I think that gets us caught up. It must be time for me to hit some more estate sales and auctions, and make a few new things from old things.
That sounds like something I can do....
I think that gets us caught up. It must be time for me to hit some more estate sales and auctions, and make a few new things from old things.
That sounds like something I can do....
Thanks for all the feedback on my last post. I think a lot of you are noticing the same things I am. More people read blogs on a reader, and it's harder to comment; Instagram and Facebook are a quick alternative to blogging; and some people have simply lost interest in the time it takes to blog. My conclusion, mentioned by many of you: blogging changes and evolves just like everything else.
My love for vintage office supplies, Dennison in particular is something I've mentioned a time or two before. In my ongoing project of cleaning and condensing my craft room, I put all my little red edged labels in one box, which left me with some empty boxes.
I love old boxes, too- and just couldn't throw away a Dennison box, so using inspiration from a project I saw here, I made a mini journal.
Note: The steps may seem long, but after you make one book, you'll be able to make a second in less time than it takes to read these directions.
1. Measure your box to figure out what size to cut paper for your pages.
3. Cut eight pieces of paper of the size you calculated in step 2. I used a light weight cardstock, but you could use just about any paper that is sturdy enough to be folded.
Fold each piece of paper in half so the short sides meet. I used a bone folder to get a sharp crease on my fold, but you can use the back of a spoon or a ruler. (or you can skip this step, a really SHARP crease isn't necessary, I just like it.)
Nestle four folded pages inside each other like the group on the bottom of the picture above.
Do this with all eight pieces of paper, so you have two groups of four pieces of paper. ( Each group is called a signature.)
4. Mark the holes that you'll use for sewing the book together. I usually make them about a fourth of the length of the total book from the top and bottom.
In other words, if your page is 8" long, I'd mark the holes 2" from the bottom and 2" from the top. (The math on that is 8" x 1/4" = 2").
But if you hate math and measuring, just eyeball it.
5. Using an awl, a Japanese screw punch or just a skewer from your barbeque grill, poke the holes all the way through all four sheets of paper.
A trick I learned from Mary Ann Moss is to use the center of a large telephone book to cradle your paper. It's best if you open the yellow pages to the home security or plumbing sections.
(I just made that up to see if you were paying attention. It doesn't matter what page the book is open to.)
Do this with both signatures (sets of four pages). After you punch the first group, use a page from the first group to use as a guide to punch the second group, so your holes match up.
6. Cut the box open. I admit, it was hard for me to cut a perfectly good Dennison box, but when I convinced myself that I was actually saving it, it made the cut easier.
7. Using one of the pages you already poked as a guide, make two sets of hole on the spine of your box.
We'll be sewing each signature (group of four pieces of paper) through a set of vertical holes.
8. The next step is sewing your pages together. There are many kinds of special thread that are made just for book binding, but I've mostly used baker's twine or dental floss (if I want a minty fresh book).
Line up your signature with one of the sets of holes and pull the threaded needle through all of the pages and the spine of the book.
9. Don't pull the thread all the way through, live a "tail" long enough to tie when the thread comes through the other side.
10. From the back (or outside) of the book, bring the needle through the second hole. You'll be bringing the needle back to the inside of the book.
11. Tie the two threads together and your first signature is in the book. Repeat with the second signature, and you've got a mini- book.
I'm using my mini book to write up my daily "to do" list. Since the book is so small, I can't fit a lot on a page, so I've been much more selective about what I have to do, and much more successful with completing that list!
I was sitting in front of the computer this morning, reading blogs; something I hardly ever do anymore, I'm much more likely to read them sitting in my easy chair on my Ipad. That got me started thinking about how blogs and blogging have changed since I first started in Feb 2007.
(When I say "blogs", I mean blogs I consider to be a similiar vein as mine- about antiquing and crafting. I have no idea if my observations also apply to tech blogs, business blogs or political blogs, but I'm guessing probably not, although I'd guess they've gone through their own evolution.)
