Tuesday, June 28, 2011

next blog

I was beginning to worry about next blog.  I kept being sent to sites about books and I though, 'you creeps, you checked my topic and now I am stuck only being sent to like minded blogs!'  Yuck.  That is one of the things I hate most about the evolving web.  They track you and then they keep sending you the same stuff.  We'll all end up running in smaller and smaller circles.  But this!  this is a blog of people's dreams which asks: what if dream is language.

Monday, June 27, 2011

One several and several ones

Todays' count:  one gopher, sitting up and doing that adorable four legged hop they do*; one small brown and orange butterfly; one magpie seen, one magpie heard, one yellow orb in a vast blue space, warm to the touch, one large red ride on lawn mower, one man riding the large red ride on lawn mower and wearing a white hat, several thousands green wrinkly little crabapples.  I am dreaming of pie already.

*for my opinion of Richardson's Ground Squirrels check out an earlier count.

visions of ebooks

I am a maker.  I make my own bread, my own yogurt, my own clothes...okay I only alter at this point, (one of the vicious realities for people who's legs are not regulation length, I can out height you if we are sitting down), and as you will note from the 100 handmade books saga, I make books. And I don't mean I just physically make them, I do, but I also write and illustrate and do the layout design on them too.  But books are coming out in a new form. I can't say I look forward to having to read an ebook, not enough tactility for me, but...cooooollll, how do I make that?  Well I took an introduction to Adobe Acrobat (six hours just to say hello) and that's how you make that.  I can do all the layout and put in videos and snarky talking giraffes and then presto, a pdf which will grow up to be an ebook.

Now I just need to finish the three months of paper work so I can sell on Amazon....want to hear about easy as 1,2,3 Amazon style?

Friday, June 24, 2011

100 handmade books aftermath

Wow!  The launch for the Book of Days was on Tuesday evening. There was food from the recipes, music from a harpist and her guitar playing husband, a whole host of friends and well wishers.  And purchasers.  The book sold out completely. Okay, okay, not all on Tuesday, I spent Monday and Tuesday offering it to everyone I came into contact with, with great success. I collapsed Wednesday to recover from several months of drawing and three weeks of stitching and gluing.  Imagine if you will a whole day of doing only as my whimsey takes me.* Ahhhh.

I did take my camera, but I was so involved with telling people what food came from which recipe and visiting and all, that I didn't remember it till we were packing up.  You will have to use your imagination.  It is a surprising tool.  Just try it.  Close your eyes.  You are in a low ceiling room, with paintings all around the walls (local artists), there are couches, and many mismatched tables and chairs.  The harpist plays medieval music with her husband.  There is a counter top and a table full of food dishes.  You are invited to dine.  Inhale the scent of the clam spaghetti sauce, look at the thick caramel on the top of the fudgey wedgy squares.  Have a small taste of the Post Reformation yogurt....chat, laugh, eat well.

* bonus points to those who recognize the quote.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


When your pages are falling out.  More to the original point, when a page or two falls out.  I have never seen anything quite like this Sask. Report.  And not even all the pages that were loose made it into the photo.  The procedure for tipping in is to lay down a line of glue, dip the inside edge of the page into the glue, and gently slide it into place.  The correct place. Always be sure of that before you make contact with the glue.  Right page in page order, right side up, and right side to the outside.  All the fun you can have with a single sheet of paper.  Amazing isn't it.

I have put down my line of glue on a gridded plastic sheet which comes off the back of laminating sheets.  It is fantastic for this sort of thing. And for slipping in between pages that have been glued so the glue only ends up where you want it.

The last step I did on this Sask. Report was to turn it upside down and shake it.  After the glue had dried.  There was no other way to be sure I had found all the pages that were slipping out.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

today's count

Seven, count 'em, seven adorable baby gophers.*  I know they are babies because they are half the size of the regular gophers and both more alert and less cautious.  There were five of them at the big front door to the hole and two up the slope at the back door.  The two at the back door tried to go in together.  Two little bums and four little feet waving in the air, bloop, they were gone.

*Vermin say the farmers loudly.  Yes, yes, I know gophers do terrible things, but I figure whatever they do it can't compete with dropping nuclear bombs, having a definition for the word pedophile, or developing islands of plastic water bottles for the Pacific ocean because drinking out of a washable cup is just toooooo much effort.   I say gophers are cute.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

100 handmade books

Okay, truth is we are making 102 because the book has an ISBN which means the National Archive requires two copies and it is sooooo much easier to make them two copies than to buy two copies because all the money you are making on the project is going to charity.


