Happy Birthday SMPL

Happy Birthday SMPL

December 2015 marked the 125th Anniversary of the Santa Monica Public Library. The Library celebrated from November 2015 through January 2016 with programs and special events that “honor the library’s position as a connecting point – bridging the past to the future, bringing community members together, and plugging library patrons into the resources they need to read, connect, relax and learn.”

I was honored to lead a bookmaking program for families and folks of all ages on Saturday, January 12th.

Jan 9

 125th - fanbook

Make a Fan-Style Memory Book

Saturday, January 9, 2016 at 11:00 am
Main Library, Youth Activity Room, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard

For families with children and adults. Commemorate the library’s anniversary with a memory book in this craft workshop.


Let the fun begin!

WEBi.After folding their accordion spines, participants added covers and pages to create their books.

WEBb.Our first hour was spent learning how to create the book structure and doing so, then…

WEBn.we got to the fun part (well, it is ALL fun…)…what to add to our books.

WEBc.Colorful, glittery stickers were in abundance.

WEBm.The folded “fan” book (which has some similarities to the  “Flag Book“) can stand up on a surface in a star-like shape…

WEBl.so that the pages can be seen from different vantage points, and used to great effect for display. Great for a centerpiece, and to display photos on.

WEBd.Participants enjoyed a multitude of foam sticker letters.  Has spelling ever been so fun?

WEBe.Here’s our line-up of stellar assistants, two library pages (yes, they are still called “pages”,) and a volunteer.  It would not have been the same with out them!  THANK YOU Perla, Keisha and Cassandra!

WEBh.More letter stickers, and a layering of color, texture and shapes creates an elegant cover.

WEBk.This one’s for Mom…(George’s Mom…)

WEBj.The books become sculptural when three-dimensional elements are added.

     WEBo.Proud BOOKMAKERS share their completed masterworks…

WEBa.Displaying an  impressive creativity, use of materials, and sense of design.

WEBg.One appreciative patron took off on the idea of creating a book to commemorate  “her” library…

WEBf.This one may be archived by the SMPL…it’s a keeper.

A keeper of memory, celebration, and possibility.

Like the Library!

Happy Birthday, SMPL!

Material Girl 3: Many Parts Create The Whole

Material Girl 3: Many Parts Create The Whole…FLAG BOOKS!


The fun and innovative Flag Book  structure can be a powerful  form to express thought, feeling and idea through word and image.


Within the flag book…there can be a


We all know that…


Above are Flag Book front and back covers..with a “found writing” title..which employs  text,  color, the font/typeface, the design, composition, and space between the words for cognitive and emotional impact.

WEBn2A single word or phrase can pack the proverbial punch, when paired with color and placement.

WEBn3Putting together “found” words and phrases can yield unexpected poetry…the poetic power of  Found Writing.

Found Writing can help us define our vision (or one of them…)

WEBoWEBo2and give us a hitherto unknown directive of sorts.  We  find that we can advise ourselves…

WEBo4within the context of numerous ideas.

WEBo9The layering of words, colors, shapes and text

WEBo3creates new meanings,

WEBpand may tell us something important…

WEBp3about something we want,

WEBp2or need

WEBp6to know…

WEBp5or experience…

WEBp1or try….

WEBp7You may find that you make a promise…to yourself…

WEBp8That must be kept.

Something new…has been born.

Wave those flags!!!!



Material Girl 2: Many Parts Create The Whole


Material Girl 2: Many Parts Create The Whole


Preparing for bookmaking programs at the West Hollywood Library, the Diamond Bar Library, the Fairview Library, and the Montana Avenue Library isn’t just a labor of love…it can be pure joy.

WEbaWEbbThe spread of papers of just the right thickness, ready to be folded into the versatile accordion/concertina spine.

WEbc1Pages are attached to each fold of the spine. More folds = more page possibilities!

WEbe1A rainbow of front and back covers cut to the same height as the spines.

WEbe3Mottled” book pages.

WEbdHigh contrast, and “grey on grey” spine-cover color designs. The effect can be elegant!

WEbgWEbg2The glory of your basic colored construction paper…not just for kids.

