Sunday, 12 October 2014


Happy fall to everyone.  Wow, another year almost gone.  The picture above is the outside structure of one of the local skating rinks in the city - hockey season is upon us again. 

It has been a long time since I blogged, so this one will be long.  I have a couple of exhibits to report, a fundraiser, a book fair and craft show, new work to talk about and the next group of books from my project, 365 Days of Handwriting.


Selections 2014 at the Shenkman Arts Centre from September 25 to October 21.  I created a book from the Photographic Dialogue I  participated in last year and it was selected for this great group exhibit.  It is in the Trinity Art Gallery at the Shenkman Arts Centre at 245 Centrum Boulevard. 

Couples at the Arts Ottawa East Art Gallery, at the Shenkman Arts Centre, October 16 to Novermber 18.  I have been coupled with another artist, Rebecca Cowan for this exhibit.  For this exhibit I used the theme of couples; I thought about what it meant to be a couple and then considered the different kinds of couples that exist.  Needless to say, this exhibit is couples with a twist.  If you want to know what that means, well you'll just have to come out to the exhibit and have a look.  The vernissage is October 26 from 1:00 - 3:00 pm.  


I have been selected to participate in the Arts Ottawa East fundraiser called ARTinis.  It will be held on November 6 from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm. The theme for the event is 'water'.  I will have two flag books, with water themes, exhibited and I will be demonstrating the art of Suminagashi paper marbling during the event.  If you are in the city and would like to attend, information may be found at the following link:


The Ottawa Small Press and Book Fair will be held on November 8th from 12:00 to 5:00 pm, on the 2nd floor, at the Jack Purcell Community Centre, Jack Purcell Lane, just off of Elgin Street.  I will be there with my new creations.  If you like reading and are interested in new authors and books, this is the event for you.  I hope to see you there.


I have been accepted once again to participate in BAZ'art at the Shenkman Arts Centre on November 29th and 30th from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (245 Centrum Boulevard).  This is a great show with many creative artists. 


I have had a great time making new books and working with some new and interesting materials.

Tomatillo Husks

Recently I was in a restaurant in the market and I was watching a lady behind the counter removing the tomatillo husks from the tomatillo.  I asked her if I could feel the husk.  I found it had a leathery and sticky texture.  I took the husk home and removed the sticky substance.  Once it dried I applied a couple of coats of gel medium and a coat of gloss medium and varnish, creating a seal for the husk.  I liked the shape of the husk, so I created a small book to put into it.  I then created a box for the miniature book and husk.

This is the tomatillo husk with the miniature book inside.  I added a little paper curl from some dyed paper I had. 

This is the box that I created for the tomatillo husk and book.  I used my marbled paper and put a leather band around the top of the box.  I also lined the inside bottom of the box with the same leather.  The feet are wooden beads and there are two miniature acrylic paintings on the sides of the lid. 

I made a second box with a larger husk and book.

I decoupaged some husk pieces to the lid of the box and some special bug and flower prints to the tops and sides of the box. The feet are wooden beads.  The husk for this one was larger so the book and box are larger than the first one.

I painted a gold wash over this tomatillo husk.  It gives a nice transparent sparkle to the husk.  When the husks are green they have a natural sparkle to them which is enhanced once they are treated. 

Clam Shell Boxes and Books

This is the third miniature clam shell box and book that I have made.  They are quite unique.

I covered this clam shell box with a batik paper and lined it with a Japanese paper.

The cover for the miniature book is Fabriano card stock with a gold Japanese paper tab closure. 

This is a much larger clamshell box and book.  I covered the clamshell box with Amata paper from Mexico and the interior is covered with Lokta paper from Nepal.  The book has a hand dyed water colour paper and the text block is water colour paper - Strathmore 300 series.

These two journals are covered in the same leather.  In the first journal I cut out the design in the binder board and laid hand woven silk behind it.  I painted the leather with a gold acrylic paint.  In the second journal, I reversed the leather to have the suede side out.  Both journals are coptic bound and have 100 pages of Fabrian sketch paper. 

I wanted to try alternating the colours of the stitching in the bindings, so I used two needles and alternated the colours.  It creates a very nice effect.

