November 2002 - Issue 18

Oprah Winfrey believes the definition of luck is preparation plus opportunity. I'd like to think she's right, as this month I celebrate the beginnings of a most interesting association...

Quietfire Design is pleased to announce that an exclusive line of their hand-bound books will now be available through the Write On! Business Solutions e-commerce corporate gift site.

Sweet Solutions was borne out of Write On! Business Solutions Ltd., a premier office and business product supply company in the city of Port Alberni on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Corporate Gifts has been an item Write On! Business Solutions had been asked to provide to their customers time and again. Searching for the 'write' quality product took Write On! to local chocolatiers Len and Chris Readshaw, and to Quietfire Design.
Quietfire Design is thrilled to be a product contributor to Write On! Business Solutions and look forward to providing quality crafted products for Sweet Solutions.

I don't know. I still think I'm just plain lucky....

Well, thanks for indulging me that little news flash! It's been very exciting and the little elves (I wish....) at the studio are busy, busy, as it's craft fair season, too.

Welcome to Issue 18 of byhand! And welcome to new subscribers! This issue of byhand is a bit shorter than recent issues, but I think you'll be fine with that....(no yawning permitted) You know, I'm going to test each of you when I see you on the contents of past issues of byhand..... kidding!

I'd just like to mention that if you have subscribed to byhand and you are not receiving your notification email, I regularly have emails bouncing back at me! Perhaps some servers think I am spamming.... No, officer, really, I'm a nice girl..... I know that sometimes Hotmail accounts are full and I will get emails back. It's quite the learning experience I am having. I usually try to send the email twice, if it's unsuccessful the first time.

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


The Heritage Album class is coming up in Burnaby later this month. Contact Burnaby Community Education to register (604) 664-8888. There was still 3 spaces available when I wrote this.

It's craft fair season - come on out and get some creative ideas. And if you're at the fairs that I am attending, please grab me a cup of coffee! (Milk instead of cream....) I will gladly pay you Tuesday..... Now, if there is some way you could go to the ladies room for me.....

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.

I hope you enjoy this issue of byhand!

An Unexpected Find

Many of you will recall this artwork from the July/August issue of byhand. When I designed this piece I decided to add this wonderful photo of the women which I had acquired in an old photo swap. I had no idea where the photo was from and hoped the person who sent it wouldn't be mad that I used it so publicly!
Well, recently I had a really exciting email....

BamaJoyce wrote:
I looked at the (art)work and it was "familiar" to me. Then I realized the image of the two women was one I exchanged in the photo swap last year! I LOVE that image. Always have! I just thought you might like to know about the women. On the left is Gertrude; on the right Leona. Each was one of 10 living children of my great-great grandparents.

Joyce goes on the say that the girls' parents were both French Canadian but emigrated to Marinette, Wisconsin, where all of their children were born and raised. Although Joyce never met Gertrude, she knows she married, had children and grandchildren.

Joyce learned of Leona and Gertrude when her grandmother died and looked in her address book. Joyce met Leona in 1975 when her family visited her in Worcester, Mass. She says she still had the same sweet face she showed in that early photo.

At that time Leona was celebrating 75 years as a nun. Leona had entered the convent in Montreal at thirteen and the photo was taken when she had returned home due to illness at about the age of 18. Leona returned and taught 5th grade on the Canadian/American border for 44 years.

My thanks to Joyce for writing to me and sharing the history of Gertrude and Leona. I will never look at this piece the same way again! Those two young women weren't just friends - they were sisters!

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:

To subscribe: send me an email saying 'subscribe'!
To unsubscribe: send me an email saying 'unsubscribe'. I'll live....
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Please feel free to browse through my website
Quietfire Design.
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

If you are in the Montreal area, you have fantastic opportunities to work with internationally renown instructors. Check out Carole Segal Studio of Fine Art.

Nina Bagley will be teaching her wonderful workshop A Pocket Full of Dreams there later this month. Don't miss it! It's worth being there just to see Nina's books!

Newsflash - Nov. 12 - Nina informs me that her workshop has been moved to May! Nina is featured in the current issue of Somerset Studio. I just receive my issue today - oh, hey, I'm in that one, too! But you have to look hard....

Books to Inspire

Byhand is delighted to be included in a new publication by Kara Sjoblom. Kara has compiled a wonderful list of 'zines published by women. Her book, entitled
The Zine Queens - A directory of Art Zines created by Female Artists
contains articles and excerpts from 15 different zines and is 44 pages in length. The Zine directory is $7.00. For more information and to purchase The Zine Queens (gee, I'm suddenly feeling regal) go to Kara's website at
Check it out!
Thanks, Kara, for including us!

