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Great food and new books at Stone Soup Books

>> Thursday, April 22, 2010

Stone Soup Books and Cafe is a charming little spot in downtown Waynesboro. It is located in a 115-year-old farmhouse surrounded by a garden. Stone Soup sells new and used books, displays local artwork, and serves up some of the best food in town. I am excited to announce that they are now selling some of my handmade journals. They currently have two large and two small Coptic journals, and a few of my mini concertina books on display. I'm also going to be bringing in a few more, like some leather-bound Italian long stitch books, as I finish them.

Stone Soup is walking distance from our office, and Tony and I usually try to head down there about once a week for lunch. Aside from their ever-changing specials and delicious soups, for the past year my go-to item on the menu has been the brie, pear, and honey sandwich on multi-grain ciabatta bread. It is such a fantastic creation, and is one of the best sandwiches I've ever tasted. Tony and I went into Stone Soup again earlier this week and I decided to branch out and try something new. And I'm glad I did, because I think I now have a new favorite on the menu! The goat cheese and spiced walnut sandwich with balsamic vinaigrette dressing (also on the multi-grain ciabatta) was fantastic. I had been a little wary of trying it because I didn't know what I would think about a cheese and nut sandwich, but it was surprisingly hearty and tasty.

If you live near the Shenandoah Valley, I highly recommend stopping by Stone Soup for a bite to eat. And please check out my journals while you're there too!

Stone Soup Books

908 West Main Street, Waynesboro VA 22980
Monday - Saturday: 10 am - 6 pm; Open until 9 pm on Fridays


From the front page of Etsy!

>> Wednesday, April 21, 2010

One of the large Coptic journals from my Etsy shop was featured on the front page of Etsy today. Check it out in the slideshow below.

I actually didn't see my book up on the homepage live, but was thrilled to find out that it was featured on the front. I'm glad I was able to find a screenshot of it at though so I could share it here. This featured helped me make two sales today, and get lots of hearts too, so I couldn't be more excited.


Handmade photo albums

>> Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I wanted to share a few photos with you of some photo albums that I made recently. Both of these albums are currently for sale at the River City Art & Wine Emporium. They are the perfect size to hold 4x6 photos, while leaving room to write captions and memories about the pictures. One great feature about these books is that the paper is folded at the spine, making it twice as thick. This leaves room for the book to expand when photos are added so the pages don't bulge.

I love the blue paper used for the pages in this album. I think it makes it a little different from a typical photo album. It's fun and fresh, and coordinates with the cheerful floral Paper Source print used for the covers.

My favorite part about the Japanese stab binding used for these albums is the endless variety of patterns that can be used when sewing the book together. Each of these two books use a different pattern, and I made another album over the weekend (I'll be posting photos soon!) that uses yet another pattern. Also, as a side note, the pattern used for the book above is very similar to the one I used for my wedding invitation booklets.

The covers for this album is made from some of the cherry blossom paper I had left over from these custom books. I've been loving this paper lately, so I'm glad I still have some left to use for other projects. Books made with this paper are just so lovely and feminine.


Storefront shopping

>> Sunday, April 18, 2010

upcycled wine gift bags

As I mentioned earlier, my upcycled wine gift bags are currently for sale in downtown Waynesboro, VA at the River City Art and Wine Emporium. Tony and I stopped by over the weekend to take a few photos of the bags in the storefront window. Each bag is made from the sleeve of a men's dress shirt, and I tie on a matching gift tag with a ribbon. Each gift bag is one two of a kind!


Flashback Friday: Italian newspaper book

>> Friday, April 16, 2010

On July 9, 2006, Italy won the World Cup and I was there for it. And by there, I mean that I watched the game on a large outdoor screen in a jam-packed piazza in Cortona, Italy. When Italy won, hundreds of people paraded through the streets, car horns honked all night long, and red wine literally rained on the crowd. The next day, I bought several newspapers to commemorate the event.

One of these newspapers was used to make a set of two books, one for me to keep and one as a gift for Tony. We're newspaper people. Always have been, always will be. We were both editors of our high school paper, as our relationship was just beginning. And now, ten years later, we once again work for the same newspaper. Tony is the city editor of The News Virginian, and I work as the production manager.

These books aren't archival and they're not perfect, but they're intended to be unique souvenirs from a summer spent binding books and watching "football." This gift sparked an interest in collecting international newspapers for Tony, and he's since had friends bring him papers from places like France, Brazil, Canada, and Jamaica.

The book itself is fairly simple. All of the newspaper pages were torn down to size by hand, which allowed for the rough edges of the pages. The covers were essentially a collage of different photos, headlines, and graphics that I found especially intriguing. The books were bound in the Coptic style.

Since I work at a newspaper and constantly have stacks of outdated newspapers at my disposal, I've been considering making more books similar to these. I'm planning to sell my books a few craft fairs in town throughout the upcoming year, and I thought some books made from the local newspaper could be pretty popular. I even saved all of the newspapers from our record-breaking snowstorms this winter for future bookmaking purposes.


My upcycled shirtsleeve wine bags

There's a great little shop in downtown Waynesboro that features a rotating assortment of wine and beer (especially local varieties) and unique gifts. River City Art & Wine Emporium is one of my favorite shops, and is definitely a highlight of a slowly regenerating downtown. And every other Friday, they host a wine tasting that Tony and I usually try to attend.

