Posted February 20, 2012 by Leah Hoffmann
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The New York Times magazine ran a great story this weekend about papermaker Timothy Barrett, whose hand-crafted pages have been used to mend historical documents from manuscripts to musical scores. There’s lots to think about here, but first and foremost:
Barrett’s work has been driven by the notion that good materials, worked by hand, transmit their power in ways that the products of less painstaking manufacture can’t. “I have to believe that the eye and the hand take it all in, even when we’re not aware of it,” he said. There’s a poignancy to his work, given that paper’s long role as the repository of cultural memory and accomplishment is being usurped by swift technological change.
The piece is well-worth reading, as is the online slideshow that shows Barrett at work.
Posted January 6, 2012 by Leah Hoffmann
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I was poking around online when I came across an old post by needlepoint blogger Cynthia. Cynthia sells her designs online at The Drawn Thread; as it turns out, she’s also a fan of the Note 27, and even stitched her own cover for it!
Pictured above and available for sale here, the cover is a perfect complement to the planner, and every bit its aesthetic equal.
Posted July 7, 2011 by Leah Hoffmann
in Beautiful Creations, Cabinet of Curiosities, Pens, Paper & People | 1 comment »
While preparing yesterday’s post on scrapbooking, I was reminded of some photographs I’ve been meaning to share… I’m fortunate to have a cousin who’s a talented goldsmith, and who was also generous enough to make our wedding rings. But cooler than that, almost, was the set of photographs she gave us — twelve pictures she took as she worked to document the process.
As a writer, I’m in awe of people who make things — it’s so satisfyingly real and concrete! And while every job has its own set of satisfactions, these images make it seem like the most amazing thing ever to take a chunk of metal and shape it into something gorgeous and meaningful.
Posted September 17, 2010 by Leah Hoffmann
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Marie Johansen is a quilting artist whom we’ve blogged about before. She also works with paper, and was gracious enough to share images of an awesome mixed media card she made with some Decopatch paper and a sheet of copper-colored tin. Here’s a close-up of the latter:
To learn more about the project and view additional images, visit Marie’s blog.
Posted August 13, 2010 by Leah Hoffmann
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When it comes to crafting, I really never got beyond elementary school. (Though I’m still determined to make a quill pen, once I get my hands on the right knife!)
I defend myself with the assertion that most elementary school projects are actually pretty fun. To wit: making paper snowflakes, which I did earlier this week while playing with my new shredder scissors. No, it’s not seasonal — though I certainly wouldn’t mind if New York temperatures were a bit cooler — and it’s not really age appropriate. But it was nonetheless a nice break from an otherwise adult day…
Posted August 10, 2010 by Leah Hoffmann
in Cabinet of Curiosities, Planning Tips | 3 comments »
Welcome to my new favorite office supply: shredder scissors.
I had no idea such a thing even existed until I went to the MoMA store to pick up a Muji file box and saw this pair among the desk accessories. In the end, I opted for a cheaper model on Amazon, and I am very happy with the purchase.
The idea is pretty straightforward — there are 5 parallel blades that cut thin strips as you close the scissors.
Obviously, it’s not something you’d want to use to shred a 60-page document. But it’s absolutely ideal for shredding things like credit card solicitations and whatever other scraps of paper you want to keep private. (Which is great if, like me, you’ve chucked your big electric shredder deep into your basement since it takes up too much space in your office.)
I imagine there are also plenty of crafting applications if you wanted to fringe the edge of a card, or even make your own confetti.
Posted March 1, 2010 by Leah Hoffmann
in Pens, Paper & People | 3 comments »
Karen sent me a few sheets of Clairefontaine DCP paper in the fall. DCP (which stands for “Digital Color Printing”) is a thick, white, glossy, A4 printer paper, and it’s apparently designed for printing photographs and other color graphics. It comes in ivory, too, and can also be used, Karen told me, for bookmaking.
I don’t have a color printer, and I haven’t tried to make a book since the 3rd or 4th grade. Frankly, I found the A4 size a little awkward at first, since it’s thinner and longer than standard American paper and didn’t really fit into any of my binders. So I stuck it in a folder and forgot about it until this weekend, when I needed to customize an old tea box for a present and didn’t have time to go out and get the proper supplies.
DCP, it turned out, was just the thing for the job. I wanted something I could write on (so decoupage was out), but I also needed paper that was thick enough to hide the images on the box I was reusing:
Continue reading »
Posted January 22, 2010 by Leah Hoffmann
in Pens, Paper & People | 1 comment »
I’ve said it before, but everyone has their own idea of what makes a perfect planner. Most of us muddle through by selecting the company and format that best suits our needs, and perhaps a bit of customization.
Some dedicated souls, however, bust out their pens and their rulers and make the planner of their dreams. As a non-crafty person, I’m in awe of the patience this requires. But I can certainly see the appeal; after all, what other planning system can claim to be exactly tailored to the way you think and live?
If you’re curious about exploring homemade planners, check out Chet Chin’s posts about converting her large Habana notebook into a 2010 planner — then making sure it feels like her own.
Chet does her customization in advance and by hand, but reader Dave Terry uses a date stamp and stamps each new day as he goes. He also creates a detailed index so he can find things later. You can read more about Dave’s planning system on his blog and at D*I*Y Planner (which, incidentally, has a wonderful collection of ideas and templates for customized planners).
Posted October 7, 2008 by Leah Hoffmann
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I’m not a crafty person. I can’t draw, knit, cross-stitch, or make pottery, and the crown jewel of my sewing experience was the apron I made in 7th grade Home Economics (a subject they still teach in the Midwest, at least when I was a kid).
Nonetheless, even I was impressed by how easy decoupage is. After I suggested the technique as a way to customize date- and notebook covers, I figured I might as well figure out how to do it myself, so Karen kindly sent me some Decopatch paper, glue, and a paintbrush.
I started with a notebook, and without much of a plan. But decoupage is perfectly suited to that—if you add a piece of paper that you think is going to look good, and it doesn’t, you can always cover it up with another piece, or balance it out somewhere else. Not that my final design (pictured above) is going to win any prizes. Still, it’s nice and colorful, and it felt good to do something with my hands other than write or feed myself.
Do you decoupage?