Perfect Holiday Wrapping

Look how crafty my sister-in-law and brother are! We got to open their presents after our long drive back from snowy North Georgia and it was a major treat! Of course, who doesn't love a brown paper package tied up with string, but look at those other sweet touches ♫ buttons and pom poms, and stamping of stars... these are a few of my (other) favorite things ♫

They used rubber alphabet stamps to stamp our names, traditional brown paper, and a few other special techniques. There were pom poms on multiple gifts that made me want to turn into a little pom pom making factory! Stacy saw the tutorial on the Purlbee blog, and picked up one of the contraptions at Joanns. The third present's wrapping job comes from Alton DuLaney's presentation on Rachael Ray's Show. After delaying the unwrapping so I could take some photos, the gifts were just as fab as the wrapping. :)

I love when we get to stretch the holiday out! Tonight we're off to Tampa to see more relatives. I have twelve large books to round and back today, so the drive down and back will give me some time to relax my arms before I sew 24 endbands tomorrow! Is it possible? We'll see!

A Week of Celebrations!

 This beauty is named Emmalyn and Josh and I got to meet her at the hospital before she was even a day old! Our friend Sarah had her baby in the wee hours of Monday morning. I had never seen a baby so new to the world and I felt so lucky to be there. I spent a couple of great hours with Sarah, her mom, and the baby on Friday - just amazing! Congrats Sarah & Jason, let me know and I'll come over any time your arms are tired! 

On Friday night, Josh and I headed over to Winter Park to have dinner at Dexter's before stopping by the Rifle Paper Co. grand opening party open house. We were there right at the beginning, which I think was perfect, because we really got to take everything in, and to talk to Anna for a little while. I didn't think to have Josh take an iphone photo, but Becka & Nate of Studio 222 were snapping away before we got there, so I'm sure there will be plenty of lovely photos to see. Above is a photo of Anna & Lisa mid-transaction at the old Rifle location last year. Anna's twitpic gives an idea of how wonderful the space looks. It's just perfect, and I'm looking forward to going back during regular hours to make a purchase or two! Congrats Anna & Nathan!

My mom's birthday is today! Happy Birthday Mom! She thoughtfully called my brother and me to let us know that she didn't need any presents, and a card would be perfectly lovely. Little did she remember that I had taken her little falling-apart address book when we were together last, with the promise of repairing it for her b-day. Something small like that needed some fun packaging, so I put it into the Longaberger basket that I found at Goodwill for a whopping quarter! 

'Tis the season! It's almost time for stocking stuffers, so I pulled out a bunch of books that had gotten really cozy on their shelves and I put them in the Sale section of the shop.

And the celebrations just continue! Spice cake is in order as soon as our schedule aligns with our friend Wyatt, whose birthday wasn't too long ago. And we're off to Ohio for Thanksgiving this week. Can't wait!

And here's to you! Hope you have a celebratory kind of day!

Pasteurized: A Blank Book About Milk

As the granddaughter of a dairy farmer, I feel like I have an "in" with milk. Sure, I've never milked a cow, but I did sit next to my grandpa on a milking stool while he taught me how to plant flowers in his garden, so there's a connection there! Plus, I love milk!

More specifically, I love pasteurized* skim milk. I've heard tell of the delicious stuff straight from the cow, and I do love cream over blackberry cobbler, but as far as drinking goes, skim is just right for me!

God bless Grandpa, Louis Pasteur, and cows!

Oh! & the reason for this post is that I just put this book in my shop! Click here for more pictures.

Now, off to the kitchen to drink a tall white cold one!

* While in France we drank milk that was "ultra heated" when it was pasteurized and then stored in sterile containers that were unrefrigerated. I discovered that I much preferred the taste of our sans ultra milk from the states, and ended up not drinking milk for over two months! Not to worry, I had more than enough cheese to make up for it!

Autumn Quilt for Baby Mira

My friends Wendy and Matt had a beautiful baby girl in June. Her name is Mira and the photos and videos I've seen of her are just precious! I can't wait to meet her in person some day.

These are photos of Mira's quilt that I finished in time for Fall! I followed a pattern for the front and thought I'd try to improvise and add some strips of color on the back to break up all of that white.

Wendy shared her color palette with me and I picked out the fabric. Of course, Ollie always has to approve my materials before I get to work.

Cheers to the happy family! May there be plenty of snuggling, cuddling, and cozying up as the weather gets colder!

Sunshine & Raindrops: Treasury Features

This little address book that I made recently was kindly featured in two Etsy Treasuries.

The collection above was curated by a gal named Cassie who makes clever baby and bridal gifts.

This collection was curated by an Etsy seller named Katrina who sells really fabulous accessories.

What a pleasant surprise it is, to find out that people are stumbling upon my shop! I am in the midst of so many projects right now that it is easy to forget that there is life beyond the bindery walls! Some really neat projects have found their way to my work bench and I'll get to share some of them later this month.

It's a beautiful day in Orlando, I hope you're all enjoying this first week of October wherever you are! Perhaps your days are full of orange and blue?

Anniversary Book

This morning I spent about ten minutes watching a heart warming and tear jerking video of soldiers reuniting with their children. It made me want to put Return to Me in the dvd player, turn the air conditioning up, cuddle under a warm blanket and let the tears flow! However, it's only 9am and these books don't bind themselves, so instead I'm reminiscing about a book bound for a sweet and thoughtful wife to give to her husband on their 10th anniversary earlier this year.

My client wanted a small 5" x 5" blank book full of deckled edge watercolor pages. She provided the beautiful piece of fabric for the cover as well as some of the silk from her wedding dress for the doublures.

The blank pages were filled with a letter from wife to husband. It's an honor to make books like these that will end up being keepsakes for years to come.

Here's to a day full of sweet things and happy tears!

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.