I am involved with Happy Leopard Chapbooks.  Twice a year we create a limited edition book to sell for charity.  Different charity each time.  Mostly.  And if you think making one book by hand is time consuming --- I must digress here to say that while I was spending the weekend with my mother I was also spending the weekend with my father, two people who courted in Latin.  My father gave me the tid bit that manufacture, from the Latin, means to make by hand.  So Ford, you ain't manufacturing those trucks.  I just know you're not.  Nor are any of the others, but this digression has gone on long enough --- you should try making 100, and two.

If you are around, come on out for the launch, June 21st (ah summer, when the days are getting shorter) at 8pm, the Refinery 609 Dufferin, Saskatoon.  There will be food.

Monday, June 13, 2011

I stand corrected

I spent the weekend with my mother and let her know I'd blogged about Rasputin on Friday.  No, no, the prof didn't meet Rasputin, he met Kerensky, the Russian Prime Minister from July to November of 1917.*  It was Kerensky who had the pleasure of meeting Grigori and the bugs in his beard.  So that's four degrees of separation through time from Rasputin to me.  Further from the bugs.  Not a bad thing.

*Kerensky fled Russia shortly after the revolution, and eventually moved to the United States where he worked as a professor and lecturer up until his death. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

today's count

Not a single blossom left in the crabapple grove.  I look forward to seeing the little green apples appear.  A single magpie at the tip of a pine tree.  And the grass scented mist of the sprinklers. 

Have a lovely weekend.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Today's history nugget

Thought I think I should call this the Rasputin file.  My mother took Russian history when she was at University, she took so much they gave her a master's degree.  One of her prof's had actually met Rasputin.  He told the students that good old Grigori had bugs in his beard.  (Who is surprised?)  Something I never fail to remember when I hear of Rasputin.  And you note that is only three degrees of separation in time from Rasputin to me.  In any case I flipped open a book upon checking it in today and....did you know...Charles Darwin's dad was 6'2 and 336 lbs?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Next blog: Luddite finds tribe

As I am wont to do, I hit next blog today.  A bookbinder!  A bookbinder in Canada!  And she follows other blogs of other bookbinders.  Oh I think I have found my tribe.  I have certainly discovered something called PBI, Paper Book Intensive.  They do this every year, oh be still my heart.  I will have to get a passport, and rob a piggy bank.  Hope the one next year is as close to home as possible.  It was this year, of course, and happened just weeks before I knew it even existed, so next year it will doubless be in Alaska. I've been to the Yukon (yes six years old counts), can Alaska be any less amazing?  Barring certain persons who shall not be named here, but about whom it is sometimes difficult to maintain a charitable frame of mind, or even keep a straight face.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Inside the cover

When the endpapers on a hard cover splits I was taught to use gummy binder tape for the repair.  It is fully functional, but looks less than stellar.  In fact as time goes on it looks worse and worse, like a hobo with patched pants.  White pants, patched with brown plaid.  Soooooo, being an enterprising, and over keen little thing, I kept my eyes out for a substitute that might meet my exacting needs.  Change being what it is, I was soon rewarded with a pile of discarded legal texts; the kind they make by the row for beauty of conformity, and then update, with more beautiful conformity.  They also indulge in several blank pages front and back of the actual word portion of the event to demonstrate, hummm, wealth? extravagance? generosity to my book repair needs?  Must be it.  My cutting tool in hand I extricated the pages, and in several cases ribbons and decorative spine endings too, but that's another story.   

Clean off any rough bits from the broken endpapers, cut a nice piece of your rescued paper, mind the grain, and glue it over the gap.  Instead of greyish, hey look-at-me-I-am-a-repair, you get a tidy, I-am-elegant-and-decorative look.  On my own budget I have been known to get a variant colour and use that, which naturally enhances the decorative look of the repair. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

I missed it!

All my life George III has been the second longest ruling monarch in England.  Not in Canada, 'cause we didn't exist while he was seated (or when he stood up for the Hallelujah chorus).  But in an idle moment last year it came to my attention that Liz was closing in on him.  But I got the day and the year mixed up and I missed it.  It wasn't next year, 2012, it was this year, on the 12th.  Of May.  Yeah Liz.  I may have to get one of those little counter thingys so I don't miss it when she (knock on wood)  beats out Vickie for first place.  Mark your calendars now, September 10 2015.  All hail women rulers of the world.