I’m always trying to find ways to get my creative cobwebs cleaned out. Nothing does this better or faster than a novel that sinks into my every waking (and non-waking) hour. So, I thought I’d give you a good summer reading list to jog your memory full of explicit, aching, unrelenting, focused and imaginative visions. A great novel is like a great acid trip. Or so I’ve deduced from all that I’ve read about the stuff.
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Happy New Year!
As promised, I’m back with part 2 of the affordable book round-up. (check out part 1 here).
 Lotta Jansdotter Stencils (available for preorder), $25.95  Twentieth-Century Pattern Design, $35  Very Small Shops, $40  The Graphic Eye: Photographs by Graphic Designers from Around the Globe, $35  I Will Never Forget You: Frida Kahlo and Nickolas Muray, $24.95  The Book of Stamps (photo by Julia Rothman), $23  Playful Type, $39.95  Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts: Woolly Embroidery, $14.95  Naïve: Modernism and Folklore in Contemporary Graphic Design, $50
‘Til next week! As always with OK Great features, if you have a submission we’d love to hear about it. You Can Afford It Fridays submissions or round-up ideas can be sent to me (Ellie) at mintdesignblog [at] gmail [dot] com.
One thing I always ask for for Christmas is books. I love to read, and although I stick to a good novel for my daily dose, I also like having some beautiful design & DIY books around for when the feeling strikes. In researching this post, I found a million books I’d love to add to my collection, so this will be Part 1 of the You Can Afford It Friday book round-up, and Part 2 will be up on January 1. (I’ll be taking next Friday off cause that’s Christmas… can you believe it?).
 The Map as Art: Contemporary Artists Explore Typography, $45  The Printmaking Bible: The Complete Guide to Printing Materials and Techniques, $50  Sketchbooks: The Hidden Art of Designers, Illustrators, and Creatives, $30  Stencil 101 Decor: Customize Walls, Floors, and Furniture with Oversized Stencil Art, $24.95  The Pattern Sourcebook: A Century of Surface Design, $35  Postcard, $29.95  Reprodepot Pattern Book: Flora and Reprodepot Pattern Book: Folk (225 Vintage Inspired Textile Designs), $24.95 each  1000 Fonts: An Illustrated Guide to Finding the Right Typeface, $29.95  Appliqué Your Way, $19.95
See you on the 1st! As always with OK Great features, if you have a submission we’d love to hear about it. You Can Afford It Fridays submissions or round-up ideas can be sent to me (Ellie) at mintdesignblog [at] gmail [dot] com.
Yesterday I went to The Handmade Market in Raleigh, and it was pretty neat. My favorite purchase was a beautifully bound sketch book made by Pell Mell Press.
I’ve attempted book binding a couple times, and my disastrous attempts made me appreciate Pell Mell’s craft even more. I was also impressed by the different binding techniques.
When I got home I went to the website, and I was blown away by the restoration projects. Pell Mell Press is run by Ashlee Weitlauf, who got her MFA in Printmaking/Book Arts at Arizona State University in 2006 and currently works in ASU’s Preservation Department as a Senior Library Specialist.
I love old books, and it’s great to see them be given new life! You can read more about Ashlee and her work on her website or if you want to purchase your own cute sketchbook or letterpressed stationary, check out her etsy shop.
On one of my trips to the second-hand book store, I discovered an old anthropology textbook with the word TABOO debossed on the cover. I just had to have it. I applied gold leaf to the debossed letters, hollowed out the inside of the book, installed an electric doorbell, and then sealed the book shut to increase the viewer’s sense of mystery/frustration. (I also tried to make it so the book would eventually burst into flames, but that never worked properly – too little oxygen inside the book, apparently. Oh, well.)
A little type play from Amandine Alessandra.
Mike Stilkey paints on books. Which is, by the way, much better than banning them from the library.