Craft Fair

Antique Market Finds

Last weekend, while at Renningers with friends, I came across a number of really neat items. This, of course, is not hard to do considering the vast number of shops within the antiques center. My favorite item, pictured above, was this fabric covered electrotype edition of McGuffy's Eclectic Reader. It caught my eye because I've recently been using fabric to cover books. I was eager to peek inside and investigate the cover construction. At first I thought there was a chance that the binding was originally sold this way, but as soon as I saw the hand stitching I knew that someone spent the time to make this book their own.

A few steps later I saw this huge piece of furniture. I saw the back first, and thought it looked like such a mishmash of random wood, but I circled around to the front to see all of this detailed carving. I love the contrast between the front and the back and feel like I'm in on a secret, since the back would never be exposed in a home.

Paper and string! I was delighted to find this tidy little combo. Not that I brought it home with me, but isn't that old wrapping paper neat? The tear-bar operated with a simple spring mechanism which is a nice touch. I'd love to see it in action. Did people tie wrapped packages with such thin string?

Oh, and one more thing! Here's a photo of my great friends, Lisa and Sarah, sitting at my table at the Farmers Market in Sanford, the reason why we were spending the day together, in the first place! They hung out with me for the duration of the market, and were real troupers in the sweltering sun! It was a very cute market with some very nice people, especially the gal who ran the cheese booth. I was glad for the opportunity, but I don't see myself headed back in the future. It was a great time with friends and a super excuse to get to go to Renningers! We were mostly window shopping, but I did come home with one thing - Lisa and I got a great deal on a gigantic jar of buttons! We've spent more than a couple hours huddled together, dividing them like Halloween candy!

Christmas in July Craft Show in Valrico

This past Saturday I had the pleasure of meeting some fine folks down in Valrico, Florida. Josh and I drove down to Horizon Christian Church early in the morning so I could set up shop for the day at their Christmas in July Craft Fair. It was a really neat church, and boy was it packed with vendors!

I found out about the event through my new friend, Michelle, of Bad Day Ben. She and I both belong to FEST, the Florida Etsy Street Team. It was so neat to connect with her in real life! She makes handy jotters that are bound with a ring and have her original illustrations for covers.

It was really enjoyable chatting with members of the community as they passed by my table. My very favorite passerby was a young girl who I would guess was in about fifth grade. From the get-go she had a nice smile and polite response to my, "Hello, how are you today?" She was wearing a sweet cotton dress with a little front pocket that held a tiny pink coin purse. As this was a Christmas in July event, this girl had a mission to buy something for everyone on her list! Although she was on this mission, and there were over forty vendors to visit, she took the time to pick up just about every item on my table and ask questions about them. She was really curious about how everything was made. When I told her about the paper, thread, board, glue, and time that went into each of my items, this little gal really listened!

I'm reading a book, Big Russ & Me by Tim Russert, that has me yearning for a yesteryear that I wasn't even around for. Days like Saturday complete with a welcoming community, social children, and handmade goods make it feel like that yesteryear is either still here, or it will come around again!

It was a great day that was made complete when Josh's Grandma and Nana drove up from Tampa to say hello. After I packed up my books & boxes, and Josh put his sketchbook away, they took us out for a lunch full of stories and laughter.

March Madness

It has been a busy few weeks and I have a few photos of my recent projects to share. Above is a Japanese stab portfolio that I made for Josh. He needed a portfolio that would look professional, and could be made quickly. Japanese 4-hole bindings are a good fit for that criteria. The only downside to these books is that they don't open as well as some other bindings. To compensate for that, I suggested that he use a very large gutter. As can be seen in the image above, thanks to that large gutter, all of J's artwork can be seen without forcing the book to lie flat.

Speaking of Japanese bindings, my friends, Hannah and Clint came to visit recently and were up for a little how-to lesson in the bindery!
Here they are posing with their joint creation. They did a great job from start to finish! I showed them how to use Heat'n'Bond to iron fabric onto the light weight cover boards. Then we experimented with some screen printing for the front cover using one of Josh's screens. That part was especially fun because it was my first try with the technique. I was a little bit worried about the ink sticking to the screen. We made several prints in rapid succession and then raced to the tub to wash the ink out! It all came out and the screen is ready to use again! Han and Clint took turns punching holes in the covers and the pages and then Han sewed the book together. Job well done.

I'm teaming up with fellow NBSS alum, Wendy Withrow of Windy Weather Bindery, for a production project. My dad, who is currently the president of a professional association (to be named later!), is the client. As he is nearing the end of his presidency he would like to offer a book as a token of thanks to the members of the board. Lined pages were the preference, so, instead of trying to line pages myself, I ordered pre-sewn text blocks from Hollander's. That little step ended up saving time and money.

Last week I made all of the covers for the books. The USPS got them up to Michigan in record time. Wendy will be working on stamping the names of the members as well as the association name onto the covers. When she's done, she'll send them back, I'll case them in, and then send them to Texas where an annual conference is taking place.

Spring into Handmade was the name of the arts and craft market that Cottage Industry, of Orlando, hosted this past weekend. I shared a table (photo above) with my friends, Sarah and Lisa, from Orange Blossom Ink. Visit their website here to read more about our experience at the market and here to read about a field trip they took to Cottage Industry last year.

The three of us decided that we should collaborate on an item to sell at our table and settled on boxed card sets. Orange Blossom Ink designed cards and lined envelopes with decorative paper that Lisa found at Paper Source on a recent trip to Chicago. I used the same decorative paper along with some Japanese Asahi cloth to make the boxes. We made two sets for the show. Here is a photo of the other set. Each box houses eight cards with four different prints. I imagine that we will collaborate again in the future and that a person might be able to find one or two of these sets listed in our respective Etsy shops!

Below are a number of my miniature book earrings in progress. They turned out to be my number one seller at the market. Definitely fun to make! They are all pamphlet bound, and just as much work went into each tiny book as would go into a larger pamphlet binding. It was satisfying finding just the right size papers in my collection of smaller pieces.

So now, the March madness continues! I have an interesting and complicated box project to work on today, as well as some book repairs that are nearly complete. The two books I'm repairing are eager to return to their home in Massachusetts! I've been updating my Boombox Bindery Facebook Page with photos of the new work I'm adding to Etsy. I have a few more things in the store and will continue to add to it, little by little.