December 2002 - Issue 19

Gentle Thoughts




Season's Greetings!

Welcome to the new subscribers. It's nice to have you with us. The more, the merrier!

I have a few little corrections and additions to last month's byhand:

Pat Muller reports it is the Goodwill (not the Salvation Army!) that has sweaters for $0.99 on Mondays in the States. (This is from the Studio tips section last month) And I have to say... Pat is very good at sharing. The other day a roll of previously undetected purple yarn (Pat's favourite colour) popped out of my tote bag and rolled across the floor (much to kitty's pleasure)...

Don't forget to check out the recent Class Photos pages. See if your smiling face is there and your fabulous books!

I have added photos which Charmaine Stack took of her Pipe Organ Binding made in the October 5 class at the Paperworks Gallery. You'll find those on the Class Photos page. Thanks, Charmaine!

And there are some new photos in the Stamping Gallery. Don't forget if you're proud of artwork that you have stamped with a Quietfire Rubber Stamp, please send me a scan and I'll be delighted to put in the Stamping Gallery

And note that after I sent out last month's byhand announcement, I discovered Nina Bagley's workshop in Montreal has been postponed to May. Also check out Nina's exquisite books and article in the current issue of Somerset Studio.

What I have been up to...
You can even see something of mine in the current Somerset Studio - bottom left, page 74 as part of the Altered Quilt Block Swap in the Melange section. A scan of it is also in the Stamping Gallery if you don't have Somerset Studio - but you really should acquire a copy - it's a fabulous issue with a big article by Nina. There is also an article by Lesley Riley on her method of image transfer which I refer to below in the write-up of my newest quilt block for round II! And speaking of which, here is my newest block with the description of how it was done. These were 6" blocks, instead of 8 1/2 x 11" used for Round I.

Altered Quilt Block Swap II
Hosted by Theresa Stroud
Well, my blocks were a serious and lengthy learning exercise! They came out mostly as planned but I tried many methods to get there! I knew I wanted to do copy transfer for the lettering and the angel, but I didn't really want to do chemical transfers. So I bought some transparencies from Office Depot so I could try Lesley Riley's method. The girl at Office Depot said that Apollo made their transparencies, so I thought I'd save myself some money. Mistake. Then I finally got the real Apollo Transparencies and I found that I had more luck - but still not great. I was using organza ribbon and I found the " pores " in the ribbon filled up with the acrylic medium and it looked really yucky! About this time, my printer died…. I finally decided to put the fabric through my laser printer. There was a lot of lint left in the printer which took a bit of work to clean out. I really wanted the angel to look ethereal, but a bit more substantial than she does. In my first experiments she was smaller, but I found when she was larger, she showed up better. Then perhaps it was my new inkjet printer that helped, but I put the ribbon straight through the inkjet printer. And that is what you see in the final product. I attached the ribbon with eyelets and added a bit of gold thread to embellish. I hope you like them!

New to Quietfire Design!

Here's the long and the short of it all. We have eyelets!
Currently we have regular and long neck 1/8" eyelets for your creative needs (for more information, scroll down the page). You will definitely need them if you take my new class: The Eyelet Book. Cool, eh?

This requires a whole bunch of eyelets! and there will be more information about it in the next issue of byhand.

Check out the new colours of Waxed Linen Thread. We now have Country Red, Denim and Lavender in stock.

I hope you enjoy this issue of byhand!


Important links at your fingertips!

Back Issues of byhand
Quietfire Rubber Stamps
Acrylic Blocks for Rubber Stamps
Stamping Gallery
Subscriber's Gallery Page
Class Photos page
Links Page
Quietfire Design

How to subscribe and other stuff!

If you wish to contact me, my email address is:

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Please feel free to browse through my website
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There is now a link from my website to this newsletter, but I suggest that you bookmark the
index page of this newsletter ,
so you can return here at any time.

Site Siting

Anne Atkinson sent me this website: Women in Greek Myths
You can even determine your own goddess! (something we all need to know....)

And a friend of my Mom tipped me off to this site which has nothing to do with art, but I thought it was really cool - I suppose it's a Santa view of the earth. Check it out on NASA's site.

Books to Inspire

The Journals of Susanna Moodie by Margaret Atwood.

