Thursday, December 10, 2009

Just found a blog I love

Just found a blog I love...

paper & type

crayon studio

Karen Carpenter
Thanks papergirl, for featuring and tweeting out the single letter kits.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse

I am excited to announce that Secret Leaves' work has been published in a design book. And not just any design book. The book, 1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse is one in a series of my favorite design books, the 1000 series from Rockport Publishers. In my opinion, Rockport is one of the best, if not the best publisher of books on graphic design. I already have 1000 Graphic Elements and 1000 Greetings in my personal design library.

1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse 
The Scrap Journal, a perennial Secret Leaves favorite, scored a full page (page 19) in the book, which features all manner of quirky, beautiful, useful and ingenious recycled products and art.

Recycled journal diptychl  
1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders and other fine bookstores.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

What happens in Vegas...

Just got back from visiting my dear friend Kelley in Las Vegas. We have been best friends since fifth grade...and without going into how old we are, that's a l-o-o-o-n-g time.

Sharon and Kelley copy
That's me on the left, Kelley on the right.

I don't have a single picture of the Strip to show you. Frankly, I was kind of appalled by it. It is pretty--in a way--but I just kept thinking that only in America could there exist this kind of excess, extravagance and over-indulgence. Still, I think everyone should see it at least once.

Kelley treated me to LOVE, the Cirque du Soleil show set to the music of the Beatles. I have to admit that when the show first started I thought 'I'm not going to like this.' But it just got better and better (and more and more trippy) as it went on and I wound up absolutely loving it. And of course, the music was amazing. There is a little video clip on their website that hints at how cool the show is. If you ever go to Las Vegas, I highly recommend it.

Image courtesy of MGM Mirage

On Sunday, we drove to Zion. I didn't realize that Zion National Park, along with the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon and others, I'm sure, are just a few hours drive from Las Vegas.

Sandstone bluffs at ZionDeer grazing at ZionYellow flowersIMG_2954IMG_2963Twin peaks at Zion
Golden peak at Zion
Red peak at Zion

Now I ask you, how can the Vegas strip compete with this?


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tagged by Tyler of periwinklebloom

I have been tagged by my dear friend Tyler at periwinklebloom. Ten random things about me:
1. I wrinkle my nose when I laugh. Sadly, the evidence of this has become a permanent part of my face.
2. I don’t like sushi.
3. I have, at various times, had red, blonde, black, brown and burgundy hair. Currently, I am a brunette.
4. When I was younger, I used to say ‘No husbands, no children, no pets, no plants.’ I have all but the children.
5.I can't go to the movies without ordering popcorn with butter on it. Lots of butter on it.
6. I have a scar on my chin, one on each knee, one on my calf, one on my eyebrow, in both of my eyes, one on my butt cheek and one on the small of my back.
7. As a general rule, I am not a fan of romantic comedies.
8. I have amassed a good-sized collection of dead bugs.
9. Although I am pretty good at it, I dread public speaking.
10. I just got a new kitty named Snowpea.
Flame point Siamese "Snowpea"
I tag Ria at My Mommy Manual, Julie at Bricolage, Sparrow Salvage, Millie Motts and Beverly at La Paperie & Cozy.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Brooks Salzwedel

Look at this artist's work:

Little Anacin Tin
Little Anacin Tin - Brooks Salzwedel

High Forest Tin
High Forest Tin - Brooks Salzwedel

Broken Wires
Broken Wires - Brooks Salzwedel

Salzwedel-11-16-06, 11/16/06, 1:17 PM,  8C, 4300x9425 (2736+2430), 150%, 7-19-06 Hi Con, 1/100 s, R59.5, G55.8, B77.2
Home Like Me - Brooks Salzwedel
Graphite, acrylic, resin

Hanged #2
Hanged #2 - Brooks Salzwedel
Graphite, resin, pipe end

Found via the excellent Bioephemera blog. Many thanks to Joe Allgren for alerting me to this artist's ethereal, evocative work.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Map Photo Album

Below are pics of a custom-designed trip photo album I completed recently. It is to be a wedding gift for a couple who are traveling around the world for their honeymoon.

Map photo album
The cover was a map of Central Europe taken from a 1924 World Atlas. The back cover was a linen-textured handmade paper.

Vintage French linen seam binding
The album was tied with two pieces of vintage French seam binding.

Map photo album endpapers
The endpapers were from an old 1950s atlas and said Occident and Orient--fitting for a trip around the world.


Photo corners
I included old-fashioned picture corners that matched the heavyweight, cream-colored interior pages. The packaging coordinated with the album's endpapers. One packet had a European postage stamp and one had an Asian postage stamp.

stamp detail

I hope the couple likes it.


