Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fall Craft Fair Schedule

Here it is - the final list of where you can find me many weekends this Fall! I love talking to my customers so come out and say hello.

Crafty Bastards
Saturday November 10th 10 AM-5PM
Union Market
Washington, D.C.

Handmade Holiday
Saturday, November 17th 10 AM - 3 PM
T.C. Williams High School
3330 King Street Alexandria, VA

Chanukah Mart
Sunday, November 18th 9AM - 3PM
Temple Sinai, Washington, D.C.

Handmade Arcade
Saturday, December 8th 11AM - 7PM
David L. Lawrence Convention Center
Pittsburgh, PA

Saturday, December 15th 10 AM - 4PM
1101 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA

Sunday, October 21, 2012


There are places that are so special their memory remains vivid even after they are gone. One of these place for me is the Franz Bader Bookstore. A store I was privileged to work in on Saturdays for several years in the mid 1990s.  My friend Cynthia worked at the store during the week and she recommended me for the Saturday position.

The book store specialized in art, architecture and design books with a small German language section (a section near and dear to my German husband's heart.)  The owners, Sabine and Richard Yanul, were warm and welcoming.  Stepping into the store was like stepping into their living room. Of course books were everywhere but so were fabulous items they had found in a lifetime of collecting: the 1934 New York World's Fair plaque by the front door, the Eames chair to sit in while flipping through a perspective purchase, the art deco cigarette stand masquerading as a business card holder and the rotary dial Bakelite phone, to name a few.

A section header from Franz Bader

Sabine was the heart of the store imbuing it with her impeccable sense of style. She fussed over the window displays and constantly re-organized shelves to highlight different titles.  At Christmas time, my favorite time of year in the shop, she went all out with the decorations.   She loved stocking the old style Advent calendars smothered in glitter she remembered fondly from her childhood in Germany. Customers adored her and every Saturday regulars came in to talk to Sabine or to go in the back for philosophical discussions  with Richard.  She had the talent to be helpful without being overbearing and she had an encyclopedic knowledge of art and design books currently in print as well as those out of print.

A few books purchased at Franz Bader

Sabine  treated her staff as family and we adored her, coming back regularly long after we had moved on to other careers. I left the Saturday job to take weekend book conservation classes.  After class I sometimes came back to the store to catch-up with Sabine and Richard. I brought both of my newborns by the shop to show them off.  When the shop closed in 2008 Sabine called to offer me the wooden flat files for my new bookbinding business.  The furniture was all gone and Sabine, Richard and another former employee and I sat in the now empty store.

I kept in touch with Sabine over the next four years, not as often as I would have liked, but as much as a mother of two small children could manage.  We met at art galleries, enjoying new shows. The last time I saw her was two years ago at the Yves Klein exhibit at the Hirshhorn.  We had a long lunch and took our time viewing the show.  It was a lovely day.

Last week I received the news that Sabine passed away after a brief illness.  The news was inconceivable.  How could someone so full of life depart so quickly?  Given that her Mother is still alive, I thought we had years and years of lunches and exhibits ahead of us.  Ruhe in Frieden Sabine. Ich werde Dich in guter Freundschaft immer in Erinnerung behalten.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My Frigate

One of my favorite Emily Dickenson poems is "There is no Frigate Like a Book."  You know the one:

There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul!

I have a book I return to over and over again.  It isn't very high brow but it is a good story and it reminds me of one of the favorite points in my life.  I remember reading it for the first time when I was 19.  At the time I was living in Scotland in one of the most beautiful cities on earth, Edinburgh.  I had no obligations or commitments and my biggest decision was what film to catch at The Filmhouse and where to drink a pint afterwards (usually Bannerman's.)

My "frigate" is Weaveworld by Clive Barker.   I first heard of Clive Barker when he gave a talk at The Edinburgh International Book Fair.  It was relatively early in his career and he talked at length of being on the Dole while completing his first book.  He was self deprecating and funny so I bought his book. He is better know for his horror books Hellraiser and Books of Blood.  Weaveworld is more in fantasy than horror.  The story takes place in Barker's hometown of Liverpool and revolves around a world woven into a tapestry.

The cheap paperback edition I have is not in great shape.  The first twenty or so pages have detached from the textblock and the cover is abraded.  Maybe one of these days I will put my book conservation skills to work and tackle its repair.  I don't want a hardback copy or a better paperback version.  I like my worn book that has the power to transport me to another place.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Paris - The Bookbinder's Tour

These are the bookbinding highlights of my three day trip to Paris in April.  Yes, I did the usual things and saw the sights you have to see when in Paris but I also had a chance to enjoy the bookbinding side of the city.  First stop, The Louvre with their exhibit, open through June 11th, Livre/Louvre.  An interesting and interactive look at how reading stimulates the mind.

Next stop, Musée de Cluny, the museum of Medieval Paris.  The highlight of the museum are the Unicorn Tapestries.  However, for a bookbinder, this hand painted fencing book  is a work of art.

On the last day in the city my husband Eric and I visited Relma, the family-owned bookbinding supply company.  They have a huge selection of papers, leathers and tools.  I was thrilled to discover that they employ a Scottish manager, Alison (on the right), saving me the embarrassment of attempting to order supplies in French. Plus I lived in Scotland many years ago and have a special place in my heart for all things Scottish!

My favorite purchase is this double pass, hand marbled paper.  It was marbled with one pattern, dried and then marbled on top of the first pattern with a second pattern.   I can't wait to make extra special books with this paper.