Archive for the ‘book art’ Category

Portland Zine Symposium 2011
August 13, 2011

The 2011 Portland Zine Symposium was wildly successful! This was the first year in a new location, which was really great! We had a lot more light, and separate rooms for tables, so it felt more split up and not quite so overwhelming to walk into. As usual, every single table was overflowing with great new projects.

I sat next to this really great doorway arch of bamboo and paper cranes!

Here’s day one. I took a bit different approach to my table display this year, I borrowed some really great acrylic book holders from work that allowed me to stand up all my zines, and have a lot more table space than previous years. I decided to bring my typewriter for the display partially because of the extra space, but also because I talk about it in my two newest zines, so I thought it’d be a cool edition, and it goes along with my whole aesthetic.

You can see my two newest projects – on the second book display from the left, in the front pocket, with the typewriters image on the front, is my zine called How I Became A Connoisseur of STUFF. It is a zine about the fine, almost microscopic line, between collecting and hoarding. The other new zine is laying out in front of the typewriter. It’s called Carriage Return*, and it’s a zine of typewriter drawings I did. I’ll make another post soon with more info/details on these zines, and how you can get them!

Day two. Notice the blue paper note in place of HIBACoS… I sold out! I made a little note so that people could leave their email address, and I’d let them know when the second round of copying was finished and it was in my Etsy page. The zine was really popular, much to my surprise and glee! The Multnomah County Library bought 6, and it will soon be in circulation, joining my zine The Left Handed Knitter. So exciting!!!

Here’s Nichole’s side, my trusty tabling mate. I love how our things look together!

All in all it was a great weekend, I did some awesome trades, bought some intriguing zines, and bumped into some old friends. And this year, surprisingly enough, I actually made a little money. I’m never in it to make a buck, but it’s always a great surprise to come home with more than I left the house with. It’s also always a huge compliment that people consider my publications worth a few singles. I had one lady spent $16 at my table alone! She bought several things for a friend, and one or two zines she bought two of. A lot of times people will go right by my table, especially the guys, because my aesthetic is pretty specific and it just doesn’t appeal to everyone. That’s totally okay with me, we all have our tastes. And it usually means that the people who are interested in my stuff really love it, because the style appeals to them so much. I always come home feeling so inspired from the weekend, it’s really a fantastic feeling.  I’m already developing ideas for next year!

Here’s the view from my side of things.


365 Days of Zowie
January 21, 2011

Hands-down, my best handmade gift this season was the calendar I made for my brother, with pictures of Zowie Darling.  In the months leading up to the holidays, everytime she came over to play I would snap a few pictures with this project in mind.  Most of them ended up being her snuggling down in all the blankets I have on my bed, which is her favorite thing to do!

I did some researching and Costco was by far the cheapest for digital printing, and extremely convenient.  I submitted all the jpgs online and picked up the packet of prints a few days later. Even though some of the pictures were from a camera phone, and the website warned that the small ratio of pixels wouldn’t yield the best quality print, I was really pleased with the results. I laid them all out to get an idea of which complimented each other the best. I knew that I wanted to have a main image, and then a smaller cut out one, on each page.

*Notice the other cutie in the pics – Zowie actually has a brother, Rufus! I knew I wanted him to make at least a cameo in the calendar. I trolled Zo and Rufus’s mom’s facebook (thanks Jenna! :)) for pics of him.

All supplies came from work, on a budget – I used black cardstock to make the base pages, and to mat everything. I used alphabet stickers for the months and the front cover.  Even after supplies, photo printing, and binding, this project was still under $20.  I’d estimate that I spent around 10 hours, over the course of a few days, working on it.

I put my favorite/the best picture on my birthday month, naturally.

For an extra little touch, I cut out this piece of script for Zo’s name on the cover.  I wrote it with a highlighter on white paper, cut it out with an exacto knife, and then colored it with a sharpie. Ha!

I took the calendar to Office Max and had it bound with a plastic ring – it only took about 10 minutes and cost under $3.