Monday, July 13, 2009

New products, discontinued products and Secret Leaves' name in lights

I have a few pieces of news to share and thought I would share them here. First, I am excited to announce that handmade stationery products from Secret Leaves paperworks have been selected as movie props for upcoming Screen Gems feature film The Roommate, starring Leighton Meester of Gossip Girl, Minka Kelly from Friday Night Lights and Cam Gigandet of Twilight fame. Recycled paper journals, handmade recycled stationery, 100% post-consumer recycled gift enclosures and handmade greeting cards were among the items selected as set dressing for the suspense thriller, which is currently in production.

As a result of the Screen Gems news, Secret Leaves has been getting some good local press as well. We were featured in Sauce magazine's Daily Sauce and also in the St. Louis Business Journal. The story is also circulating the web. Kind of a fun little tidbit, no?

Secondly, I am dropping some items from the line and have added some others. I have three Cigar Box album kits left and once they are gone, I won't be offering them anymore. This is largely because when I first introduced them, there wasn't much of anything like them out there, but now I am seeing all kinds of items packed in cigar boxes for much cheaper than I can afford to offer them. The good news is that the three I have left are on sale, marked down from $85 to $45! Email me if you are interested in them.

Kit #1 - Maduro SOLDCigar Box kit

Vintage lovelies

Scrapbook kit contents

Pennoyer Sanitarium

Kit #2 - Partagas SOLD Scrapbooking kit

vintage labels red border

vintage paper ephemera


Kit #3 - La Gloria Cubana SOLD
La Gloria Cubana

Bookbinding kit

recycled paper goods

Milk an economical food

There are also some new blank note cards added to the line, which are not on the web site yet.
Hummingbirds and nest card detail

Birds & Acorns detail

wholesale notecards blank
They are quite lovely, multi-purpose, have across-the-board appeal and are reasonably priced at $3.95 each, retail. (If you are a shop owner, email me for wholesale prices. For those of you who haven't ordered in awhile, there are several other new products you may not have seen.)

If you have any questions or would like to purchase something, you can contact me here.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sweet organic cotton for your kid, toddler

Our good friends over at periwinklebloom have their sweet organic cotton toddler clothes on sale right now. Loose-fitting and carefree, they are perfect for these hot summer months and will take your little one right into fall and winter as they are perfect for layering.

Periwinklebloom mangle dress
Periwinklebloom sack dress

Fern halter detail Gathered dress detail Perinwinklebloom dresses on sale
From top left: mangle dress; sack dress; fern halter (a collaboration with Lotta of Inleaf); gathered dress; bubble and gathered dresses

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Beautiful journals

It has been a Scrap Journal factory in the studio lately. I thought you might be interested in seeing the process of making the covers.

bookbinding tools
Above are some of the basic tools. From left to right: Micro-spatula, brass rule, Teflon folder, brayer, damp rag, baby wipes, apron.

Book boards
Book boards, upper right.

glue brushes
Glue brushes

I almost forgot the most important thing! The glue!
PVA glue

Here are the covers, endpapers and "doodads" before gluing. Doodads is what we started calling the pieces that get decoupaged
on the covers:
Scrap Journal covers

Scrap Journal cover in progress
Here is a cover that has had the glue applied. The book board has been placed on top. The next step in turning in the, well, the turn-ins.

Lifting the cover
This is where the micro-spatula comes in handy. You can use it to carefully lift the wet cover out of the excess glue on the waste paper without getting glue all over your hands, the cover and a myriad of other places it shouldn't be. For me, keeping the glue from getting all over is the hardest part of bookbinding. That's why these are essential:
I always keep baby wipes and a damp rag handy, and wear an apron to wipe glue off my hands. The apron is really more about protecting your work than protecting your clothes.

Burnishing the turn-ins.

Gluing down the endpaper
Gluing down the endpapers. The cover is lying sideways in this picture.

Gluing down the doodad
Tamping the doodad
Decoupaging the "doodad." Again, the challenge here is to not get glue all over the cover. To quote Run-DMC, "It's Tricky."

Book press
Once the covers are glued, they need to be pressed. A book press is a wonderful thing, but if you don't have one, a stack of heavy volumes will do the trick.

The finished covers:
Finished Scrap Journal covers

Black Spot butterfly
Consolation No. 5
Egyptian locust
Gran Centone nell' Opera
Magnificent moth
Ouverture Burlesque

(Some of) the finished journals:
Burlesque 72dpi

Egyptian locust 72dpi

Red Top 72dpi

Standard Oratorios 72dpi
These can be purchased at Hollander's.