Monday, April 18, 2011

Brains on Paper

My friend Ann Turkle, a writer and long-time journal keeper, refers to some journals as "brains on paper."  I keep a couple of journals that seem to be well-described by this label.  One of them is shown below in three views.  It's a design notebook that I use for Piece Works, a micro-project that a friend and I share (see our blog at in which we design,  make,  and sell wallets and things made out of upcycled materials-- birdseed bags, chip bags, coffee bags, etc.  We do a fair amount of custom work and a large amount of troubleshooting as we research the strongest materials and how best to use them. 

This is a fold-out page that I taped in.  It's a design for a custom wallet.

This page shows measurements and directions for the same job.
And this page shows some troubleshooting that we did early on in the project when we were refining our basic designs.  The book itself I made out of a bird seed bag using the design described in Tutorial #2.  No one would call this art journaling;  I think of it as essential journaling!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Real Edible Book

Here's a photo of Maya's and my edible book.  This view shows the three Big Hogs looking at the Forest Hog (center, with chocolate jimmy hairs on his back).  The next view shows the broccoli and marzipan trees to better advantage, and also the quote that is pressed into the other side of the cake.
This view shows the edible book from the other direction,  showing the back view of the hogs and facing the forest hog.  You can also see the acorns and apples that the forest hog eats.  The grass is edible Easter grass.  I never knew such a thing existed!  In the background you can see a little bit of other books.  Check out for a full report on the festival!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Different Kind of Edge

 The pink forest hog in today's post is NOT from Tobacco Barn but is actually a marzipan hog that my granddaughter Maya and I made together for part of our entry in the April Fool's Day Edible Book Festival at our local center for the book, Asheville BookWorks (  We made a cake and frosted it with fondant, then we arranged four marzipan pigs, some broccoli and marzipan trees, and some marzipan apples and acorns along with edible Easter grass to make a rendition of a favorite book of ours, Three Big Hogs by Manus Pinkwater.  We printed a quote from the book using plastic letters that Maya's mom had in her cake decorating box.

At the end of the festival, after the judging and voting for favorites, everyone ate the edible books.  All that was left of ours was our big forest hog minus one of his tusks (since repaired).  He looked lonely on the ravaged cake top, so I brought him home to live on my drawing table for a while, and made these drawings of him today.  (Maya won the prize for Best Child Book Artist, and our entry won the popular vote.  A fine time was had by all.)