WEbfAssorted papers…Japanese patterns, parchment, and ‘plain brown wrapper” card stock. Variety is the spice of life…and bookmaking!

WEbf1Let’s take a closer look at those papers!  Now…what can we do with them?

WEBmFront cover design…

WEBm1Use of paper heart found at “Trash for Teaching” in Los Angeles, on inside front cover.

WEBm2“Fan” page designs! The pages will be attached to each fold of the spine, and will “fan” out when the book is opened by pulling the back and front covers away from each other.  The “fan” book can also be opened ‘traditionally”,by turning the cover, and moving through the pages by turning them consecutively.

WEbiPutting it all together….a family theme.

WEbi1“Doors” and Windows” can be cut in pages and covers, to reveal the unexpected beneath and behind!

WEbj“Fan” pages are attached to the accordion /concertina spine, seen here in a variety of colors.

WEBkWEBk1WEBk2 WEBk3“Heart” openings on the “fan” pages  (“Windows/Doors”) reveal surprises behind and beneath…which can deepen and expand the theme of the book.

WEBl1WEBlCardboard shapes, another treasure found at Trash for Teaching, create a slight three-dimensional (“relief“) effect, and can be used to create visual frames for photos or other treasures added to the book.


Don’t we all?!!

Material Girl: Many Pieces Create the Whole

Material Girl: Many Pieces Create the Whole


Preparing for bookmaking programs at the West Hollywood Library, the Fairview Library, and the Montana Avenue Library isn’t just a labor of love…it can be pure joy.

Web_p.Prepping for any kind of teaching can be a wonderfully creative and stimulating experience…but preparing the materials for bookmaking can be especially inspiring: sifting through a plethora of colors and textures, cutting an array of papers and boards into a variety of sizes and shapes, and marveling at just how versatile a ribbon can be!

ribbonWEBFor fellow ribbon-obsessed souls…check out “Michaels” dollar a roll ribbon collection…you may just get lucky! I try to keep it limited to one-three rolls each time I visit.

Web_c.The “accordion” or “concertina” fan-folded book spine  is incredibly useful, integral  and applicable to numerous handmade book structures. Here is a “found” accordion spine…meaning it came to me without me looking for it, in the form a brochure for designer tile!

Web_d.Here we have studio “spine-o-copia”…accordion, stitched…and spiral bound handmade and repurposed book spines, vibrating with creative potential…which is what a studio should do, in my book. (!).

Web_aBlicks Art Materials is one of my “team partners.  I love their West LA store, filled with helpful folk, and beguiling materials.  Above is a colorful collection of acid-free tag boards cut to size, ready to be folded into accordion spines.

For the fun and innovative “Flag Book ” structure,”flag” pages will be attached in a pattern to each fold of the accordion spine.

Web_n.Front and back book covers  in bright colors, and natural “tan” are cut to the same height as the brightly-hued spine pieces.

Web_k.Also prepared are cover pieces in softer, mottled pastel, grey and cream tones…to appeal to a variety of  color palettes.

Web_i.The result is a  cover color cascade…

Web_h.A gray “tone-on-tone” (gray on gray)  spine and cover sample will help participants understand how the spine is attached to the covers, and what the design options are.

Web_o.The paper cutter is a tool critical for both accuracy (and peace of mind) and avoiding the aching eyes and muscles that can result from  the hand-held cutter and straight-edge method.

Web_m.Flack jack stacks? No…Flag page stacks…the satisfaction of seeing the flag pages cut and ready to go. Don’t they just shimmer with bookish potential?!

Web_l.Various sized flags an be used in one project…the trick is arranging and attaching them in a consistent pattern to the spine, to avoid a flag page traffic jam and collision.

Web_g.View from the drafting table drawer: materials prepped and safely stowed. We don’t want paint splatter on any of them…yet!

Web_e.Material row…UHU glue sticks, hemp cord for sewing, and covered Japanese paper boxes. Tools of the trade for future projects.

Yes…I will answer the question You may not even know You are formulating…

Yes…you do have to love it!!!

I do…do YOU???!!!

Special thanks to Barbara Meltzer, and the Friends of the West Hollywood Library, for their heartfelt support of creative bookmaking programs at the West Hollywood Library!!!