redpoll & RAVEN

I have always been interested in birds, and learned a lot about them after moving to the country in 1974.  The common redpoll, a colourful winter bird, was one I learned to identify fairly early on. My very favourite bird is the raven; I used to have to travel to see them, but recently they began breeding where I live.  My two haiku in this book are based on bird encounters: one where I live, and one in Haida Gwaii (formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands).

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Friday Night Flicks

This week’s flick was chosen because I was flipping through posts at boingboing and found this. I already own a copy of a previous book by Marian Bantjes  — I Wonder — and was delighted to discover that she has published another book of her amazing work.

This week’s flick is a TED talk Marian gave several years ago. It’s a nice intro to the way she works.


I hope the weekend weather is as good where you live as it is here: enjoy!

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Maps and Stamps and Wishing Stars

As a child I was taught (by my father) how to read maps. On trips out of town I used to sit in the front passenger seat of the car and give my father directions. Presumably this was as much about keeping my sister and I apart so that we wouldn’t fight in the car as it was about teaching me navigation.

I also collected stamps. My brother (nine years older) had a stamp collection, so I had one too. I used to buy the cheap assortments: 100 stamps for 25 cents. (I am old enough to remember 5 cent popsicles.) I was mostly interested in stamps that had pictures of birds or animals or butterflies, and not at all interested in how much the stamps might be worth.

My interests in maps and stamps come together in G is for Geography.

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Friday Night Flicks

I have been showing you things alphabetical so here is a short stop motion alphabet video.


As a bonus this week I am adding a video that also does stop motion with a human body. I don’t watch a lot of music videos, but I thought this one was exceptional.

Happy weekend!

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Alphabet Collecting 2

My alphabet collection has grown to include some less traditional means of reproducing text. I collect letter punches like these:

and I collect other ways of cutting letters.

Who doesn’t like cookies? Cookies shaped like letters are even better since you can spell out messages — at least until people start eating!

I have big ones

and little ones.

Someday I plan to do an artist’s book with these

and another with these.

Since there might be problems preserving a book with lettering made from alphabet noodles, I plan to use photographs to reproduce the text. (I do note that I have had this box for more than two years, and despite living in an old house that has regular visits from mice and occasional problems with mildew, nothing has damaged the noodles so far!)

My collection also extends to things that aren’t strictly alphabetical, like Chinese character rubber stamps

and punctuation and other glyphs in the form of push pins and magnets

and tights.

People think it’s funny that I have alphabetized my spice shelves in the pantry.

How else would I find anything?!

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Friday Night Flicks

Since I talked about my alphabetical collection last week, and plan to show you more in a couple of days, I thought you might like to see a video about lettering.

Chalkboard lettering has once again become popular — so popular that fonts have been designed to look like hand-lettering on a blackboard. The best chalkboard work is still  done by individuals who do custom text and graphics for specific products or projects.

Some of the best work I have seen is by Dana Tanamachi. Here is a video about her personal lettering project Flourish. 

Happy weekend everyone!

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Alphabet Collecting 1

I have mentioned before my lifelong love of alphabets and alphabet books. It will not surprise you that I have a small collection of alphabet books. I also collect alphabets in other forms.

I collect odd pages from damaged and discarded books.

I collect old printing sets,


and newer ones (which are not nearly as much fun).


I also collect other devices for reproducing the letters of the alphabet.

Come back next Sunday and see more of the collection!

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Friday Night Flicks

This Friday I would like to share a couple of very short videos. The first is a stop motion animation about the history of the art form. The second is a music video. Both use paper, and the second shows some excellent paper cutting and used 12,000 pieces of construction paper.



I hope everyone has a fine weekend!

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Earth: an altered book

Earth was the first altered book I made that didn’t consist of turning the text block into hundreds of folded shapes as I had in Universe. It is made from another in the Life Nature Library series titled The Earth. The outer case is a shiho chitsu (Japanese four sided case) with a ribbon closure.

Much of the original book contained information about the geology of the planet earth, so I was inspired to do something a little different. 

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Friday Night Flicks

A very short video this week: a combination of pop-up and alphabet book full of clever tricks. I hope you are as delighted as I was when I first saw this. (I bought the book.)


Hope you have a happy weekend.

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