Sunday, April 13, 2014

You might be a book nerd if...

You might be a book nerd if you take a workshop to make your own bone folders (to make books with):
There they are! There are the 2 1/2 bone folders I made in the workshop today.  I say 2 1/2 because the one in the middle isn't finished - and I'm not sure I like it anymore. It looks a little bit silly, like one of those cheap letter-opener-samuri-looking things. And I just can't allow myself to be in a position to be embarrassed by my bone folders. Ahem. But no biggie - I can root around in all of my tools, I'm sure I have a rasp and some files somewhere. The question is how fine my files are. Because if they aren't fine enough I can't do the finishing.... but I digress...let me back up...
Yes! I took a fabulous workshop today through the Philadelphia Center for the Book with Shanna Leino.  I've taken a few of Shanna's workshops and she is fantastic. She explains everything thoroghly, gives great demonstrations, the workshops are well prepared and yeah - she's just great.  
She started the workshop by passing around her favorite material - elk bone:
and talked about different densities of bone etc. For this workshop we used moose bones. Apparently she knows somewhere to get them from hunters and everything has just been boiled in hot water.
So we chose the pieces which "spoke" to us from a big pile she had prepared and started filing. (The flowery bag is full of band aides)  
I chose this one to start with:
 It's a good 8 - 9 inches long. I sort of panicked because I had NO idea what shape of folder I wanted, so I decided to follow Michelangelo's philosophy - just grab one and "free" the bone folder from within it.
And it spoke to me:
To shaped the folder one starts with a ferrier's rasp (for shoeing horses - a very rough metal scary rasp), and scrapes the bone along it to smooth things out. This rasp is a dangerous weapon. I didn't actually draw any blood, but I'm pretty sure I rasped all of my finger prints off of my pointer fingers, maybe the sides of my thumbs too.
After the initial shaping is done, more filing is needed with different roughnesses (is that a word?). Here are the last two, the fine files, ready to smooth the whole thing down.  
 I had really wanted to document the entire process and I really tried with the second folder I made, but both times when I got to this point, I was just too excited to progress and completely forgot to take pictures.
The next step is to add decorations. Here are some of Shanna's beautiful folders:

I bought one from her many years ago that I love! The decorations are not as difficult as one might suspect.  They are pretty fun.   
We kept filing away all afternoon. In the end I think the class made some really gorgeous folders:
We paid for supplies so I took several pieces home so that I can make some more - I can't wait!
I am sitting outside because it is absolutely beautiful today (80°F! - more on that in a minute) and so of course the inspector had to come and check things out.  Apparently moose bone is delectable.  
Apropos 80°F and stuff - Spring has sprung around here! What a beautiful weekend!
The inspector monitoring his realm:

I actually had to mow the lawn yesterday! How do ya like that!? I liked it just fine.
But as usual, it's time for the annual negotiations with my basement dehumidifier. It decided to fill up with water and drip on the floor rather than down it's tube.

I opened things up hoping to let things dry out (which they did), but at the moment the dehumidifier is having a time-out. Maybe it will think about what it did and behave the way it is supposed to when I plug it back in.  
It really is spring though, because the spring fever of spring cleaning has really hit hard this year.   
Do you see those piles of papers? Those are the only piles of paper in the studio. This is serious trimming down from the overflowing chair-pile-of-papers and the spreading-out-like-crazy pile of papers on the floor, not to mention the boxes of papers still needing to be sorted from when I moved in five years ago! I've actually done crazy spring cleaning things like cleaning off all the shelves in the bathroom, cleaning everything that was on the shelf and putting everything back. Litter boxes also - cleaned those with vinegar so they don't stink. Daisy fresh they are! 
The only thing I took a good "college try" to and wasn't able to succeed were my taxes. humph. (those are taxes there - on the table): 
I really tried, but the discrepancy between my return when I've had an accountant and when I do it myself is just too big. So I'll be filing that extension tonight, waiting until May when all the accountants are back from their well earned vacations and then trying to find one. sigh. wish me luck. 

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