Now, most Canadians will know this name well. And since she won the Booker Prize in 2000, I guess she is even better known!

I love Margaret Atwood's poetry (and I'm not really a poetry person). I have used it many times in calligraphic pieces. The Journals of Susanna Moodie was first published in 1970, so it's not new, except to me... It begins this way..

I take this picture of myself
and with my sewing scissors
cut out the face.

Now it is more accurate:

where my eyes were,
thing appears

The thing that struck me about this book is the cover and illustrations. My copy is (ahem, overdue) from the library and is different from the copies they have at All the collages where done by Margaret Atwood and they're wonderful! Atwood writes in her Afterword about Susanna Moodie, who was the author of several books: Roughing It in the Bush and Life in the Clearings. The Afterword is just as interesting as Atwood's poetry. The copy I have here is a scant 64 pages and is certainly worth a request from the library. I'm kinda sorry I have to return it!


Studio Tips

This is a great idea from Gloria at Write On! Office Solutions here in Port Alberni. I practically had to go tie her down to get this description as she is so busy these days!

Last year Gloria made key tags with photos of her son on them for Christmas presents using Shrink Plastic for inkjet printers. She didn't use any fancy computer programs, just Word, creating the artwork as follows: (Each tag takes about half of an 8 1/2 x 11" sheet of shrink plastic.)

  • In Word, begin with a regular size page, insert a photo by clicking Insert>Picture. Choose your picture and insert it.
  • Insert some Word Art by clicking Insert>Picture>WordArt. Type in your message.
  • Using the drawing tools, draw an oval which fills half the sheet and send it behind so it doesn't obliterate your picture and words!
  • Resize and move the elements inside the oval until you are pleased with the arrangement.
  • Gloria printed her image onto Avery White Printable Shrink Sheets AVE3255. (Go the the Catalogue, then Quick Order button and on the quick order form type in AVE in the Prefix section and 3255 in the item section)
  • Cut out the oval and punch a hole in one end. Make sure you punch this hole before you shrink the plastic or you will not be happy trying to use a drill to make the hole!!
  • Shrink the plastic using the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Attach to any key chain from the dollar store (doesn't everybody have an old keychain around?)

What grandparent can resist carrying a photo of their grandkidlet around? Thanks Gloria! for sharing!

Here's the "technical" information on the Shrink Sheets:

White Printable Shrink Sheets Create personalized key chains and luggage tags with vibrant, waterproof colors. Use any software to design, then simply print, cut and bake. Designs shrink to 1/5 their original size, then harden and thicken while cooling. Sheets feed easily through any inkjet printer. 4 Sheets per Pack 8-1/2 x 11

I'd be delighted to receive your favourite tips for inclusion here - we can all learn from them and probably save someone - like me - frustrations!

New Challenge

So I had this idea for another swap. Still using tags - not due till mid February - so you have lots of time to think about it.... (and no excuse for those of you in Edmonton and Red Deer as I can pick them up in person!)

Here's the challenge.
Create little books from shipping tags. Those of you who have done Charmers II will know what I mean. Here's a photo of several books I have made using shipping tags.

The one on the left is from Charmers II and the one on the right is from a minibook swap I did with the CNDjournalarts group. The one on the right is an accordion book with content. The one on the left is full of Post-its! Your imagination is the limit! You may use any size tag. You may use the tag for the cover, you may use tags for the pages as well (or not). The books can be blank, but it'd be reallllly fun if they had content - but I don't want to discourage anyone from playing by overwhelming them.

Tag Book Swap

I will be delighted to sign you up anytime till December 10. You will receive more instructions in private emails. You may make as few as 5 books or as many as there are players. You will make your books and send them to me with a self-addressed stamped envelope.You will not receive your own book back. Ooooo, this should be some serious fun!

Alphabet Tag Swap II

Here is the last installment of the Alphabet Tag Swap. It was a wonderful swap and I would again like to thank everyone who participated!
If you're interested the background of this swap click here to read what we did!