Back then, hardly anyone had ads on their blogs. Or if they we advertising, it was their own shop or website. Today, blogs are full of advertising. For the most part, I think it's great. If you can make blog interesting enough that its generates enough traffic to make advertising revenue for you, more power to you.
On the other hand, there are some blogs (and websites) that have so much going on, with blinking ads, pop-ups and headers on every picture that I've stopped reading them.
Remember blog parties? A host would come up with a theme, announce it ahead of time, maybe even make a blog button. And we didn't just "link and run". I think most readers tried to visit all the blogs and leave a comment.
I'd try to put together a really good post for those parties, knowing that the party would probably generate traffic to my blog and hope that maybe I'd be able to get some of those readers to come back.
Because back then, for me, it was all about the numbers. I really did check to see how many visitors I had after I posted, and my mood could go up or down depending on the results.
Blog parties are still around, but more and more I see posts linked to multiple parties. For example the bottom of a post will say "Linking to Make it Monday, Treasures for Tuesday, What I Made Wednesday". Bloggers are linking one post to multiple parties. It's probably a great way to network but it seems that some of the "small party" intimacy is gone.
Gifts and giveaways used to be a big part of blog life, too. People would put together nice packages of craft supplies, or something they'd made or a book or magazine they had an extra copy of. A giveaway was how I got my first package of vintage wallpaper...and look at what that started! All you had to do to enter was leave a comment.
Today, many of the giveaways that require comments, Facebooks posts, "likes", tweets and shouting from the mountain tops. I understand the concept of a giveaway as a marketing device, but I entered a lot more contests when all I had to do was leave a comment.
When I started reading blogs, almost all of the blogs I looked at had a column (sidebar) on the right or left side of the main post.
You could find "blog buttons" for partcipation in things like swaps or attending events like Silver Bella. Sometimes buttons would be "awards" from other bloggers for being a "good blogger" or a "friendly blogger", and then eventually I started to see a lot of buttons that said "Award-free" blog. In other words, don't give me another button to put in my sidebar.
A lot of blogs also had a sidebar list of links to other blogs. That was a fun way to find new blogs. If you were reading a blog you liked, check out the links on that blogs and you'll probably find more blogs you like.
I don't see very many of those lists anymore. I had one on my blog for several years, but it was hard to keep up. Blogs would disappear, or move and I didn't want to send anyone reading my blog to a dead link, so I just got rid of it.
Those links were fun, though. I can remember how excited I'd be when I saw a link to my blog on a blog I was reading. It was one of those Sally Fields moments "You like me, you really like me!".
I've heard a lot of bloggers make the comment "there are so many more blogs now than when I started blogging". I'm not sure what the basis of that is because I have no idea how many blogs there were in 2007 or how many blogs there are now.
I do know that a lot of blogs that I've read and enjoyed over the past few years have disappeared or gone dormant. I'd guess the reason for this is those bloggers got out of blogging what they were looking for. They had a business to promote, a talent to share, or were looking for like minded souls to connect with. For some, blogging has been a platform to new jobs, new careers or allowed them to turn a hobby into a vocation.
Blogging isn't for everyone, it's a time commitment, and there are days when I hit "post" and I wonder if I've just said something really stupid. There are other days when I wonder if anyone is reading what I say. But as long as my Mom, mother-in-law, niece and Louise still have internet access, I know someone is out there.
Thanks for indulging me with musings about how blogs have changed. I could do a whole separate post, probably several posts on how blogging has changed my life.
This fabric book project was from the Affaire at Downton
event way back in May, and I'm just now finishing it.
Even though it's a fabric book, I didn't do any sewing in it. The tricky thing with a fabric book that you sew in is that you really have to finish the pages before you put the book together.
If you stitch something to an premade book, the stitching will show through on the other side of the page. So this is all glue.
This page LOOKS like its been stitched together, but I actually did the stitching on the fabric and then I glued it into the book.