Here is a little video I made of the calendar, so you can see all the pages:


The best part was that Andy LOVED it. Success! He couldn’t stop looking at it, and smiling, exclaiming about how cute his little baby was. Some of the pictures he hadn’t even seen himself.  Another really great thing about this is that even after the year is over, it doubles as a photo album.  Honestly, it was hard to part with. It turned out really great, and now everyone in my family wants one.  This was really such an easy project that with a little time, a paper cutter, and some great pictures, anyone can have a wonderful keepsake and an extremely personal and meaningful gift.

“The Left-Handed Knitter” Now Available Thru Multnomah County Library
November 1, 2010

This week I received my check from the multnomah county library, for the packet of 6 zines I sent off to them about a month ago. You may recall that I was approached to sell them zines for circulation at the library this summer, at the Zine Symposium. I am now delighted to announce that my zines can now be found under call number 746.432, at 6 separate branches of the library! You can access them by clicking here.   Needless to say I am thrilled about this, and hope not only that they will be found to be a fun and valuable resource to southpaw crafters around Portland, but that they may bring a few interested crafters to my blog!

“Masculine, Feminine” Book Project
September 30, 2010

This is a book project I did in my junior year at Mills for my class, “The Artist Book In A Gendered Space.”* In it’s tag, it is listed as a self-proclaimed “unique artists book made of woven metal sheets, wire, hinges, balsa wood, paint, small pleasingly touchable things, and lots and lots of glue gun.”  The assignment was pretty conceptual; what I was going for was an interesting juxtaposition of supposed “feminine” things (scraps of lace, ribbon and fabric, buttons, a key, rick rack, rhinestone hair pins) confined within a “masculine” space (the solid frame, metal structure, little to no color or frills.)

At the time I was becoming very interested in resin and testing what I could and couldn’t embed in it.  I originally intended to pour resin into the frames to suspend all the objects, but it proved to be harder than I thought to figure out how to create a sealed tray for the resin to stay within.  I like that embedding things in resin makes them like a tiny display, even when they aren’t surrounded by a frame or put in a traditional setting where it is obvious that you are supposed to “view” them.  I think even without the resin, the frames are pretty successful at making it obvious that this is not merely a book with pages, but more like a collection of “works” held together with binding.

I bought the metal screen in the clay molding section at Michaels, and folded pieces into crude pages.  I used some tiny metal hinges and wire to bind the book, and I painted balsa wood black and formed frames for the pages.

This book was featured in an exhibit put on by the class, shown here outside the book art studio at Mills.  There were a few places on campus open to the department where we were able to set up our work for display, which was really exciting.  This exhibit was called “Rendered Gender”.   Each exhibitor wrote an artist’s statement to accompany their book in the case (you can read mine by clicking the link at the top of the page.)  My senior year I also took an independent study on book art where we learned how to curate a book art show, and all the special nuances that go along with displaying books and other 3D works of art.

*This class was, I believe, where the previously mentioned “period book” came from.

Portland Zine Symposium Summer 2010
September 7, 2010

Well, it seems I am still recovering from the symposium, a week and a half ago.

I had a really amazing time, met lots of people, saw many familiar faces, and was completely overwhelmed with the sheer volume of impressive and wonderful things that people brought to trade and sell.

I made many sales as well as trades, which I haven’t done as much of in the past. It’s really nice to be able to think of your goods not only as something worth money to others, but something that is as good as money, and a bargaining tool! My most popular item by far was the Left-Handed Knitter.  I sold several packages of Beat Writers Notebook series, one to a journalist who remembered interviewing Allen Ginsberg and told me a great story about driving around with him looking for Kerouac’s mom’s house in Florida some twenty-five years ago.  I gave out a ton of business cards for both my Etsy and this blog, which I hope may bring in a few new interested readers. If you are reading this post as a result of a business card you picked up at the symposium, please say hi in the comments!

