Tuesday, October 14, 2014

DIY Type Cabinet

I have been tired of this pile of plastic boxes that house my lead type for my KwikPrint hot stamping machine for a long time.  No one box holds an entire font and the plastic is not aesthetically pleasing. I
have priced type cases on Etsy and eBay and didn't want to pay $175 and up for a wooden box.  When  I found this affordable steel utility case I knew I could turn it into the type case I wanted.

Three of the four drawers had metal 3"x3" dividers.  However, I needed a lot more sections than 12 per drawer.

So I cut up some strips of Davey Board and created a box to place in the drawer with 35 sections. 

This allows me to fit a whole type font, spacers and punctuation per drawer. It was no easy task to cut and glue the row dividers but it was worth the effort.

Not only is the case more functional than the plastic boxes but the industrial look of my DIY type case also looks much better with my machine!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Turning Fabric Into Bookcloth

High quality paper backed bookcloth is a cinch to make at home with a few basic supplies.  Virtually any cloth will do.  In this example I am using Japanese linen fabric I purchased at Britex Fabrics on a recent trip to SanFrancisco. 

The fabric needs a lining because the weave of most cloth would allow too much adhesive to seep through when covering boards. I use a heavyweight Japanese paper like Okawara to line the fabric and a wheat starch paste such as Zen Shofu to attach the lining to the fabric. Cut out your fabric and a piece of Japanese paper the same size as the fabric.

Place the Japanese paper on a piece of waste paper and liberally apply the wheat starch paste in a star pattern starting at the center of the paper and moving out to the edges.

Drape the fabric onto the pasted out Japanese paper and smooth out from the center outwards.  Do not overzealously rub down the fabric as that could cause distortion to the fabric pattern.

Finally place the newly lined fabric between Hollytex (a non-wover polyester) and blotter and weight with a piece of plexi glass. The "drying sandwich" should be blotter, Hollytex, fabric, Hollytex, Blotter.   If you are not a conservator and these materials are not lying around your house you can sandwich the fabric between pieces of wax paper.  The dry time will just be longer. 

After drying over night the bookcloth can be used for full cloth bindings!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Getting Back to an Old Friend

After a long hiatus (two years?) I've finally re-opened my other Etsy shop - Not New Shop.  A celebration of all things vintage.  I've trolled thrift stores and yard sales for most of my life so this is my attempt to clear out the clutter of things I no longer collect.

My fascination with souvenirs knows no bounds.  This is just one of the many oddities I've found over the years - a set of floating candles from Vatican City from 1908.

This pair of sweet sterling silver earrings have old fashioned screw backs.  I always think of my grandmother when I see screw backs. She thought only "dubious women" pierced their ears!

My husband used to collect vintage razors and other barber shop items.  Then we had kids and we boxed up all the sharp objects.  Time to let them go after a decade in a box!

Wearing vintage jewelry was so much fun but now I have simpler taste.  This Hattie Carnegie costume piece is a stunner.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Olivetti Lettera 32

It's that time of year when I should be telling you about new products and holiday craft fairs.  However, I've recently purchased an Olivetti Lettera 32 so I'll talk about that instead! The Lettera 32 was produced by Olivetti, the Italian typewriter firm, from 1963-1977.  My serial number is relatively low (2294387) so my guess is this is a 1963 model.

Close-up of the Olivetti Logo 

Carriage Return Lever

I love the design elements on this machine.  It was designed by legendary Olivetti designer Marcello Nizzoli as a follow-up to the Lettera 22.

I like that this particular machine was made in the original Ivrea factory at the foot of the Alps.

I found this 1962 exhibition catalog at work, "Stille Olivetti:  Gescichte und Formen einer Italienischen Industrie" with this stunning photograph of the Ivrea factory.

It types like a dream.  Purchase something from Moonlight Bindery and you just might receive a typed thank you note!

Friday, October 11, 2013


As a furloughed Fed I found myself with ample spare time to explore the Arts Walk at Monroe Street Market specifically a new shop called Analog. Monroe Street is located in the Brookland neighborhood of Washington, D.C. across the street from Catholic University.

Melissa hard at work
Analog is the brain child of Melissa of Craftgasm and Lisa of Beltway Vintage. The shop has a great look and feel and lots of unique items for sale. The space is Melissa and Lisa's studio and retail shop.  Monday through Wednesday they work in the studio and Thursday through Sunday the retail shop is open for business.
Fashion magazines, postcard notebooks & vintage treasures

Analog is decorated with vintage furniture and luggage as well as Melissa's maps.  The feel is funky and fun. The shop also carries some great alternative fashion magazines including the local Lurie & Wilma "an eco-chic lifestyle publication" and Worn, a Canadian magazine that offers in depth articles on the history of fashion.

The librarian side of me was very fond of these library card notecards as well as the card catalog display shelf!

My Purchases
I came away with a fabulous vintage dress, issues of Luri & Wilma and Worn, library card notecards and an array of Girl Scout merit badges. I will definitely be back for some holiday shopping!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Vacation Inspiration

I'm back from vacation in Maine which provided me with much needed rest and inspiration. Back to the stress of DC life and the excitement of preparations for Crafty Bastards!  

 Even the railing of this dock amazed me with these lichens. Did you know that of the estimated 2 million fungi and lichens out there only 238,000 have been identified?  There is a full-time job in that for someone.

In addition to visiting my usual haunts like Liberty Tool I stopped by my favorite paper store in Wiscasset Rock, Paper, Scissors where I purchased many things including this fabulous paper.  Look for these new great designs at my Fall craft fairs. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Screen Printing Bookcloth

This year I've concentrated on product expansion. For years I've screenprinted (specifically Gocco printed) onto notebooks and cards. I thought why not bookcloth?

Step one is burning the screen.  I chose a new image for my first experiment in printing cloth, this hedgehog print. Here is the Gocco screen ready to go.

The bound books are too thick to fit into the Gocco press so I print on the cloth and then bind the books after the printing process. You have to leave just the right amount of space to make this work.

Here are some bound examples.  If you place the image too far to the right or left it will be off center on the final product.  Tricky but the results look great.

The screenprinted journals go nicely with my other printed products rounding out the line.