This page has one of my favorite little bits on it.
This old button with a cupid. I asked my friend Tami the button expert about it, and she said that it's a lithograph that originally had a celluloid cover. If it still had the cover, I'd probably think it was too nice to use in the book!
I tried to keep my collage elements in the Downton era- give or take 50 years.
But the last page in the book really doesn't really fit.
It's a piece of floral stationary that someone glued little tiny bits of tatting to the center of the flowers. I think it's sweet and I didn't want to lose it.
If you have little bits and pieces like this that you'd like to add to a journal, check out Karla's journal page swap Nature's Blessings.
You make journal pages, send them to Karla, and she'll swap them out with other people's pages, and turn it into a hardcover bound journal. The cover features her original artwork, vintage ribbons and millinary.
And the price is only $30. That is a steal of a price for an original handmade journal. I may sound like a late night TV commercial, but I said "Karla, that's crazy, you can't sell a handmade journal that cheap".
If you've thought about making or keeping a journal, so you have a place to doodle, write, keep your secrets or just save pretty little bits and pieces, this is a great opportunity to start.
And if you're already journaling, you know this is a great chance to get a real keepsake book.
(I was not compenstated for this endorsment, I just think this will be a great swap.)
I have a bunch of different books that I play in- cutting, pasting, doodling, drawing and writing.
This is one I've had for a long time-it was a gift. It's actually a small size lined notebook that had a leather slipcover. It was very handsome, but I never used it...until I took the leather slip cover off, tore a bunch of pages out and starting gluing stuff in it.
I call it a "glue book" but technically, a glue book is put together with just scissors, paper and glue. I've done some doodling, lettering and outlining in this.
Another journal I'm working on is my Remains of the Day journal. I made the cover a couple of years ago but it's taken me some time to sew the pages together.
The pages are finally made, but I still want to sew some more "extras" on the pages.
A third book I've been having fun with is "Art Doodle Love" by Dawn DeVries Sokol.
It's a paperback book designed to be doodled in. The paper is nice and heavy, and the pages are full of fun backgrounds and prompts for what to doodle.
And you may not care if you do...
This my fireplace hearth "de-junked". I want to document this day. For years, after going to an estate sale or auction, I've brought my purchases into the house in big Rubbermaid tubs and plopped them on the fireplace hearth, sometimes two high and two wide. That keeps the junk out of the way for traffic and vacuuming, but isn't very conducive to lighting a fire in the fireplace.
Of course, the stuff doesn't stay there, I pull it out, clean it, price it and move it on to where ever I plan to sell it, but I never get to the bottom of the pile. By the time I make noticable progress, I've bought more stuff. I've been working, working, working on getting that hearth clear of junk.
But before I took a picture I had to style it a little bit- a picture of just a fireplace and hearth isn't very interesting.
This box is propped by the fireplace. It's big- about 18" square. I love brick red and black laquer together. I was told it was a Japanese scarf box.
This is the inside of the box- it's a rice paper liner that I can't believe has survived intact for this long.
Of course, the uncluttered hearth won't last for long, it's exactly where I'll put my next load of "stuff". But in the meantime, bring out the logs, let's light a fire, even if we do have to run the air conditioner at the same time.
Maybe because I've been a "hunter and a gatherer" for so long, it seems like I don't have to look for paper, it finds me. Most of it comes from auctions, and occasionally estate sales.
But sometimes you have to take the good with the..."not so good". Here's a sample of a box lot from a recent auction. I didn't have a chance to look at the box before the auction because it was under the table, so I bought it after just the glance you can see in the picture above.
I saw "Godey prints" and the Blue Bird notebook and imagined a box full of fashion items, woman's magazines, floral postcards and bird prints.
Well, my imagination might have gotten just a little bit carried away. The box had some fun stuff, like this puppy on the cover of a 1942 Farm Journal.
These 1930's auction catalogs might have some historical significance to collectors of Antique Roadshow worthy painting and furniture.