Most notable of my sales, I sold 6 of my new zine The Left-Handed Knitter (etsy link forthcoming) to the Multnomah County Library. They have quite an extensive zine collection and are very wonderful about supporting the local zine community. They bought one copy for each of their locations in the greater Portland area, so my zine will be available to check out! I’m really excited about this, and can’t wait to see what kinds of feedback I get on the site and my work.  Very exciting news.

These covers were a little agonizing to cut… The creative part of my mind works so much faster than the logical, planning part. I get these genius ideas but never think through the production and definitely underestimate any time it will take to complete things. But somehow it always seems worth it in the end!

Nichole made a really cute banner for her table with her main zine name, Little Lady. This is our third year tabling together, I’m so glad she decided to come out of her tabling hiatus to hang out with me this year!

Here’s the muscle who helped me lug all my crap in, and most charmingly peddled my wares! Rian also gets credit for all the pics. Boyfriend of the year!

And so ends this year’s zine symposium… and I’m already looking forward to next year! I have a few zines in mind to start working on this winter – my mom has been trying to talk me into making a zine with short stories/accounts of awful, funny, awkward, and furious encounters I have with customers at my work, of which there are many. I think this would be ultimate if I could accompany the stories with comical little drawings, which is something I may have to contract out. I also was thinking of making a mini-zine with my funniest twitter updates.. though I’m still wondering whether anyone else will find me as hilarious as I find myself. While walking around, Rian and I were inspired by a little zine about wiener dogs, and I think we should try out hand at our own fanzine.. Well, I have a whole year to think about these things! Stay tuned for further posts on the library’s catalog, I’ll let you know when my zine is available for checkout!

Zine Making Party
August 4, 2010

Nichole and I have had a few days of intense zine making
sessions in preparation for the Zine Symposium.

I am debuting a few new projects this year – one is a zine of a personal piece of writing, one was the Beat Writers notebook series which have been finished for a little while now, and the third and most complicated project is a craft zine introduction to left-handed knitting, complete with images and video tutorial supplements which I will feature on this blog. I have had an incredibly awesome time playing around with imovie on my new(ish) macbook, and have completed four videos for the zine. When I first cooked up this idea I dreamed of burning the videos onto a dvd to pair with the zine, but in the end I decided I wanted to have music along with the videos and I knew there would be copyright issues because I would technically be selling the videos with my zine, and making a profit (as small as it may be.) So, I include links for the videos in the book, and it turned into a crafty (no pun intended) way to get people to come visit my blog.

Nichole has been my PZS buddy for a few years now – in fact we were introduced by a mutual friend at a symposium about 6 years ago. We started tabling together, and 3 of the last 4 years I tabled next to her. It’s always fun to have someone to sit next to and visit with, and we usually take turns watching each others table while the other walks around. Then later we compare things we found, because it’s always so hard to see everything, that someone can show you what you missed. We also have really similar taste in zine reading material, and cute stuff, so we get along great. Nichole makes really fun and cute zines with photography, personal writing, and ephemera from old children’s books that is very nostalgic and sweet. Her Etsy shop is currently closed, but you can sign up to receive updates when she reopens!

our tastes are so similar, see if you can guess who’s table is who from the above and below pics…

Anyway, as the 28th and 29th draw near, we are getting super excited and are planning down to the last minute detail our new creations. Both of my new zines are 95% complete, and are almost ready for copying. For me this is the most exciting part, when all these little pieces come together and suddenly with a copy and a few cuts, your work folds into a book. I will post some images once final production takes place, and of course will have a full report of the symposium. If you happen to be reading and are a Portland resident, you should definitely come check it out at PSU! here’s the website, once again…

Beat Writers Notebook Series
July 6, 2010

These are a set of recycled notebooks I made from old notebooks and ancient scraps I have been saving from projects, repurposed books, and scrap drawer raids back in the days of book art classes. The inside papers are colored, lined, graphed, tinted, textured, etc. and each notebook is unique in it’s contents. The cover designs are lino blocks I designed and carved. Each package comes with three notebooks, one each of Ginsberg, Kerouac, and Burroughs. The first page of each contains a typewritten quote from the writer I have enjoyed from their work. This is the first edition, and if they are popular I plan to make more, supplies permitting. I wrapped each with a tag with information about the project. The books are about 3″x4″. These are one of my new projects I will be debuting at the zine symposium.

