Rags to Riches is designed especially to share handmade books, journals and paper art. The objects on this blog are made totally of recycled materials or discared paper, and cardboard. Please feel free to comment on any of my postings. I would love to hear from you.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Exciting News and Exhibition Ended

I am proud to announce that my book "Past Life" was picked up by Richard Overell the Rarebook Librarian of Monash University to be included in the Rarebook collection under Art books and Monash Authors. Past Life was part of Rags to Riches II Exhibition and a description of it reads: Re-purposed book cover painted over with artist's paint. Tin cans were crushed by the wheels of cars in the blue parking permit area of Monash University, Clayton Campus.

This art book represents the modern era because the tins included Coke 0 and Pepsi Max even though it took me over two years to collect all the tins from the parking lot. There weren't many tins lying around to be crushed by cars!

Here I am on the day we took down the exhibition. It was quite sad to see the end of it, but all in all the exhibition was well received by the public. We have no planned for the next exhibition. At this point I would like to have a break from trying to meet deadlines for a while and to enjoy the holiday season. Merry Christmas everyone and thanks for visiting.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Leather Bound Books

I have not post anything here since the exhibition. Not only I have been making too many books (bookburned) lately, but life is running away with me. I do have load of books that I have not posted here before so today I have chosen this set of leather bound books I made for the Papermaker of Victoria's exhibition last year. They are also in our exhibition at the moment too.

I found a large piece of hard leather from Reverse Art Truck that was perfect for the covers of these books.

I intended to cut up a large piece of leather and make a few books out of it, but the odd shape of the piece made it difficult. I didn't want to waste too much leather, so I decided to leave the exposed area uncovered and I inserted fancy paper as part of the signatures. After making the first book, the second and third were fun to make with different insert papers. I like hanging charms at the end of handmade cords as bookmarks.

You can see them better standing up. The stitching on the edges were hand stitched. I added a layer on top of the covers using leftover pieces of leather. I used every leftover bit of leather for these books. I enjoyed creating the set and feel very satisfied that I used a discarded piece of leather to create unique handmade books.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Exhibition Opening Speech Part 1

Finally I have managed to upload the Exhibition Opening Speech part 1 video. It was a much bigger video than part 2, so with DH's helps we found the way to reduce it to an acceptable size for uploading to the blog. Right, here we go the Exhibition Opening Speech Part 1 by Dr. Raphael Zimmerman just click play and with the sound on your PC turned on you should hear the speech.

Enjoy and thanks everyone for your support to make this exhibition successful.
I will post more of the exhibit photos in the following weeks.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Exhibition Opening Speech Part 2

Part 2 of the opening speech by Dr. Raphael Zimmerman. He concluded with a praise and toast to all the exhibitors and guests.

Lastly I would like to thank Dennis Kishere for his innovative thinking of taking this video of the speech. This has given me the opportunity to post a video for the first time on my blog. How much there is for me to learn about this blogging technology! I am enjoying it. It is the best way to share what I create with the world.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Exhibition Opening: We did it!

WE DID IT!!! We had the opening this afternoon and it went very well. It has been a hectic few days getting ready for the opening. I had to make sure that I remembered to take everything for setting up on Firday, but when I actually got there the plan had to be altered slightly. I had to quickly put on my thinking hat while I was cleaning the cabinets, but in the end I came up with the solution. Two of my students Ayako and Dennis came to help set up. I found that the process of setting up was fun and creative. I did need someone else to bounce my ideas off for it to work.

Finally the time had come. Tom and I set off a bit early to make sure that all the arrangements with the gallery were allright. When we arrived, Dennis was already there. It wasn't long before people were arriving. We had enough finger food and drinks for everyone. The MGA had generously provided us with wine and champagne. The speaker, Dr. Raphael Zimmerman and my dear friend Jane arrived and the rest of the event went very smoothly. We had about sixty guests in total. I took quite a few photos and here are some of them.

Dr. Raphael Zimmerman our guest speaker is a Visual Arts graduate from Monash University majoring in print making. He is a practicing artist and is focused on his current painting. In Dr. Zimmerman's speech he mentioned that art and craft are now merging into one. He praised our work as crossing over from one to the other. Dr. Zimmerman attracted a lot of attention from the listeners.

Kumi, Dennis and myself were ready to receive our guests. One of the display cabinets is behind us. It was a nice day for a photo shoot.

A visit from Cathrine Harboe-Ree, the University Librarian. It was a pleasant surprise to see her there. From left, Cathryn Harbo-Ree, Natima Palaskas, Kumi Suzuki, Dennis Kishere, Jane Hammond and Jane Rumbold.

I took this photo of Dennis yesterday after we finished setting up. You can see one of our exhibits in the cabinet. It was a book clock made by Jane Rumbold.

This is Ayako standing by one of the display cabinets. Ayako could not be here today. She is on her way to Japan for her sister's wedding. You might remember the wedding journals she made for her sister? Ayako, I hope you have a safe trip.

The guests were listening to Dr. Zimmerman's speech.

