Archive for the 'Projects' Category

Robayre100Days part 4

Back for part 4 of my 100 day project. First part, Second part, Third part

Another one of my goals for the 100 day project was to get my etsy shop back up over 100 listed items. In my shop’s glory years (when I averaged a handful of sales a week over several years) I had around 100 items listed in my shop at any time. When I let things slide I realized I had gotten down to less than half that. I’ve been working steadily at bringing it back up again and I think I was around 80 items when the 100 day project began. I did get up to 100 items, but with sales and items expiring, it has dipped below and comes back up again. Now I’ve realized that I really need to get it closer to 110 or so to stay above 100.

A sampling of the paper products that can be found in my shop. It was so fun to arrange, and hang them up like this.

This is a little out order, this was my post for day 100. When we bought our house there was a whole wall with pegboard in our basement and one day when I was down there I had the idea of hanging up some of my stationery sets to get a group shot. The lighting is not so great down there, but this was fun to put together. It’s really satisfying to see the collection.

Because I'm the absolute worst, day 27/100 #robayre100days is finally padding the #stationery I made for my nephew... for Christmas. In my defense, I did give him a few sheets at Christmas but then my computer died and then I ran out of ink and then a spa

This project was long overdue! Last Christmas my nephew (5 at the time) wanted stationery because he has a couple of pen pals. I designed this “adventure” set for him.

I'm capturing this point because I have a feeling that it might all fall apart shortly. #roar

I painted the headers in watercolor, based on things I thought would interest him, dinosaurs, space and treasure maps. When I gave it to him at Christmas, I just printed a few sheets of each and gave them to him loosely. My intention was always to have them in a large notepad for better stability when a little kid is writing in it, so I did just that for the 100 day project. I finally made it into a notepad. 1 single notepad, for my nephew. The bottoms are lined for littles who are learning to write, and the pages alternate with illustrated headers and fully lined sheets. I’d love to design a companion set, and I would love to offer these in my shop, but they would really need to be printed commercially because it takes a lot of time printing and assembling, since each header is significantly larger than the types of headers I print on my regular stationery sets.

Day 51/100 #robayre100days a watercolored background for product pictures. I'm not so sure about it. I may keep adding to it? We'll see.

I painted some large watercolor patterns to use as additional backgrounds for taking product pictures over. A few years ago I drew out a large scribbly grid in a graph paper style and have been using it a lot. I wanted to make a few others so I’d have some variety.

Day 52/100 #robayre100days orange!

I made these checkered watercolors above and a black and white stripe in watercolor too, but I still end up using the old grid one mostly anyway. I think they are too busy and too colorful/saturated. Oh well.

34/100 #robayre100days playing around with a tiny bouquet pattern stationery idea #The100DayProject

A simple lined stationery paper set with the tiny posie theme

Day 65/100 #robayre100days added this #tinyposie stationery paper set to my shop #the100dayproject

I made it using elements from my tiny posie pattern I amade during patternswithanika earlier in the year. This set is available in my shop here.

Watched the latest episode of Game of Thrones tonight and was inspired to paint this for day 36/100 #robayre100days #carveouttimeforart

Inspired by flags during a battle scene on Game of Thrones, I decided to make a notepad. I painted a few of these flag posts before settling on one I liked.

Originally I thought the flag had to say something, but then when trying to decide what that phrase should be it occurred to me that it should be left plain. That way, each sheet could have something different scrawled on it, or left blank, as the user se

And tested it out to see if I’d be able to write my own messages over the printed black. Success!

Day 38/50 #robayre100days i made a notepad of this, which will be listed tomorrow. I also made a few stickers for fun. The stickers are blank but have a glossy top so you can write on them and then wipe it away to change it up. I'd probably do more, but o

For fun I cut down a few of the headers and made them into stickers, where the gel pen was printed on the protective coating, so it can be wiped away and changed as needed.