Portland Zine Symposium 2010
May 19, 2010

I just paid for and confirmed my table for the 2010 Portland Zine Symposium!

This will be my 8th year in attendance, and 5th year tabling. Wow! It’s crazy to think about.

I first started making zines after taking a zine workshop almost 10 years ago at Girls Rock Camp, and have been reading and making zines ever since. While I enjoy reading zines of all kinds, most of the ones I make are poetry and writing. Especially after studying Book Art at school, I’m really interested in bridging the gap between zines and fine art book making – I like to try and incorporate little details like binding, cut outs, and printing techniques to give my zines a little leg up from plain old quarter page sized, xeroxed and stapled.

As the symposium looms ahead, I’ve decided I want to make AT LEAST one new zine before tabling begins. This was my plan last year, and I was actually able to turn out an exciting new book – and finished binding it AT my table while the crowd rolled in to browse, ha. You can see that book on my Etsy (I will eventually make a more detailed post about it here.) Anyway, as I have been trying to imagine up a new zine to make for this summer, I have been developing this post as well.

Here are a few simple techniques I have seen that are great ways to spice up a zine:

Color! may seem like a no-brainer, but adding a little color to your zines can go a l-o-n-g way. And you don’t have to spend a ton of money on glossy ink prints… You can xerox your covers onto recycled colored construction paper, or add inserts or have one or two pages with color images.  It really makes you stand out!

Special paper! An easy way to make your zine noticeable is to use different kinds of papers rather than generic white printer paper.You can make your whole book in textured, printed, or otherwise noticeable paper, or you can just accentuate the cover or one page with it. A realllllly cheap and easy way of doing this is adding a see through paper, usually vellum or some sort of tissue, as the second page (after the cover) of your zine. When the reader opens the cover, they see the title page of the zine, but through a sheen of another paper. Very tangible and appealing! almost like a fog, setting a mood…

Size! Another vastly simple but huge factor in zine making. The classic sizes are half sheet, and quarter sheet. I tend to make things small, so I often go for a size that is inbetween these two. Even just using 8.5″ x 11″ paper, there are tons more options – fold the sheet in half longways (hotdog), and then tri-fold it widthways (hamburger) so that your end result is a zine that is 4.25″ x 3.33″ (1/6th size). Or, start with 8.5″ x 14″ paper. fold it in half widthways, for a larger zine, or fold it in half and then tri fold the same as the way I just mentioned – end result is 4.25″ x 4.33″. You can also fold paper in half length or width wise, but then just trim off a few inches of the other size, rather then folding it exactly in half the opposite way. Experiment! I always make models of my books, even if just for a visual reference for size and how things will be perceived. Because it changes so much!

Binding! You can bind your zine with almost anything – don’t let yourself be limited to staples. And you really don’t need any kind of fancy book binding techniques, although those are often impressive to the average zine reader. I’ve seen books bound with everything from wire, rubber bands, fishing line, ribbon, intricately cut straws that stick through tabs, brads, yarn, magnets, even weird stuff, like hair. (Then again, I’ve seen a book made out of underwear and used sanitary napkins, so pretty much nothing shocks me. And no, I don’t really want to talk about the Period Book 😦 ) Sure some of these were higher end book art projects, but I’m a huge advocate of figuring out how elements of “fine art” can  be adapted for simpler, easier to mass produce projects. Some typical-yet-not-stapled bindings I have seen used in zines are the french door binding, japanese stab binding, comb binding, heat binding, and good old fashioned pamphlet stitch.