You can see a glimpse of the exhibits. The white looking stuff on the bottom shelf is recycled shredded plastic. We just laid the exhibits on top of them. We have different recycled stuff in all the bottom shelves of every cabinet.

More visitors and friends admiring our handy work.

I think they really liked our work. I think I need a holiday...! I didn't think that it is going to be a lot of work, but you have to put effort into everything if you want it to be successful . To think that this is our second exhibition in a year; we achieved quite a bit.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

One Day to go

One day to go before the opening of Rags to Riches II. It is all organized except setting up on Friday and just turning up on the day, Saturday 31 October at 3:00 PM. In the meantime I thought I would post one of the items in the exhibition here for you. It is a new book; not sure I can call it a book. It's more like sculpture than a book...!

Past Life

I've given it a name Past Life because of how everything come together as a book. I re-purposed the book cover and painted it over with artist's paint. Tin cans were crushed by the wheels of cars in the blue parking permit area of Monash University, Clayton Campus. I collected the tin cans over the years. I like the really squashy ones with the rough gravel marks on them. With the help of my friend Lynette I gained the confidence to paint the book cover with layers of artist's paint. It looks great. The photo does not do it justice; I wish you can all see it in person...!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Rags to Riches II Exhibition Catalog

I am pleased to say that the Rags to Riches II exhibition catalog is finally finished! I am so relieved it is ready to go to print. There are a total of fifty-four items in the whole collection. Complete with the photos of us nine in the group, I managed to fit everything into six pages. It will be printed double sided, that is 3 pages per catalog. That will work out very nicely.

It's exactly a week tomorrow before the opening day, Saturday Oct. 31 at 3:00 PM. I only have to make name badges for the exhibitors and myself as a curator, and hopefully my job is done here on the computer. The setup day is on Friday before the opening. I have to go in this Saturday to check the last minute arrangements with gallery officer.

Here is the catalog to share with you. The exhibition is on for the whole of November, so please drop by anytime. You might notice that the logo I used on the catalog is the same as my blog banner. The reason was that I started this blog when we had our first exhibition and I didn't want to keep posting about handmade books on on my craft blog so, I created this blog using the same name.

Members of the group from top, Jocely Bloye, Jane Hammond, Ayako Hatta, Dennis Kishere and Le Tuan.

On this page are Peter Mathews, Natima Palaskas (me), Jane Rumbold and Kumi Suzuki.

Click on the catalog to enlarge the images so that you can read the small print. I wish you could be there in person and share our excitement, but if you can't, please enjoy the catalog and I would love to hear from you. Big thanks for your support and help in lots of ways. If you are visiting this blog for the first time, you can read more about the exhibition here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Papermakers of Victoria

I am a member of Papermakers of Victoria and in this month newsletter The Deckle Edge I was featured in the member profile column and I would like to share it with you. For easy reading you can enlarge the image just by clicking on it.

Friday, October 2, 2009

You Are Invited

October is here and it is time for me to put a thinking cap on and get ready for The Rags to Riches II Exhibition. It will open on Saturday October 31 at 3:00 PM. I posted about this a couple of months ago on Exhibition Announcement. The exhibition will be at the Monash Gallery of Art, Wheelers Hill, VIC 3150. Everyone is welcome, but please RSVP by leaving a comment on this post so, we have a rough idea of the numbers for catering purposes.

This is the invitation to be published in the Library Bulletin next week. I've also sent some off to colleagues and friends that might be interested in coming. The exhibition will be on until Dec. 5th. if you can't make it for the opening. I hope you will drop by to have a look at the later date.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ayako Hatta's Works

I am so proud, Ayako Hatta is one of my bookmaking students. We meet once a week for only an hour during our lunch break. The three of them Ayako, Kumi and Dennis started handmade books from scratch. Being a quilter and stitcher I can't help but incorporate embroidery and quilting into my books. Dennis was the first to ask if I could show him how to do embroidery. I showed them the basic stitches such as blanket stitch, cross stitch, stem stitch and French knots.

We have been together for over a year and to see what they can make now is amazing. They are all creative in their own way. Ayako created these two wedding journals for her sister's wedding. She embroided their initials on each of the journals and surrounded the initials with embroidery designs. After that, she bound them both into journals using stab stitch technique.

Here is Ayako adminring her own creative work. She is so pleased of how they turned out.

The closed up view of both journals. The cloth she used came from Reverse Art Truck in Ringwood, Melbourne.

Ayako's intention is to get each of the Bride and Groom's family and friends to sign each journal. Ayako thanked everyone in the group who had given both verbal and physical help such as stitching the leather corners and drilling the holes. She said that these journals were really a group effort, but of course it was totally Ayako's original idea. Congratulations Ayako, you made me proud...!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Combo Book

I like giving my students challenges to work on. Challenges are great to get them thinking outside of the square. I give them a brief outline of the projects and get them to think of what to do and what materials to use. It was quite a while ago that we were all making combo books. I gave each of them printed cardboard to use as covers, and we used all types of recycled materials that we have on hand as the signatures (pages). The results were very amazing.

This is my combo book. I fished out the printed cardboard from a recycled paper bin. You might have read somewhere on here that I like printed cardboard, so naturally I always spot it in the recycled bin. This one is very colourful and not damaged. I added a few bits of hand torn paper onto the cover as decoration.