Day 38/100 #robayre100days in the shop! Each sheet is customizable, using gel pen (see previous post). I also worked on some other things in my studio today, but no pictures to share. #The100DayProject

And the final notepad, which was printed on a natural speckled paper. These notepads are available in my shop. LOVE how it came out. It’s rare that I am inspired and then able to start working on something immediately. That helps so much! I need to make a bar graph that shows how the likeliness of a project coming to fruition declines rapidly as time passes.

Day 96/100 #robayre100days envelopes from my recycled envelope and stationery sets. I altered my listing, so that they can be purchased in sets of 2, 5, and 10 envelopes (each envelope comes with two pieces of lined stationery paper)

Another goal I had for the 100 day project was to update some photos from some classic oldies from my shop, like my recycled envelope stationery sets. They used to be a top seller and I had a lot of returning customers for just this product, but when I let my shop slide they kind of got forgotten about. I still love the product, but I think I need to breathe new life into the listings.

Photo

I made a bunch of new envelopes to replenish my stock. I use an old shoe box (as pictured above) to sort and categorize the envelopes. It helps when assembling them, so I know each pack gets a good variety.

Day 98/100 #robayre100days My recycled envelope and stationery sets have been in my shop since 2006. The envelopes are all handmade from a variety of hand selected, eclectic papers, so no two sets are the same. I designed the accompanying four, fun styles

And here was an attempt to take a new product picture. One thing people have told me before on a number of occasions is that they don’t understand or know what this product is, and even though I love this picture, I don’t think it helps clarify that. I detail what the product is exactly in the listing, but I think most people look at the picture and decide from there if they are interested or not, and so many may not even get to the details of the listing. Maybe the craziness of this pic would make people click just to find out exactly what is going on? I just don’t know how to photograph this product in a way that makes sense, because all the envelopes are different and the stationery designs are a variety as well. If anyone has any suggestions, I’d love to hear it. Another item on my list for the 100 days (but that I never got to) was of a video that would show what the sets are like.

Looks like I will be back with one last post to wrap things up. Catch up on the previous posts here:

First part, Second part, Third part

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Robayre100Days part 3

Back again with another installment.

The first reason I chose to focus on paper products for my 100 day project was because I had so many letter writing paper sets already designed or in process, but just not produced. It felt SO GOOD to finally cross them off my to-do list and put them out in the world! SO GOOD!

I finally listed this #tinypencil #stationerypaper set on etsy. Catching up with #robayre100days since I didn't post one yesterday

I created this pencil themed stationery set using the pencil illustrations I made earlier this year for Patterns with Anika. I still want to make a skirt with fabric printed with the pencil pattern on it.

Day 20/100 These letter writing paper #stationery sets are FINALLY available in my etsy shop (link in my profile). They are made from my watercolor and penciled design, printed on an offset press AND THENNNNN each sheet is hand silk screened with the gold

I don’t think I have ever shared this set on the blog before, but it was probably the first set that came to mind for projects that I wanted to wrap up. I’ve literally had the original rough sketch, AND the base for the original artwork for this set stuck to the door in my studio for YEARS. It is also probably the first stationery or paper product that I created where the lines were my own scribbled lines, rather than inserted digitally. I painted the frame in watercolor, drew the lines in pencil, scanned it and had it printed professionally. The last step is what really kicks it up a notch, because I personally silk screen print each gold metallic swoosh around the edge. These sets really make me swoon.

  #robayre100days cleaning up a scan 19/100   A video posted by robyn wells robayre.etsy.com (@robayre) on

Here’s a little video of me trying to clean up a scan. This was a piece that I made on a whim and then it sat forever needing to be completed.

26/100 I've had it. I can't tell you how much time I've wasted on this piece trying to get a digital version to look like what the real thing looks like. Is it so much to ask? Apparently. #robayre100days #100dayproject #The100DayProject #hello #pullingmyh

I scanned it and tried cleaning it up, then scrapped it and tried to redo the piece entirely, and scan it afresh, and clean again, just to go back to the original and spend an eternity cleaning it up.

#Hello, Day 53/100 #robayre100days, still chipping away at this piece, I hope tomorrow to get good product pics and list it.

