Curating Content, How to Work like Hemingway, and Stylish Font Alternatives

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Wheeeeeeee it’s Friday! Tonight we’re having a Gilmore Girl’s marathon, complete with pizza and nothing else (Lorelai and Rory would be bereft), and then sleeping in on Saturday. Simple, uncomplicated, yet I’m so looking forward to it.

On to the links!

How To Curate Content I am in a period of not really wanting to do research on “how to build a brand” or whether or not to price my stuff at whole dollars or .95 or how to grow my facebook business page, but this was shared in one of my Facebook groups and I thought it a very useful infographic and worth the read if you’re wondering how to build your blog/brand.

The Most Important Working Habit of Hemingway This is so, so true. I’m a workaholic, I like working, I like thinking about the issues, but I also observed how great a strain that put on me during our college years. I would develop intense physical issues that made me worry I was dying, but when finals ended and the holidays began those symptoms disappeared. So I cannot be a workaholic, I have to learn how to balance. I put my work aside while the kids are at home and I’m “off work”, and then I pick it back up when I transfer back into “work mode”.

Stylish Font Alternatives I started experimenting with fonts waaaaaaay back when, but I had several teachers complain that I wasn’t sticking to Times New Roman, so that was that. And now I have some catching up to do on what’s in, what’s hot, and what’s not;)

So have a wonderful weekend, my friends. Spend time in nature, put your nose in a book, come away rejuvenated. And as always, Art On!

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Fabulous Resources for the Beginning Bookbinder

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I love books. I learned to read when I was five, and from that moment on you could frequently find me with my nose stuck in a book. My dream job was working in a bookstore (which I accomplished) and, when I retired from the bookstore, I started making my own books, because I couldn’t stay away.

 

I’ve also written a guide on how I make my ring bound upcycled journals-you can find that here. And here are some pretty in-progress shots of me making one of my handstitched journals:

And this was taken today:

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I’m making mini keepsake paper books so I have a lower price point to offer. I’m having fun! And spending too much money, but we’re not talking about that. We’re talking about resources.

Books

Handmade Books by Gabrielle Fox

I didn’t think the visual aids were very helpful in this book, but the ideas and the written instructions were wonderful. She also included examples of variations for each project, so you could see how others had improvised/made the design their own.

Bound: Over 20 Artful Books by Erika Ekrem

This is the book I started with, and it’s my favorite. Visual aids, precise instructions, and she is the one that introduced me to the concept of upcycling antique covers and giving new life to those wonderful old covers.

Thread

I use waxed linen bookbinding thread. I typically order from this shop (classicbead) on Etsy; at the time I was doing price comparisons (just within Etsy) she was very competitive and she had the widest selection of colors.

Small Tools

I bought my awl and needles (both blunt and sharp) from paperinkarts.com They also offer thread, paper, bone folders, mats for cutting … I use cardboard, my t-shape ruler and other hacks because I really do try not to spend all my money on supplies;) The other tools I’ve picked up from various places throughout the years, and you can find them at any hobby store.

Pens

Micron and Faber-Castell artist pens. I also buy these from paperinkarts or from Hobby Lobby/Michaels.

Paper

So I buy this heavy drawing paper from Amazon, but I’ve also used heavier printer paper. For covers I’m using Strathmore’s Mixed Media 400 series, and I buy that at Hobby Lobby or Michaels and use their weekly coupon.

Antique/Vintage Covers

I highly recommend Michele over at RedCottage on Etsy. She almost always ships the next day, and I don’t know what kind of pull she has with USPS but I have always received my first class packages super fast. Plus it’s like library crack, looking at the goodies she has in her store.

So there you are, my friends-everything you need to get started! If you wanted to see what else I’ve made you can hop on over to my shop, http://www.etsy.com/shop/wordsremember. No affiliate links were used in this post, I really do buy what I’ve linked;)

Happy Hump Day! If you have any other bookbinding resources please do let me know in the comments; I’m still learning and am always eager to have new sources!

Most Popular Color on the Internet, Etsy Tags,Turning a Hand Drawn Logo into a Vector, Skills vs. Talent.

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I’ve been wanting Friday to arrive all week. I’m not sure why-we’re busier on the weekends-but it feels like vacation to me. And we need a vacation, but on the other hand we don’t. We’ve agreed that we’re far more productive when we’re juggling too much than when we have nothing to do. If only we could find that elusive balance, am I right?

On to the links.

