Saturday, March 29, 2008

getting back to normal

I survived Spring break... only 2 more days to go and we will be back into our normal routine.  I have spent precious little time in the studio this past week and I am looking forward to getting my hands dirty again.  I just ordered some paper from a new source, washi wholesale, and I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my new stash of beautiful Japanese papers.  

still on my list to do....

1. ****done**** order binders board and PVA... been putting this off because the delivery charge for such heavy items is depressing.

2.  ***for heaven's sake girl...get your butt moving*** finish prep work for Drop Spine Box Making class and Making Your Own Bookcloth class that I will be teaching in the next few weeks.

3. ***some progress*** commissions... I already have some work being requested for Christmas time, but that always sneaks up on me so I am trying to get some of those projects out of the way while things are slow.

4.  ***3 loads done...countless more to go*** laundry... lots and lots of laundry


Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter and Spring Break!

We had a lovely Easter weekend full of family, friends, good food and I am still finding little colored speckles around the kitchen area left over from our egg coloring event.  The boys are on Spring break this week which literally translates into me getting very little done that has to to with my own agenda.  I am hoping to sneak into my studio for a bit here and there but I am not going to hold my breath.  Instead my days this week will be filled with finger painting, baths...just for fun, walks in the forest preserve, counting geese on the pond, a few messy projects that require scissors, crayons and glue, a playdate or two, a few doctor appointments,  and (oh Lord, Please) a few calorie burning minutes on the elliptical trainer.  

This week I pray that my heals are tougher than the sharpest Lego, my ear drums able to withstand the loudest shrill, and Lord help me to remain calm when the whining exceeds usual and customary.  

Not yet down from their sugar high... I think now is the time to bundle everyone up and head out for a walk... a really, really long walk in hopes of an afternoon nap.  :)  There is always something inspiring to be found in nature so the walk will be good for us all.  May we all come back refreshed, refueled and full of new ideas.  

Friday, March 21, 2008

World Down syndrome Day!

March 21st is World Down syndrome Day and in celebration of this day I thought I would share the montage that I made for my son Sam. The significance of 3/21 is that people with Down syndrome , also called Trisomy 21, are blessed with three 21st chromosomes while the rest of us have only 2. Not only was Sam born with a little something extra (and extra chromosome that is), but he was also born 13 weeks premature and had several other medical issues requiring many, many surgeries... however I am happy to say that now, more than anything else,  he is just a naughty little boy.  We are trilled with his naughy-ness and are excited to see what he will teach us next.  So in honor of my chromosomally enhanced son I thought I would share his amazing journey and I hope you will agree that too much of a good thing is... wonderful.  

View this montage created at One True Media

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tip of the day...

I have been busy playing with my new papers... and while not paying attention to what I was doing I sliced my finger on the blade of my cut-trimmer.  OUCH!  Perhaps worthy of a few stitches but at least I didn't lop the thing off so of course I just wrapped it up tight and continued working... I only had 30 more minutes before Sam got off the bus, Sean woke from his nap and Andrew was on borrowed time so I just did what any mom on the go would do.   I will spare you the gory details, but for those of you who know me know that this is not the first time I have done this and most likely will not be the last.  However, that brings me to my tip of the day... 

Your own saliva is a solvent for your own blood.

Gross you say, but oh so true.  So if you are ever sewing signatures of a book and poke yourself with your needle or get a paper cut while covering a box or slice your finger with your scalpel and accidently get blood on the paper(s) or cloth(s) that you are working with... just use a little of your own spit to remove the blood.  Sort of like Shout It Out for grass stains... your own saliva can get your blood out.  However, One should take care when wielding sharp implements young grasshopper!

Just in case you are worried... I did not bleed or spit on any of my current projects... rest assured.  

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

OH happy paper day

Look what just came in the mail from The Paper Studio.... yippee!  

Friday, March 7, 2008


So it is day 3 of antibiotics and I am still plugged up and have a nasty cough.  I practically coughed up a lung in the doctor's office so not only did I get a supply of antibiotics but narcotics as well! That brings the tally to 3 out of 5 of the Collins clan on medication for sinus infections... 3.5 if you count the babe who most likely is getting residuals via breast milk. Needless to say things have been slow in the studio, my house could use a really good once or even twice over cleaning and I think I may have reached a point were I may never catch up on the laundry... yup things are about back to normal.

Monday, March 3, 2008

paper junky

I sometimes feel like a junky when I buy papers.  I love papers and I cannot leave a paper store empty handed.  I try to limit my paper buying but like any good addict sometimes I just need a good paper fix.  Although I always prefer to buy in person where I can feel each sheet and check dye lots and grain direction, the fact remains that I have 3 small children (a 6 year old with ants in his pants, a 5 year old with special needs and a 6 month old) so I often resort to purchasing online.  Thank you Al Gore for creating the internet...ha ha.  I am anxiously awaiting a shipment right now for a special commission (yes H it is for your box) and I can't wait... I am like a kid at Christmas when new papers arrive.  

I really love this Lokta paper for covering boxes.  It has a soft texture and the natural fibers of the paper are visible and I like that it is not soooo pristine.  I get my Lokta stash and many other fabulous papers from The Paper Studio .  Cindy Iverson, who owns the shop with her husband in Tempe Arizona, went through the same MFA for Book and Paper Arts program that I did.  I believe she graduated a few years behind me and besides being a very talented artist she then ran off and opened this wonderful paper store.  They offer classes and all sorts of stuff... check them out! 

Lokta paper

For making boxes with hinged lids I prefer using Momigami paper (Japanese crinkle paper). Momi paper is very strong, pliable, has as wonderful crumpled texture and hides a variety of sins.  I get it from Aiko's  in Chicago. I could spend hours in Aiko's... eye candy for the paper lover.  Sadly Aiko's is closing its doors for good on April 11th. They carry beautiful Japanese papers so stop in while you have the chance and take advantage of their sale going on now until April. Please note that they don't sell the momi papers online but you can find lots of lovely Chiyogami and other papers on their site.  You can contact them via email or phone if you had any questions and I am sure they would be more than happy to assist you.

Momi paper

I have also been known to frequent Paper Mojo and Talas for other papers, bookcloth, PVA and other adhesives. 

So my husband took over nose wiping duty for a bit this weekend so that I could get some work done in my studio (God bless him).  And as if that wasn't enough... I found that he also doubles as a pretty good hand model. 

Oh how I wish this was the only little bit of Green that I saw this weekend 

I actually sort of swept out my studio in a sort of half-a$$ed way and was appalled by the large pile of discarded scrap that I ended up with.  Little does my husband know, but I am secretly planning the new layout of my studio which will involve several hours of shelf assembly, countless swear words, a trip to IKEA and a few gallons of paint.  He will tell you that he would rather dig ditches naked in manure than paint so perhaps for now I will only bring up the shelves and IKEA trip for now.... I can bribe him with their Swedish meatballs.