I really liked the quality of the pencil and watercolor on the rough cold press paper, but it made for a nightmare to clean, meanwhile keeping all the great texture where I wanted it.

This watercolor and pencil Hello #LetterWritingPaper is in my shop finally. . . . . . . . . . #dailydoseofpaper #stationery #paperproducts #mail #sendmoremail #snailmail #etsy #etsylove #etsyfinds #penpals #snailmailrevival #stationeryaddict #stationerylo

I finally conquered it and had fun taking pictures for the product listing.

10 year Etsyversary Stationery

This might look familiar to you as I created this stationery and offered it as a limited time, free printable download, during my 10 year anniversary celebration.

Robayre Watercolor Lines Stationery Set

This fun digital set is now available in my shop

I'm revisiting this strawberry pattern from last year for day 25/100. I also added it to #society6 and spent tons of time to make the pattern work for leggings but then wasn't really happy with it, so I pulled it. #robayre #robayre100days #The100DayProjec

Another process shot, while I was setting up a layout.

Day 31/100 #robayre100days strawberry letter writing stationery set

I attempted a time lapse for day 29/100 #robayre100days Do you know how hard it is to paint lines when there's a tripod in the way? And then I ran out of space on my phone, so needless to say, no timelapse. I embrace the wobbly lines, but the tripod was r

The strawberries for this came from a few years back. I drew them in pencil, then colored them in very roughly with neo color II watercolor crayons, and then went back in with a wet brush. I think I’ve mentioned it here before, but I took one illustration class in college and one of the things I took away from the class was the importance of scanning while in process and then working over the printed scans. I’m sure I picked it up, because as a graphic designer I know the importance of saving files that way as well. This piece was one that was done in layers that way.

Aaaaand, I finally listed this strawberry stationery as well day 66/100 #robayre100days #the100dayproject

The Strawberry Stationery can be found here in my shop

Anyone remember helping hands in Windows? Circa stranger danger heyday. My folks had one in our window, and the My Favorite Murder podcast mentioned them in a recent episode. Day 56/100 first step in #robayre100days #robayrepatterns (sketch) I scanned it  73/100 #robayre100days #progress #wip #stationeryaddict #sketch #stationerydesign #paperproducts

And here are a couple projects I started, but didn’t finish during the 100 days project

I was looking back through instagram earlier this week and realized that I actually did 3 different daily projects this year (This one and 2 pattern a day months) and I am really proud of myself for all the work I’ve done. That’s it for now. Thank you for visiting and following along on my 100 Day project follow up, stay tuned for more installments, and if you missed the previous ones, you can find them here:

First part, Second part

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#the100dayproject update

I have FINALLY conquered #the100dayproject! I know, I know, it took me WELL OVER the 100 days. In my defense, I could have easily wrapped it up in the 100 days had I allowed myself to post pictures of nearly the same thing in back to back days. Instead I wanted each “day” to be, if not something entirely different and new, than at least visible progress.

I am very proud of myself, and I hope to remember how I committed myself to working regularly on my etsy shop, focusing mainly on paper products, in 2016… rather than spend a huge percentage of my time watching Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu, which is how things could have easily gone.

However, I am NOT so proud that I neglected my blog and didn’t post here about what I was making and doing along the way. So, this is what I’m gonna do: I want to break this up in a bunch of smaller posts and hopefully share all of the finished projects.

And here we go! Day 1 #the100dayproject #robayre100days

I started out the first day with sketchy drawing “Here we go”,

  Originally, I planned this as a notepads. "Here we go" just seemed perfect for to-do lists, but then when I got going it ended up as letter writing paper. What do you think? Stationery paper like this, or a notepad? #robayre100days #100dayproject

which turned into a notepad, stationery paper set and

What a day! I have 20,000 steps. I worked on some more quilted fauxdoris today, which I hope to share tomorrow. I also had this custom request for my Here We Go image as a graduation card.

even a custom requested greeting card.

