Since I was accepted to vend at Pantheacon next year (see the Events page) I’ve been trying to up my productivity. Sometimes, though, the dayjob just takes too much out of me.

“Ealasaid, what do you do when you’re too braindead and your tremor is too bad for you to do complicated bookbinding tasks?”

Fold signatures.

So, first I grabbed one of the precut chunks of paper from when I ordered a custom-cut carton a while back. Cartons hold 1,000 parent sheets, so that’s how many are in that stack. The paper is too long, however, so I used my guillotine to cut it into two stacks of 5″x8″ sheets (bringing the total to 2,000 sheets).

Let's do this

After that, I started separating the pile into groups of four and folding them in half. You can see a small stack of already-folded signatures under that cast iron iron (yes, it literally used to be used to iron clothes. I have no idea how old it is, but it weighs a ton and that’s what I was looking for). Basically, I’d fold batches of four until I ran out, then take those signatures, stack them, put them under the iron, and divvy up another batch of sheets. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Getting rolling

In the end, I had 25 books worth of signatures (2,000 sheets into groups of four = 250 signatures, ten signatures per book makes that = 25 books).

Here’s what I ended up with:



Next up: endpapers and punching sewing holes!


So, anybody who’s interacted with me in a bookbinding context has probably already figured out that I’m a paper geek. I love paper. Love it.

Naturally I am SUPER excited about the paper in the photo below! It’s from the fantastic Pulp & Deckle, a papermaking studio here in Portland. They graciously made me a bunch of handmade, hand-marbled papers to use as endpapers, and I am SO EXCITED.

Pulp & Deckle papers in my thrilling newish flat file!

Look at that loveliness! They use recycled and reclaimed materials (like old sheets from thrift stores and used wrapping paper!) to make this lovely, thick, soft paper. I am smitten. I’ve already got one book in progress using a pair of these for endsheets, and I will soon have many more, I’m sure.

Exciting News! Book Roadie blank notebooks availble at Wanderlust in PDX!

That’s right, folks! I just dropped off some of my pocket-sized blank notebooks at Wanderlust here in Portland, OR.

Wanderlust is a vintage and handmade goods shop, and they have a ton of interesting stuff to check out for holiday shopping. They’re also my first wholesale customer!

If you want one of my pocket notebooks, you don’t have to wait for my next craft fair or for me to list more on Etsy, you can drop by Wanderlust at 2804 SE Ankeny St. — but they only have a few, so get hopping if you want to have the best selection of colors!

Still not dead!

So, where’s the Book Roadie these days?

Mostly you can find me on Twitter and Facebook. I’m also working – I have several custom orders in my queue and made my first sale to a local shop! I will definitely be posting when the order for them is filled and you can go to the shop and buy my stuff. 🙂

For now, I leave you with a quick photo of one of my custom books in process:

Back in the saddle



So, it’s been quiet around here!

That’s because I’m moving in April — and not just moving like I normally do (ie, about 20 minutes away, and via several car trips over a week or three plus one big push with friends). No, no, I’m moving out of state. All at once.

This requires, unsurprisingly, a shitton of work. I’ve been sorting through the boxes of miscellanea that have accumulated over my years of not-really-having-to-purge-when-I-move, and I’ll be doing a similar sort through basically all my possessions… except, as will likely surprise nobody, my book collection.

I joked recently that once I’ve read a book, it gets a forever home in my library — and I meant it.

Anyway. Once I start packing, I plan on doing another series on moving so y’all can come along. I have huge plans for posts I want to write, but right now all my spare time is taken up with my day job, moving preparations, and trying to fight off some bug that’s taken up residence in my body. So hang in there. More posts are coming! It just might be a while.

NaBoBiMo: A Look Back

Geez, where did the month go? It’s nearly the end of December, and I never did a quick summary post for NaBoBiMo!

Well, part of that is that I wound up working my first two craft fairs (which went great!). And part of it is that I fell short of my goal, and who likes looking back over not making a goal? Not me!

