Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Handmade Books for a Healthy Planet

I'm so excited about the cover design for my new book which comes out at the end of April. The concept and design are by my son Brendan, the drawings are mine. Here's some information about the book:

Explore the fascinating world of handmade books. Learn about their history around the world while you make your own books with earth-friendly recycled materials. All you need are cereal boxes, grocery bags, scissors, glue stick, and Handmade Books for a Healthy Planet.

Follow the step-by-step directions to make sixteen different books including
• Wish Scroll from Ethiopia
• Medieval Book of Hours
• Time Line Accordion book from Central America and Mexico
• Book of Haiku from Japan.

For over twenty years, Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord has been teaching bookmaking in schools and libraries where her workshops consistently get the highest ratings for combining creativity and enthusiasm with clear, precise directions. Her years of experience make Handmade Books for a Healthy Planet easy to use and filled with creative possibilities.

as a pdf

Monday, February 15, 2010

Winter Buds Sketchbook

Winter is a great time to look at the trees and shrubs around us. We get a clear view of their shape and structure and a reminder that warmer weather is on the way when we look at the buds that will brings leaves and blossoms in the spring. Late in the summer after I graduated from high school, my grandfather and I were walking around his garden. I asked him what flower would be blooming so late in the season from the buds on one of his shrubs. He told me that they were the buds for the flowers for next spring. I was shocked both at the concept and the fact that I had gone through twelve years of school and didn't know such an obvious fact about the world around me. It is a reminder that we have much to learn from observing the world around us and from our elders.

I made my book with reused US Letter/A4 paper folded in half the long way with the writing on the inside, a horse chestnut twig, and an elastic. I snipped the twigs and did my drawings at home but you could also do your sketching outdoors.

Written directions


My Winter Buds Book on flickr

Maryanne Wolf on Digital Media and Kids

Today's Boston Globe has an interview with Maryanne Wolf, director of Tufts University Center for Reading and Language Research about kids' overexposure to digital media.

She says
One of the biggest antidotes is going back ourselves with our children and having fun—no electricity allowed.

I say
Make books together!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Eco-Friendly Crayons

I tend to prefer markers to crayons but I just purchased some Prang soy crayons and I love them. They are made with soy oil rather than petroleum which makes them better for the environment and I find they go on more smoothly and prefer the color and surface they create. I also got a set of recycled crayons which are made by Crazy Crayons, a company in Wisconsin which employs people with developmental disabilities. When I showed them to my husband, he said, where do they get the crayons from? Are there that many extra crayons in the world? I showed him my box of crayons some of which date back to the sixties, if not the fifties. So the answer is yes.

In the valentine, red and orange were colored with soy crayons, purple and brown with recycled crayons.

You can purchase the soy and recycled crayons from Stubby Pencil Studio which has a lot of eco-friendly art products for kids.

You can recycle your crayons by sending them to Crazy Crayons.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Year of the Tiger

The Chinese Year of the Tiger begins on February 14. Here is are two images for you to download, one black and white and one in red which symbolizes good luck. Put one on the cover of a Chinese New Year accordion book.

Black and White Image

Red Image

Information about the Chinese Zodiac

Written Directions