This blog has moved! Please visit my new website:

For the bride and groom

>> Monday, January 31, 2011

My husband and I surprised his cousin, Joy, and her fiance, Chris, with this book a few days before their Key West wedding.  I don't think Joy and Chris had any idea that I'd been working on a book for them, or that their family members had been secretly gathering photos for me to place in the book.

I chose bright tropical colors for this book, with a fun circular print inside for the endsheets, which I felt matched the tone for their sunny beach wedding. Photos are attached to all of the pages with photo corners, starting with a photo taken on their first date. I think guests enjoyed flipping through the book at the reception and seeing photos taken on their vacations abroad, their engagement weekend in Arizona, and their visits to vineyards closer to home.

Wedding guests wrote messages to Chris and Joy throughout the book next to the photos placed on the pages. My husband and I both signed near photos of them taken at our wedding a year earlier. So often when I complete a custom order, I ship the book off in pristine condition with blank pages waiting to be filled with photos and messages. This book was the first guest book I made for a wedding that I attended. It was so exciting for me to be able to see this book as it was was filled with memories, and to include my own message to the bride and groom on pages that I bound by hand.

After the wedding, there were still a few pages with room for messages.  Joy and Chris had another celebration once they returned home from their wedding cruise to visit with everyone who wasn't able to make it for the big day.  I imagine after that gathering this book is now filled and will hopefully be a treasured keepsake for years to come.

As my husband was helping me fill the book with photos, it was his idea to leave the last page blank so Joy and Chris could include a wedding photo in the book as well. I thought it was a great idea because now the book documents their whole journey from budding romance to wedded bliss.


Sunny yellow treasury

>> Sunday, January 30, 2011

I was just featured in a beautiful Etsy treasury, and it was too gorgeous not to share.  I'm loving all of the bright sunny colors, and my yellow Italian long-stitch journal is in good company.  Click on any of the photos for more info about the item.  Enjoy! 

'Daffodil Fields ' by sstormster1















Treasury tool is sponsored by


Congratulations, Joy and Chris!

>> Monday, January 24, 2011

On this chilly winter day, it's hard not to think back on my tropical getaway from November. My husband's cousin, Joy, planned a fabulous destination wedding and we were lucky enough to be able to attend. The whole family set sail on a cruise leaving from Charleston, SC and heading to two ports in the Bahamas before arriving in Key West. There, Joy and Chris said "I do" on a beautiful Saturday morning just a few feet away from the ocean. It was such a lovely backdrop for the ceremony (and all of the guests enjoyed dipping our toes in the water before heading off for a delicious lunch reception).

Our gift to the couple was a handbound wedding guest book, pictured above. The book doubles as a photo album, and Tony helped me to fill it with plenty of photos of Joy and Chris. With the help of some sneaky relatives who helped track down all of the photos, we were able to include photos of Joy and Chris's first date, their travels together around the globe, their engagement, and many more. Wedding guests enjoyed flipping through the photos and selecting which page on which to write their congratulatory messages. Check back later this week for a more in-depth post about this wedding book with lots of photos.

And now for a few more photos from our trip, as I reminisce about our tropical adventure and look forward to the warmer days ahead.

The photos above were taken in Key West as Tony and I enjoyed splashing in the ocean after the wedding ceremony.

Despite the overcast weather during our day in Freeport, Bahamas, we made the most of our day at the beach.

Before one of the formal dinners on the cruise ship, we stepped outside to take a few photos together as the sun was setting (and the wind was blowing). This is one of the only photos from that evening where we don't look completely windblown.


Saying goodbye

>> Wednesday, January 19, 2011

At the end of the month, I'll be saying goodbye to my former portfolio website. Designed during my senior year of college, my website was filled with examples of my photography, graphic design, drawing, painting, and handmade books. I spent months tweaking and perfecting the design of the site, but once I graduated I neglected to update it with new work. And aside from the outdated portfolios, both the design and domain name prominently featured by maiden name. Now that I've been a happily married woman for a year and a half, it's high time for me to let go of

Although my work will no longer be available on my former website, you can now view my updated portfolios right here at linenlaid&felt. You can access my graphic design and fine art portfolios in the links section of the left sidebar. My photography portfolio can be viewed on flickr.

I will continue to post photos of my new handbound books regularly on this blog, but you view some of the books I bound in Italy and during college as part of my Flashback series.  You can also view some new photo slideshows of my work by clicking on the handmade books and custom orders tabs above.


