Monday, September 28, 2015

Sewing patterns

Every year, I join other papermakers around the world in participating in a "Swatch Swap." We all make handmade paper that we send into a Swap leader who then takes all the little swatches of handmade paper and puts them together in a book, then sends every participant their own book full of these little goodies. This summer, a friend cleaned out her basement and found tons of old sewing patterns. Of course, all my friends know, when you have any sort of paper that you are thinking of throwing away, you should pass it along to me! I gladly accepted the sewing patterns and threw them in my stack of various papers and scraps.

When I started sifting through my papers to decide what I wanted to make for the swap, the patterns caught my interest because of their texture and the ink on them. I made a batch of paper with them and loved the result: a beautiful crisp sheet of paper with lots of interesting flecks in it. I am glad I made extra sheets to keep for myself and play with! I'll let you know if I make anything really cool!

Want to make something for yourself with these papers? Buy your own set here:

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Special Auction: David Marshall Estate

Hand Papermaking is conducting a five-day auction of fine book and paper art generously donated by the estate of David Marshall. With opening bids ranging from $5 to $600, over 50 items will go to the highest bidders, in support of our non-profit programs. Preview the items now by reading text descriptions here: and viewing photos here:

Place your bids before the gavel falls on September 29 at 2pm Pacific, 5pm Eastern, 10pm GMT.

Last year in June, David Barhydt Marshall Jr. passed away suddenly at his home in Washington, DC. He was only 64 years old. David had a particular passion for decorated papers, broadsides, and fine press books; all of which he avidly collected, and also produced himself in his spare time at home and at annual summer classes. He was a loyal and generous supporter of Hand Papermaking for decades. He served on our board of directors 2004-2009.

Hand Papermaking owes an enormous debt of gratitude to David. We will never forget his huge heart, his easy laughter, and his contagious enthusiasm for handmade paper and its community.

Please join us here as we open the bidding on September 24 (his birthday) and help us celebrate the life and legacy of David Marshall.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Happy fall y'all!

Love this treasury featuring my plantable paper hearts in pumpkin orange to celebrate the season. Happy fall y'all!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Self inking

Loving my new self-inking stamp! I invested in it to replace the huge rubber stamp I have that never makes as clean an impression as I would like. I had to use an expensive, over-sized stamp pad for this large poem. Using a self-inking stamp means I can save space as well as the cost of frequently replacing such a large ink pad. Plus, I can take a stack of cards and stamp them in about 10 seconds, rather than stamp one, then ink up again, then stamp, then re-ink, then curse at getting my fingers in the ink and, consequently, a fingerprint on the card. It's the little things!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

My thinking chair

I did some furniture re-arranging this week, which resulted in this wing chair being moved out of a bedroom and getting temporarily plopped into my studio.

I didn't really want the chair in my studio but I am so attached to it that I couldn't move it in the basement or some other forgotten place. This chair has spent too much time in an unloved corner. It had been in my parents' home for my entire childhood, in an attic where its upholstery had already been so old back then that it had ripped and fallen off in patches. I ignored its age and used it to play house after covering it with an old sheet. I sat in it throughout my childhood, to nurse all of my pretend babies and to use as a retreat and hiding spot when I was a brooding teenager, until I left home. When I was searching that same attic for furniture for my first apartment, I sadly passed it up. The bones were great but the upholstery and cushion were too far gone. My sweet, sweet boyfriend took note of my love for it. One Christmas after we were engaged, I opened up a present for a 6-week adult education upholstery course. My love for the chair grew after I invested in very expensive upholstery fabric and touched every part of the chair as I cleaned it, replaced the springs, built up and fixed parts of the chair, sewed the piping, measured and cut the fabric, then hammered every tack carefully into place to secure the fabric.

A handful of years ago, I added a little more love to the chair with a set of handmade pillows. I was taking a fiber arts class where I was learning embroidery and sewing. I can't remember the assignment now, but we had to make two pillows which showcased 10 or so different embroidery stitches and several different machine stitches to prove our proficiency. These pillows were the result.

While other furniture was still getting rearranged, the chair lived in my studio for a few days this week. I have always looked at this chair and pillows and felt a homey, happy feeling. It feels like my own little nest so I was naturally drawn to it in my studio. I sat in it a few times and realized the chair had landed in its new spot. It is right next to some very bright windows for reading. It faces the shelves in my studio where all of my supplies and finished work live. I can sit and daydream about projects and make connections to materials that I hadn't seen before. Plus, my cat - who has never slept in this chair before - has suddenly taken up residence to be close to me while I work. Need I find a better reason to keep it there?