Susan Ewart -

Letter 'S' Brought to you by Suzy-q e. Suan Pan…what is it? Well I never heard of it until this year. Well, I had, but not by this name. We are all familiar with the Abacus; this is the Chinese Abacus, called a Suan Pan. How I came up with this involved my new passion (I know, I know, more supplies and more retail therapy ie. Spending)…glass beadmaking. I was involved in an exhibition of glassbeads by Canadian beadmakers. Since I am not a jewelry designer/maker and I am a beginner I choose a simple bead and put my brothers beautiful woodwork around it, resulting in a Chinese Abacus. Now for the tag. Making a small abacus presented the only problem (except design of course). The tag was covered in multiple blue acrylics mixed together slightly and then a dry brush layer of iridescent silver very lightly. The purple paper is a color copy of some paste paper I had made and the lettering was with the gel pens. The little abacus was cut from foam core and painted the same as the tags but with more of the dry brushed silver on top for a metallic look. The beads are store bought 'E' beads. Straight pins were used to make the rods for the beads to run up and down on. I added a little glue at the bottom of these rods for safety. Hope you enjoyed my tag.





Suzanne Cannon -

Those of you who have taken my Artist's Journal class will know that I love spackle (or drywall compound)! So, I immediately thought of text and texture. I found both words in an old French-English dictionary that I had, so copied those to fit on the front part of the tag. The copy was glued on the front and the spackle spread over it and the letters made with a Mitchell Roundhand nib into the wet spackle. After the spackle dried, I added watercolour to the surface. On the back, more French. The tag was completed with a string which was trying to look like a teabag string (didja get it, huh, huh?) ending with a folded and stapled tag with a stamped tree on one side and a "T" on the other side!


Karin Fung -

When I was first assigned the "?", I thought about writing the definition of a "?", but instead thought that doing the "W5" would be more interesting. After the first round, I was perplex as what to do with all the lovely artwork, so I decided to created something that could be useful.

I created the "Who? When? Why? Where? How?" on the computer and pasted then on the tiny tags. Once the glue had set and the water colour backwash was completed, I thought I would have fun with my stamp and embossing powder and embossed the star. With some glitter glue I continued to decorate the tag with the theme "?".

The Tags where later laminated for protection and the magnet glued securely. Now everyone can enjoy their new fridge magnet.




Kathy Guthrie -

The background of the tag is done with a Color Box Pigment Ink Option Pad by removing a few of the green colors and stamping the pads directly on the tag. The lower case Italic "g" was written with a 3.5 Zig calligraphy felt pen. The Twinnings Green Tea & Lemon tag is attached under gold sealing wax stamped with a metal heart seal and under a little green "grenouille" which means frog in French! Some of you got a leaping frog and others a sedate frog! The tag is finished off with either gold cord or green ribbon as I didn't have enough of either to do all of the tags with the same material. Once again a fun project. Thanks Suzanne!

brace yourselves...

History Lesson

Here is the seventh installment of the information panels from my exhibition, Lines of Evolution....



Some calligraphers would say that the beginning of the Copperplate era (17th - 19th centuries) was the end of calligraphy.

Copperplate is completely different from the other hands discussed here as it was lettered with a pointed nib, not the broad edge. Copperplate dominated English formal writing for almost 300 years. Although it appears to be a cursive handwriting style it is closer to formal lettering in its demands of uniformity and manipulations.

The thicks and thins of the letters are produced by pressure, requiring a sensitive touch to give them elegance. The supremacy of the quill pen over many, many centuries was coming to a close. Metal pens had been dabbled with, but it was not until the early 19th century that the technology was available for production and with so many more literate people the need was there, too.

Ancient recipes for inks were not compatible with the new steel pens, as they were made of corrosive materials and even the important carbon inks (which are lightfast) would clog the pens, so alternatives had to be developed. The modern age had arrived and calligraphy as it had been for centuries was changed.

Seasons Tag Swap

We had 22 players in this swap!
If you're interested in the background of this swap, click here. This is the first installment of tags. Lots more next month!

A big Thanks! to everyone who played. We hope you enjoy our artwork!
ed. note: These pictures just don't show how wonderful these tags are!

Dee Rad
Honolulu, HI

(ed. note - so this is winter in Hawaii?.... Sigh!)

Dorothy Baynes
Red Deer, AB

This was Dorothy's first swap and she said it was a little tough thinking about spring while it was snowing....!

Connie Kleckner
Victoria, B.C.

This quote is stamped in gold on the back of Connie's tag:

More than anything
I must have flowers
always, always.