Day 2 #the100dayproject

I replenished my stock of these metallic embossed card bases that I use for my garlands

Making garlands today for day 10 of #the100dayproject

And then I made some garlands too

Day 4 #robayre100days I sold my last little book like this a couple of days ago and so I spent some time cutting collating and assembly some new ones today. I added vintage sheet music pages and prints of my scribble ruled paper as well. Perfect for addin I didn't have a chance to post yesterday because I was in my best friend's wedding. I made these sheets to put out on the tables during the reception and will later be made into a book for the bride and groom to enjoy later on anniversaries. I found the i

I sold out my stock of these mini ephemera spiral bound notebooks, so I made some more. And I was in my best friend’s wedding, so I altered and updated these cards for the guests to fill out at the reception.

What a weekend! As soon as I post this my head is hitting the pillow. Day 6, #robayre100days #the100dayproject I made this little #jotter with a collage of a monotype print. It's quarter sized and has a mix of blank and ruled pages inside, perfect for art

I added this little notebook to my shop. It is a collage made of my own gelatin prints, made from my own hand cut paper stencils.

Day 9 #the100dayproject today I printed some test prints, and decided to paint and play with some ideas. I have a long list of projects for #robayre100days that are already in various states of progress, but I also want to explore and have a chance to sta

This project was a recurring theme throughout the 100 days as I attempted to create a geometic/space/galaxy themed header for a black and white stationery set.

Hey, sup? Day 59/100 #robayre100days #the100dayproject

I have sheets upon sheets of black rectangle watercolors with all sorts of patterns drawn on them, all over my studio and yet nothing really grabbed at me. Not every idea is an instant success, lol. Someday…

OK, that is enough for this post. It already took me over a week just to post this one update. I hope that it won’t take so long for the next installment.

 

 

 

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#the100dayproject progress

I’m over a third of the way through #the100dayproject. Some days I feel overwhelmed and question why I committed to this project, but more often I’m glad that I did and have been super productive.

My goal was to focus on paper products, and aiming to add 10-15 new products to my shop. I said 10-15 new items because I’ve been trying to get my shop back up to having at least 100 items in it. Since the project began I’ve added 14 (I think) new items to my shop already, that being said, several of those are one-of-a-kind, original items, and I’ve already sold 6 one of a kind items in my shop. Counting all ups and downs, I’m up to 90 items in my shop.

Being this far through the project, I thought I’m overdue to sharing some of these projects.

It started with this drawing, with the appropriate phrase “Here We Go”

And here we go! Day 1 #the100dayproject #robayre100days

I drew it on the very first day to kick off the project.

Originally, I planned this as a notepads. "Here we go" just seemed perfect for to-do lists, but then when I got going it ended up as letter writing paper. What do you think? Stationery paper like this, or a notepad? #robayre100days #100dayproject

And turned it into this stationery. I used charcoal envelopes, and instead of ruled lines, scribbly ones that make me so happy.

Lookeeee what just got added to my shop (link in my profile) Here We Go, 50 sheet #notepads, 4.25x5.5", the stationery version is there as well. #robayre100days Also, don't forget to enter the giveaway and use the 10% off coupon mentioned in a post from t

I also made it into a notepad, because the phrase Here We Go seemed to lend itself well to a checklist, perfect for getting things done, or packing for a trip, etc.

What a day! I have 20,000 steps. I worked on some more quilted fauxdoris today, which I hope to share tomorrow. I also had this custom request for my Here We Go image as a graduation card.

And lastly, and unexpectedly, I had a custom request to make it into a graduation card. I printed it on a light gray paper and did a bit of rearranging of the image.

Stay tuned for more!

Annual Kusudama Ornament

Kusadama collection

Happy New Year! Matt and I sat down and made our annual kusudama Christmas ornament this weekend, just in time to pack away all the decorations. Actually, we made two because last year we never got one done. We have quite the collection now. I’m so glad that Matt enjoys making them as well.

In 2008 we started an annual tradition of making one of these #kusadama ornaments. Last year was the first year we didn't do one, so we made two this year to catch up. This one was made from a mylar coated wrapping paper which made it difficult to assembl

We made this mylar coated wrapping paper one. It made folding and creasing the paper a chore, but it looks very pretty on the tree.

