Wednesday, 20 June 2012



Summer is upon us, we have heat, humidity, rain, fog and sunshine.  Weather wise, it has been an interesting move into summer.  Today the horizon is touching the overcast sky and the air is hanging heavy over the city.  It has rained overnight and the green looks clean, newly washed. 


I have ventured into the land of creativity and have been working mostly in leather this last little while and I thoroughly enjoy it.  One of the latest creations is a book within a book.  It is covered with grey, stamped leather and the binding includes a green leather toggle and agate.  The text block in the inner book is made from black sketch paper and has words related to bookbinding and pictures of books I have created.  The outer book has polymer decorations on the pages and a written poem:   


I am a book!
I exist to share my contents,
Words to entertain and educate
Images to stir
the imagination.
Textured papers to engage
the reader 
Drawing one into
my depths.
The fragrance of ink on
glossy paper.
Transporting one into the
print shop.
I am a book!

I am a book!
I love to be held.
Feel the warmth of hands on
my cover.
Gentle breath wafting over
my pages.
Eyes forever scanning
my passages.

I am a book!
I have lived for centuries.
I have been made from
many materials.
I exist!
I will continue to exist!
I am a book!



These little treasures were so much fun to make.  I enjoy working with the natural cut of the leather , leaving the edges in their natural shape.  At other times I like to keep the edges uniform. 

I call this one, Little Friar 

These are some of the little leather treasures that I have created over the last couple of weeks.  The ties are braided, waxed cotton threads.  On the little brown book at the upper right hand corner, a goldstone bead is part of the closure and on the little book at the bottom left hand corner, an agate is part of the closure.


I have wanted to make this book for a long time.  It was such a pleasure to see the finished product.  The cover is stamped leather and lined with a burgundy coloured Lokta paper from Nepal.  There are 46 pages - 3 embossed with a tree design - of Fabriano sketch paper.  The closure is a green leather toggle, and black leather cord finished off with a horse hair adornment.  The journal is tacket bound with a deep rose coloured cotton thread.


I found this hunter green leather among my fabrics.  The covers were made with the suede side out, making the feel of the journal very pleasant and inviting. 

I alternated a brown leather with the green leather in the making of the closure and the tabs. 

This is another journal made from the same Hunter green leather. 


I have been busy working on two projects: 

Nuit Blanche, September 22, 2012 will be an exciting night of interactive art in the Byward Market.  I am creating The Endearment Tree which will be located in the Ottawa School of Art in the Bytown Market.  

Book Exhibit:  I am working on a book exhibit for 2013, called A Show of Hands.  The books will be in the shape of hands and made from paper, wood, acrylic, embroidered fabric and clay.  Creating this exhibit is giving me so much joy.  More to come as the exhibit takes shape. 


I wrote a book for my granddaughters, called My Birthday Suit.  This week I finished it. Once it is printed, I'll bind it and send it off to them.  Great fun.

Watson’s Mill Pioneer Days in Manotick took place on June 6th.  I was invited to demonstrate bookbinding.  It was a cold, rainy day, however, it didn’t deter the exhibitors and the attendees.  It was a busy day and 20 children and 1 adult turned their hand at making a single signature book.  I enjoyed helping them with their creations.  All in all it was a very satisfying day. 

This was my display of the different books I make.  Due to the wet weather, they were left in their plastic wrappers
Gary was one of the exhibitors.  He was deomonstrating different types of farm machines, such as a corn grinder and milk separator. 

These ladies were demonstrating the art of hand made lace.  Very beautiful.
Kevin Burke, a folk artist was demonstrating his wood carving.

Rick St. John, another wood carver, was demonstrating his wood carving techniques.  Here  he is working on a sculpture of Chief Dan George. 


Ottawa Small Press Book Fair

When not working on these two projects, I have been busy making books for this upcoming fair on Saturday, June 30, 2012 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, at the Jack Purcell Community Centre, 320 Jack Purcell Lane, room 203.  Come out and have a look.
The fair was founded in 1994 by Rob McLennan & James Spyker. Now it is run by Rob McLennan and occurs twice a year.  It contains exhibitors with poetry books, novels, cookbooks, posters, t-shirts, graphic novels, comic books, magazines, gum-ball machines with poems, 2x4s with text, Bywords, Dusty Owl, Chaudiere Books, above/ground press. 
Adult Summer Academy - Creative Bookbinding Classes

I will be teaching week long creative bookbinding classes this summer at the Ottawa School of Art, Bytown Campus, 35 George Street, Ottawa, ON.  

Fall and Winter Creative Bookbinding Classes will be offered at the Ottawa School of Art, Bytown Campus and Orléans Campus in the Shenkman Centre.  I will also be offering a number of one-day workshops throughout the fall and winter at both these venues. 

Immerse yourself in the creative art of bookbinding.  Learn traditional and non-traditional techniques to create artistic books with hand made paste paper, decorative paper, leather and book board.  Create new books every day using stitching techniques from all corners of the world dated as far back as the second century.  You will create accordion and puzzle books, a Japanese Stab Stitch book, hard cover Coptic bound book, and protective sleeves for these books.  Paste paper will be used to create covers and fly leafs for the books.  Leather will be used to bind a number of small books. 

July 16 – 20, 2012 – 9:00 am to 4:00 pm    Code: S12DAAC2

August 13 – 17, 2012 – 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
To register:  call: 613-241-7471 or online @, – General Interest Courses.

ARTstravaganza is coming to West Carleton, to be held in the village of Carp!

The West Carleton Arts Society is pleased to announce its first summer art show and festival!

On Saturday August 18, 2012, from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, you will find artists and fine crafts people set up in the big field of the Carp Agricultural Society at 3790 Carp Road, Carp, Ontario. As you make your way from booth to booth you and your family will enjoy the eclectic sounds and sensations from the buskers, musicians and clowns who will be invited to participate.

If you’re an artist or fine craftsperson who would like to participate in this exciting summer art show and festival as a vendor, entertainer or plein air painter please contact Kate Ryckman at

If you’re a serious art collector or you just want something fun to do with the family come on out to our ARTstravaganza, a Show and Festival! Admission to the show is FREE. And while you’re here, why not stop by the farmers’ market right next door for locally grown, fresh produce.


This past weekend I enjoyed the Italian Days Festival in Little Italy.  Saturday was Ferrari day.  With camera in hand I ventured down to take some pictures.  They will be great for making photo collages for the books. 

Such beautiful design lines. 

A Maserati was among these beautiful machines.

Fiat was well represented at the event. 

After 40 laps, Fast Red and I stopped to cool down and participate in a photo shoot.  The real story, I was allowed to sit by this beautiful racing machine, but not allowed to TOUCH it.  :>))

Looking forward to a great summer.


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