Claude Monet

Janice Rusnak
Calgary, AB

Janice just recently bought a new sewing machine - I'd say she had quite a bit of fun!

Christiane Lenz
Victoria, BC

Veronica Goff
Jackson, TN

Joan Byers
Sidney, BC

Five little ice cream cones so good to eat
The first one said "I'm a summertime treat"
The second one said "it's such a HOT day"
The third one said "I'm melting away"
The fourth one said "don't lose your top"
The fifth one said "Oh, dear, kerplop!"

Corinne Pratz
Lake Cowichan, BC

(ed. note - All of Corinne's tags were completely different!)

Ginny Porter
Sidney, BC

Lorna Long
Kamloops, BC

(ed. note - this is Lorna's first tag, she did two complete sets of different designs). She writes "(this) is actually a book mark. I used the clipiola's for that reason. One of the things I found was that shipping tags don't normally make good book marks as the pages catch on the edge of the card around the hole in the tag (?? follow that?) Anyhow that is why I had to add the thick paint on the back. Later I thought of adding a stem and leaves to create a spring blossom - but that was later. They weren't as successful as using the clips on card stock."

Suzanne Cannon
Port Alberni, BC

I have to tell you a bit about the tag shape. When I worked for the Geological Survey of Canada, I had access to these great fossils. Well, between that and the purchase of some PenScore, I made a fantastic impression of a Late Cretaceous ammonite. (I think the sample was from the Queen Charlotte Islands off the northern coast of B.C.) I do have to apologize for the tropical shell. Ahem. I didn't have any tiny local shells.....

Anne Atkinson
North Saanich, BC

(ed. note - many of Anne's tags were completely different)

My Passion for Copper - Part III
Etching Copper

(check previous issues of byhand for Parts I & II)

Several years ago now, I had an exhibition of calligraphy at the Rollin Art Centre in Port Alberni, B.C. I had just read about a technique for etching copper, and just knew that I could do it. If you don't like using chemicals, you won't like this project! Basically, you are using a chemical to eat away the copper all around the image you wish to keep. In this case it was the logo of the exhibition.

This image really did not scan well. The copper plate is mounted in the front cover of my exhibition catalogue (the one and only exhibition catalogue!) and the cover paper is a dark green - it looks grey here and I couldn't seem to solve the problem....

To do this, you will need

  • copper
  • Etchant (bought at Radio Shack)
  • packing tape
  • a shallow container (such as a plastic container for sandwiches) to use for a chemical bath. This must be large enough to hold your piece of copper lying flat
  • a rubber stamp or drawing.

I used the copper I had bought in sheet form that is 0.0095" (twice the thickness of the Lee Valley plant tags) and cut a piece with tin snips that was approximately 5 x 3 1/2". I put clear packing tape all over the back (if you don't the chemical will eat through the whole sheet of copper!). Clean the surface of the copper before applying your image. To get your image on the copper you have some choices, you can stamp onto the copper using a permanent black stamp for ink, or use a Sharpie felt pen to draw a design. Allow them to dry. For Lines of Evolution, I did a copy transfer using acetone.

Wear gloves and eye protection whenever you deal with chemicals!
The next part was quite awkward and setting it up before pouring the Etchant into the container is a wise idea (which I didn't do!) . Using the packing tape, I suspended the copper plate in the container so that the surface would be submerged. Perhaps using clips or clothes pegs to hold the tape into the side of the container would be a good idea.

When you are ready, pour the Etchant solution into the shallow plastic container. Make sure the copper is suspended and the surface is submerged. I returned every 15 minutes to gently stir the bath and after two hours, removed the plate from the bath and rinsed it generously with tap water into the sink. A little scrubbing removed the black where the image was. Amazing. Isn't chemistry wonderful?!

The chemical in the Etchant is Ferric Chloride. Other chemicals that etch copper are: Ammonium Persulphate and Sodium Persulphate (and this information comes from internet research, not personal experience!)

Ammonium Chloride and Copper Sulphate are some of the ingredients used in the Patina solutions I have mentioned before. Obviously Copper doesn't like the chlorides and sulphates - but I like what they do to the copper!!

Stay tuned - next month we'll do other copper treatments...

Just a little note about these items I have for sale.