Sketch Books

I decided to make some sketch books this time around.  They are larger and wider than the journals.  I hand dyed the watercolour paper and used it for covers.  I like the effect of the dye on the paper.  I never know what I get until they dry. 

Embroidery and Books

A friend of mine was having her first baby, so I pulled out the linen fabric and embroidery threads and made a wall hanging for the baby.  At the same time my granddaughter was having a birthday, so I made one for her too. 

There was some fabric left over so I decided to try making a book cover.  I think it turned out quite well.  Attaching the fabric to the board was challenging as I didn't want to put glue on the cloth.  I stretched the fabric around the board and glued down the turn over.  The paste downs are marbled paper and I put leather on the spine and foredge.  The back cover is marbled paper and the book is Coptic bound. 

In this journal I used a combination of dyed paper and leather for the closure.  The difference in the textures of water colour paper, dyed paper and leather are very nice to the touch.

I experimented with the marbling on some small pieces of canvas.  It seemed to work well. I used the pieces for covers for these little books.
I used a photograph, a reflection on water, for the front cover of this journal and some marbled paper for the back.  It seems to be a complementary combination.

I used marbled paper for both covers on this sketch book.  I used a complementary yellow paper for the paste downs.  I find marbled paper for paste downs is just too much, even for a larger book

I used different sizes of marbled paper for fly leaves which create a very interesting spine. 

I like to play with pieces of leather that are asymetrical.  Here I have created a soft leather cover and used a more rigid (pink) piece of leather or closure.  

These are all new journals.  I used water colour paper for the covers and dyed some, used dyed paper for the tabs as well as some cyanotype.  Great fun.

Miniature Journals

I had stopped making the small journals, but I found myself with a lot of small pieces of paper that were just too big to throw away.  They all have 100 pages of Fabriano sketch paper in them, some with die cuts on each page and others without the die cut.

Miniature Book Case

I made this miniature book case after the small books started piling up.  The smallest book is 1 1/4 x 2 inches/3.2 x 5 cm and the largest book is 2 3/4 x1 7/8 x 1 1/16 inches/7 x 4.7 x 2.2 cm.

Portfolio Binding with Corn Cob Stitch

I was playing with the thread one evening, trying to create a more interesting and enhancing stiching for this simple book.  I call it the corn cob stitch because it looks like two rows of corn on a cob. 


The project continues and I am currently up to week 32.  Here are the latest books and contributors. 

Week 13
This book is a simple pop-up and I did some paper cutting on the edges of the pages to dress it up a little.

Kathleen Lavigne, Orleans, Ontario
Tracy Ferne, Ottawa, Ontario
Elizabeth Jennings, Ottawa, Ontario
Lisa B., Ottawa, Ontario
André Goldenberg, Orleans, Ontario
Susan & Ethan, Ottawa, Ontario
Unfortunately I was not able to read one person's handwritten signature in this book

Week 14

I used marbled paper for the cover and this Bradel binding.  Along with the seven contributors are excerpts taken from an article about the benefits of handwriting.  You can see the die cut at the bottom of each page - a nice way to dress things up. 

Ava, Ottawa, Ontario
Dorene Hughes, Orleans, Ontario
Patsy Sutherland, Moose Factory, Ontario
Djamila, Orleans, Ontario
Paul Hughes, Orleans, Ontario
Jarrod Goldsmith, Ottawa, Ontario
Melanie, Ottawa, Ontario

Week 15

This book is coptic bound and I used a leather tie for closure.

This is another simple pop-up style of book.  It was great fun to make. 

Mish Michaud-Aeduc, Ottawa, Ontario
Diane Goldenberg
Sharron, Orleans, Ontario
Joan Shouldice, Ottawa, Ontario
Wendy Wulbond, Ottawa, Ontario
Suzanne Sullivan, Ottawa, Ontario;
I was not able to read the handwritten signature of one contributors in this book

Week 16

This book is meant to hang.  The sample slide along the cable and can be viewed from a hanging position. 

