a miniature Japanese stab sewn binding version (below)

IMG_0696 IMG_0697

from wanting a book made to getting it in the mail

binding styles• When I get a custom order for a book with printed matter, the first step is getting the material that the book will contain and formatting it on the computer. The book, depending on the type of binding style, needs to be formatted correctly so that after it’s printed, it will read in the right order.  I made this PDF (left) to send to folks who inquire about a custom book so I can get a better idea of what they have in mind.

2013-07-08 10.37.48-2

I use inDesign to lay out the book and I use a number of visual aids to help me format the book in the right order. Although it might seem/ look ridiculous, for books that will be sewn with signatures, I use this long scroll piece of paper (right) that I made a guide on to format the book on the computer. Since I’ve done this a few times, I’ve picked up on the formula that the pages go in, but I am very much a visual thinker and need to look at what I am working out in order for me to get it right, especially in this case…!

After I’ve formatted all the material I’ve been given, I send off a PDF version of the layout of the book. This way, you can run through it with a fine tooth comb and make any last changes. Once I get the OK, I send it off to be printed.

In terms of the colours and materials the book is covered with, I usually will ask for any favourites and with some ideas in mind, search through my ever changing material stash. If I don’t have just the right thing on me, then I hit the streets and search my go-to thrift shops, fabric spots and the leather stops and send off some pictures of the materials I’ve collected.  After that, I keep you in the loop with updates, insights and ideas until everything is finished and I send it off to you wrapped nice and spify- your own hand-bound, published work.

2013-06-19 07.59.20

Here’s a few other custom books I’ve finished up this past month:

D+T- the story of one young couples’ very long relationship. A wedding gift written by the bride to the groom.

D+Tbook3

D+Tbook4

D+Tbook5

WHEAT- A book of poems written by one sister. A surprise gift from the other sister to the poet.

wheat

wheat2

wheat4

wheat3

wheat5

These are custom wedding guest books, so they’re blank on the inside and sewn together with paper perfect for writing or drawing or attaching photographs.

M&Abook2

H+Gbook5

I am working on one more guest book for right now that is in a style I haven’t worked with a whole lot and it’s coming along really beautifully, so I’ll post that when it’s all finished.

Aside from this, I am in the midst of a really big project (probably the biggest and most involved project yet!) working with an old cook book. I am scanning each handwritten page, correcting them in Photoshop and then reprinting and binding the book. This such a huge project for Mule Mother and I am learning a ton from it. More on that later…

For now, I’ll leave you this pic of our plot in the North End community garden. Trying to soak up all that summer has left to offer but I have to admit, I did think for just a second about that cool crisp autumn air and smile just a bit… (This image is actually a few weeks old, so things are actually quite a bit more full…!)

enjoy!

garden