Studio Tips

Thanks to Pat Muller from Vancouver for this tip.
Pat is obviously a thrift store junkie. And I mean that in the nicest way! Everytime I see Pat she has a new stash of fabulous fibres which she generously shares with me. And where does she find these fibres? She buys used sweaters, takes them home, washes them and then unravels them. One of her tips is to shop at the Salvation Army in the States on a Monday - all their sweaters are 99¢. In any currency, that's a deal! She has a wise word of warning. Don't wash the yarn after it's been unraveled!

Check it out - I think she has the touch! (this scan really doesn't do these fibres justice)

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!

Swap update and New Challenge

The Seasons Swap is almost ready for mailing as I write this. I will begin sharing them in next month's byhand.
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 I have made.

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!

Tag Book Swap
I will be delighted to sign you up anytime till about mid-December. Ooooo, this should be some serious fun!

Alphabet Tag Swap II

If you're interested the background of this swap click here to read what we did!

My scans just do not do justice to these tags! They are fabulous!

Charmaine Hamilton - did not want to do the usual rectangular tag - so decided on the oval shape. I had tons of fleece, so wanted to incorporate it. The rest was easy - I love the letter "U" but had not considered doing the 'play on words' until it was finished. The dyeing, carding and felting were easy, I had trouble with the concept of how to decorate it, plus I wanted the other players to understand which letter I had been designated. So I chose the metal charms (could not get 13 identical!) and added the envelope.


Marion Dodds
After ruminating on the letter V for a few weeks the word voluptuous came upon me in a flash of inspiration. It may have occurred in a fitness class when it dawned on me that "fat" needed to be reframed!!! I was immediately overwhelmed with a flow of voluptuous V words and decided to word process them for a background design for the back of the tags. Red seemed the "hottest" colour. The "juicy" torso fit the tag shape and I found some velvet in a rich gold.The cutout shape contained a curved v at the top and and inverted v at the crotch. Large chenille V's were glued to the fronts of the torsos and accented with french knots in appropriate "hot spots"! On vacation at Gibsons. I found a card of assorted yarns in rich reds, golds,silvers and greens which were coincidentally labelled "Victorian" so I snapped it up. These created "legs" for the tag;Then I added pretty beads of glass hearts and metallic gold flowers to weight them. Voila! Voluptuous V tags!!!






Marilyn Smitshoek
I started out with the idea of doing who, what, where, etc., but then I came across the stamp of the washing hanging on the line. I already had the little clothes pins, which I had used on some cards and decided to do the washing in Watercolors (another 'w') and to hang in on a line. I did the background with a sponge. I had been collecting W's and I used the stamp to write "washday" below and then decided the composition needed something more to finish it off, so I bought the birds. I had already planned to make it double sided and I had the wooden W's and the beads I had found as well. Then I had one of those "lying awake late at night" kind of flashes and decided to make waves (literally) and turn the wooden W's into little boats. Again I wanted it to look 3-D and I even had the idea of trying to make it so you could move the waves back and forth, but decided that was too complicated. I had enough beads to put two on each tag, so one went on the sail of the boat and the other on the tail of the tag.


Kim Sickler
- For the "Y" tag, the "y" was difficult when just thinking about it. Suzanne also gave me another, the alpha swappers know that I design some of my art quilts, she said, "quilt it"! Oh, no was my mind's first reaction. When the due date drew closer the only thought I had was yellow and "quilt". So.... yellow the tag was gonna be and the "quilt" part would just have to wait until later. I chose an exquisite yellow fabric with a glitz of gold metallic thread throughout the pattern. Fused that on the top of the tag and fused muslin to the back. I had purchased an old brass door plate earlier that day and the thought of metallic or rusted letters came to mind. So....I used an orange, gold, yellow patterned fabric that contrasted nicely with the background for a "y" stenciled plate for the tag focal point . Next, a "Y" patch was made using the letter Y from the Stampsmith's Floral Alphabet. Both of these items were also fused to the front of the tag. I embellished the rest of the tag with metallic gold flowers (jewelry separators) with beads for flower centers; yellow buttons, rick-rack and ribbon thread. Last but not least, I quilted the "y" stencil, patch and ribbon thread using a zig zag or blanket stitch; made a buttonhole for adding fibres to the top. The flowers, beads and buttons were sewn by hand.Yellow fibers were added to complete the art piece. Hope you all enjoyed this alpha swap. I enjoyed participating. Did I pass the "quilt" test for a tag?!
 (ed. note - no kidding you passed!)


