So Long, Seattle

View of Mount Rainier from the sky
I just returned from a great week in Seattle. My parents are moving to Portland, so I was there to help get the ol' homestead ready to sell. (Can I say ol' if they only lived there nine years? I think so!) I imagined that the week would just be full of cleaning, sorting and packing things up, which would be great q.t. with my parents, but we ended up doing so much more. We saw so many people and shared lots of great meals!

View of Downtown Seattle from Alki Beach
There was sunshine, rain, and coffee, so it was definitely summertime in Seattle! I got to see cousins, aunts, an uncle, favorite family friends, and my bookbinding instructor just happened to be in town! I even got to meet some new friends, this was my mom's last year of teaching Kindergarten, and I got to see some folks who helped make her time at the school especially special! (Brother John, I'm thinking of you!) It was great to be in the Northwest, and the trip ended too soon, but any melancholy brought on by saying goodbye was wiped away when I met my husband at the airport and came home to a happy kitty in a clean house, a bouquet of flowers, and fun things planned for the rest of the weekend in my new favorite city!

Hatch Show Print

I had been hearing about Hatch Show Print for a long-long time, because it's an awesome shop and it's been around for a long-long time! Back in April, Josh and I drove through Nashville on our way to Kansas City, and we made sure to stop by and pick out a couple posters.

Just great, huh?

Something about all of those shelves on the left wall seemed magical. Maybe because of the striking resemblance to the wand shop in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter?

The colors in this "TYPE" monoprint called to me. I was tempted to blow our new carpet budget on it but managed to refrain.
 I highly recommend stopping by to take in all of the posters on their walls! If you won't be in the area any time soon, here's a link for their website where they have some work for sale, or you can even order a custom poster.

Paper Souvenirs from India

My friend Caroline recently returned from a trip to India where she spent time traveling with two of her friends from college. I couldn't wait to hear her stories when she got back, so I eagerly went over to her place as soon as I could. I felt like a little kid at story time as I sat cross-legged on her couch listening to her adventures!

They did so many amazing things. They had daily cups of chai and dined on delicious food everyday, rode elephants, explored the jungle by foot, rented a house boat, went to antique markets, saw amazing sights, visited paper stores, and came back home with lovely henna hands.

And look! She brought treasures to share! The Hindi-English newspaper bag held all of these lovely goodies.

Hand printed and quilled cards, envelopes, a wooden stamp, and a folding paper star. Absolutely my kind of treasure!

Thanks so much for sharing your tales and souvenirs, Caroline!

Manolo Valdés at Chambord

While at Chateau de Chambord in the Loire Valley, I had the opportunity to take in some sculpture work of Spanish artist, Manolo Valdés.

A variety of his work was in and around the chateau, but I was especially drawn to his wooden sculptures.

At first I thought we stumbled upon a room full of real books, but it turned out that Valdés' eye for the color and texture of wood made it possible for him to create the illusion of a furnished room. I suppose that works of art can be considered furniture, but I've described it as an illusion because none of the pieces are functional in the traditional sense of the objects that they visually describe.

I don't know if faux-furniture was the exact goal, but I found it fitting and poetic in this exorbitantly sized castle that was built more as a status symbol than a place to live and work.

These sculptural bookshelves probably get more handling than a shelf of real books would have gotten when kings passed through Chambord!

 Here is a shot of one side of the chateau. It was truly massive.

Mission Accomplished: Guest Books & Exciting News

Voila! Three earth friendly looking guest books! I've obscured the logos on the front covers, but otherwise, that's just what they look like. I finished them on Friday morning, so I had plenty of time to turn them in before their afternoon deadline.

Ollie kept me company, and thankfully a squirrel kept him entertained, so he wasn't chasing paper around the bindery!

Here is a shot of what I use for my job backer (the contraption that holds the text block in place while the shoulders are formed). Gilding boards with binders board support strips are set securely into a lying press. I use a jewelers hammer and a fender hammer for rounding.

It had been a while since I'd sewn an endband, and it was fun to get to do six of them!

 Now for the biggest news of all! On Wednesday Josh and I found out that we'll be relocating to Paris for 3 months! He leaves on Friday and I'll join him the first week of April after I finish up projects in the bindery. It's just now sinking in that this is really happening. I didn't have time to think about it while I was working on the guest books, so it's been a great weekend just daydreaming about all of the things we'll get to see and do in the next couple of months. Me-oh-my!