Sunday, July 31, 2011
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Before I did crafts I wrote music reviews and interviewed bands for various magazines, websites and my own zine. It has been a long time since I had a chance to chat with someone in the music industry since my focus has shifted from music to crafts over the years. Recently I discovered a project that combined both my love of music and my passion for all things handmade. "Bound Away" is a new project by the band CAKE and BANDmade Books. I got the chance to chat with CAKE bass player Gabe Nelson about their new CD book and all the DIY touches that went into making it. Oh and did I mention I have a copy of Bound Away to give away? Yup, keep reading.
Bound Away is a CD single made into a handmade book. BANDmade Books brings together musicians like CAKE with book artists to turn a song into a limited-edition handmade book. Bound Away, which is a song from CAKE’s most recent album Showroom of Compassion, is tailored perfectly to the band. CAKE was closely involved in every step, from creative concept, through the various stages of production.
Let me break down the awesomeness of this handmade/eco friendly/charity donating little gem for ya...
24 illustrated pages using linoleum blocks hand carved by the band and volunteers.
Type is handset in Alternate Gothic No. 2 and Universe.
Printing: two-color letterpress Vandercook proofing presses, by members of CAKE and volunteers
Text pages: 100% post-consumer recycled paper
End sheets: hand made paper made from reclaimed jute coffee sacks from a local coffee roaster.
Covers: handmade paper made by the band using their old cotton clothing
Binding: hand stitched with local hand spun thread waxed with bees wax from a local beehive
Edition: 1000 numbered copies signed by all members of CAKE 51⁄4 x 51⁄4” hardcover book Includes a CD single of the song Published in San Francisco, 2011
A portion of the sales of each edition of Bound Away will benefit 826 Valencia and the Hamilton Type Museum.
So let’s get on to that interview with Gabe. Somewhere between teaching bass lessons and touring with the band he found time to answer a few of my hot burning questions about Bound Away.
How did you guys hook up with Bandmade Books? Is CAKE the maiden voyage for the project? Do you know who is coming down the turnpike after you guys?
Pam Deluco called us up with the idea. It was timed perfectly because our album release was eminent therefore we could use a brand new song for the project. It was pretty flattering that Pam thought to ask us first. The book turned out great and is an excellent partner for the song. Regarding the next BANDmade edition... I know Pam is talking to several artists, although we are not certain who will follow next.
From what I understand you guys were very involved in the making of Bound Away both conceptually and physically. Most bands would have just ok-ed the use of their song and then that would be it. Why was it important for CAKE to be involved in every step from picking red and blue as the primary colors to doing pulls of the prints?
Pam's entire vision was complete band inclusive -- and we believed that was really the only way forward. We embraced that part of it, as we have always done much of our own labor in CAKE. John has worked a lot with print, and I have worked with paper, so we could help the other guys learn those parts. Carving the linoleum blocks was a really interesting experience as well.
How did you choose “Bound Away” as the song to make the book about? Was there a song that was a close first runner up?
"Bound Away" was the only choice for this project. It is an old fashioned song and making books by hand is also old fashioned craft. Sometimes, the right track is the obvious track. I don't recall even discussing a different CAKE song for the project.
What is your earliest crafty/DIY memory. Macaroni necklaces for your mother count. What is your earliest musical memory?
Earliest craft project was a "Happy Father's Day" plaque in 2nd grade. It was made from salt-dough. It was so salty and savory that I ate part of it on the way home from school. I remember my dad completely cracking up when I gave him his " appy Father's Day" gift. Earliest musical memory is watching the "Jerry Lewis Telethon". They had Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash, Charro, Bobby Vinton, and a host of others. I just remember connecting with the music and thinking to myself that I wanted to make those types of sounds someday.
Besides making music do you have any other hobbies in the artsy craftsy world? Do you knit on the tour bus or paint oil portraits between tours?
Music takes up all my time. I have tried to get into other things, but there just aren't enough hours in the day. So it's pretty narrowed down at the present time.
I love that the band’s old cotton clothing was recycled to make the paper for the covers of the CD. What type of clothing did you use? Could a super stalker fan tell themselves that perhaps a pair of cotton boxer shorts were used in the making of this CD cover?
I gave some old sheets that we had -- which made the paper green.
All proceeds from the sale of Bound Away go to 826 Valencia and the Hamilton Type Museum. 826 Valencia helps students with their writing skills and the Hamilton Type Museum is dedicated to the preservation, study, production and printing of wood type. How did you choose the recipients of all the loot?
We thought something that had to do with book making was appropriate. The whole experience was a journey to the past when people had to be more creative if they wanted something. You couldn't just pop into a store a make a purchase, you had to use your wits and your hands. I think science has confirmed that keeping your brain active is essential to good health. Hopefully the money will help those who are interested and have a chance to explore this old fashioned craft.
How do/did you encourage your children (if you have them) to be creative? Do you play music with them? Craft with them?
My son, Max, has always been self motivated to do art. When he was three or four he would be on the floor of his room at 6 a.m. drawing, or writing a story. He can paint water colors very well now. He also taught himself computer animation. I think he prefers it if i don't try to involve myself in what he does. He is a pretty independent spirit. He has done a little music too, but usually goes back to the visual side of art. I think perhaps the practice involved with playing an instrument doesn't suit him. I never try to push anything on him when it comes to art. Homework and chores usually require encouragement from me, but not art.
