Saturday, January 28, 2012

A New Form of expression

Lynn Davy reviews ‘Expressive Handmade Books’ by Alisa Golden (Sterling Publishing Co., 2005, 160pp, full colour, paperback, ISBN 1-4027-2051-3)

I impulse-bought a book a few months ago. Nothing so very unusual in that: my bead shopping is generally of the unplanned ‘ooo, pretty’ variety and I rarely come home with just the items from my list. But this was a bit odd because it wasn’t a beading book at all, not even slightly: it was a book about bookbinding, a craft I’d never tried and knew absolutely nothing about.
It wasn’t even a beginners’ book, not really. But something about it spoke to me, made me pick it off the shelf and flick through it, and looking at the photos (which are many, and excellent) I thought ‘this is something I could do, too’.

The books it shows are accomplished (the author is an established artist) but not offputtingly uber-perfect. There are irregular shapes, deliberately raw edges. If this were a cookery book it would be the sort where there are a few crumbs or slightly burnt edges in the pictures, but you know it will look like that when you cook it too – and the taste will still be delicious.

The first three books I made after buying this book. One is about my terror of finance and numbers, one is emergency info for my Other Half should I ever fall under a bus, and the third is just a notebook and goes with me everywhere

What really appealed to me was the focus on content and how to make it meaningful. It’s all very well making blank books, but what about the stories you tell in them? The author had used books to help her grieve for her young son, and having just embarked on clearing my late aunt’s house I was knee-deep in paper ephemera that it seemed wrong to just throw away. Perhaps there was an answer here.

A notebook I made for a friend’s birthday, incorporating maps of a place that is special to her, with my own graphics and photos printed onto some of the paper used to make the pages (other pages are made from wrapping paper, old books, even a paper bag!)

I knew I was going to buy the book as soon as I’d read through the very clear and comprehensive list of materials at the beginning. I had thought bookbinding would require a lot of specialist tools but no, it was all things that most crafters would have knocking about the studio anyway: paper, card, needle and thread, cutting knife and mat, ruler… all I needed was some of that linen picture-framing tape and a bottle of PVA glue, and I could get started.

A little ‘Book of Lost Things’…with bits of surplus family photos in which you can see various things of my gran’s and aunt’s that I had known and loved all my life but didn’t have room to keep. At least I have the memories. And those take up a lot less room

The book starts with a discussion of basic techniques and materials and then moves on to simple accordion structures, flag books, sewn bindings, and some intriguing ‘multiple-path’ books such as double bindings and the infinite ‘flexagon’ which incorporates origami techniques to make a book that never ends. There is a useful chapter on different types of cover, and then my favourite chapter of all, ‘Sorting through the Big Box’, which deals with how to pick your materials from the morass of stuff you’ve got hoarded up.

If I have a quarrel, it is that it’s not always easy to find the particular structure you’re looking for, especially when you can’t remember what it’s called; but that’s a minor quibble. I love the way the author has integrated the search for meaning and expression into each and every chapter, and the way that although it’s not specifically aimed at beginners, the projects are still very accessible and clearly explained, so if you want to run before you can walk, the author will hold your hand at every step!

A bright and colourful case-bound notebook with coloured scrap paper pages and a cover made from an old cardboard box covered with a poster about flowers. It really appeals to my inner cheapskate to be able to make a book from just about any old rubbish

I now have handmade books and notebooks all over the place and a whole heap of ideas for making more. A new obsession has been born…

A ‘double binding’ book in progress. This one still is in progress. But as you can see, there’s a lot of content to be incorporated. And yes, the hammer is an important bookbinding tool, it’s used to knock an awl through to punch holes for stitching

Thursday, January 26, 2012

GIVEAWAY - On the Kiln Fired Art Blog ...

Well, we do love a giveaway, and Jill from the CP team is having a Valentine giveaway on her blog this week!

It is a gorgeous porcelain heart pendant with black and white zentangle transfer design. The pendant has a different design on each side and is reversible. Two pendants in one!

All you need to do, is sign up using the "subscribe" button direct on the KILN FIRED ART BLOG

The  draw will be made on the evening of 13th February and the lucky winner will be announced on Valentine’s Day... so get over there PRONTO to be in with a chance of winning! ♥

Good Luck!! x

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

TUTORIAL - Making paper from Ginko leaves

Making your own paper from ginko leaves...

Quite simply a beautiful thing to do - with a few key tools and practices, you can make such unique paper for your crafting, scrapbooking, letter writing and/or handmade books.

Thanks to Julia at Pandanimal!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Spotlight on jewellery design ...

Ever wondered where to go to find that unique handmade element to give your jewellery designs a special edge? Check out these stunning components hand crafted by talented members of CPteam.