Anyway. The finally tally was: 16 books (plus loads of prep for the other 14) over about 30 hours. That means it takes me under two hours to do a book, which is pretty awesome! Plus, I learned exactly how much each needs in the way of materials and how many books i can feasibly do in a month without making myself crazy or giving up my social life. (Which also means I learned that I can do more if I do give up my social life!)

I count NaBoBiMo 2012 as a success, if only because I made way more books than I have in any previous month. Go me!

Poppy Farm Fair 2012!


So, this weekend was my first ever time vending at a craft fair! Check out my lil’ table there.

The venue was the Lusardi Building at San Pedro Square Market, and the Native Revival Nursery folks organized and ran things. Things were a little chaotic as we were getting set up, but once the fair got rolling, it was great. Lots of people came through in spite of the rain, including a bunch of my friends! Yay! Thanks again for coming, y’all!

I got a ton of compliments on my books, and sold almost a dozen! This was way better than I expected to do, and enabled me to not only cover the cost of the table and materials/labor for the books I sold, but also the cost of the materials I got to prepare for the fair as well! And have a little left over! WAHOO!

This was also the debut of the amazing poster I got from Calyx Design about how I make my books! Very exciting! Richard even did a post about it explaining the process a little. Very cool! He was amazing to work with, and I cannot recommend him highly enough. Seriously, if you need a designer, work with this dude. He is AH MAY ZING.

Anyway. Here’s the poster in action:


Above it are three demo books showing different stages in the process, so I could give a more detailed, hands-on explanation for the curious.

Let’s continue the tour of my table, left-to right! Here are some of the books on display:


I got a little basket for the pocket notebooks:


And of course there were even MORE books on display around it:


Then there was my mailing list sign up (you can sign up too, just use the little form in the right-hand column of the blog!). I also, thanks to a suggestion from a friend, set up a book people could write in if they felt like it.


This turned out to be genius — people loved the feel of the paper, had fun thinking of things to write, and in one case it literally made a sale — a very nice lady who only uses fountain pens was skeptical that the paper was thick enough for the ink to not go through it, so I invited her to try writing in the test book. When the ink did not, in fact, go all the way through the paper, her whole face lit up and she spent quite some time choosing a book. She also signed up for my mailing list and took a card. I think I’ll be hearing from her again!

Plus, people wrote some really nice things in the book:



It was a great experience overall. I also brought lots of materials (you can see my punching cradle and laying press on either side of me, as well as some in-progress text blocks), and got a fair bit of work done. Win all around.

I had a lot more fun than I expected — the day flew by (helped in part by a couple friends who came and helped me so I could do things like eat and run to the bathroom!). I’m still tired two days later, though — I had a very busy Saturday and wasn’t rested going into the fair, and then the fair itself took a lot out of me. I have to remember to do more self-care before and after next time I vend!

Speaking of which, it’s looking like I might be doing a mid-week craft fair next week at a local school — sign up for my mailing list and you’ll be the first to get the full info.

I will be Vending at the Poppy Farm Fair in San Jose THIS SUNDAY

So, y’all may have noticed that I haven’t been updating about NaBoBiMo much. There’s two reasons for that. The first is that it’s become pretty clear that I can’t maintain my day job and my health AND hit the 30-book-mark by Friday. Realizing that was kind of demoralizing.

The second reason, though, is super exciting! I’m going to be vending this weekend at the Poppy Farm Fair! Preparations for that have kind of eaten up the time I would be using for NaBoBiMo.

Notice for the Poppy Farm Fair

If you’re in or around San Jose this weekend, come on by and say hi! This will give you a chance to actually handle the books, and to see my spiffy new informational posters.

I’m really excited about this. I’ll have all my NaBoBiMo books (well, the ones that are ready to go, anyway) with me, plus the ones currently listed in my Etsy shop. I’m also going to have a swatch book and custom book order forms, so if you want a color/pattern combo I don’t currently have available, you can order it from me! Pretty exciting.

I’ll be accepting cash and (if my Square account behaves) credit cards. Depending on the power and wifi situation, I may also be accepting PayPal. I’m a flexible gal, especially when people are trying to give me money! 🙂