You can see what I used for the signatures. I used some recycled envelopes, office mail envelopes, handmade paper, pages from old magazines, bubble wrap plastic and the pink paper that was an office folder. Of course everyone else's books look totally different from mine. I hope you enjoy looking at my one-of-a-kind combo book.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Winner of Birthday Giveaway

We returned from our mini vacation tonight (Sunday 23 August). Without delay, I got busy preparing for the giveaway draw. My random generator system consists of typing out all the entries, cutting them up into strips, and putting them all in a hat. I then got DH to draw one out for me. I think that this is as fair as it can be.

Here he is in action drawing a name out of the hat!

And the winner is Julia from Julia's Place Congratulations Julia for your entry.

Here are your winning prizes:

A handmade Coptic Stitch book and a book made from CD ROM. I am sure you will like them.

This was my first giveaway since I started blogging 8 months ago. I really enjoyed the process. I enjoyed planning it, making the journal, and looking for something to go with it. I am already thinking of another giveaway at around Christmas time.

Thanks everyone for your enties. I am sorry I did not respond to any of you because I was away from home and the only internet connection was through my iPhone. Typing with one finger is never a favorite of mine!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Birthday Giveaway: IS NOW CLOSED!!!

I have been planning this giveaways for quite sometime now. I thought the best time to do this would be on my birthday month which is August. Because we will be taking a mini vacation from August 15 - 23, it is a good time for me to post my giveaways before I leave.
I will draw the lucky number when I return on 23 August. I will have giveaways on my other blog Notjustnat as well, so please go over and enter there too.

I wish everyone whose birthday is in August a Happy Birthday, and I hope that someone will remember and bake you a birthday cake. If not, have one from me HAPPY BIRTHDAY...!

And here are my giveaways:

1 - A handmade Coptic stitch book made by me using a discarded dust jacket for the cover. The pages have been left blank for you to fill in with your activities. Animal lovers would love this book.

2 - A CD book with handmade a Japanese paper cover. The pages in this book are black. You need to use a silver pen to write on it.

All you need to do to enter is:

a) Leave a comment on this post; b) post this link on your blog; c) Sign-in as my follower and please mention on your comment that you have done so.

Please include a blog or email address so that I can contact you.

The Giveaways end on Sunday August 23rd EST at 6:00 pm. The winner will be drawn by random generator system and be notified asap.

It has been fun planning and making the giveaways, and I hope the winner will enjoy using them too. Don't forget to go over and enter for the giveaways on my other blog: Notjustnat
as well. Please pass on the word to any of your blogger friends.

Good luck everyone and thanks for visiting...!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Exhibition Announcement

I have good news to tell you. Rags to Riches's second exhibition is going to be at Monash Gallery of Art from 31 October 2009 - 6 December 2009. The first Rags to Riches exhibition was held at Monash University Library, Clayton Campus in March of this year. The exhibion was very well recieved by both the staff and students from the university. Now we are fortunate to get accepted into one of the great community Art Galleries in the area. We are very excited and looking forward to it.

Monash Gallery of Art is located at 860 Ferntree Gully Road, in Wheelers Hill, Melbourne. I am so excited to have our work exhibited in such great venue.

This is one of the exhibition areas. It is called the Community Exhibition Space. It is situated between the main gallery and the public library. Our exhibition will be viewed by not only the gallery visitors, but the visitors that use the library as well. We will have five show cabinets to use for our exhibits. How exciting is that going to be?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Journal make in Book Frame

When I started bookmaking I didn't realize that they are many ways of making books. My first book was made using a single sheet of A4 paper. The next book was a concertina book using discarded cardboard for covers. When I started teaching (free of charge) my colleagues, I had to acquire more techniques and skills. Luckily, I am an all-rounded craft person. I can sew, stitch, embroider, weave, knit. I can always teach them something they have not learned.

To keep up with new skills and challenges is very motivating for me. Of course I know my limitation, I don't go into skills that need carpentry or mechanical mechanisms. The project I just learned recently would have been very hard to do in the traditional way, but because I am only making a small journal the technique is more than adequate for what I am doing.

I agree it does look pretty complicated at first glance. This is a book frame using for sewing book pages together. The traditional version of it is made of timber and steel bolts, but this is a simple version (my version) of a book frame. It is made out of a hard cover book with the window cut out of the cover. The book title is Great Women of the 21st Century. Good book to use for this project. You don't know how excited I was to discover this technique from a library book. It's much easier than I thought it would be. I leapt in and started this great project using my very own handmade book frame. The result is as you can see below!

Here is what I made using the above frame. It's a journal for all occations or as gift. I have a feeling it's going to be a gift for one of my friends at Christmas. The cover is black leather printed over with graffity type prining. I have used two old fashion clasps for the closure. If you click on the picture to enlarge you will see the clasps better.

And this is how it looks when it is opened. I made an envelope type of cover so if you have dockets, photos, show tickets etc., you can keep them safely inside when the cover is closed. I am very pleased with how it turned out.