Friday, April 29, 2016

Traveling Skewer Book

©Anne Rita Taylor 2016

Taking a trip by car, boat or plane? During down time - you can think great thoughts or have interesting conversations with Questions from the Traveling Skewer Book.

Two pieces of wrapping paper or handmade paper - 5 1/2 by 8 1/2 inches
Two pieces of color coordinated paper -  5 1/2 by 8 1/2 inches
2 pieces of ribbon - 15 inches each
Twelve questions to ask while traveling - see below.

Prepare two signatures: 
One piece of handmade paper and one piece of coordinated paper each.
Punch holes in both signatures an inch from the top and bottom.

Place a skewer inside each signature.
Thread the ribbon from the outside into the first signature, around the skewer and out.
Repeat for the second signature using the same ribbon.
Snug up the ends, creating a tight tension.
Tie a knot, make a bow.
Repeat for the other hole.
Snip sharp ends of the skewers.

Use double sided tape to adhere
your questions, such as:
What do you daydream about?
What are your favorite crayon colors?
Did you have something funny happen on a trip?
Which author living or dead would you like to meet?
What would you like to sell in a TV commercial?
What do you miss the most when away from home?

What was your all-time favorite vacation?
If you opened a restaurant what is your house specialty?
What's your favorite fast food meal?
Which would you give up - if you had to - pizza, hamburgers or hot dogs?
What would you perform in a talent show?
Would you rather live in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago or San Francisco?

Actually I prefer Houston, Texas!

Skewer Books are quick to make! Interesting quotes you find make a nice gift too.

Friday, April 22, 2016

David Jones Lettering

©Anne Rita Taylor 2016

By Anne Rita Taylor
I won a Scholarship in 2012 from the Houston Calligraphy Guild. I knew I had to do a meeting presentation at HCG within the year which is a requirement of winning.

By David Jones
While I was working full time I found an online class from an Australian Calligrapher, Gemma Black, on David Jones Lettering, which I had never attempted. David Jones (1895-1974) a poet and calligrapher from England, wrote a page of calligraphy as if he were painting a picture.

By David Jones
David Jones combined Latin, Greek and English. “Exit Edictum" comes from the account of Christ’s birth in St. Luke’s Gospel. Along the left side: “I am Redit Apollo” comes from Virgil’s Fourth Eclogue (selection). Jones preferred colored backgrounds and lettering in colors.

Gemma’s workshop consisted of three lessons, the first two had four exercises each. My letters were written with colored pencils and nibs. Annotating what I wrote with and wrote on was a new experience for me to record what worked and what did not.

We emailed back and forth. Gemma gave me good suggestions on my first attempts and I had hope that I could improve with more practice. Writing on a ground of white acrylic paint was a fun learning experience!

For my Houston Calligraphy Guild presentation I penned my own Exemplar (A to Z) of David Jones Letters. I did not present any of Gemma’s calligraphy since attendees were taking photos and I wanted to preserve Gemma’s copyright protection.

My calligraphy on the cover of the 8 page books I made for each person at the Houston Calligraphy Guild presentation on May 2013. It was a full house with about 60 people attending!

A more recent alphabet I wrote in my journal.

I highly recommend Gemma Black’s teaching! I was lucky to meet her in person when she taught at the Legacies Calligraphy Conference in Dallas during July 2014. We had a lovely time at The Marriott Renaissance Hotel.

Please leave a Comment if you liked learning about David Jones Lettering!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Folded Paper Pouch

©Anne Rita Taylor 2016

I made these pouches for each person in my writing group. With a list of words we used as prompts for writing an essay. After writing for 15 minutes, we would read to the group what we wrote - fun!
Blender, strainer, sponges, towels
Scissors, bone folder
24 inch ribbon
Rubber stamp for front of Pouch, see my Carving Images for Prints for carving instructions
Journal prompt words: Recognition, Honesty, Routine, Assertive, Productivity, Profound, Silence, Respect, Rebellious, Unique, Legendary, Expansive, Achievement, Harmony, Hope

  • Follow instructions in the Arnold Grummer Paper Making Kit
  • Cut handmade paper into an 8 inch square
  • Fold into triangle using the bone folder; Open and fold into opposite side triangle
  • Turn the paper over
  • Fold in thirds again using the bone folder to measure: 2 & 5/8 inches
  • Open and fold the other way into thirds again - the bone folder makes the creases sharper
  • Open and collapse it together 
  • Fold in middle parts on opposite sides
  • Push it together gently
  • Punch hole in one end
  • Tie knot on the inside 
  • Wrap ribbon around and loop through ribbon to tie another knot outside.

Makes a fun wrapper for a small gift too and a lovely way to use handmade paper!  

Friday, April 8, 2016

Creating Roman Lettering

©Anne Rita Taylor 2016

When I saw Roman letters I thought of capital letters I learned in elementary school. A famous example of Roman lettering comes from the inscription on Trajan’s column, a sculpted Rome pillar marking the triumph of the emperor Trajan (AD 98-117). 

I learned about Roman calligraphic rules by taking a Peter Thornton workshop several years ago. Each letter can be grouped according to its width. Below: Playing with Prismacolor pencils.

Starting with monoline letters is easier. Within a Parent Box, O and Q fill up the space. About 1/4 wider is the M & W. The C, D & G fill up 7/8 of the Parent Box. Then you have the letters that fill 3/4 of the Parent Box: A - H - K - N - T - U - V - X - Y - Z.

B - E - F - J - L - P - R - S fill 1/2 of the Parent Box. The letter "I" stands alone. And spacing between letters can take years of practice! Some say spacing between words is equal to the small letter “o” yet others say spacing is between the stems of the “H."

omans are necessary 

for my White Vine calligraphy click here: also my Checkerboard calligraphy:

Alternative ways to write variations of Roman capital letters are fun! 

Playing around with calligraphy placement.

Fun experimenting with different kinds of paper and ways of writing! Writing on Strathmore Parchment Paper and bouncing the letters, writing every other letter above the line, gives a certain lightness to a quote.

This is the book I made in Peter Thornton's class with my notes and calligraphy exercises.

I enjoy the practice of calligraphy! Please send me any questions in the Comments section.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Edible Book Day

©Anne Rita Taylor 2016

April 1st is Edible Book Day, celebrated since 2000, with the Books 2 Eat Festival in Houston and globally too. Tonight festivities held at 7:00 pm at The Printing Museum. For this event I created my "A is for Apples" book using a French Link Binding.

Here are some of the steps I took sewing the French Link Stitch. I begin by making sewing stations (holes) inside my sewing cradle using a needle awl. 

Glossy white paper cut 7 3/4 by 4 3/4 inches to fold six pages together to form a signature. Six signatures for a total of 144 pages in the text block. A page in front and back are glued with apple end papers to each cover.

I wanted to have a ribbon to tie to an apple, but also tie a bow after the apple is eaten. So besides having the ribbon I also have the two hinges to prevent the book from going wobbly.

I sewed two kettle stitch areas at the head and the tail. Even though I started sewing from the outside, at the last sewing station (hole) I thread a needle, make a kettle stitch, then bring the thread inside to knot and tie off. 

I placed the book in my Arnold Grummer Paper Press for a few hours before I glued the apple end papers to the front of the text block & front cover, and repeat for the back cover. 

The French Link stitch is a pretty binding with an open spine where you can see the stitches.

I'm happy with how it came out! Thanks go to Lee Steiner, current President of the Houston Book Arts Guild who suggested using a basket and the title, A is for Apples, too!