Custom orders made easy

>> Monday, January 17, 2011

It's now easier than ever to place an order for one of my custom books! I've created custom listings in my Etsy shop for my journals, guest books, and albums in all of my standard sizes, which you can view right here. In each of those listings, you can see examples of previous custom orders in that style to spur ideas about the possibilities.

You can pick the colors and decorative paper used for your book, and I can also design a personalized label for you that I will place in a recessed cutout in the cover. The possibilities are endless, and I will work with you to make sure you get exactly what you want.

These custom listings are just the beginning. If you have a specific idea that doesn't fit into one of the categories here, just send me an e-mail to discuss your ideas: linenlaidfelt {at} gmail {dot} com.

You can also visit my new custom order page to view a portfolio of past custom work and to read the FAQs about ordering a custom book from me. 


Birds of a feather stick together

>> Sunday, January 16, 2011

The two books in this post were both custom orders that were given as Christmas gifts this year. They were ordered by two different people in different states, but both customers were drawn to this particular paper for the covers. The paper is a textured, light blue paper featuring brown and gold feathers. (Or maybe they're pine needles? Everyone seems to have a different take on the design, so it's up for debate.) Either way, this paper is one of my favorites and has the ability to make any book more elegant.

The first book, personalized with the initials "CJR," was ordered by a man as a surprise gift for his wife. They both stopped by my booth at a local craft show this fall, and stayed to chat a while about my study abroad experiences in Italy while they learned about my work. The very next day, the man e-mailed me to place an order for a Christmas gift.

The couple travels a lot, and because his wife is an artist he wanted to give her a book that she could fill with her sketches as they visit different places throughout the year. I hope this book turns out to be the perfect place for her to record their travel memories.

I used the same color scheme for both books, but varied the paper choices for the endsheets and guards, using different selections of gold and brown papers.

The second book was ordered a month later at my trunk show in South Carolina. A mother ordered this journal as a gift for her son, who has kept journals all of his life. The book was personalized on the cover with his full name.


A journal for Gail

>> Friday, January 14, 2011

The order for this custom book was placed at my trunk show in November. After seeing a similar journal (which is now for sale in my Etsy shop), the customer wanted one just like it to give as a Christmas gift and she requested a personalized nameplate for the cover.

I used a smooth paper printed with a bold, modern floral pattern for the covers of this book. And the textured orange paper that you see along the spine? I made it by hand in Cortona, Italy! While I used some of my orange paper while still in Cortona, I brought a little stash of it back with me to the States. I recently rediscovered it and I've been putting it to good use ever since.


From fabric to metal

>> Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Last week I shared a few of the handmade Christmas gifts that I gave to friends and family, and now I'd like to share a few that I received.

My husband's family gave me this fabric flower hair clip made by Esty seller PetalMix. All of the petals were cut and hand-folded from beautiful pieces of dupioni silk (my all-time favorite type of fabric), and the flower is completed with a cluster of glass pearls in the center. Petal Mix hair accessories and brooch pins are a modern twist on the Japanese art of tsumami kanzashi.

The earrings above, made by Jayme Driver, were a Christmas gift from my husband. I first met Jayme at Art in the Park last spring, where we made a trade: I gave her one of my handbound photo albums and she gave me the earrings below.

Jayme and I met up again when we were both exhibiting at the Fall Foliage Festival in October. When visiting her booth, I noticed a new pair of earrings that really caught my eye. She must have mentioned this to Tony later that day because I was both surprised and thrilled to find them under the tree on Christmas Day. These two pairs of earrings have quickly become the favorites in my collection and the go-to pieces that I wear several times a week.


Make your own books!

>> Sunday, January 9, 2011

Interested in learning bookmaking? Your chance has arrived. My first class at Shenandoah Valley Art Center, in Waynesboro, VA will meet on back-to-back Saturdays at the end of the month. I'll be teaching an introduction to bookmaking -- no experience required -- in which you'll learn multiple book structures, ranging from simple stitched books and accordion folds to more involved journals with hundreds of pages. The cost is $70 for SVAC members and $90 for non-members. For more information call the art center at (540) 949-7662 or visit their website. Sign up today, as class space is limited!

Two-day Intro to Bookbinding Workshop
When: Saturday, January 22 and Saturday, January 29; 1-4 p.m.
Where: Shenandoah Valley Art Center, 126 S. Wayne Ave., Waynesboro, VA


Inspired by the invitations

>> Saturday, January 8, 2011

Before I begin sharing all of the custom order books I made for the holidays, I want to share a few other books that I completed in 2010. I've had the honor to work on quite a few wedding guest books and photo albums since founding linenlaid&felt (and even a few before then). It is really special for me to be able to create a book for such a monumental life event, and to make something that will likely become a keepsake for years to come.

