Saturday, June 27, 2020

Loving Handmade Books

©Candice Schwark 2020
Books are one of my weaknesses. I am trying to lighten my shelves by donating some of them,  like my calligraphy books. There's quite a collection living with me.

Of course, I can weed out books but then I turn right around and make them!! It's another one of my "gotta-do-it-whenever-I-can" hobbies. I joined the Handmade Book Club online and Ali Manning presents us with challenges, which motivate me. It's amazing how many I've produced lately. If I can part with them, they'll be great gifts.

The Zebra batik fabric book is a recent addition.  I've had the batik fabric for many, many years and it finally has a purpose. I don't even remember where I bought it. This is a slim case binding.

The one below is a coptic binding using handmade paper for the cover and collaged papers for the signatures. This was a fun activity for a one-day online retreat. My pages need embellishing. Often when I make books, I like to use a pendant that I've enhanced with resin and baubles. I add a bungie cord so it wraps around the book as shown here on the coptic binding before I stitched it.

One of my favorite things to do is use my eco-printed papers in my books....they add such a nice feature for writing on, or as an embellishment.

I believe Ali Manning's Handmade Book Club is not open for membership right now, but I highly recommend it. You may add your name to the waitlist. Be sure to check out her main website: Vintage Page Designs.

 Now, I guess I should go figure out what I want to put into these books.

Blessings on your day!

©Candice Schwark 2020

©Candice Schwark 2020
These small books are made from canvas.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Join the Virtual Prayer Vigil

Join us on FaceBook!

Friday, December 27, 2019

Greetings from Michigan

Hope your celebration of Jesus' birth this Christmas was 
a memory-making time.
Wishing you many blessings in the New Year!
HAPPY 2020

Monday, October 21, 2019


My friend Sue Stingu (with her necklaces, book gems, etc.) and I will have a space at this Fall Market so be sure to stop by and see us. It's a busy Market!Art

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Eco-Printing at the OPC

Six women joined me for an Introduction to Eco-Printing in the beautiful little cottage next to the OPC Senior Center garden in Rochester. A good definition of this process is on a guest blog post at the link below:

It was an ideal location and a beautiful day for setting up the steamers/roaster outside while we worked inside. We did have one snafu when the circuits went out, but as soon as they were fixed we were off and running with packets of papers, flowers, stems and leaves in the pots.
We gathered some materials from the nearby garden but mostly used the colorful box of materials donated by Utica Florist. What a treat to have those beautiful colors sitting in the middle of the table. 'Each sheet of paper was quickly doused in a vinegar/water solution.....many of the plants had had a bath in alum (pickling spice) and water the night before.....then plants or plant parts were arranged on the paper so that each side of the paper would be touch the plants. We folded our papers in half before laying the plants out. 

When we got everything arranged, I wrapped them in a cloth that had had a bath in rusty water (iron sulfate). A ceramic tile was placed on either side of the stack of papers/plants, then bound with a large rubber band. They were then placed in the steamer. We also wrapped a few 1/2" copper pipes with flowers and a heavier water color paper and placed them in the steamer. The heavier paper needed more steaming time than we had, but we did get some good results. 

While we waited for the 2-hour steaming time to end, we made small booklets with accordian-folded centers  for storing our papers when they dried.  We made covers from old text paper, and eco printings that I had done previously. Some of the students included small sticks as a frame around the cover collage.

Someone mentioned that this would be a good two-day project - one day of printing, overnight drying then processing the next day. This would be a good event for next Fall.

I enjoyed the day and even as a teacher, you learn a lot each time you eco print!!