I find connections among books, art, music, libraries, travel, crafts and food.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Little Books

I love little. I still have a couple of little things from childhood (a 1/2" Scottie dog magnet, a little doll, some tiny animals, a tiny pencil from the Milwaukee Journal...). So, of course I like to make tiny books. Here are a few samples - a couple are wedding invitations. And there are a couple pages from a photo album of a trip to Paris, complete with pop-up Eiffel Tower.

Letters to Hogwarts

My Harry Potter-obsessed daughter, as I said in a previous post, was just ripe for the books in 2nd grade. She had this fabulous summer birthday party complete with a Quidditch match, Bertie Botts Beans et al. She wondered aloud, as she does, for weeks about whether her letter to Hogwarts would arrive on her birthday. So, as any crafty mother would do, I created a Hogwarts letter, making it look well-worn from traveling in the beak of an owl, and had it hand canceled in Castle Rock, MN (because Zumbro Falls wouldn't sound authentic). It arrived on her birthday and I thought she was going to pee her pants she was so excited and SO BELIEVED it. From then on, she's received her Letter every year. (However, 2 years got lost, then later found by Hagrid in the Owlry. He sent them to her for Christmas.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Piano Hinge Binding

I made this book for Paula's Greg, who wrote a collection of poems about gryphons. I thought leather would be a good cover for a mythical creature, and I wanted to try a piano hinge binding which would secretly contain a picture of a gryphon. I put each poem in its own tri-fold signature and painted a chopstick with which to hold the piano hinge. The endsheets are from this cool paper table cloth my mom brought me from Norway - she knows me well enough to bring me things like that from foreign countries.

Wedding Invitations

I've made several wedding invitations for nieces and friends. Here are a couple of examples. I like to make them fit the personalities of the wedding couple. The one in the little tin was for my friend, Paula, who only needed about 35 invitations. I bought and emptied a bunch of mint tins, then had a baggie full of the mints that I carried around and shared for months!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Postcard Box

So, for my next box, I wanted one that my postcard would fit into. It's a cool archive of postcards from around the world.

Drop Spine (Clamshell) Box

Drop Spine (or Clamshell) box

Here is the first Drop Spine Box I made in 1992. I was in library school in Madison, WI, and I took this incredible hand book binding class by my boss, Jim Dast. He was the head of the Conservation Dept of Memorial Library, and I was a peon repairing books in his lab. I learned all the finest, traditional forms of book arts from him; he was amazing.

This is one of the places I keep my little favorite paper scraps.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

ok - I didn't make these, but I rescued, painted, and assembled them! When I was the music department librarian at Carleton College, they were dumping some old lockers that were no longer sturdy enough to hold instruments. I stuffed the broken-down locker parts, complete with locker numbers on an old typed paper, into my van and left them in my mom's garage for a couple of years. Finally, my kids prodded me into doing something with them, but I made the mistake of bringing all 3 kids to the store to find paint. This was our compromise.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Book Clock: Nancy Drew Rules!

I've had a thing for Nancy Drew since the church secretary loaned me her copies - 2 per week - when I was in grade school. There are these terrific ND computer games that my kids and I like to play - we even quote from them in our daily banter: "Whales Rule!" or "Fight the power" or "It's locked" or "Want a cookie? They're from Oaxaca!" Nancy chats to herself while she's in the bathroom. Being a book hoarder/librarian type, we have lots of ND copies sitting around the shelves at home. I wanted to bring a little Nancy to work, so I conjured up this little wall art/clock for my office.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Christmas Glitter Houses

My mom had a little set of these (not nearly this cute) that you could put in a row, lit by Christmas lights. I was fascinated with them. I have been making them for myself and friends for years, now. Here is one year's versions. I LOVED the slide one - I inserted a slide of my sister as a kid-at-Christmastime. So, when you put a little light in the house, it lights up the slide!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


I'm crazy for paper. I collect papers from around the world. I keep paper "leftovers". If there's a paper I REALLY like, I have a hard time throwing away even a 2-inch square of it. But I find uses for those little bits. I like to make tiny books, I line the back wall of a box in a printers drawer, and one year, I made Scherenschitte for my sister and me. Scherenschnitte is a German word for "scissor snipping", and if you google image the word, you'll find lovely and detailed examples of it. For my sister and I, I wanted to make a family "portrait" using birth month flowers to represent each family member. It was a perfect use of my little favorite paper scraps

A Book Shelf & Buttons

1. I'm obsessed with the Readers Digest donations at the library. They are on the "free" shelf, and almost every week there is a new batch. My favorites are from the 50s and 60s, and some of the 70s. The papers they used for the covers are just gorgeous. I line my office wall with them like a sort of wallpaper. I'm always thinking of new uses for them: here's one that is simple.

2. Like any crafter, I have a thing for buttons. I also like colored wire and little glass bottles. What better combination could there be? I've made several of these for gifts.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Fat Lady

My oldest daughter was in 2nd grade at the perfect time. She wasn't too interested in reading until I gave her the first Harry Potter book. She tore through that like nothing and gobbled up the next two. Her birthday is in July and the first Harry Potter movie opened on her birthday. She arranged to go with her friends, and was just beside her self with excitement. She really believed, more than Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. So, that fall, I decided she need the fat lady on her bedroom door so she had to say the password to get into her room. I don't claim to be much of a painter/drawer, but this is what I came up with, changing the fat lady's face to one reminiscent of the Mona Lisa.