Mike Taylor, Ottawa, Ontario
Vivian Grave, Ottawa, Ontario
Danielle Pabstel, Cumberland, Ontario
Amanda Hess, Kapolei, Hawaii,
Raylene Mulrooney, Orleans, Ontario
Carla Tenret, Albany, California
Nasreine Canaran, Ottawa, Ontario

Week 17

 This set of handwriting samples were put into a box.  The lid is covered with Lokta paper with an insert of hand woven silk.

 The feet on the box are wooden beads.  The inside of the lid has a photograph of a DEW line site from the Canadian arctic.  The inside bottom of the box is lined with leather.  

Mayra E. Garcia, Orleans, Ontario
Sylvie Bileau, Ottawa, Ontario
Liona, Ottawa, Ontario
Jedidja B., Ottawa, Ontario
Mr. Canaran, Ottawa, Ontario
Bruce Clarke, Ottawa, Ontario
Marta, Ottawa, Ontario

Week 18

I used a flax paper for the cover on this book and the Shrigley binding technique.  It worked well with this small book.

Jen Brennan, Ottawa, Ontario
C. Brennan, Ottawa, Ontario
Pearl Pirie, Ottawa, Ontario;
Mico Mazza, Ottawa, Ontario;
Zoja Popovic, Toronto, Ontario
Cameron Anstec, Ottawa, Ontario;
Rob McLennan, Ottawa, Ontario;

Week 19

I bound this book in hand dyed canvas and the French door binding.  The samples are stiched in so they can be viewed on both sides at the same time.

Alex Binkley, Ottawa, Ontario;
Cat Belshin, Hamilton, Ontario
Sabine Blais, Gatineau, Quebec;
Monty Reid, Ottawa, Ontario
Craig Calhoun, Tucson, Arizona
Jesse Bernstein, Toronto, Ontario;
Kevin Johns, Ottawa, Ontario;

Week 20

 I put these handwritten samples in a triangular box with three samples floating in the centre. 
Two more samples are on the two outside surfaces of the box.

Michael e Casteels, Kingston, Ontario; 
Bob Barclay, Ottawa, Ontario;
Marthe Reed, Syracuse, New York;
Mairin Smit, Toronto, Ontario 
Christian McPherson, Ottawa, Ontario; 
R.M. Kozan, Ottawa, Ontario;
Erin Chambers, Chesterville, Ontario

Week 21

This is an accordion book with pockets.  Each sample is inserted into a pocket.  The cover of the book is wax batik paper over a decoupaged rose.  

Deniz Berkin, Ottawa, Ontario;
Nigel Beale, Ottawa, Ontario; 
Renée Sarejini Saklikar, Vancouver, British Columbia;
Monique Lanoix, Ottawa, Onario
J.M. Franchiteau, Ottawa, Ontario; 
Marie-Josée Martin, Ottawa, Ontario 
Dinah Laprairie, Sudbury, Ontario 
David Photiades, Toronto, Ontario  

Week 22

This book was designed like a screen.  There are handwriting samples on both sides of the book.

Lindsey, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Angela Caporaso, Caseratea, Italy;
Nick Stuart, Wynnewood, PA
Jackie Scharff, Wynewood, PA
Lena Sitnikova, Ottawa, Ontario
Sonia Leggett, Wiltshire, UK;
Bain Syrowik, Tofino, British Columbia
Maja Stefanorska, Ottawa, Ontario

Week 23

This is an accordion book attached to a box.  The closure is an agate ring. 

Juanita Tamelaire, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Tim, Burnstown, Ontario
J. Beljeman, Owen Sound, Ontario
D. Stubbs, Ottawa, Ontario
Gregory Caruso, Boston, Massachusettes
Ana Dafa
Livia Gootes, Ottawa, Ontario

Week 24

This is a story box.  When opened it is one piece of paper.  The seven handwritten samples have been placed inside and outside of the box.

Marinette, Paris
Andrew; Remorseful Digital Pioneer
Suzanne Connell, Ottawa, Ontario
D. Roach, Ottawa, Ontario
Jill Connell, Nova Scotia
Linette Brown, Ottawa, Ontario
Charlie, Ottawa, Ontario

Week 25

These individual pieces came about when I was working on some exhibit pieces.  I tranferred the design into the project.  They are quite a bit of fun to make and look great when the handwritten samples are put into them.