This album was commissioned by Ryan, a former co-worker of mine, who gave the book to two of his friends as a wedding gift. The design of the book was heavily influenced by the couple's wedding printed materials. When Ryan placed his order, he gave me a copy of their invitation, which I brought with me while shopping in order to perfectly match the shades of pink and green when purchasing paper.

The couple's names and pink patterned paper in the recessed nameplate on the cover actually came directly from the wedding invitation. For my custom orders, I usually design and print the label for the cover myself, but in this case I really liked being able to use a portion of the invitation to personalize the book. The book itself is classic and fairly understated, but the pop of the bright pink pattern adds just the right amount of excitement. Plus, I think it will make the book an even more memorable keepsake.


A Handmade Christmas

>> Thursday, January 6, 2011

2010 was my first year as an Etsy seller, and in addition to running my own shop I also spent plenty of time purusing the shops of many other talented Etsy sellers. Throughout the year I discovered so many unique handmade items unlike any I'd ever seen before. I was itching to share them with the people I care about, so it was an easy decision to do most of my Christmas shopping on Etsy. Now that all of the gifts have been opened by their new recipients, I want to share some of the handmade items.

I bought two lovely pieces of jewelry from TeakaAndZoe, the turquoise earrings for my grandmother and the orange necklace for a friend of mine. I love all of the bright colors in the shop (and I hope to someday add one of these pairs of flower-shaped earrings to my own collection: in red/teal or in lime/turquoise).

The garden markers, made from hammered vintage spoons, were a gift for my mom. She's an exceptional gardener. And the Midwest seed bombs were a gift for my mother-in-law who lives in Illinois and who also enjoys spending time in her garden. The "bombs" are actually little balls formed of wildflower seeds mixed with clay. You just throw 'em and grow 'em (and add a little water too).

5. OhYum :: Sampler of homemade marshmallows

I also ordered several food items from Etsy sellers for the first time this holiday season. The best one was by far the homemade marshmallows made by OhYum! I ordered these to bring to my family's house to share with everyone for the holidays. My sampler pack included eight flavors: pistachio, lemon, cherry, chocolate, coconut, orange, vanilla, and almond. After tasting them all, the cherry and orange were my favorites. I will certainly be a repeat customer of OhYum!

I picked out a popcorn spice kit for my husband, including unique flavors like beer, southwest jalapeno, chocolate caramel, and dill pickle. We tested a few of them out at our New Year's party, and they were a hit. Also for my husband, I ordered some unique bacon treats: candied chipotle bacon, and then a sampler pack of other types of candied and chocolate-covered bacon. So far, we've just tried the candied chipotle flavor (very tasty!), and I'm sure the others will be interesting.

And continuing with the bacon theme, my husband and I selected a bacon tie for our bacon-loving and fashionable friend. If you've never visited ToyBreaker's Etsy shop, do it now! It's packed with clever and edgy neckties, bowties, and scarves, and I picked out three of them a few years back as a wedding present for my husband.

10. LinenLaidFelt :: Handbound photo album

One of the hightlights of this handmade giftgiving was surprising my husband with this baseball card book made by erinzam. We're both really big fans of her work (see my previous post about her here). The covers of this book are made from a vintage, 1955 Bowman baseball card of Willard Marshall of the Chicago White Sox. My husband loves baseball, and is a huge White Sox fan. And coincidentally on our drive down to South Carolina before Christmas, he was talking about baseball cards, and specifically the 1955 Bowman cards that show the player surrounded in a television-like frame. I love the assortment of different papers used for the pages, and the baseball seam stitching style is especially clever. I ordered this gift in June, and I've been waiting anxiously for Christmas so I could give it to Tony.

One of the handmade gifts I gave this year was one that I made myself. My dad has become intersted in photography these past few years since moving to Charleston, SC and each time I come to visit he has a new stack of photos to show. So I decided to make him a handbound photo album for Christmas so he'd have a more elegant way to store and display his pictures (rather than the cardstock envelopes from the photo store). I'll be posting more photos of this book in a future blog post, but here's a sneak peek for now.

And last but not least, my husband picked out a faux-taxidermy creation for his younger brother. His brother's Christmas wishlist included a few books, CDs, and movies, but at the end he listed "something weird for my room." Of course Tony couldn't resist this challenge, and turned to the "everything else" and "weird" categories on Etsy to find this little critter.


  © Blogger templates Shiny by 2008

Back to TOP