byhand June 2001
Storing scrolls in ancient Rome from A History of Reading by Canadian author Alberto Manguel.
June 2001

Here is a link to my website where you can check out my calendar page for upcoming classes and events. Hope to see you!
Quietfire Design
Once you have gone to my website you will need to use your browser back button to return as there is no link from my website to here!

Welcome to my online newsletter byhand! This is the third issue and I hope you find something to interest you.

If you wish to check back issues of byhand click here. If you would like to subscribe to byhand just click on the link and send me an email saying subscribe!

Gentle Thoughts

I'd like to take this opportunity to welcome new subscribers to this newsletter!
I just finished up a wonderful weekend of teaching at Paper-Ya! I had to rent a car for the weekend and in my haste to get out of Port Alberni, I left my credit card at Budget Car Rentals. Let me tell you how awful that is!! I got to the ferry terminal and almost had heart failure. Luckily I had enough cash to get on board (and enough for a coffee!). I called Budget and had my husband pick up the card. Whew!

This was not a good way to start a weekend... However, it was a treat to drive a brand new car! And the participants in the classes were so enthusiastic that any early problems were forgotten. A fun thing about teaching at Paper-Ya is that you have students from all over. A few months ago I had Juliana from Hong Kong. This weekend I had a family of ladies from Mexico City, a graphic design student from Toronto and yes, an island person, from Parksville (if I stand on my tiptoes I can almost see her....well, er, not quite...).
I thank each of the participants in my classes for contributing and enriching the learning environment. It has been my pleasure to teach you!

Books to Inspire

This month I would like to tell you about a magazine that I have fallen in love with! It is Bead & Button. I had checked a few back-issues out of the library, then found it for sale at Chapters. However you cannot guarantee you'll find on the newstand every time! Bead and Button is definitely more bead than button, and it also includes polymer clay techniques. Even the advertisements are eye candy! It is truly amazing what some people can do with beads. Of course, I am looking for embellishments for books and there are lots of advertisers with websites promoting their products. You can go to the Bead & Button website to get an idea of what they are all about. Check it out! It's worth the effort!

Classes My next class is

Calligraphy - June 23 & 24th at Paper-Ya,
Granville Island, Vancouver
If you need more information about the contents of this class, email me!

To register for the Paper-Ya classes call
(604) 684-2531 or email them at

Note: after this session Paper-Ya will no longer be conducting classes. So sad!

I will still be teaching in Burnaby in the fall:

The Beginner Bookbinding will be on Saturday, October 13 and a new class, which is a Coptic-Stitched Hardcover Journal with a recessed panel (perfect for a special charm or photo) will be Saturday, November 24. The coptic-stitched books are really nice! They have an exposed spine and we will create faux decal edges with the text paper (not with decorative edge scissors!)

When I come to Vancouver I have traditionally taught in Burnaby on the Saturdays, and at Paper-Ya on the Sundays (except from April on). I am now available on Sundays and currently working with some keen souls setting up some private group classes. If you have any requests, let me know.

Work continues on updating my website. If you find the site is unavailable over the next few weeks, rest assured it will be brief. I am changing servers. Thanks for your patience.

I have put together some sewing cradles for sale. I have only taught one class in which we made these and I know some of you have been asking for them. They are not things of great beauty, but really, really functional. They are large enough to pierce an 8.5" spine length signature. They are $20Cdn and I'll include the shipping within Canada. Email me if you can't live without one!

Tips for Cutting Bookboard

My favourite tool for cutting bookboard is my rotary cutter. I have a quilter's ruler which is 5 inches wide and 23" long and has a lip on the end which allows me to hook it onto the edge of the bookboard so I can use it like a t-square. My rotary cutter has a 45mm diameter blade. (I don't recommend using anything smaller than 45mm, unless your ruler is very thin. The tightening screw on the cutter will rub against the ruler and loosen, thus loosening the blade and making a real mess! Not to mention driving you crazy!)
Here are a few rules to use no matter what tool you are using for cutting:
  • use a cutting mat or extra piece of bookboard under the board you are cutting
  • wear eye protection!
  • make sure your blades are new, a dull blade will really make a mess!
  • try not to tilt the blade from side to side when cutting
  • always stand up when cutting - this allows you to get your weight behind the cut
  • don't try to cut the board in one cut, but rather a series of cuts.
  • try to use a heavier duty blade, not a little exacto
  • try not to use the very tip of your blade
  • if you are not careful you can really do some damage to your cutting mat... Keep checking to see how far you've cut through. You will hear a different sound when you have gotten to your cutting mat.
Any other suggestions? Feel free to jump in!

Envelope Exchange

As a member of the Westcoast Calligraphy Society, I have been involved in an envelope exchange with members of the Northumbrian Scribes and other scribes in Northern England.
Each participant was given a list of people to whom they would send a decorated envelope, one envelope per month. In turn, you received one! Susan Moor and Roy Elwen were two of my calligraphy students when I lived in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in 1988-89. (They no longer need me!!) I thought that I would try and be clever for them (this really strained my brain)! I planned to design some Westcoast Versals (Versals being the first letter in a verse). I managed to procrastinate about this a long time... Susan's was due last July..... I studied some examples of Coast Salish native art and added elements from their art into the bodies of the versals.
When I was studying these designs I was struck by the recurrence of the shapes of the orca tail and the eyes of the birds, raven and eagle. Much of the native art is done in black and red, echoing the colours of long ago western manuscripts. Birdies and Beasties have always been prominent throughout western illuminated manuscripts. I guess nature is universally a favourite topic!
Well, I had fun!

Now, some of you may remember that I promised you fun with wire in this issue. Well, guess what? I take it back and promise it will be the first thing I work on for the next issue of byhand. 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.

Well, I had this little space left and I thought I'd entertain you with this intelligent little bit information.....

:-P ........ sticking out tongue
8-) .........wearing sunglasses
d:-) .........wearing a baseball cap
O:-) .........I'm an angel
:-O .........I'm surprised!
:-( .........I'm sad.
:-D .........I'm very happy.
:-| .........Ambivalent
o:-) .........Angelic
>:-( .........Angry
|-I .........Asleep
(::()::) .....Bandaide
:-{} .........Blowing a Kiss
\-o .........Bored
:-c .........Bummed Out
|C| .........Can of Coke
|P| .........Can of Pepsi
:( ) .........Can't Stop Talking
:*) .........Clowning

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© 2001
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