Thanks so much Gabe for taking the time to chat with me about Bound Away! If you would like to have your very own copy of Bound Away, you have two options. First, you can go buy a copy - remember they are limited eddition and all proceeds go to charity. Second, you can leave me a comment and in a week I will pick a lucky winner. This handmade beauty is signed my all the members of CAKE and numbered 14/1000. Leave me a comment about something fun like your fave CAKE song, if you have ever made handmade paper, have you ever been to a CAKE concert or perhaps you wanna share your love of linoleum block printing. Any ole' comment will do.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
How is my mother's garden like a mullet you ask? Well much like the infamous hairstyle it is business in the front, party in the back. From the curb the front of the house looks like your typical classic Victorian home - giant ornate flower pots, vine covered archways and towering water fountains. When you get around to the back yard there are bowling balls, bath tubs and broken slab glass.
Let's start with the front yard. As mentioned the front of the house has a more traditional vibe, besides the part that the entire house is pink. Actually, pink was a very common color for Victorian homes. I grew up hearing that I lived in the 'birthday cake house'. From time to time my mom trims up a chicken shaped topiary or two in the flower garden, but for the most part the landscaping is lovely and tame. Let's move around the side of the house.
On the west side of my parent's house is tall black fountain they call "the Trevy". I'd like to point out the stone pathway that my mother laid down herself. Speaking of my mother, no she does not have a gardener. My mom has loved working in the yard, perusing garden centers and flipping through gardening books since I can remember.
When you walk into the backyard from the west you are greeted with a sea of colorful Zinnias. Somewhere buried underneath those flowers is also a claw footed bath tub that acted as a cooler at my wedding. Are you starting to see where I inherited my kitschy gardening aesthetic?
You might recall my mom's craft cottage in the backyard. I'm pretty sure Tallulah and Baxter are going to claim it as a playhouse before too long. There are several rusty, yet adorable seating areas, an old stove begging to be a mud pie kitchen and a cute path full of tiny colorful pebbles and other "treasures" that toddlers love to collect in their wagon.
A last few glimpses of her lush lawn and marvelous mosaics for the road. You can see the start of a grape vineyard made from metal mattress getting it's start. The covered arbor over the patio is a nice touch on hot summer days. If I got a chance to visit more often I'd push for misters and a margarita machine so the backyard could truly live up to it's mullet name sake with a party in the back.
If you are going to be in the DFW area next spring be sure to head up to McKinney for the garden tour and check out the whole thing in person. You even get a home tour too!
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Even though it is 100+ degrees every day here in Austin we are somehow managing to keep our plants alive. Actually thanks to my husband's vigilant watering we not only have lush plants we even have grass in the backyard for the first time ever. I'm so excited I thought I would share.
Even though it is hotter than Hades now, earlier this year we had a very cold winter for Texas. So cold in fact that all my potted plants died. I mourn the loss of my giant Ponytail Palms, Night-Blooming Cereus and many o' succulents. I have had to start all over this spring with all new plants.
My current favorite addition to the backyard is this groovy yellow coffee pot thingie I picked up at a flea market. When it rains we have to turn on the spigot to drain it.
I spy a fry basket that once was a hanging basket and a chalkboard that used to be a door. Oh and by the way we have grown grass on that bare ground since this picture was taken.
If you think that my garden has a lot of oddball and wack-a-doo accoutrements just you wait until tomorrow when I show you pictures from my mom's garden.
Monday, July 25, 2011
I have finally started a Naughty Secretary Club Facebook Fan Page! I should have done this a bazillion years ago and kept my personal & business Face Book accounts separate, but alas I did not. It sure would be swell if you took a minute to go and hit the like button on the fan page. I'm going to be moving all my craft projects and such over to the fan page and making my personal page private. The tedious part is I am currently writing each person on my Facebook page that I don't actually know and asking them to please move over to my fan page before I delete them as a friend. Sure would save me a lot of time if some people deleted me as a friend and moved themselves over. I'm gonna start having fun sales, projects and updates on the fan page - stay tuned!
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Remember a few weeks ago when I showed you how to make some recycled robot wrapping paper for a robot themed birthday party my fam was attending? Well for that same party I decided to whip Baxter up a robot onesie. If you can cut out a square and a rectangle, you can make this design.
Tulip Fashion Glitter Shimmer Transfer Sheets
The first thing you need to do is decide on what your robot is going to look like and what colors you will use. I found that a robot is very easy to construct using squares and rectangles in various sizes. I also decided a hot pink heart would be a nice touch. Truthfully, I'd wear this robot so even if you don't have kids this idea would work. I love love love these sparkly Shimmer Transfer Sheets. They remind me on the glittery iron-on's you had in the 80's.
Place your shapes on the onesie in the desired pattern and iron in place. All that is left to do is let the onesie cool, slip it on your rugrat and head out to a robot themed birthday party!
I have a few sheets left of shimmer transfer sheets just begging to adorn a super hero cape. Keep your eyes peeled, how-to post coming soon.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Did you see my how-to gnome lawn bowling game on Craft Zine yesterday? Start chugging a few 2 liter bottles of soda now and you too could have a set! I thought I would post a quick round up of my fave gnome posts to celebrate.
Some pictures are just too special for a boring old picture frame. Showcase that beauty with a terrarium picture frame. If you have a soft spot for terrariums check out my posts homes for gnomes, a journey back in terrarium time and terrarium trends.
I loved the book Every Day's a Holiday: Year-Round Crafting with Kids
. The adorable pinecone gnomes were one of my very fave projects!
Speaking of books, the Whistle at Work Necklace in my book The Naughty Secretary Club: The Working Girl's Guide to Handmade Jewelryhas always been near and dear to my heart.
There was a lot of gnome action at mt daughter's fawn themed 1st birthday party.
Every gnome needs a place to sit why not make a comfy toadstool
Be sure to stop by Craft and check out my project.