And then here is the make-up #kusadama from last year. I don't know why it never occurred to me before, but I cut down an old 365 Met art calendar to make this one. It's especially fitting this year as my friend Fred that passed away a few months ago alwa

And this one is my new favorite. After piling up years and years of the 365 Metropolitan Museum of Art calendars, I had the idea to cut down some pages to make an ornament. It was actually perfect, because my coworker/friend Fred would always get this calendar for us. Every single day, the first thing he’d do is come and look at the new piece of artwork and then go look it up on google. He passed away a couple of months ago, and I wish I had thought to make him an ornament from a calendar years ago.

Below are the previous years’ ornaments.

Our annual #kusudama ornament. We've made one every year, starting in 2008. Our first one was an oops and ended up being about 10" in diameter, too big and heavy for the tree. #robayrekusudama

2011 ornament

Kusadama from 2012 (but made in 2013)

2010 kusudama ornament

2009 Kusudama ornament

kusadama recycled ornament

Just some facts about the ornaments if you are interested in making one for yourself:

Paper squares (64 pieces) should be no bigger than 3″ square for a resulting 4.5″ ornament. Trust me, our first “ornament” is about 12 inches in diameter! Next year if I remember, I’m going to try 2-2.5″ sized paper, but I’m not holding my breath, as I accidentally cut 4″ on one ornament again this year.

The instructions (if I remember correctly) say to use glue. There is no way you’d ever get this done if you were waiting for each piece of paper to glue together. The first year or two we used an adhesive tape, but that started acting funky over the years, so we have switched to glue gun and it speeds up the whole process and the pieces hold together SOLIDLY!

We follow this 2 step tutorial each year.

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Speed Round – Episode 20

I know! I know! Two blog posts in two days. What?!

I’m posting today because I just remembered how I wanted to start a new blog post series. Every week I look forward to the weekend and a new episode of Art for Ears, the Jealous Curator’s podcast. Danielle Krysa has an amazing blog called The Jealous Curator (subtitled: Damn. I wish I thought of that), where she shares the artwork of artists that she is jealous of. How many other artists out there can relate? (Raising my hand) If you haven’t checked out the blog or her podcast, I highly recommend it. The idea behind the podcast is that Danielle interviews a different artist each week, so that the listeners get a little look into the lives of all kinds of artists. Each episode has a speed round section where she asks the artist quick questions that they should answer without thinking too long or too deeply about them. Each week I try to imagine how I would answer these same questions if I were being interviewed by Danielle, so I had the idea to start this series where I will share my own answers to each week’s speed round on this here blog.

This week’s episode was with artist Kelly Puissegur. You can find the episode of Art For Your Ears here.

1. Beer or Wine
Wine, hands down. I have the palate of a child, so in all honesty, that wine would probably be more like a “wine cooler”.
2. Favorite article of clothing from your teenage years
I had a red zipper hoodie and I wore it through high school and probably college before it became too stained, frayed and holey. Trying to relive that era and comfort, I actually just purchased a replacement hoodie. I bet you’d never guess how hard it is to buy a cherry red, zipper front hoodie. If you go into stores, the hoodies in the women’s section will always be pink or magenta, the hoodies in the men’s section will always be a maroon or burgundy. Online, if you find a red-red hoodie they will be offered in sizes XS or XXXL with everything in between sold out. Or it will be super bulky with that fake wool lining, or have some brand or logo plastered across it. It took me about a year to finally snag a perfect, plain red zipper hoodie.
3. Favorite animal to paint
I can not think of the last animal I painted, possibly a deer on Ann’s baby shower invite? If I had to paint any animal right now I’d paint a cat, since I’m most familiar with how they look.

