Storing scrolls in ancient Rome from A History of Reading by Canadian author Alberto Manguel.
January 2002- Issue 9

Happy New Year!

Well, here I am, late again.... I'm trying to make New Year's resolutions and I'm not having any luck! I'm already a failure!  :-)

An online group I have the honour to be part of has been talking about creative "daily practices" tied in to New Year's Resolutions (some of you already know all this or, ahem, even brought up the topic!). Some members are planning small daily collages on 3x5 cards, others to practice lettering everyday (something I used to do...), some to write in their journals. I think this is a brilliant idea! Any takers from this group? Let me know if you're up to the challenge and how it's going!

Before I can even think about that kind of thing I have to clean up! I can tell I'm getting old by the amount of stuff I have. I want to try everything, every technique and toy! - and I have so much trouble organizing all this stuff. So I guess this boils down to is the Year of Organization. Doesn't sound very creative does it? But it could certainly be a daily practice....

I've heard that it takes 12 weeks of "doing" to make something a habit (hmm, I thought that was to help break a habit.... oh, sorry that was 12 steps..!). So, if I can stay organized for 12 weeks it'll be a habit? Anyone want to test me on that? This reminds me a bit of that fellow Oprah had on her show. He wrote a book about making just one change and how small changes can greatly affect your life. Now, do you think I can find any more information about him right now...? Sigh.

Well I hope this year brings you new creative challenges and that perhaps a daily creative practice might flame new passions (artistic, please!) and improve your abilities!

I look forward to seeing you in classes and online this year. All my best!

and I promise to add more graphics next month....

I have added a printable general supply list for bookbinding classes to my website. Click here to see it!
(The back click will take you to the Classes page!- sorry - use your browser back to return here)

Welcome to issue 9 of byhand! If you wish to check back issues of byhand click here.

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

To subscribe: send me an email saying 'subscribe'!
To unsubscribe: send me an email saying 'unsubscribe'.
To change your email address: send me an email with both your new and old address. Thanks!

Please feel free to browse through my website Quietfire Design. There is no link from my website to this newsletter. I suggest that you bookmark the index page of this newsletter, so you can return here at any time.

Alphabet Tag Swap

Seventeen inspired artists are poised to create fabulous tag art for our Alphabet Soup Tag Swap. The letters have been assigned and my creativity heat sensor has pinpointed 17 spots across North America where tags are being made at this very moment. Right? The tags are due to me by Jan 30, but any time before that is just fine, too!

This is just too much fun!


Gentle Thoughts

This piece was a departure from my usual prissy lettering style! I can really identify with the quote. When we moved here we bought a house across from an Agricultural Land Reserve and two months later the city, in their infinite wisdom, applied for and succeeded in having that zoning removed. They plan to sell it for commercial use. I do not wish to be across from a commercial development. There will only be one good outcome from the cutting of those huge trees. I will have a fantastic view of Mt. Arrowsmith. But of course I won't be able to see it, as I will be heavily sedated......!
This piece was done using gesso and masking fluid as resist. Watercolour and gold leaf.
It is now in the collection of Susan Ewart.

Site Siting

My friend Cathie has this website that is sure to bring cheer to the dreary days of January.

First let me tell you a little bit about Cathie. When I first met her she was working in the University of Victoria library as the Telex operator. At home she was extremely creative making wonderful stuffed animals, exquisite embroidery and quilts. (Cathie has really classy taste) By day our cheery heroine with the conservative demeanor continued at UVIC as an admin. assistant in the School of Child & Youth Care. By night, our wicked genius poured over books about learning HTML in 7 days and in March '95 hatched her first website.

Back then most website were academic in nature (yawn here) and she noticed there was no central humour directory. Thus was born the Centre for the Easily Amused. (trumpet fanfare here)

Popularity for the site grew (click, click, click...). I guess she knew she really had something good when Netscape put her site in What's Cool on their start page. One small problem.... her server couldn't handle the traffic and it was constantly crashing! (snicker - I love success stories like this!)

As time went on she began incorporating more articles and graphics and the site received more and more attention. Four years ago she sold the site to Uproar, but remained the creative genius. She left UVIC for a full time salary (overnight becoming a thousandaire - her expression!) and a staff (plus perks, like flying monthly to New York). She had a weekly mailout to over 40,000 subscribers.

Alas, Uproar was bought last year by the nasty corporates and the beloved site is no longer the same. They denied Cathie's request to return the name to her and no amount of corporate wrangling could reclaim Cathie's birthright (or something like that....).

Now Cathie, proudly wearing her tiara and feather boa, is on to her new venture

...and she wanted you to have something to fill in your work day, so click here to view and print your very own sillybuddy fingerpuppets!

Thanks Cathie!

Her site is a family site, but you may occasionally find warnings of a naked bottom... Make sure you get on her mailing list - her newsletter has a selection of quick jokes and links that you can pick and choose from. It's guaranteed to produce a mid-winter snicker!

Teaching Schedule
Winter and Spring

To get more details go to my website Calendar of Events page. Use the back button on your browser to return here.