Content! Duh! Make your zine about something interesting, so that people will want to read it. Here’s one thing I have really noticed about the zine symposium, and any other place you peddle your handmade books – if it looks intriguing on the outside, people will pick it up, but they will usually only flip through for a few seconds before putting it back down again. Especially in today’s economy, where we are spending less and less money on impulse buys and non-necessities, it’s very hard to market your things if they aren’t eye catching. With that being said, there is no surefire way to make everyone love what you do – you will always have a target audience and certain people will and won’t be attracted to what you zine about. However, there are ways to spice up your content. Above all, images are most important. If you write a zine about recipes, intersperse some pics of your concoctions with ideas about how they should be presented. If you write poetry, develop certain themes throughout your zines and include personal artwork or photography that relate to your themes.  If you write zines about your adventures in a wacky job, foreign travels, funny stories about your pet, your interesting fashion sense… by all means, go crazy with visuals! Not only are they an easy way to ensure that your reader gets the right image from your writing, but they help to split up larger blocks of text that most people would otherwise be less likely to read. You can see this technique in….. about every blog post I make, ha!

here’s a pic from my table a few years ago. Check out my ‘About Me’ page for another pic!

As the dates get closer, I’ll make a few most posts, in case any readers who are in town stumble across the post. And of course, you will see pictures and accounts after the weekend, which is sure to be an absolute blast as usual.

In One Year, and Out the Other Artist Book
April 6, 2010

I couldn’t find a suitable older model tv on google images,
so I went to a thriftstore and took a pic of my own 🙂

This is an artist book I made for a class assignment. I honestly don’t remember the actual assignment description.. I think it had something to do with looking at historical influences of the book/artist book vs. more modern forms of communication and expression, and I thought it would be interesting to see how these aspects might speak to each other. Kind of that stereotypical pun in bad movies with old people questioning the validity of the influences on today’s youth.

The idea of the book is that it meshes many recognizable faces and characters from TV, books, and pop culture.  I took advantage of the fact that the TV image is so familiar and used it to house some faces the average person might not recognize.

The book is actually a form of an accordion book, and pulls out to stand up and be viewed.  My professor showed our class some really cool old “peep show” books that were in this style but the front was covered and only had a small hole in the middle that you looked through once the book was stretched open, to see how all the panels layered up. It’s like a cousin to a kaleidoscope toy!  I really liked this format in terms of these things being housed and viewed in the tv, and the book literally opens up to sit in front of you for full viewing opportunities.

Apart from being visually appealing and impressive, I think the book would have been more successful if I had focused more intently on one type of image or message, rather than trying to include all these huge and overarching concepts – the hand holding the watches for time, notions of conventional beauty, and good ‘ole Mr “I went to the woods to live deliberately.”

Wonder how he would feel about being within six degrees of separation from Harry Potter?

Family Album Artist Book
March 28, 2010

click the images to see larger versions.

I made this artist book a few years ago after my grandma got out her old photo albums and let me look through them. There were so many amazing pictures, I went back to her house the next week with my scanner and took copies of a ton of the pics.  The pages are made out of bookboard that is covered with various fabric swatches I had in my collection.

this first page includes images of my great-grandmother, my grandma’s mother.

I wanted this book to feel like a cross between a family album and a collection of trinkets or heirlooms. A lot of the pieces contained within were found objects or things I had been collecting from the east bay depot for creative reuse, or craft sales. But I also included a few things that came from my grandma, including the skeleton key, some of the buttons, and the rhinestone necklace on the last page.

pictures of my grandma as a classy young lady.

these pictures are of my dad as a wee little one.

I also really love seeing all the pics of my dad as a baby, he was so adorable and whoever photographed him, whether they knew it or not, took some really emotive and beautiful pictures.

my grandma and grandpa, around the time they met.

I am really happy with how this book turned out, I felt like it was cluttered but successful in it’s random collection of goods. It may be a little overwhelming to look at but I felt like every little piece contributed to the whole feeling. It really epitomizes all the things I am drawn to: the precious nature of small, elegant objects, and the nostalgia and dream like quality of old pictures and memories.