When I saw that they were from the 1930's my first thought was "Is there a connection between these auctions and the Great Depression?" I think of collecting as a fairly recent activity...after all, you couldn't collect 1930's deco style jewelry until 1930, or baseball cards until the early 1900's. These things had to be made before they were collected, and mass production didn't start until the early 1900's.
But for centuries, there have been collectors of Early American furniture and artwork from the 1600's until the late 19th century. The auction catalog makes me wonder if the auction is the result of hard times during the depression forcing a collector to liquidate their collection.
That's just speculation on my part, but I think that's what I like about old paper. Going through a box makes me think about the everyday details of a period of time, not just the facts we learned in school like who was President.
A blue bird on a grade school notebook. What a nice piece of history. The book was empty, but I Iike the idea of cheery school supplies.
Also in the box- a few bird prints.
...some 1890's almanacs- love those graphics!
These French Folies programs seemed kind of out of place.
...an odd little assortment of pamplets and booklets fromthe 1920's-1950's.
These pictures represent about a third and best of the box lot.
So, my answer to the question "how do you get good old paper?" is "Buy A LOT of old paper, and hope that some of what you get is something you consider good."
Or, you can go to Ebay, Etsy or an antique store and buy just what you like. You'll probably pay more, but you won't have to figure out what to do a 1929 "Michigan Mother's Manual".
The Old Summit Antique Show always has a lot of "Americana". At it's heart it's a show full of homespun, country and primitives. For the June show, the dealers really bring out the red, white & blue.
A fox hunt is not typical "Americana" but I loved the bright color on these pieces.
The bright colors and graphics on these tins caught my eye, too.
When I do my weekly estate sales or go to an auction, I'm always on the look out for pieces to set aside for this show. When it comes time to price and pack up for the show, I pull out the treasures I've been hoarding, and I've forgotten about a lot of them, so I get to enjoy finding them all over again.
That's what happened with these two pieces.
They're leather document holders or purses with beautiful handwriting on the inside.
"To Willie Smith with kind regards of Mother Jan 23, 1883"
It was one of the first things that sold when the show opened. Here are a few other things that I brought, but don't have anymore.
Brown transferware is still popular.
Lots of people liked these HUGE lightbulbs, even though no one knew exactly what they were for.
I thought it was fun to hold one over my head and say "I have a big idea".
The wash bowl and all those vintage movie reels did go home with me. I've always done well selling the larger movie reels. They look great hanging on the wall as a kind of sculpural industrial art. I might have to work a little harder to make the smaller reels have the same appeal.
A couple weeks ago my friend Jewels asked me to participate in a question and answer artist blog tour. The tour sounded easy enough, no house to clean, no cookies to bake, just answer four questions about your creative process.
Like so many creative sorts, I always have more projects in process than I can count. Some were started with the intention that they be long term like this knitted patchwork throw that I started way back in 2009. Or this "journal quilt" that I started last fall.
In the short term, I like working on stitching projects like this apron.
Or making fast projects like these "pinnies".
I've also started to keep a journal to play in- mostly collage and doodling.
Beats me. I guess I don't spend a lot of time thinking about my own work in terms of what other people might be making. I look at a lot of artist's websites and blogs for inspiration, but I create what makes me happy.
I've always had the basic urge to create, even when I was five or six years old, I was making my own books and trying to build a better Lego house.
What I make now is inspired by my love of vintage. As an antique dealer, I run across so many beautiful pieces of the past, and I like to reuse and repurpose them, especially old textiles, sewing notions and paper.
It almost always starts with the materials. I see a pretty piece of fabric, ribbon or lace that inspires me, and I want to work with. I'll look through my stash for complimentary pieces of lace, trim, beading etc- and then I'm off to the races on my next project.
Part of this blog hop is to name other artists to play along. I think the questions are interesting, and I enjoyed thinking about what really makes my work "tick". If you'd like to play along and do a blog post answering the questions, leave a link in the comments so we can visit.