Thursday, March 31, 2011

Starbucks ATC Book

Back in 2002-2003 I participated in quite a few ATC (Artist Trading Card) swaps through an online site called Nervousness - now just a sad shadow of its former self.  One of my favorite themes was 'coffee' facilitated by my daughter coming into possession of a bag full of Starbucks stickers.  You will note that I changed cups from the original challenge photo, simply because the ATC's wouldn't fit in the smaller cup, I couldn't figure out how to hinge it, and having a transparent 'binding' seemed like a very good idea.

I put beans in the bottom (smells really good when you open it up)
I had a great poem I had saved relevant to coffee, and I can only assume Seattle, which I printed and stuck in the back of the cup.  The ATC's were put in cut-down plastic sleeves and I bound them into an old promo booklet emptied of inside pages.  I used linen thread, the perforations in the sleeves, and the original staple holes to bind the book.  Then I glued the book to a straw, secured it with an empty sugar packet, and for good measure to keep the back page flat I glued in a Starbucks gift card.
The two ATCs shown are mine, you may recognize the stickers. The rubber stamp was hand cut by my daughter.  Altogether there are 7 ATCs in the book.
 Here is the poem:

A New Lifestyle
People in this town drink too much
coffee. They're jumpy all the time. You
see them drinking out of their big plastic
mugs while they're driving. They cut in
front of you, they steal your parking places.
Teenagers in the cemeteries knocking over
tombstones are slurping café au lait.
Recycling men hanging onto their trucks are
sipping espresso. Dogcatchers running down
the street with their nets are savoring
their cups of mocha java. The holdup man
entering a convenience store first pours
himself a nice warm cup of coffee. Down
the funeral parlor driveway a boy on a
skateboard is spilling his. They're so
serious about their coffee, it's all they
can think about, nothing else matters.
Everyone's wide awake but looks incredibly
tired.                -James Tate

I have so many wonderful poems saved from my daily Writer's Almanac email, I hope I can find a way to use more of them.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What Was I Thinking?

I was thinking books and pages and bindings and I should have been thinking engineering.  This turned out so much harder than I imagined it would, but here is my progress report: 1) the hard drive book is still in my head 2) the camera book is still in my head 3) the pear has been cut, gessoed and badly hinged so I cannot go farther until I solve the hinge (I can't count a book that can't be safely handled!) 4) the Starbucks ATC book will be finished tomorrow, it has changed to a clear venti cup 5) the teapot lid is finished.

So for now, let us talk about the teapot lid.  I cut a pattern for the base of the lid and covered both sides with cut down teabag boxes while attaching it to the pottery with a linen framing tape hinge and inserting the end of the accordion book pages.  At this point I realized that everything revolved around the hinge, and what I had was not going to be sufficient.  For one thing, it wanted to pull off of the pottery, for another, it didn't want to close flat.  Amazingly, I found some old book tape (I have no idea where it even came from) that matched the painted rim of the lid so I made a narrow tape hinge that works very well. 
I took the tag end of several tea bags and made a small tassel to attach to the handle.  Not incidentally, all the bags and boxes used have an English connection: Yorkshire, Chelsea, Harrods, etc.

This is the bottom and you can see the tassel and the tape hinge on the left side.

It is anybody's guess where this book begins, but when you open it this is what you see.  I glued some tea bags into the lid and attached the end page with the quote with a bit of folded tape.  Right now, it smells delightfully of tea when you open it, but I know that won't last.
When you open the book it sits nicely on its own thanks to the handle on the lid and you can flip through the pages very easily.  I filled the pages with empty tea bag packets and added a quote at the end: The pleasures of afternoon tea run like a trickle of honey through English literature from Rupert Brooke's wistful lines on the Old Vicarage at Grantchester to Miss Marple, calmly dissecting a case over tea cakes at a seaside hotel.  - Stan Hey  I have used all of the well known quotes about the pleasures of tea for one project or another and so chose one less well known with a book reference.

It sounds pretty simple as I describe the process - it was anything but.  Each step had to be thought out carefully, looking ahead and anticipating the next step.  With the exception of folding paper to make the pages, it was all a matter of drawing on past experiences and crossing my fingers.  Thank God for gel medium!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

March Challenge

Do you see what I see?
It’s the middle of March, and I’ve just lost an hour, but I’m setting myself a pretty high challenge for the March book(s).

When you look at this picture you see a Starbucks paper cup, a teapot lid, a paper mache pear, a cheap camera, and some computer hard drive parts.  When I look at it, I see five books….well, I don’t actually see them, but I have some good ideas……..let’s see how it works out.  (This may be the month when I have to be very honest about my failures)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Cousin Convention Book

I almost forgot about this book, it might actually be the first one I made.  It was done for what we call our Cousin Convention in 2001.  There are seven of us left on my Mom’s side and thanks to the brilliant idea of my cousin-in-law Dick, we have been meeting every two years for a long weekend.  It has not only kept us all in touch, but has given the next generation a chance to get to know each other.  We have met in Seattle, Charleston, and all over Montana.  I made one of these little booklets for each of my cousins – and for once, I thought to make one for myself.

This is the front and back covers - the booklet consists of a single sheet folded into five panels.  The front includes a basic family tree and a scan of a postcard sent to my grandmother in 1949.  As usual, I used postage stamps and rubber stamps and a quote, pretty standard items for me.

This two-fold includes grandparents wedding photo, scan from a baby book, another postcard scan (from 1919) and a photo of the old homestead with a yellow rose that has grown to cover yards of ground around the building remains.

On the left, a photo of Grandma and chickens at the 'new house' (this side of the Baldy) and pheasant feathers.  The right page was personalized with family photos for each branch of the family - my Mom on the chair and four generations showing me on Grandma's lap.
I worked very hard to make everything on this book meaningful - all the postage stamps related to us in one way or another, pheasant is standard fare in Montana - but I must admit, the joss paper was a bit of a disconnect. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Books that sound more interesting with the last letter left off:
    Of Mice and Me
    Far From the Madding Crow
    Dance to the Music of Tim
    The DaVinci Cod
    Three Men and a Boa