The most popular color on the internet I won’t spoil it for you, but I don’t like the most popular color. I don’t use it in our home decor (if I can avoid it, it’s everywhere) and I typically don’t wear it. I do use it in my art pieces, because it feels less offensive there. I wonder why I have such a strong reaction to this particular color.

The Truth About Etsy Tags This is for you etsy peeps out there. Last week I felt like I was on top of things, SEO/etsy-wise, but I’m still learning (and since it’s always changing we can never truly be on top, a sobering yet encouraging thought). I switched up a few tags (just the order, mind you) and that resulted in a couple of sales. This article is good, especially if you want to bash things when you hear terms like “long tail” and “short tail”;)

How To Turn a Hand Drawn Logo Into a Vector I’ll occasionally joke that my method of doing things in Photoshop (I don’t have Illustrator yet) is google how to do the thing, google how to do the things in the article about how to do the things, and then google all the words I didn’t recognize in either article. I’m plodding along, having a lot of fun with effects, and one day, hopefully, I will be able to nod along as I read an article about how to do something in these programs. Rather than have multiple tabs open trying to figure out what the heck they’re talking about.

Skills vs Talents This is something I talk about -all- the time, at length (gird yourself). I know my kids have heard this lecture at least three times this semester. I’m blessed to be surrounded by people with talent, my family is practically oozing with it, but that talent wasn’t allowed to ever lay dormant-we treated it more like a skill set. I like to tell about my brother, who picked up the guitar at age 10 and annoyed everyone in the vicinity with his playing and singing (he actually was a good singer, but he imitated whomever he was listening to at the moment). 20 years later, after consistently playing, rocking the late-night bar scene, working early morning shifts, paying his way through college, expanding his skill set so he could afford to continue playing his music: he has an album and one of their songs reached #6 on the Christian Billboard Chart. (You can find the album here) I am incredibly proud, and looking at him now, you might not suspect the years of work that went into what he is today-but they happened.

My other brother is more like me, less flashy. We like to be in the background. I also thought, for a long time, that we weren’t blessed with the innate talents the other brother was blessed with, but I’m wondering if that’s actually true-we tend to pick things up pretty quickly, and our interests are wide and varied. But we both had to work at it: this brother has spent years perfecting his craft (video editing, audio stuff, photography-he’s willing to try anything that might occur in a video) and he’s now a successful freelancer. I spent my teenage years in their shadows, trying to figure out what my talent might be. I tried knitting, calligraphy, the flute (I actually was good at that), beading-and then life happened and I needed to bring in money so I put my crafts aside. I picked them back up and was pleasantly surprised to find that my teenage efforts had not been wasted: I’ve been drawing for a year and a half now, and have actually sold originals at prices I set. This tends to surprise the artists I know (“you learned how to draw last year!!!!“), and I hasten to add that I have a background in the arts with my calligraphy and learned dexterity with my beading. This calms them down;)

So my point, which may have gotten lost in there (I really do talk about this particular subject all the time), is that talent is nice, but you’re gonna have to treat it like a skill to be learned in order to do something with it. And the road is probably going to be hard, and not necessarily rewarding (at first). But knowing that you don’t actually have to have innate talent (I didn’t think I had any), you just need to work hard, -is- incredibly freeing. It means you can do it, whatever it is, if you’re willing to put in the work.

So Happy Friday, my friends. Art On-don’t ever stop.

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Coloring New Mexico

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I have been organizing, redesigning, crafting-but not really drawing. Not a lot, a doodle here and there. So yesterday I finally sat down and 1. penned a calligraphy piece and 2. drew New Mexico, the state we currently live in (and hopefully will stay-we’ve moved 14 times in 10 years of marriage).

I’m proud of this drawing, because I normally use an outline but that didn’t work so I decided to freehand it. A few wiggles here and there but as it’s a “fine art doodle” I don’t think that really matters.newmexicophoto

Wood backround
My new mock-up for coloring pages!

 

I also inked it in using the handy pantone colors in photoshop (I decided using base red, yellow, and orange would be safest). I don’t really like orange and red together so I had to ask for outside opinions-apparently it’s an awesome color combination (and that’s why I don’t always quit when I end up with colors I don’t like-somebody is bound to think it’s perfect).

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You can buy that print here-it’s up as a digital download. If you’d prefer to create your own vision of New Mexico with the coloring page you can buy that here.

Happy Hump Day everyone! Art On;)