Jason Rafstenzel, Kansas City, MO
R. Chapman, Carleton Place, Ontario
Luke Simoneau, Ottawa, Ontario
N.H. Black
Shauna Steals, Limoges, Ontario
Beverley, Ottawa, Ontario
Melanie Reid, Ottawa, Ontario;

Week 26

This is a Japanese Stab binding and I decorated the front cover with an acrylic painting.

The fly leaf is decorated tissue paper.  This style of binding is great for binding single pages.

Chelsea Osmond, Ottawa, Ontario
Petra Loeseke, Ruthen, Germany
Alex Kerzner, Ottawa, Ontario
Lynette Russell, Pittsboro, NC
Melina Jefferson
Hala Hawa, Ottawa, Ontario
Joanna, Ottawa, Ontario

Week 27

I missed this one in the last video.  It is a hanging book and you can see I made good use of the tomatillo husks. 

Tanya Simoneau, Ottawa, Ontario
Anne Wright, Ottawa, Ontario
Nancy Kirkland, Washington
Michel Ménard, Pincourt, Quebec
R. Stryk, Burnstown, Ontario
Aryane F. Benoit, Ottawa, Ontario
Joanna Swim, Ottawa, Ontario

Week 28

This is a sealed box with a small opening at one end where the samples can be returned to the box and a little larger opening at the other end where the samples can be shaken out of the box.  This was a large group of family and friends who contributed these samples, so I wanted to keep them together.

Patricia Franchino, Bridgewater, NJ
Sal Franchino, Jupiter, Florida
Sal Franchino, Bridgewater, NJ
Michael Jenkins, Stranton, PA
Jean Taylor, Los Gatos, CA
Gomul G. Zachar, Stockton, NJ
Katherine Jenkins, Scranton, NJ

Diane Langenbach, Santee, SC
Salvatore J. Franchino
Bonnie L. Smith, Pflugerville, TX

Week 29

This flowerette came about from playing with a piece of paper that was left over from a big mistake I made making a story box.  It turned out to be a great bit of play for the project.

Luc, Ottawa, Ontario
Mark McKay, Ottawa, Ontario
Anbel Guzide, Ottawa, Ontario
Toulie, Ottawa, Ontario;
Sandra Tsoukanas
Jean, Ottawa, Ontario
Ann Akin, Ottawa, Ontario

Week 30

This is an accordion book and each handwritten sample is stitched into one of the folds of the accordion.  The cover is Fabriano Tizano with cut outs glued on.

Irene Uhlemann, Dublin, Ireland
Sofie Fournier, Ottawa, Ontario
Josh Turner, Gatineau, Quebec
Carolyn Powers, Corvallis, OR
Sarah Marshall, Ottawa, Ontario
Renée Lefebvre Ménard, Pincourt, Quebec
Elizabeth Hockett, Kitchener, Ontario

Weeks 31 and 32

I decided to combine these two weeks into a dos-a-dos binding.  It's a fun book to make and I like the look of it.  It involves one cover and two books.

Contributors - Week 31
Ella Storey, Ottawa, Ontario
Liliana, Ottawa, Ontario
Jane Snider, Ottawa, Ontario
Aliza Hskovich, Ottawa, Ontario
Susan, Ottawa, Ontario
Calixa Fournier, Ottawa, Ontario
Anthony Francis, Ottawa, Ontario

Week 32
Teegan McKay, Ottawa, Ontario
Olga Abzaid, Ottawa, Ontario
David Akial, Stittsville, Ontario
Emanuel, Ottawa/France
Boris, Ottawa, Ontario
Sara, Ottawa/Morocco
Colleen Aikin, Stittsville, Ontario

Videos of the Project 

There are three videos about this project: 

That just about covers it.  Whoo a lot to write about. 

Today is Thanksgiving in Canada, so a very big, warm, heartfelt thank you to all who have contributed to my project.  I couldn't have done it without your input, warm messages and encouragement.  If I have spelled anyone's name wrong, please let me know: and I'll make the correction. 

If you have any questions or interest about the other books please feel free to contact me at:

Happy Fall to all of you! 


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