My Top Gun name
4. If you were a fighter pilot in Top Gun, what would your call sign be?
I only saw Top Gun for the first time last year and meh. I had no idea how to answer this so I cheated and searched for a generator “What’s your Top Gun name” and pow! Hobby! I couldn’t have come up with a better option than that if I sat all day thinking about it.
5. Other than art, what would you love to be awesome at? The first thing that popped into my head is singing. I love music so much, and I really belt it out when I’m alone, but I’m also pretty sure I’m super tone deaf. I blame a bajillion ear infections during my childhood and adulthood.
Bonus: Have you ever gone topless on a beach?
No way, jose! I’m a practicing NEVER NUDE. I’m the layer queen. Layers and layers of clothes, even at the beach.

I’ve really been wanting to do this for a while, so I might go back through old episodes and postdate my answers

International Zine Month and Grass & Stars III

Zines for #littleartbook
Some of my zine collection
Apparently July is International Zine Month, so I figure no better time than now to announce that (after years’ long hiatus) I have finally created issue 3 of my zine, Grass & Stars.

Grass & Stars my first zineGrass & Stars No. 2

Props to any readers that remember my zine, or have even bought or swapped for one in the past. Here are the first two issues. The first zine I ever made was in a matchbox!

zine swap 2015

The new issue, like my very first one, was made for a swap. I was invited by Lelaina Lloyd late last year to participate in an art zine swap and it was exactly the push I needed to make my next issue. The swap was completed mid June (above) and so I am finally sharing it here. It had a size and page count requirement, and so I’m excited to say this is the largest zine I’ve made so far. At first I had no idea how I was going to fill 20 pages of content, let alone what it was going to be about. When the idea of luck came to me, it made perfect sense and everything else fell into place.

Grass & Stars III zine

I had so much fun working on the zine and it was hard not to spoil it all on instagram. I definitely did share lots of sneak peaks though, so I will share them here too. There are plenty of things that I LOVED SO MUCH that I still want to share pictures but I know it wouldn’t be much fun if someone got the zine and realized they’ve already seen it all on instagram.

A little somethin'-somethin' I've been working on

This is a little thumbnail of a coloring book page. I’ve been kinda obsessed with the idea of a fingers crossed emoji for a while, wishing there was such a thing, making my own fake ones and then this. Just last week I bought an enamel pin that also looks like this.

Here's a little peek of a fun grass brooch I've been working on today.

Yes, a set of felt brooches were made specifically to be featured in the zine.

It's totally a fake, held together with hot glue on the back, but ya know, you gotta make your own #luck sometimes 😉🍀

A four leaf clover of course, only, it’s fake. I hot glued the fourth petal, as I shared on instagram, sometimes you just have to make your own luck!

Forcing myself to sit here and do something. Working on a night version of the quilt field spread I did before. #LittleArtBook

Here’s another work in progress that made it into the zine.

Of course these are just snippets that I hope entice you into wanting to see more. This issue contains original artwork, articles, a comic, coloring book pages, a lucky penny pinback button and more!

Issue no. 3 is now available in my etsy shop, and as usual (and in the spirit of zine making) I’m always open to swaps! Just leave a comment or message me!

Greeting Card Little Mailart Book tutorial

4.30.11 Mailart little books

In 2011 I had one of those aha moments where I decided to combine my love of small notebook jotters and mailart. I was in the middle of a 365 mailart project and made quite a few of these little books to send out.

7.15.13 books

Over the years since then, I’ve made a few here and there, where I’ve painted and collaged on the covers which were made from blank recycled cardboard.

I even got one back, from Artist Mim Golub Scalin, where she filled it up and sent it back to me. It was completely unexpected, as I send each one as a gift to the recipient.

Then recently, noticing my hoards of greeting cards, I had another aha moment! Turn these cards into easy peasy little (mail) art books.

Greeting card little mail art book

Maybe you’re like me and have a greeting card addiction. Sometimes I deem them too precious to just write in. Sometimes I hang them up in the house like small art prints.

I keep a little handmade jotter on me at all times. I use it for daily list making and for writing down quick ideas or sketches. Recently, it was time to make a new one and I was thinking about what I would do for the cover when I saw the above mentioned (and pictured) hoard.