Sterling silver toggle clasp etched pattern by McDaddio

Sterling Silver Coil Ear Posts by StudioJewellerybyJo

Pharoes Gold Nuggets,handmade in Bristol by Flamingbeads

Click to see more gorgeous handmade gifts and supplies from CPteam

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

TUTORIAL - Lampwork Nellie Bead - by Izzybeads

Oooh! What do we have here! A lampwork bead elephant tutorial!
Thanks to Laney at Izzybeads!

she has also written a lovely post about "Beads of Courage" with the tutorial ... so we recommend you check it out! ♥

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Window Shopping with the CP Team

It's January, and we've been window shopping on Etsy!

Seems the perfect time to do so ... recovering from the financial stress of Christmas, still too cold to go out on to the blustery high street ... so from the comfort of our own homes, we can window shop on one of our favourite websites and dream of treats we are looking forward to buying for ourselves, or for others this year. If you want to see a bigger picture of anything ... just click on the picture and it'll fly you away to Etsy!
What are you coveting this January?

CP team members have been having cranberry withdrawal symptoms ...

Or just feeling cold with the weather ...

Here's a treasury with a water theme, which was inspired by the January rain...

Some are looking forward to a whole new year, with new seasons ...

Some are starting to feel romantic, and are looking forward to Valentines ...


Most are dreaming about zingy colours, spring and summer ...



and anytime of year is appropriate for the beadaholics!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Beware of the Facebook T&Cs!

A lot of people- myself included- have used giveaways on Facebook to generated more "likes" for their business page. I found I could get several hundred new followers in two days by doing this. I used to set up targets such as doing a random draw when the fans went up to a certain target figure. However, the last one I ran I got an e-mail from a follower saying that this was against the Facebook terms and conditions, but people don't tend to know this. She asked me to make sure others were aware otherwise we could find our pages being deleted by Facebook!

This was quite scary as more than half my business for trufflepiglet comes through Facebook promotion. So I thought it might be useful to share these rules to prevent anyone else getting caught out.

The relevant terms are not on the standard Terms page. Or even on the Page Guidelines linked on there. They're on the Promotions Guidelines.

1.Promotions on Facebook must be administered within Apps on, either on a Canvas Page or an app on a Page Tab.
This means that just popping a message on your wall isn't enough. If it is a Facebook only giveaway then it gets quite complicated- to add an extra tab on yourself you need to create an "iFrame". There's a tutorial here for the technically minded. For the non-techy types it might be worth looking at Pagemodo- I've not used it myself but it is free and you can customise your Facebook pages, which might be nice to do anyway. I shall be testing this out soon I feel!

2.Promotions on Facebook must include the following:
a. A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.
b. Acknowledgment that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
c. Disclosure that the participant is providing information to [disclose recipient(s) of information] and not to Facebook.

Easy enough to do, if you remember to do it!

3.You must not use Facebook features or functionality as a promotion’s registration or entry mechanism. For example, the act of liking a Page or checking in to a Place cannot automatically register or enter a promotion participant.

4.You must not condition registration or entry upon the user taking any action using any Facebook features or functionality other than liking a Page, checking in to a Place, or connecting to your app. For example, you must not condition registration or entry upon the user liking a Wall post, or commenting or uploading a photo on a Wall.

Yeah this was the main one I broke. You'd be best linking to a forum or blog giveaway or something like that, commenting on your page is breaking the rules too- they're pretty much saying no competitions of any kind here, which is quite sad as I'm sure the BBC and similar have done competitions where you upload your photographs to enter. These aren't allowed anymore.

5.You must not use Facebook features or functionality, such as the Like button, as a voting mechanism for a promotion.
So you can't let your fans decide winners either :S

6.You must not notify winners through Facebook, such as through Facebook messages, chat, or posts on profiles (timelines) or Pages.
Again, I did this because in some cases I didn't have e-mail addresses. Just be careful!

So I think the moral of the story is just don't run Facebook giveaways at all. The only way I can think of doing it as a sort of loophole is to ask people to like your page on your blog as part of a giveaway, but asking them not to post on your wall if they do so. Otherwise it will be very difficult!

TUTORIAL - Poppy Choker Necklace

Thankyou to Hazel at Continuum Designs for sharing this beautiful tutorial on the Craft Pimp forum!

Using the most delightful polymer clay beads, and copper findings - this tutorial shows you how to create a beautiful choker. Whether you use, copper and clay ... or silver and glass ... or gold and pearls ... the clearly written tutorial shows step by step photos for you to follow. Giving you the knowledge to recreate this beautiful design in your own style.