Saturday, September 26, 2009

Fall/winter lineup sneak preview, hooray!

Here's a preview of supercool books to come this fall and winter! I went nuts last weekend and made a whole bunch in prep for some Christmas shows.

This lineup features some really interesting papers. One batch uses this paper that feels like a painter's canvas, and is made of 70% recycled paper. Another batch features fancy UV glitter -- and it is glorious. I'm not usually the glitter type, whether it comes on clothes or chapstick or otherwise, but in this case it looks fantastic and festive. And the glorious part I mentioned: the glitter doesn't come off and shed on everything! Nope, after working with UV glitter paper for hours making books, I can truthfully say these sparkles (tiny bits of mylar, apparently) are stuck in place. I was hoping to locate some detailed info about chemistry of this stuff, for the sake of my nerdy peers in print design, but couldn't find.

These books will be launched officially in the second week of October. I'd do it

sooner but I'm leaving next week for New Orleans, so there's no point in putting a bunch of new stuff in my shop and then going on vacation. I'f you like more sneak peek photos, check out the Sushi Papercraft Facebook fan page -- there's a new album there. Feel welcome to leave any comments or questions!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Talking to Vendors

When I stepped into Edmonton's craft scene, I learned two things: 1) craft show vendors are rather nice people, and 2) craft show vendors have wisdom to share.

Last week I was at Handmade Mafia. I found it's really worthwhile getting to know other vendors; not only do you meet cool and creative people, but you also learn useful things about the handmade business. While spending time with the Family, I picked up some neato tips and insights on the scene. I'ma share a few of them:

  • Research your audience before signing up for a big-bucks craft show; your sculptures or exquisite jewelry may not be a good fit for certain events, like fairs and festivals, where shoppers are mostly there for the mini donuts and not so much the art.
  • Check out and plan your supply shopping trips accordingly for great deals.
  • Consider spreading out appearances at a certain venue. If you're in the same place every week for months on end, you'll be exposed to the same group of shoppers who frequent that venue. They'll buy from you once or twice, and then probably won't come back to you for quite a while. Some time apart between visits will keep you fresh and interesting.
  • Try a Twitter account or Facebook fan page to market your stuff, and follow the 50/50 rule: 50% content about your business, 50% content about other people/things.
  • Bring snacks to a craft show and save your dollars.

All for now! Thanks much to these super vendors for making the Handmade Mafia show a good time: Paz Y Flamenco, Crystal Cradle, Urban Goddess, and BFlirty.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Unconventional Paper

I'm trying to use different types of papers for books, besides your basic white stuff. I've used grid paper as book pages in the past; thought this was killer but nobody else seems to like it (at least not enough to buy the book it comes in). My latest adventure with paper is this Japanese-themed sketchbook. The signatures are made of this velvety-black art paper normally intended for chalk or pastel drawings. It gives a very luxurious effect. And it was just lying around before.

Also lying around doing nothing was a stack of premium cardstock I used for printing my wedding invites. So it made a fabulous mini scrapbook! Can't wait to make paper discoveries, especially if they mean less goes to waste.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Handmade Mafia and Creepy-in-a-good-way Orange Hall

Sushi's now part of The Family, along with some other talented Edmonton crafters. This Saturday is the Handmade Mafia show, a craft sale that happens once a month, usually in the Whyte Ave area. This show features handmade items from local artists who have made Edmonton's craft scene so cool. This month's event is at both Orange Hall and Savoy in the Strathcona area. I'll be at Orange Hall.

On a side note, I've been to Orange Hall venue many, many times -- and it's a neato place. This little white building is probably a hundred years old, and looks like an olden-days church or town hall. I'm there for it's famous Sugar Swing sugar foot stomps, but I've heard it's also popular for salsa and vampire role-playing (makes sense, as the building has a slightly creepy Salem village feel to it). You should check out the Mafia just to see this historical place!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Books made out of maps, and the Reuse Centre

Here are some books I made from old maps. One is a map of Montreal and the other is a map of Rome, circa 1988. It even has the Colosseum on it, ha ha!
The trickiest thing with making these map books is ensuring that everything reads correctly; like the content isn't upside down when I sew the book together. Still working with the homemade glue, too.

Man, I love using stuff for what it's not intended for. And I love Edmonton's Reuse Centre; it's where I found the maps. Hot tip for anyone who works in theatre/with children/or collects junk: the Reuse Centre will save you lots of money! Remember when you had that pressing need for hundreds of popsicle sticks? Or swatches of fabric? The Reuse Centre is like this storage room full of crap that you normally don't need until right after you've given it away -- cardboard boxes and 3-ring binders and yarn etc. It's like Staples for crafty people, only you pay $4 per visit and take as much as you want. This is a lifesaver if you have to plan crafts for kids, or design a theatre set on a budget. I'm sure there are many more scenarios, but those are the two that immediately come to mind. See for yourself.