I really don't want to charge you a whole lot for shipping. That's the beauty of no shopping cart (which automatically calculates your shipping). There's nothing worse than making purchases that you know will fit in a little envelope and paying $10 plus for shipping! So, if you decide to combine the items below, and it doesn't add up to very much weight, you don't have to pay a lot of extra shipping. Please feel free to email me for more information! I'm delighted to help you create beautiful things.

Shipping for most items will be $2 within Canada and US$2 to the United States.
If you have a lot of items the cost may be slightly higher.

You may wish to email me to check for availability! Send me your list and I will try to unravel the mysteries of Canada Post guidelines!!

Please make your cheques payable in Canadian or U$ funds to Suzanne Cannon.
Quietfire Design, Box 1231, Port Alberni, B.C. V9Y 7M1 Canada  Thanks!

Waxed Linen Thread

Prices: It is $0.50/yard Cdn ($0.30/yard U.S. funds).
Here is a list of the colours I currently have in stock:

butterscotch Victorian rose royal blue
sagee drab plum navy blue
dark forest green Lavender denim
dark emerald rust walnut brown
slate grey maroon dark chocolate
oatmeal Country red black

For those of you who have taken the Coptic Stitched Class, it takes two yards of thread to complete the book as we made it.

For those of you who have taken the Criss Cross Coptic, you will require five yards per book.

The eyelets!

Yes, yes, I know, it's hard to see them.... That's because they're weeny cute little guys. They are 1/8" eyelets. There are regular and long neck eyelets - you can see the difference between them in the pair to the right.
100 eyelets per package, specify long or regular neck.


(the regular neck are gold coloured and the long neck are real brass)

This is just the best little eyelet setter! It's hard to mess up, in fact, since I began using this setter, I haven't messed up!


$8.50 each
US$5.50 each

I have put together some Book Cradles for sale as some of you have been asking for them. They are not things of great beauty, but really, really handy for when you have a lot of holes to pierce. The legs come off so they're perfect for going to classes. They are large enough for an 8.5" spine length and are $18Cdn (or $12US - to the States). I will try to bring these to classes so you can see them in person!

Book Corners

Jazz up your book covers with metal corners!
I use them on the foredges of books, by applying a little glue and then crimping them, ever so lightly with a pair of pliers.They are all brass except the 3rd one down is Nickel or silver coloured.
50 cents Canadian (or US$0.35) each. They fit nicely on a bookboard of about 2.2mm thickness covered with decorative paper.

Suzanne's Schedule
Winter 2003

Jan Victoria Artist's Journal Paperworks Gallery
Jan 18 Surrey, BC Eyelet Book Private Class
Jan 25,26 Edmonton, AB Artist's Journal Edmonton Calligraphy Society
Jan 29,30 Red Deer AB Pipe Organ Binding Lettering Arts Guild
Feb/Mar Port Alberni BC Beginning Calligraphy 5 evening classes - starting Feb 11, 2003 - Port Alberni Parks and Recreation
Feb 1,2 Red Deer AB Adding Funk to your Foundational Lettering Arts Guild
Feb 22 Port Alberni BC Charmers II Port Alberni Parks and Recreation
Mar 1 Burnaby, BC Creative Bookbinding Burnaby Community Education
Mar 2 Surrey BC Criss-Cross Coptic Private Class
Mar 8 Winnipeg, MB Adding Funk to your Foundational Calligrapher's Guild of Manitoba
Mar 9 Winnipeg, MB Artist's Journal Calligrapher's Guild of Manitoba
Mar 29 Port Alberni BC Instant Letters Port Alberni Parks and Recreation

If there is any information you would like to see in this newsletter, let me know. Each month I will email you to let you know the new issue is published. If you know someone who would like to receive notice of byhand, just have them email me and I will put them on the list. Bye for now and thanks for visiting!
(250) 723-0321 Quietfire Design

The original title lettering of byhand was done with a Mitchell's Roundhand Nib, size 0, and Higgins Eternal Ink. Quietfire Design Rubber stamps were used to create the other designs.


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© 2002 Suzanne Cannon
This newsletter is for the personal use of the subscriber and may not be reproduced without written permission from Suzanne. You are welcome to email or print it in it's entirety to share with friends, but ask that you include this copyright. Thank you for your help and your understanding.