My Passion for Copper - Part II

I did a little research the other day on copper. I have bought copper rolled in a tube and flat in a package. I was curious about the thickness and about availability. Now, one of the good things about living in Port Alberni is that it has a lot of industry (mostly foresty-type stuff, but fishing, too), and there are businesses that service these industries. So, off I go with my little samples of copper to Stephen's Sheet Metal. They must roll their eyes when they see me....

Phil at Stephen's assured me that if I wanted to order any copper, it would have to be a sheet that was at least 3' x 8'. Now this is akin to a sheet of plywood. Okay. Let's see what else I can find out...

Phil whipped out his gauge to check the thicknesses and realized that these samples were realllllly thin and went to get his micrometer. I had three samples with me. The piece taken from the roll and the Lee Valley Copper Plant Tag were the same thickness at 0.0045". Gee, that's thin. The other piece that had come flat was much(?) thicker at 0.0095".... Pieces of copper that are rolled are referred to as coils and that is probably how I would get it. (I think it might be easier to store than a 3x8' sheet of copper....)

The samples you see in the scan are the thinner copper. The top tag is the Lee Valley Plant tag which I have used an embossing tool to impress lettering into (recognize the fibres, Pat?). An old ball point pen or end of a crochet hook will work, too. The heart was cut with a pair of scissors (not the sewing scissors....) and then put through a tube wringer (which is what I have instead of a paper crimper). The copper is really no thicker than a piece of cover stock, so you won't damage your crimper.

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

Waxed Linen Thread

Prices: It is $0.50/yard Cdn ($0.30/yard U.S. funds) plus $2 for postage and handling .

Please make your cheque payable to Suzanne Cannon. Please email me before to check for availability.
Quietfire Design, Box 1231, Port Alberni, B.C. V9Y 7M1 Canada  Thanks!

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

walnut brown black royal blue
olive drab maroon slate grey
dark forest green rust butterscotch
Victorian rose plum dark emerald
navy blue sage dark chocolate

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.

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. The legs come off so they're perfect for going to classes. They are large enough for an 8.5" spine length and are $20Cdn (or $15US - 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!

Brass Corners
As well as the waxed linen, I now have some brass corners (the 3rd one down is Nickel or silver coloured) which are 50 cents Canadian (or U$0.35) each. They fit nicely on a bookboard of about 2.2mm thickness covered with decorative paper. Email me if you are interested - I don't think shipping will be too much, but that depends on the quantity!

brace yourselves...

History Lesson

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



When most people think of calligraphy, they think of Italic. Its elegant and flowing lines seduce the eye. To the calligrapher, itís versatility is unparalleled. Although not the easiest hand for a beginner, it cannot be resisted.

After centuries of the rigid formality of the Gothic hands of the Middle Ages the Renaissance arrived, and the flourishing of the arts was reflected in the letterforms. The first Italic writing manual was published in 1522 by a Vatican scribe named Arrighi. The book was printed from wood blocks.

Italic readily adapted itself to a cursive handwriting style. It is the hand of Michelangelo and Raphael. During this time Gutenberg invented movable type, and the printed book came of age. The role of the professional scribe changed from the lettering of books to book decoration and teaching the hand to wealthy individuals. In Germany, type design was based on the Gothic hands and remained that way for several more centuries.

Italic is lettered at 5 pen widths and a 45 degree pen angle.



Gentle Thoughts





Suzanne's Schedule
Fall 2002 and Winter 2003

Nov 8, 9,10  Port Alberni, B.C. Giant Craft Fair  
Nov 15,16 Duncan, B.C. Christmas Chaos Craft Fair 10 - 5pm. Cowichan Community Centre.
Nov 23  Burnaby  Exquisite Heritage Album Burnaby Community Education
Nov 24  Surrey, B.C. Charmers II  Private Class
Jan 25,26, 2003 Edmonton, AB Artist's Journal Edmonton Calligraphy Society
Jan 29,30, 2003 Red Deer AB Pipe Organ Binding Lettering Arts Guild
Feb/Mar 2003 Port Alberni BC Beginning Calligraphy 5 evening classes - Port Alberni Parks and Recreation
Feb 1,2, 2003 Red Deer AB Adding Funk to your Foundational Lettering Arts Guild
Mar 2003 Port Alberni BC Instant Letters Port Alberni Parks and Recreation
Mar 8, 2003 Winnipeg, MB Adding Funk to your Foundational Calligrapher's Guild of Manitoba
Mar 9, 2003 Winnipeg, MB Artist's Journal Calligrapher's Guild of Manitoba
April 2003 Port Alberni BC Charmers II 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.