Even though the covers might be someone else’s art, I still consider a mailart project because the recipient can fill the pages with their own artwork. It’s like a mini sketchbook that came straight through the mail. Maybe you can send it back and forth between friends, filling it up with alternating pages of art. Or, you may decide not to send it away at all, but just keep it for yourself and that is great too! You may decide to alter your card and make it your own, or perhaps recycle a card that was sent to you, cool and cool! Or perhaps you don’t want to use a greeting card at all, and want to make some mailart books with your own art entirely, like how I originally started out, Awesome!

Greeting card little mail art book

Start out with:

A greeting card of your choice
Some plain paper – Often I alternate blank pages with lined paper
A ruler
A self healing mat
A pen knife
A booklet stapler
Stamps
Washi tape
Ribbon

Greeting card little mail art book

Cut letter sized paper in half and then fold in half. Place folded and collated papers inside card. Most likely the paper won’t fit the card and you will need to trim off excess. I would suggest stapling book together first, then trimming away the extra, as seen above.

Little mailart book

One thing I learned from the book Mim returned to me was to add a ribbon for bookmarking. You could staple it into the binding or feed it between the cover and body pages at the staple (like pictured above) and knot it in place.

Tada! You have made a little book! If you want to keep the book for yourself, you may be done at this stage.

Greeting card little mail art book

If you want to mail your book, you can write the addresses right on the back cover of the card, or print out a label, like I did above. For the purpose of sharing here on the blog, I sent this one to myself. For postage I used 2 forever stamps because I could tell it was small and flat enough, but depending on how big or thick your booklet is, you may need more. I think my original mailart books required over a dollar postage. I also seal up the sides, since it is a booklet. Sometimes I will include a note and rubber band inside and the seals help keep it all contained. Make sure that the ribbon is tucked in and not hanging out, as it could get caught on the sorting machines. From working at a company that sends out lots of mail I know a booklet requires the seals to make it through the mail. In the past I’ve used wafer seals, or art tape to close it, but this time I tried washi tape and it worked like a charm and looked cute to boot.

Greeting card little mail art book

You can see they cancelled my stamps.

Little mailart book

The front cover is the beautiful greeting card art, and the back cover is now the postal side. The inside pages are just waiting to be filled! Awesome right? Now get to it, and make some little mailart books to send to your pen pals, or to keep for yourself.

Edit: Thanks to a comment I decided to add that my stapler is a Long Reach Pro Stapler. I just bought it at our local Office Max, but a simple google search shows that they sell it at Walmart as well. If I remember correctly, when I bought it, the box said it will staple through 20 (or was it 30) sheets of paper with the pressure of a single finger. It is NOT electric, but has CRAZY force. Word to the wise: do not put your finger underneath it, hoping to feel where the staple will come out because it only takes the pressure of a feather to shoot those suckers right into your finger. Good times!

Strike Away Show

2.28 3636 Project

In 2014 I was invited to participate in a group show, curated by Courtney Cerruti, The 36/36 Project. I think this picture above was the one featured on Uppercase Magazine, and my spoon is the upside down, grass green one.

This year Courtney and Alicia Dornadic (AdornDesign) are curating a matchbook themed art show. If I am understanding it correctly, this show is open to ANYONE who wants to participate. Submissions are being accepted until April 15th and pieces must be in their hands by May 3rd, 2015. Like the 36/36 Project, this show will be up at Paxton Gate Curiosities in San Fransisco.

I was really excited to hear about it, but was also hesitant to take on another project, as I have so many unfinished already on my plate. The sign up date was a while away, so I decided to take some time to think about it. And then BAM! In that short time, all of a sudden, I just started seeing vintage matchbooks. First at a pop up show my friend Courtney (of larking.etsy.com)  was participating in. Then at my parents’ house. THEN while sorting my paper hoard I found a whole baggie full of beautiful vintage matchbooks that I had bought at a garage sale years ago, never knowing what I would use them for at the time. That was all it took, I figured these were the signs I was looking for and I signed up. But it hasn’t ended. Last week my SIL and I went to an estate sale and in the basement I found a mishmash box of unpriced items. Just in case there might be a treasure, I started rifling through it and pulled out a binder. It was a matchbook collectors folder, with slits in the pages to hold all your matchbook covers with several pages already filled. One, who knew such a thing even existed and two, how on earth did it come to me and three, now I have a place to store my baggie of beautiful matchbook covers.

