Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Tile Houses of Saarland

There is a local odditiy I have noticed over the years here in Saarland. There are a disturbing number of houses that are tiled on the OUTSIDE. Some houses are tiled with large tiles but a number are tiled with the little tiles used in 1950's bathrooms. Very odd - who came up with this? Were there a bunch of leftover tiles and someone said - "Hey, let's cover the house with them!"

This house is in Naßweiler. It has little yellow tiles on top and larger brown tiles on the bottom of the house - a delightful color combination!

This yellow and black combinaion is from a house in Werbeln. The top is a light yellow stucco but below are square black tiles with the ocassional "accent" tile in pink or blue.

I even have this close-up of the accent tiles - perfect for your bathroom.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

St. Nikolaus Weihnachtsmarkt

Another day, another Weihnachtsmarkt! Today I went to the neighboring village of St. Nikolaus for their first ever Weihnachtsmarkt. There were all sorts of fun activities: cookie baking for the kids, live animals, handmade crafts and food products. Of course St. Nick himself was there to greet visitors at the start of the market. Then he had to get back to work stamping letters from around the world - at his Nikolaus Postamt. Write him a letter - he'll send a reply!

Kai and my father-in-law (right) with Peter Müller (left), Minister President of Saarland. He was the VIP at the markt today! He even spoke English with Kai.

Kai with a real live donkey. There was a nativity scene with live animals! Very fun for a four year old.

Cookie baking - what a good idea! Kai had a great time rolling out the dough and using the cookie cutters.

Last but not least this is the booth with the Warndtprodukte - products from the Warndt region of Saarland. My father-in-law started this push towards locally raised products that include: lamb, sausages, mushrooms and jams. Yummy!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Let it Snow...

We had the perfect snowfall yesterday - just enought to coat the trees but not the streets! The light dusting of snow makes everything look quiet and still. As the Germans would say "es Weihnachtet sehr" - it is Chirstmasing! The top picture is the view from my window looking out towards the village church.

I am in my husband's hometown of Karlsbrunn. This small village of 1100 is located in the German state of Saarland, just 1 mile from the French border! It is know for its Wild Animal Park - full of reindeer, wild boar, and goats. It is also the ancestral village of President Dwight D. Eisenhower's family.

There is a Jagdschloß - a hunting lodge. The Jagdscloß now has a wonderful cafe open on weekends - Scloß Cafe Karlsbrunn. I highly reccommend the apple marzipan cake! In the Spring and Summer the "Garten ohne Grenzen" behind the Scloß is a lovely sight. In winter the garden is not so interesting!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

St. Wendel Weihnachtsmarkt

Today Kai and I had a great time at the St. Wendel Weihnachtsmarkt. We entered the market and stepped into the middle ages. Our lunch was this tasty Elsässischer Flammkuchen with Jägertee for me - an alternative to Glühwein with more alcohol!

Our lunchtime entertainment was Peter Siche a talented minstrel singer from Berlin.

This Weihnachtsmarkt has it all - live performances, live animals, great food and drink and the gnome village.

Monday, December 8, 2008

O Tannenbaum!

Here it is - the Tannenbaum we braved this foggy day to purchase! We decided that the apartment we are staying in needed a little tree. So we headed to the French border (literally steps away from France in the town of Naßweiler) to purchase this little guy. Decorated with ornaments my husband and I made 17 years ago!

Kai did a great job - don't you think? So here is the text to
O, Tannenbaum in case the title has you humming it!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas in Germany

Greetings from Deutschland! My son Kai and I are in Germany for the holidays. My husband is at home shipping holiday orders - thanks Eric! Today we went to the Saarlouis Weihnachtsmarkt with his cousin Kathrin. The highlight was the giant Münchener Brezel you see him eating in the last picture.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Holiday Show Set Up

I was at the DC Craft Mafia's Unusual Suspects show last Saturday.  It was, sadly, not a good turn out.  Maybe it is the economy or just not enough publicity - who knows?  However, I did have a chance to catch-up with my dear friend Cynthia who was visiting from Atlanta.  I also had great neighbors at the show and enjoyed talking with them.        

Anyway, here it is the set-up I will be using for my upcoming holiday shows.  The shows are all one table affairs so I added height to my display with two folding bookshelves. 


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Lollipop Time!

It is Fall - my favorite time of year.  We went to the park this weekend and took some cute shots of the kids.  Our friend Suzanne took some terrific shots.  These are the versions we took. My daughter took the portrait of her brother.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mounting Adhesive Part II

A while back I received a roll of mounting adhesive.  I FINALLY started using it and am loving it.  The product is 3M's Positionable Mounting Adhesive.  It works like a dream for delicate or thin papers.  The adhesive comes in a roll that you unravel.  The item you want to adhere is placed (side up!) on the roll and cut out.   You then rub the back side of the item on a special paper with a special utensil (all included with the roll.)  Now you take off the backing and attach it.  If you don't like the position pick it up and try again.  It is repositionable until you rub down the front side.

