Friday, February 28, 2014

Santa Fe Plastic Bag ban

Yesterday a plastic bag ban went into effect in Santa Fe, to:  “protect, conserve and enhance the city's natural beauty.” I think they are trying to say that if we get plastic grocery bags, we will litter but without these bags we will throw our trash away? Um, yeah. Right. What this ban did for me was to get me reminiscing. 

As I paid for my purchases at WalMart, I received all paper bags (which was great because I needed more for my paper recycling at home.) The cashier was too young to remember the days of my childhood when we only had paper bags. Plastic grocery bags became the norm in the mid-1980s. Before that, we didn’t know what we were missing. Paper bags were so useful! We used them for our kitchen trash can liner (which really amazes me because my kitchen trash is often wet and would ruin the bag). Covering school books? Hello? That was the best part of a new school year. I loved cutting open those bags and making a book cover to then decorate to my heart’s content. My kids don’t even have to cover their books these days.  It’s a lost art. And can you imagine Pig Pen with a plastic bag over his head? Not gonna happen.


On the other hand, plastic grocery bags have become such a staple in today’s world. Bathroom trash can liners. Messy diaper disposal. Wet clothes receptacle on car trips. Quick bag to carry an armload of stuff to the car. Lunch bag. And our (unfortunately) biggest use of these bags seems to be for lining our throw up buckets. We have a few of them. And they get used. Have you seen the Studio C sketch where the guy carries about 20 bags of groceries at once? Yeah. I had 3 paper bags to bring in today and I could hardly manage it. WalMart paper bags don’t have handles and even when the bags do have handles, they aren’t useful unless you have a bag full of cotton balls. I always try to get a carload of groceries into the house in one shot.  Just load me up with those plastic bags full of food and I can totally do it. And I can get the house unlocked without putting down a bag. 


I wonder how long this ban will last? I wonder if my nostalgia will wear off and I will miss those darn plastic bags that frankly I always have way too many off. Maybe I’ll sell the ones I have stashed on the black market. ;) I actually usually use and prefer my reusable bags, but I will miss the plastic ones eventually. At least it isn’t a nationwide ban and I can always hop in my car and drive 45 minutes to get my fix elsewhere, if I start going through withdrawals. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sidenote about the blog

So, I started out the blog as Scrappy Girl because I was scrapbooking. Then I started photoshop and digital scrapbooking. Now it is book art.  I guess really it is a documentation of my crafting and art projects. I did add a "Book Arts Projects" tab so that all those projects will be in one place and in order and easy to find. Just because it is my latest obsession and to make it easy for Mom to see what I've been doing. :)

Book Arts: Final Project (Photoshop too)

For our final project we were to design a project with a concept and build models and come up with it all on our own. My concept came together pretty quickly early on in the semester. We learned the Daniel Essig method of making covers and these are what I made. At the time I didn't know what I was going to do with them but I did make the covers with the idea of doors in mind. Ever since we moved to Santa Fe I have fallen in love with doors. There are so many beautiful doors around town and we often stop to take a picture.  It took me a month or two to work and rework my ideas around doors and how to make a book out of the photos. And this is what I came up with. I used hinges for the spine and did transfer prints of the doors onto wood veneer. The accordion fold ended up being what worked best for displaying the pages. It's so interesting how at the beginning of the semester, books came together one per week and toward the end we worked for a few weeks on one book.

Note: During the semester I was working in the Media Arts computer lab as a photoshop tutor and on my down time I was able to resize and recolor the photos to give them all the same shape and size and coloring. And they had a free color laser printer where I could print to my hearts content on large paper. I was able to print and reprint until the pages were just right.





Book Arts: Drum Leaf

The drum leaf is a pretty interesting book form. We took a big piece of paper and decorated the paper with paint and stamps and paste paper technique and whatever we wanted, then cut it up into pages. Then we glued them together and added the covers. I think it would be interesting to try again. It was also nice to have a concept that was just the surface of the paper. Especially as we were working on a few books simultaneously. Easy peasy. (Except for the fact that my first paper surface ended up looking like mush because the inks I was using were smearing when they weren't expected to. So I started over again.)



Saturday, January 18, 2014

Book Arts: Blizzard and Wire Edge

We had a few choices when designing this book project. Marci taught us about pop-ups (which I used in my ribbon tacket book), wire-edge binding, and blizzard binding.  As I was playing with paper in my workshop I folded a blizzard binding (the "earth" in my book), and because of the colors of the paper I used it really reminded me of the earth. As I played around some more, and took a field trip to Papers! in Albuquerque I came up with this unique book. The wire edge binding involves covering book board and punching holes along the edges so that the pieces of wire included under the paper can then be bound together to form a type of book. Even though this isn't in the traditional codex form of book, pages turning to read from left to right...this is still a book. Because I say so and because it is my art piece.

Note: When I first made this book I wrote my text in my own handwriting. It didn't really work. At Marci's suggestion, I tried again by printing the words on the rice paper with my printer, using a font that matches the map paper.  I like it so much more now!

The words are again my own, written specifically for this project.



Friday, January 17, 2014

Book Arts: ribbon tacket

The concept for this ribbon racket book was seasons or senses. I came up with the concept of colors and their relationship to seasons and holidays. I wanted to show the importance of color to communicate the meaning of the holiday, so I chose colors that were completely wrong for each holiday.

I really liked the concept as I was developing it. But I'm not super thrilled with the outcome. One day I may redo the book if I can come up with a better format to communicate my concept. But it consumed so much of my thoughts I still must share my book. Each section of pages is a different holiday and there is a quote about the meaning of color on the back of each signature. The pages are cut and folded in a graduated manner so that all of the colors of the holiday are showing at the same time. Each signature has a white centerfold with a pop-up showing an image of the actual holiday I am misrepresenting. I call the book "April Fool's Day."

Note: This is my first book to have a colophon. (colophon: a brief description of the book, in this case describing the concept behind the book.) This book has a ribbon tacket, in which the signatures are sewn over the ribbons along the spine.






Book Arts: Collaborative book (accordion)

Every semester Marci has the students in the class do a collaborative book project. This semester we had a botanical theme. The book form was using an accordion made of stained tyvek with pages glued to the mountain folds of the accordion.  The pages have windows cut in them for our two-sided 2"x4" individual pages to go in.  Some of the mini pages were translucent or transparent (such as the leaf collection shown here) and some of them were not. I chose to put the pages in different parts of the pages and because of the size of the paper I used for the book pages, I rotated the orientation of my book, so the spine is across the top. The trick on this book was finding a way to communicate to the reader how to orient and how to open the book. It took awhile but I finally found a way, with the rub-on letter title and the pull tab ribbon on the cover.