Earlier this week, I stopped by to meet with the owner about selling some of my work in the shop. I couldn't be happier about her enthusiastic response. She wanted me to bring by some of my work right away because she's expecting a busy weekend (the city is hosting a fly fishing festival tomorrow). I currently have two handbound photo albums and five of my sewn wine bags for sale. The wine bags are made from upcycled shirtsleeves, and I made the coordinating gift tags from extra pieces of fabric from the shirts.

Upstairs in my studio, I have a stack of about 20 cut-off sleeves ready to be turned into wine bags. And I'm looking forward to another thrift store trip to sift through racks of men's dress shirts in hopes of finding some new gems. I'll also be posting photos soon of the albums I have for sale in the shop.

River City Art & Wine Emporium

407 West Main Street, Waynesboro, VA
Tuesday - Saturday: 11 am - 6 pm


Artist Feature: Lauren Chester

>> Monday, April 12, 2010

In honor of my good friend Lauren's birthday this week, I wanted to feature her photography on my blog. I met Lauren the summer before we began our freshman year at the University of Georgia. We became instant friends, especially after learning that we were both art majors. Throughout our first few years of undergrad, we spent many long hours in the studio together drawing larger-than-life self portraits, welding abstract sculptures, and experimenting with new printmaking techniques (and plenty of time trying to keep each other awake during early morning art history classes as well).

Lauren is one of my greatest sources of artistic inspiration, and one of my most cherished friends. She was one of my bridesmaids in my wedding last summer, and I was thrilled that she was willing to take my bridal portraits and document our rehearsal dinner. (She also deserves special recognition for driving five hours to meet up with me to try on dozens -- is than an understatement? -- of bridesmaid dresses before we decided on these lovely dresses.)

Lauren recently moved from Georgia to New York City, where she is studying art therapy at the School of Visual Arts. I think this is a perfect fit for her because not only is she a talented artist, she is also one of the most caring and understanding people I know. And while her move to NYC has been an adjustment, it certainly hasn't hindered her ability to create. This year, she has taken on the quest to take a photo each and every day. She posts her Project 365 photos on her blog, and here I've included a few of my favorite images from the year (so far). She also posts photos periodically on flickr. Through these daily posts, I feel like I'm able to stay up to date with the events of Lauren's life in the city, even though I live miles and miles away.

Happy Birthday, Lauren! I hope your day was everything you'd hoped it would be. Can't wait to see your newest photos!

Lauren Chester



Flashback Friday: Collaborative Clue Book

>> Friday, April 9, 2010

Ok, I admit it. I've missed a few Fridays lately with this Flashback Friday series. Custom orders, an upcoming craft fair, and restocking my Etsy shop have been keeping me busy lately. And I've been blogging about all sorts of other things, from artists features to haircuts. But the flashbacks are back with a collaborative book from 2008, which seems particularly relevant because I'm currently participating in a collaboration with members of BEST.

As our final project for a relief printmaking course at the University of Georgia, the entire class collaborated to make a series of limited edition, perfect-bound books. The theme was "Clue," and the inspiration could come from the board game, the movie, or just a general feeling of mystery.

The pages I made for the book are shown above. I carved an image of the board game pieces into a sheet of linoleum, and then printed it onto rag paper with black ink. For this particular print, I added green paper to the edges of the pages, as well as to Mr. Green's shirt. But each print was different, using the corresponding colors for Mrs. Peacock, Professor Plum, Mr. Green, Miss Scarlet, Colonel Mustard, and Mrs. White (from left to right).

The image above was made by my classmate, Patrick Triggs. His page was one of my favorites in the book. Rather than referring directly to the board game, his image is actually a self portrait partially covered by a larger-than-life thumbprint.

Maggie Smith created a series of tarot cards featuring the Clue characters. Instead of serving as a page in the book, they fit into two pockets inside of the book.

The cover, shown above, was made by our instructor Jennifer Manzella.

Participants: Kathryn Byrne, Matthew Cremeens, Bess Gaby, Katie Graham, Alexis Gruczkowski, Sophie Howell, Timothy McLeod, Morgan Roberts, Emily Rossell, Maggie Smith, Danielle Tobin, Colin Tom, Patrick Triggs, and myself


linenlaid&felt logo design

>> Monday, April 5, 2010

I started working on some logo designs for linenlaid&felt this weekend, and I've come up with two different variations that I think are working pretty well so far. I recently updated the banner for my Etsy shop so it includes the square version, and it's also the new profile picture for my facebook fan page. The rectangular logo is now incorporated into the header for this blog.

What do you think about the logo designs so far? Do you like how there are two different versions that can be used in different instances, or is that confusing? Any general thoughts about the type, colors, etc? I'd love to get some feedback before I design and print business cards for myself.


Snip, snip!

I've always been a long-haired kind of girl. I even grew my hair out so I could donate 14 inches to Locks of Love during college. But ever since I saw these photos in the September issue of Real Simple magazine I've been considering a shorter style. I finally took the plunge this weekend, and this is certainly the shortest my hair has ever been. I was a little unsure about it at first, but I think it's growing on me.

In fact, my hair is even shorter than my husband's right now (although not for long; he's got a haircut scheduled for tomorrow). And he was kind enough to take these photos of me as we walked our dog in the park after work today. The fabric flower headband is from J.Crew, and I think it works nicely with the shorter hair.

The photo below is from our honeymoon in Portland, Oregon last summer. That haircut probably comes in second in terms of my shortest styles. I kept my hair long for our wedding so I could get an up-do, but I stopped by Rudy's Barber Shop on the very first day of our honeymoon to try something new.


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