Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Fixing a Pastepaper Disaster

Sometimes pastepaper turns out amazing, sometimes not so much. My pastepaper is pretty hit or miss. I often have lovely sections that will work just fine for covering a book or adding accent pages. Some pages just sit in storage because they just aren't anything special.

Most of the time, I make envelopes out of the extra (see my tutorial here). In a moment of recklessness, I decided to sacrifice a sheet to the printer. It turns out, you can print on pastepaper!

It was super simple. Here are a few steps:

1. Determine what size your finished pastepaper will be. Mine is going into a 5x7 book, so my paper needs to be 10x7.
2. Then I found a little flourish online and made sure it was available for personal use.
3. Then open your design in Illustrator and convert it to vector so you can size it without losing quality.
4. Finally, send it to print. I have an Epson and it accepted my paper just fine.

Tip: If you want to be sure to have an even print, spray your paper with a little water and run an iron over it on low heat.

I think these will make lovely endsheets.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

How to Make an Envelope

You can make envelopes out of basically any kind of paper. I personally love to use scrap paper; it feels good to get some extra use out what would otherwise end up as garbage. Magazines are a perfect candidate.

 Sometimes I get to the end of a pastepaper extravaganza and wonder what I will do with all of the extra. Envelopes! 

First, decide what size you will need. I typically use a standard size envelope and then leave a little extra for tabs. When I first started making these, I took apart an envelope that I liked to use as a template. Paper Source also sells these fancy envelope templates.

Then, score your folds. It's nice to have a ruler and a bone folder, but I have used basically anything with a straight edge.

Next, crease your folds and secure the bottom 3 with a bit of glue or tape.

Voila! You can seal the final edge with whatever you like. I have a little wax seal that is fun to use, especially on scrap paper envelopes as it dresses things up a bit.

Your friends (or in my case, nieces) will be so impressed. And yes, you can send them in the mail as long as you have the correct postage.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Pastepaper Recipe

Pastepaper always feels like a series of happy accidents. I know there are professional pastepaper artists, but I am not one of them. This activity is perfect when you have a bit of time and feel creative. I like to move all of my furniture out of the way and paint all over my laminate floors. This recipe cleans up easily, but lay down plastic if you are at all worried about stains.
Here's what you need:

  • Good quality paper (I like drawing paper, 80lb at least)
  • Spray bottle
  • Paint brushes of varying size
  • Sponge, cups, spatula, other tools for adding texture
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Paste

There are dozens of recipes for pastepaper. One of the easiest uses just cornstarch and water. It isn't science though, so play around with the recipe until you have a consistency that you like.

Paste Recipe

Mix 1 cup cornstarch + 1 cup cold water. Set aside.

Next, boil 7 cups of water. Remove the pan from heat and add cornstarch mixture. Mix with an electric beater for at least a minute to remove lumps. You should have a heavy, smooth paste. Paste only gets better as it cools. It's perfect the next day.

Paste will keep in a cool, air tight container for a few days. When the paste is completely cool, it will be a little stiff. Blend it again and add a little water to smooth things out.

Here are a few examples from my most recent afternoon of pastepapering

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Creating a Logo: Catch the Vision Before You Go Bankrupt.

A huge problem facing people who want to make a great logo for a company or a product is that they haven’t a clue as to what they want their logo to look like. They’ll often hire a designer and expect him or her to know intuitively what pleases them without giving them a whole lot of direction. Well, unfortunately, they can't read minds, let alone if the pages are empty. Fill the pages, and then show them to the designer. Otherwise you'll waste a lot of time and money when they're not quite understanding what you're laying down. I’ll show you how to do it, but you’re going to have to get yourself alone, and take 30 minutes to do it. If you can spare the time, then keep reading.

Brainstorm images that are associated with your product name or function. ie: Apple created an image of an Apple to reflect its name The NBA uses the image of a player dribbling. Don’t worry about how hard it will be to draw the image in your mind, just jot it down and move on. Everything is possible when you’re brainstorming. Don’t hold back.

Step 2: SKETCH
You don't need artistic skills to do this, just get out a piece of paper, a pencil, and draw the images that are in your mind to the best of your ability. Don't be afraid to scratch a few ideas out every now and then, but don't make it a habit. The point of this exercise is to get as many images as you can think of on a piece of paper to get you ready to experiment.

When you find one or two that you want to start working with, try writing your company’s name in all caps to the right of the Logo. Does it look good? Darken the letters to see what it would look like bold. Redraw your logo and put your name somewhere else. Keep doing this until you’re struck in awe thinking, “That could really look good.” If you don’t reach this point after working with it for a time, don’t worry, maybe that image isn’t the best one to use. Go back to the paper you used in step 2 and either 1) pick a new image to experiment with, or 2) create a new sketch of a few new ideas you got since you were last here.

Rinse and Repeat until you feel satisfied with an idea. Heck, make multiple ideas and bring them to a designer, ask them to sketch them up quickly and pick 2 or 3 you'd like to see high def. If you have an idea of what you want ready before you talk with a professional, you’ll save a lot of valuable time and money as he or she will be able to work quickly and efficiently. If you still doubt, then let me tell you that it worked for me. Therefore, I believe you can do it. You should too.

I'll post again soon on some tips on making your own logo. As always, please feel free to comment or post based on what you like, don't like, or have suggestions that can be helpful to our readers.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

RedNook Event: Sale Ends Soon!

K.Beck books is being featured on RedNook this week! We are thrilled to be working with the good folks at RedNook. The sale ends tomorrow, so hurry over and check it out:

Monday, April 16, 2012

Check Out Photos from The Blot Event!

Thanks to all who came to the first Blot Event and congratulations to all of the contest winners. We feel the event was a roaring success and would welcome and and all feedback.

The Blot: Workshops for Writers is in support of local authors. We will be starting up a sponsored writing group in the near future. If you are a local writer who is interested in joining, please leave a comment with your contact info, or send us an email.

For those of you who missed it, have no fear, the next Blot Event will be coming soon.

A few photos in the meantime:

K.Beck books display table

TM Publishing co-sponsored the event.
Thanks to all of our talented speakers.

Blot: the Notebook giveaways!

Refreshments (mmm...)

All photos courtesy of Savannah Wood from TM Publishing.

Don't forget to sign up for the sponsored writing group (if you are on the fence, send us an email for more info). Hope to see you there!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Introducing Blot: the Notebook

In preparation for The Blot Event last week (huge success, thanks to all those of you who attended, photos coming soon!), we prepared some notebooks for our attendees. They were a hit and we are proud to announce that they are now available on the website.

Okay, so the wax seal plays no role,
we just find it charming.

Blot: the Notebook are 3x5 notebooks. They come in packs of 3 notebooks for $12.

Photography by JGublers Photography. Gorgeous, as always.