The Right Box

I made a test version of the box for Twenty-twenty Hindsight this week. I made a quick template –without side flaps– and cut it from the card stock I plan to use for all nine of the final boxes. I transferred the pattern by piercing holes through the template. Note that the painter’s tape holding the template in place attaches to portions of the card stock that will be cut away after scoring.

Here is the test version, scored and cut.

Before gluing the box together I wrapped it around one of the blocks to check the fit.

It seemed to be a good size. After gluing the box together, I checked again. There is a bit of slop, but most of that will be taken up when I add the flaps. (And I do want a bit of slop since the contents of the box need to be removable!)


Another undertaking for the week was starting work on the annual Beeston Calender.

I can’t show you David’s pictures for the 2021 calendar, but here are a few from the one we made for 2020.

You can see that the story line for the year was focused on the garden (who knew!) and that there is a subplot about honeydew melons.

In other book arts news:

The film The Book Makers is now available for free streaming if you live in the U.S.A. Text from the InCa Productions Vimeo page describes the movie:

The Book Makers is a 1-hour documentary that pulls back the curtain on the people who are keeping books alive in the 21st century.
From the esoteric world of book artists to the digital libraries of the Internet Archive, the film spins a tale of the enduring vitality of the book.

Here’s the trailer:

If you live outside the U.S.A. but have access to a PBS television channel, you can check airdates on this schedule.


Since I had done research on cube box templates, I thought I would pass some on to you. The first is from Template of a Box, and comes in three sizes. (If you just want the two inch size, download the 2-inch-cube-box-template.) I did not make up a sample, but I have some comments

I see no logical reason for one of the flaps to be a different shape. I would cut the straight edge on the flap shown at the upper right to mirror the lower right flap. Also, the flaps as shown will overlap in the middle of the box, adding unnecessary bulk. I would cut them shorter so they meet in the middle or even leave a slight gap.

The next three boxes are some I saved from a free printables site in my early days exploring the Internet. Since it was before I started this blog I only intended them for personal use, so I have no idea where they came from.

I did make a sample of one of them and I have a few notes. The fold line for the tuck flap on the lower lid is in the wrong place. I waited to score that fold until I had the box cut out, then scored the fold after marking it when the lid was folded over the front panel above it.

There is one tricky bit of cutting/folding on the upper lid. It might be confusing, since the fold lines and cut lines are undifferentiated. The centre line is folded and the little sections at either side are cut.

The process for making the boxes is the usual: score the fold lines (except that one I warned you about), cut out the box, pre-crease all the folds, then glue. The gluing is simple. Lay the box with the inside surface facing you and the short tab on the side of the box body to the right. Fold the tab over so the coloured side is up and apply glue to the coloured side. Fold the box body in half and, after making sure that everything is aligned properly, press in place. If you want to be extra sure of a good join, you can put a little glue along the non-tabbed edge before pressing it down.

If you would like to make one or all three patterned boxes, just download Pink Box, Blue Box, and/or Fuchsia Box.

Here’s my sample.

And by next Sunday there should be nine of these, with side flaps.

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Friday Night Flicks: Keith Smith

I’m pretty sure you will have heard of Keith Smith, even if you don’t own one of his books on book structures or binding techniques. Many people. however, don’t seem to be aware that he is also a prolific producer of (usually) one-of-a-kind artist’s books. There is no interview component to tonight’s flick, just a page-by-page look at his 1983 work Book 91 (String Book). The work can only truly appreciated with the sound turned on.



If you want to order a Keith Smith instruction book (or his self-published 200 Books, an annotated bibliography of his artist’s books) this weekend, you will find the descriptions and purchasing information here. If you just want a quick peek at a few more of his artist’s books, there is an illustrated article about his 2018 exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art here.

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The Wrong Box

I was supposed to be making boxes for the nine versions of Twenty-twenty Hindsight this week, but once again I got side-tracked.

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Friday Night Flicks: Julie Chen

Another of my favourite book artists is Julie Chen and this Craft in America video introduces her and her work at Flying Fish Press. The film gives an in-depth look at several of Chen’s books.

If you would like to see more of Chen’s books in action this weekend, you can find five videos on this webpage.

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DIY Hallowe’en Slider Card

I haven’t posted a new DIY paper project for a while, but the approach of Hallowe’en gives me an excuse for a seasonal slider card.

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Friday Night Flicks: “TX-83” Timothy C. Ely

Tonight’s flick is an in-depth look at TX-83, a work by one of my favourite book artists, Timothy C. Ely.



I would recommend spending ten minutes of your weekend watching another short film  by Protonik. The video includes a tour of Ely’s 2013 book Line of Sight as well as Ely describing his working processes.

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Summer Memories

The main project for the week was completing my submission for the September #areyoubookenough_weathered challenge. I cut it pretty close, but did get Summer Memories finished by the end of the month.

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Friday Night Flicks: Minnesota Center for Book Arts

Today the topic for the Friday Night Flicks switches from illustrators to artist’s books. The first video in this new series is a look at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts.



It might be worth your time this weekend to spend a few additional minutes checking out the MCBA website, including their selection of virtual workshops.

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I now have new confirmed dates for my exhibition Square Dance. It will be on at the Saskatchewan Craft Council Gallery from January 16 to March 6, 2021. (Covid-related rules will apply.)

The last wall piece for the show —Inheritance— is now complete.

I posted a picture of it from the back on Instagram earlier this week, before I had attached the mounting eyelets and signed and dated it.

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Friday Night Flicks: Lynne Chapman

Tonight’s flick —a little longer than I usually post— comes from the Open College for the Arts, and features Lynne Chapman talking about becoming an illustrator. If you are thinking about becoming an illustrator there are lots of useful tips.



If you are looking for ways to amuse yourself this weekend, you could draw an illustration for your favourite book. As an alternative, you could visit Chapman’s website which includes a link to her Urban Sketcher site, or watch more videos (including instructional ones) from her YouTube channel.

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