Sunday, February 23, 2014

Easy leather spine binding

I took a wonderful workshop through the guild of bookworkers yesterday; easy leather spine bindings. 
We were instructed to bring several completed text blocks to the course so we could concentrate on the binding.  It is genius! It makes having a beautiful leather spine so easy and almost stupid-proof. 
The case is constructed off the text block.  
Here it is in the prep faze. (it is standing on the fore-edge of the case): 
Since the case is constructed off of the text block - all of the decorative spine work can be done first. For example: if I wanted to gold stamp a title onto the spine - it would be SO MUCH easier to do it at this step rather than after the case is on the book. 
Once the leather spine is on and has had a chance to dry the boards are covered with decorative paper - or even more leather- or ???
 Then the board is glued down to the rest of the case and the book is ready to be cased in Voila!
I can't wait to find time to get in the studio and make more of these! They look so elegant. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Love Day everyone! I hope you are a having as beautiful day as we are!  After our nasty stormy day yesterday and our nasty stormy night, we woke up to beautiful sunshine. Really gorgeous. It was a relatively warm day as well, so by the time I had dragged myself out of bed and down stairs (at 11am) most of what was left on my sidewalks was slush. That made it much easier than the day before to clean.  
Unfortunately, I then finished up Valentine's I was planning on taking to the post office - well, which I DID take to the post office - only to find that they had closed early. Closed due to inclement weather. I looked up the word inclement - today was not inclement weather. It was about 42 degrees outside, bright blue sky, no inclement weather in sight. But it is Valentine's Day, a Friday, and Monday is a holiday.... so I'll bet someone saw some inclement weather somewhere. Ahem. Needless to say, all of your Valentine's (which - ok - wouldn't have arrived on time anyway - but would have been postmarked!) are sitting on my kitchen table and will be mailed next week. 
Getting these finished by Valentine's Day was quite a coup. I've been really sick and in bed since Wednesday.  I should have been in bed on Tuesday - but there was teaching to be done. I'm not really sure what I taught, but I was there for the whole six hours. 
I did drag myself out of bed on Thursday to shovel the sidewalks. Probably gave myself a bit of a relapse too. But since everything was shut down and there were not so many people out yet tromping down all the snow into nice compact layer of ice, I decided I should get rid of it while it was still relatively easy. 
There was aLOT of snow and the novelty of this shoveling business is really wearing off. 
And because I was sick my Pedro was extra nice to me. He made a special trip on Wednesday just to bring me cough drops, ginger and to pick up my mortgage check and mail it.  He surprised me with roses too - what a sweetie!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

How to make a cat happy

Step 1. Purchase new shoes (or allow wonderful boyfriend to purchase them for you).

Water proof Teva hiking books - with chartreuse accents, of course. 

Step 2. Keep the box.

Step 3. Open the box and place in front of the heating vent.

Step 4. Get ready to be a referee.  

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Fixing little things

Sometimes there are little nagging things that need to be fixed. 

On-going problem numero uno: the front gate. 
I don't remember when it started sagging.  But it has been problematic for the last few years. The issue is compounded by the ground freezing and pushing the bricks up. The edge of the gate scrapes against the bricks and can't be good for either the gate or the bricks.
You can see the scraping here directly under the edge of the gate. The Inspector was very attentive to this project.

Part of the issue is that the bolt has come loose from the wall. But I'm not convinced that it was any good to begin with. When I got home late on Tuesday, I think it was (and it was freezing cold), I went outside with a wrench and tried to tighten the bolt enough to push the frame back up.  
Things are just never that easy. The bolt and washer did not meet the edge of the frame of the gate even though I tighten it as far as it would go. 

Plan B: get something that is thick enough to fill the gap and push the frame over when the little bolt is tightened. But it also has to have a wide enough diameter to fit over the bar.
Step 1: Look for a thicker bolt.  Discover that, in spite of the fact that I have oodles of nails, screws, and nuts and bolts,  I don't have anything that will work.
Step 2: Ask boyfriend to pick one up from the hardware store when he is walking the dog.  (The hardware store is dog friendly. They used to have an enormous mastiff that would lounge in the sun right in front of the door. If you wanted to go in you had to climb over him.)
Step 3: take the 18cent bolt, a wrench, some elbow grease, and tighten that baby up. 

Step 4: be glad that this mostly solves the problem. There is still a bit of an issue with the hinge, but I think for now this will do nicely.  
The gate is inspected and approved.