Jan 26  Victoria Coptic Stitched Journal  Private Class. Full
Jan 27  Victoria Coptic Stitched Journal  Private Class. Full

Feb 2  Burnaby  Instant Letters  Burnaby Community Ed
Feb 3  Surrey  Instant Letters  Private Class.

starting Feb 6  Port Alberni  Beginning Calligraphy and Continuing Calligraphy for Parks and Recreation. Six week class. Tuesday evenings 7 - 9 p.m. To register please call (250) 723-2181 after January 3, 2002.

Feb 9  Port Alberni  Instant Letters  Parks and Recreation

Feb 16  Courtenay Beginning Calligraphy  North Island College

Mar 2  Port Alberni  Charmers  Parks and Recreation

Mar 9  Burnaby  Artistís Journal in a Day  Burnaby Comm. Ed.
Mar 10 Surrey Coptic Stitched Journal Private Class.

April 6  Victoria  Artistís Journal in a Day  Fairbank Callig.Soc.

April 13  Courtenay  Instant Letters  North Island College

April 20 Victoria Instant Letters Shoreline Community School

May 4  Port Alberni Spring Craft Fair  P.A. Athletic Hall

May 25  Kelowna  Focus on Foundational Kelowna    Calligraphers Guild
May 26  Kelowna to be announced Kelowna Calligraphers    Guild

New!  Early June   Vancouver  to be announced   Westcoast   Calligraphy Society

Don't Forget!

and will run September 13-15, 2002, in Richmond, B.C., featuring artists like Nina Bagley, Karen Michel, Claudine Hellmuth and Mary Jo McGraw just to name a few.Registration begins February 1st.

For more information about ARTwerx, see the last issue of byhand or click on the logo above to go to the website.
For the information of our American subscribers, this conference is a great deal due to the favourable Canadian/American exchange rate.

What is a 'zine?

'Zine is short for personal magazines. They are magazines or pamphlets one publishes oneself and may be hand-drawn or computer-generated, full of writing or artwork or both. 'Zines are produced out of a passion for the subject rather than for profit. They are usually reproduced at a copy center and have some sort of inclusions. They are really a labour of love and I applaud anyone with the kind of energy and drive needed to produce one. I think I will talk more about this next month....


Books to Inspire

I promise next month this column will be about a book! But now I'd like to tell you about a 'zine that I've found - or it found me....(if you are unfamiliar with the concept of 'zines read my little blurb at the bottom of the other column). In the fall I sent away for a copy of ARTitude zine. Now, as far as I know, you won't find this on the news stand, so you should check out their website.

ARTitude is the combination of two very talented ladies, Helga Strauss, who lives in Victoria and Suzanne (Suz) Simanaitis, a Californian. They met online during a tag art swap. Here is how they describe their publication:

ARTitude Zine is a printed art publication filled with artwork, essays, projects, tips of the trade and useful information, delivered in a fun and funky format. We explore assemblage, altered books, collage, rubber stamping and much, much more! Artitude is our zine title and manifesto. We feel that we all have talent. The artist exhibiting in the gallery doesn't necessarily have better talent or skill than the rest of us, but he or she has plenty of confidence. So, this zine is about getting your artwork out into the public eye, and building confidence in your work and in yourself.

Audacity, baby. ARTitude.

Now, who can resist that line?!
This is alternative art, stuff I never would have been attracted to 10 years ago. But alternative art styles have gotten under my skin and my art is being influenced. My feeble-by-comparison attempt was completed in August and nicely fit their winter theme of Ancestors. In my infinite wisdom and organization, I managed to miss their deadline. However, the ladies were kind enough to put my artwork on their website. You'll find my piece in their Winter Gallery section - at the end on page 6. Thanks, ladies!

Studio Tips

Last month we looked at document corners as bookmarks. Well, as life would have it, someone suggested merely cutting off the corners of an old envelope, et voila, a bookmark! I think I still like the idea of having the template, so that it's flat to decorate, but this is definitely worth mentioning!

Another tip sent in by Marilyn in Courtenay, is to use a serger threader for threading difficult jobs. Mine cost $3 Cdn plus taxes.

Joan & Ginny sent me a dental floss threader which is a loop made of thin plastic and available at the pharmacy - they assure me it is a great bead threader! I'll bet the price is right, too.

Thanks for these tips, ladies! I need all the help I can get!

For those who will or have taken the Coptic Stitched Hardcover Journal class, let me tell you about something I clued in to....  You know how the wax on the linen thread can sometimes look white? Well, it annoyed me, so I took my heat gun to it (I'm sure a blow dryer will work) and gave the stitching a quick shot of heat; the wax melted and the thread showed it's wonderful colour. I'm happy.....!

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!


For those of you who have taken the Coptic Stitched Class, you may still acquire waxed linen thread from me. It is $0.50/yard.
If you send me a SASE with your cheque (made out to me personally) that makes life a lot easier for both of us! Please email me before to check for availability. Thanks!

Here is a list of the colours I current have in stock:

walnut brown
olive drab
Victorian rose
dark forest green

It takes two yards of thread to complete the book as we made it.

I have put together some sewing 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. They are large enough for an 8.5" spine length and are $20Cdn (or $15US -new price!- to the States) shipping included. Email me if you can't live without one! I will try to bring these to classes so you can see them in person!

Here is my nasty little illustration of one!

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.



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© 2002 Suzanne Cannon
It 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.