The cover looks much smoother than ones I created using PVA.  There is no time wasted waiting for glue to dry.  This is a great product!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Art on the Avenue Wrap Up

I had so much fun at Art on the Avenue!  I caught up with old friends and neighbors plus the weather was fantastic.  It was a pleasure to spend the day outside.  Suzanne captured some moments from the day on this video: 

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Art on the Avenue Saturday October 4th

I am excited to be at my local Craft Fair this Saturday, October 4th.  Art on the Avenue is the big event in the Del Ray section of Alexandria.  Mount Vernon Avenue is closed to traffic and the whole area becomes a giant pedestrian paradise.  Here are a few pictures of things I will be bringing with me on Saturday:

Photos by Suzanne Behsudi.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Moonlight Bindery at Crafty Bastards

Thank you to Suzanne for shooting and editing this footage!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Out on the Town

I am excited to announce that I'll be featuring my work at two BIG craft shows in the next two weeks - you should definitely come hang out!

Crafty Bastards is Sunday, September 28th, 10A.M. - 5 P.M. at 18th and Wyoming Avenues NW. My booth is number 142.  This is a juried show and I am thrilled to be a part of it!

On Saturday, October 4th, I will be at my neighborhood Art on the Avenue show - really just blocks from my house! I am looking forward to seeing my whole Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria come out for the festivities. My booth is 112W - across from the Cheestique!  Here is a map of the venue.  Check back soon for pictures and reviews of these two super-fun events!

Friday, September 19, 2008

In the news!

I am very excited about several new and exciting things in my life. First of all, I met a fabulous photographer at St. Elmo's for coffee. She wanted to interview me for a Creative Spotlight she's starting. Here's the feature on her blog!

She works magic with that camera.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ballistic Nylon Books

I found this outrageous bookcloth made out of ballistic nylon.  That's right the stuff your messenger bag is made out of is now available for your books.  It is sturdy and bit stiff but fun to work with although a little tricky to turn in at the corners.  The effect is great and I am sure these calendar/planners will hold up to a whole year of abuse in someone's backpack, purse or messenger bag.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Cards, Cards, Cards

I found a great zoology book from 1875 while on vacation in Maine this summer.  It inspired me to make Gocco printed cards using some of the cooler sea creature illustrations.  Here are the results!  I think the horseshoe crab is my favorite.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Positionable Mounting Adhesive

My friend Cynthia gave me this brand new box of Scotch positionable Mounting Adhesive.  I can't wait to try it out.  I have been a straight glue (PVA) girl for years but now it is time to branch out.  My bet is that this will work well with my New Yorker Journals because the paper is thin and delicate.  

The film is positionable until you put pressure on it and burst the adhesive bubbles.  Keith Smith talks about it in his "Non-Adhesive Binding: Quick Leather Bindings" book.  He offers some detailed advice on how to use it.  Stay tuned and I will let you know how my first experiment with the adhesive goes!


Monday, May 19, 2008

Printing with Gocco!

I ordered this awesome Gocco thermal printing system from Japan.  This is the PG-5 model -isn't it nice and bright orange?  I had fun this weekend printing with it.  I took my daughter's Spirograph set and came up with a couple of nice designs to burn onto the screen.  It was very simple and none of the mess associated with traditional screen printing.  Anyway, here are the results!

This is a brown Moleskine journal.  The inks look great and soaked right into the paper.

The card was the easiest to print - came out looking great every time.  The paper was less absorbent than the Moleskine which I think made printing easier.  

The black Moleskines were the most difficult to print.  I did a few with the same colored inks as I used on the cards.  Initially they looked great but the inks were absorbed by the cover material and you could barely tell that I had printed on them.  So I re-inked in white and went over the colored inks which gives a nice effect.  My only issue was with the white ink which seems much goopier to me than the other color of ink.  In any event, I had a fun time and love the results of my first effort.  

Sunday, March 9, 2008

My Bookbinding Studio

So here is my studio - or at least part of it.  This is the main space where my presses, paper cutters and work bench are located.  I seem to be taking over the basement room by room .  I also have a photo sink and several storage shelves in various other rooms.   

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Final Lego Book

Here it is - the final Lego book:

I am very happy with the way this turned out.  The Coptic binding is nice and tight and the base plates I ordered are just the right size.  Yeah!  See my Etsy shop if you are interested in purchasing one!  They are very fun and addictive...  I never did meet a Lego I didn't like.  Maybe it is my Danish heritage... 

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Lego Books!

My latest interest is turning non-traditional items into books.  See my website for the Shrinky Dink books I have made!  Anyway, I was at the Lego store with my kids this weekend and I thought why not make a Lego book?

This is a tiny prototype (1.25 x 2.5 inches) of what I plan to do with a larger base plate.  I am happy to report that my Dremel drill went right through the plastic like butter.   It was fun and the cover is changeable - a book and a toy in one.  What more can you ask for?