Pen and watercolor illustrations for my next Blurb project.
The beauty of the software from the folks at Blurb is that you don’t have to know how to write code, or even have a background in layout design, to join in the immediate gratification of bookmaking. My experience with print production goes back to my early twenties, when I learned how to set type on keyboards that evolved into desktop publishing computers. Bottom line, I love typography and I love the process of assembling images and words into books. Eating Clean was my first formal bookmaking project, but that was in 2002, before the wide popularity of print-on-demand, not to mention digital book formats. There are no wholesale rates for the books made on Blurb, but if you’re not interested in the expense of inventory and relinquishing storage space to boxes of books-that-are-yet-unsold, the 1-by-1 pricing might just work for you. For now, that suits me just fine. I can keep playing and doing, which is where the joy in POD is for me. Have you tried an online POD bookmaking service? Love to hear about it and hear your thoughts.
I took a stand yesterday. It wasn’t comfortable but it was necessary. Patty Perfect — that would be my very lively inner critic — was harping in my mind’s ear, but instead of giving in, I ignored her. In a single bold move to rescue my gasping-for-breath creativity, I barred myself from logging in to work-related email and gave myself the gift of time. What to do? Play with the oh-so-fun online bookmaking application, blurb, and my collection of Nantucket Island photos.
I love writing, drawing or doodling on graph paper, so this was my paper of choice for the notebook’s blank pages. Eighteen summertime captures of favorite island nooks and krannies are staggered throughout 104 pages.
Time evaporated as eight hours flew by. Bliss reigned; I reviewed dozens of photo files, cropped, and tested selections. Utterly joyful.
The learning curve for Blurb’s bookmaking software is fairly easy to overcome. There are lots of formatting choices: ebook, softcover, hardcover, hardcover with wrapped image book jacket. The menu of sizes has something for everyone. Curious? Click the graphic above and browse the results of my day.
1. zig zags and dots, 2. Anthony Hat, 3. knitting dots , 4. hope, 5. Pedigree Pooch, 6. wkshp_shawlette, 7. Blanket Squares, 8. Oceanic Hotel, Star Island, NH, 9. Windowsill in Bloom, 10. Benefits of Worm Castings as Fertilizer, 11. Photo Award Button 200×157, 12. Spring, 13. I made it within the deadline!, 14. Creamsicle Smoothie, 15. February Lady FRONT, 16. Friday afternoon, 17. Miniature Holiday Art display, 18. snowflakes in my window, 19. Miss Marple, 20. Snow flakes
Everyone’s talking about it: acknowledge the past year’s accomplishments before looking forward. Prevailing wisdom advises that writing ideas down facilitates bringing them to fruition. But for a look back, I began with a visual list. Nothing like a bit of photo fun with the mosaic tool over on BigHugeLabs. Here are a few crafty highlights from my year:
- an afternoon spent under the tutelage of professional photographer, Gale Zucker, during which she taught knitters about photographing fiber objects (photo #6)
- a winning entry in Southern New Hampshire’s 24-hour A Day in the Life photography contest (#11)
- a roaring good time as online voting took my quilted Spring Runner into the top tier (#13) of the sew-along challenge
- the inclusion of a brief memory narrative and accompanying photo in an upcoming book by friend and entrepreneur (#14)
- a terrifically successful birthday gift for my mother, a knitted dog (#5). Jacqueline Russell, as I named her, was delivered to the birthday girl with an authentic birth certificate, and I don’t think my mother has ever been so enthusiastic about one of my gifts. That feels like an accomplishment worth noting!
- Handmade Holiday gift-giving (#1-3) dominated my list this year, with hats, felted bags, and homemade cocoa mix with marshmallows; sadly, I never got around to photo’ing the Cocoa Kits.
My blog host, Word Press, surprised me with a summary of the year’s activity on “My Artful Life.” Thank you — for reading, subscribing, taking the time to comment, and being on the other end of my keyboard every time I click the ‘publish’ button. Here’s to another year — !
1. Sibsey, 2. [workinprogress], 3. My embroidered headband., 4. Denver 30: 23, 5. Sheep heid baby cardigan, 6. Socks Patchwork, 7. Alivia, 8. alpine conditions, 9. Children’s Day in Brazil…, 10. Southern light, 11. Fabric of the Week winner: The Dinner Thief by kayajoy, 12. Untitled, 13. Liberty mug rugs, 14. Strings Attached – pot holders, 15. Linda’s Vintage Baby Hats, 16. Luxury
Every time Sibsey’s mum posts a photo of her, I click the ‘favorite’ button. So who better to lead today’s mosaic than the fluffy beauty herself?!
Meanwhile Corabelle spent the week parked on my lap, purring. Without a doubt, her companionship contributed to my quick recovery from Tuesday’s surgery.
This year’s handmade Christmas gifts are a bit closer to the finish line after purchasing a delicious assortment of Julia, the yarn Kristin Nicholas designed for Westminster Fibers. Sadly, this wool/mohair/alpaca blend has been discontinued, which really amped up the pressure as I labored over jewel-toned colors most certainly inspired by Kristin’s own zinnia beds and field of sunflowers . Continuing to gather project supplies, I hopped on over to Kristin’s online store for the Knit-It-Felt-It-Zip-It bags and Quarters Cap patterns. There is something exceedingly satisfying about shopping in a way that contributes to the livelihood of a kindred creative.
A glimpse into my studio: Fabric, fiber, and handwoven finished objects.
Gems from the Flickr-sphere
1. Daisy Chain Quilt, 2. Fish Baby Log Cabin class sample, 3. NYC Mod Bee: For Me, 4. Sawtooth Star Quilt, 5. Green Afternoon, 6. WIP Wednesday 9/27/2011, 7. keyboard playing meerkat, 8. Linda’s Vintage Baby Hats, 9. Pink Layer Cake, 10. Viva!, 11. autumn country picnic, 12. Chai Latte Cupcakes, 13. You’re never alone with a dog, 14. Old Home Place 1985, 15. 2011 10 10 Moonrise over Lowell, 16. Beach BIrds
Favorite is an action word in flickr-speak and one which I exercise with great frequency. At this moment in my flickr Favorites there are 1,761 photos of fabric, quilts, knitting, crochet, food & beverages, pets in adorable poses, and sumptuous outdoor scenes from around the globe. My passport expired a couple of years ago but that hasn’t stopped me from armchair touring. Browse the entire collection here. Do you have a flickr account? If so, I hope you’ll drop by and say hello.
This little video transported me to a charming world filled with birdsong. Dare you to watch just once!
For the past 24 hours I have been bursting with excitement — Jacqueline-the-Jack-Russell’s portrait was accepted over on craftgawker. Remember when I was being philosophical about my other photo rejections from craft- and foodgawker.com? I guess persistence does pay. And if persist is your mantra right now, this article about Kathryn Stockett’s 60 manuscript rejections for The Help just might inspire. I hope so — it worked for me. I’ve got some manuscript rework that’s calling me right now.
but she’s not staying long. She’s a little Jack Russell that I fell in love with in Knit Your Own Dog.
She is sweet-tempered, does not require late-night walks, and won’t bark at the mailman. I think her new owner will be very pleased to receive such an agreeable new companion for her birthday. If you think you might want to join the canine knitting fun, there are more particulars on my Ravelry page, here. Woof-woof!