Have you heard about @ccerruti's upcoming Strike Away matchbook themed show? While going through my paper stash I found a bag full of these vintage matchbooks and took it as a sign to participate. I'm still not sure what I'm going to do, but I have some i

I’m still trying to decide on what to do for my pieces. I’d really like to use some of my vintage matchbook covers (pictured above), but at the same time how do I make them into my own pieces of artwork without covering the already existing beautiful artwork on each one? I have some ideas and need to start playing!

Now, I’d really love to encourage everyone reading to participate as well! As Courtney said “The more the merrier.” More details and the submission page can be found here at ccerruti.com/strikeaway. AND if you are on instagram, check out the #StrikeAwayShow to see what types of things other people are working on and submitting.

Midori Update

#midori #raydori

I planned this post to be an update on my Midori, but apparently other than sharing it on instagram, apparently I never really shared it here on the blog. So, let’s start with a little back story.

Last spring, you may remember from this post, I was all ready to jump on the Midori Traveler’s notebook bandwagon. After being introduced to them by videos of Kristin Nohe I was hooked.

Rushed home from work today hoping today would be the day. I opened up the mailbox and my heart leapt. My field note sized #midori style (#raydori) arrived. It's green and SO SO beautiful! I want to jump right in filling pages but I think I should first s

I joined this Midori facebook page and connected with Ray Blake who I commissioned to make me a custom Midori styled book (fauxdori, or Raydori as he calls his books). I thought it would be a perfect fit for me. Look how beautiful, green with my name pressed in the cover.

Hello, it's @robayre and I'd like to introduce my new project - a  project I'd love for you to to be a part of. If your little book is store bought or handmade, filled with pencil or ink, stamps or photographs, collage or paint, rivets or weavings, digita

For years and years, I’ve been carrying quarter sized books (sometimes moleskin cahiers, but more often handmade ones) which I fill with to do lists, scribbles or art books. I love these little books because for years before that I was just writing on quarter sized scrap paper and those loose leaf notes and doodles would just be everywhere. I love paper products and now this little Midori would allow me to carry a few little books at a time, keep the subjects (lists vs. art) separated and be more organized.

When I first got my Midori, I wanted to wait a little while until I had really started using it and figuring out how it would work best for me. Well, it’s been more than 6 months, and in short, it hasn’t really gone anywhere.

Fauxdori-raydori

1. Finding out about the midori and getting my own coincided with my absolute falling in love with the square Pentalic sketchbooks, pictured above. I actually finished a whole sketchbook, which rarely happens. Usually it starts falling apart or I get bored with it before I can fill it. Not these! I purchased 5 more to use in the future.

2. I started the Little Art Book community and find that I am working in other little books. When I got the Midori, it came with a moleskine cahier in it and I wanted to fill that up before putting my own books in it, but I’m just not filling the supplied book. After writing this out, I realize I should just toss the one that I’m not using and replace it with a book I’m currently working on.

3. There’s something about the small act of having to remove the elastic and open it, and when I do have it open, because there is so much in there, it takes a slight effort to keep the pages open, it just keeps me from being able to grab it and immediately jot things down.

Fauxdori-raydori  Fauxdori-raydori

I have two full sized books inside, one for notes, lists and ideas, and the other book for art. There are also a couple of other inserts and smaller books made from scratch paper inserted as well. So far, I definitely use the book for text a lot more, but even that I feel like I don’t do as often as I did before getting the Midori.

Fauxdori-raydori

Here you can see some of the other inserts, I used coin collectors album page to hold things, binder clips to section off areas and I use stickers and washi tape to bookmark pages that I want to reference again quickly. As you can see, I use it and I still carry the Midori with me everywhere in my bag and I’m not giving up on it. I just think I need more time before it becomes a real necessity or my first go-to book.