Monday, November 21, 2011

The Minibook Extravaganza!

Day 1
I started my day super early to make sure my supplies and what not were all collected and in order. The car was packed and ready to go around 6. Between all the mapping sites, the car's gps and my parents' advice I was expecting it to take a little over 2 hours to get to the BART station and another 90 minutes riding the trains and doing transfers. By my planning I figured I would arrive in Berkeley at 9:30 and slowly make the walk from the station to Teahouse Studio.

Things did not go exactly as planned. I got to the station at 7:30 and after doing my make up, and transferring trains it was still only 9 am when I got there. This afforded me some extra time for exploring and orienting myself.

I had roughly an hour to kill So I ducked into a little bakery called Bread Workshop. I got the daily "savory" Danish which was tomato and pesto and a single mocha. The Danish was perfectly baked. It was flaky on the outside and when you got to the center the moisture and juices from the tomato melded deliciously with the dollop of pesto and the cheese.
Often I find that Danishes are over cooked and so flaky that the inside is dry and there are flakes all over you. Other times they are extremely oversized and ridiculously overpowering. This was neither. In my mind it was practically perfect and a pleasant way to start the day. They also catered lunch. It was just as good!

As for the class itself, it was great. Elise created a small minibook about the process. We went over paper choices, photos, storytelling and embellishments. It was definitely the "class" portion of the workshop. Also on the first day, Elise showed us 4 different binding techniques to employ with our minibooks. We bound papers using both hand and machine stitching.

The best part was seeing other peoples creative genius at work. We all started with the same materials for these 4 books and came out with all slightly different books. It is inspiring and sparked all kinds of ideas in my mind.

Day 2
Instead of trying to plan out the trip into Berkeley for an arrival closer to class time, I embraced the alone time. I had breakfast at Bread Workshop again, but only got a plain croissant and a juice. Throughout the short walk from the bakery to the building where Teahouse is located, I encountered all sorts of wildlife, mostly friendly squirrels. Also, a cat followed me for about 3 blocks. It was interesting!

The second day of creating, we pretty much just were let lose to work on using our photos to make minibooks of our choosing. The first one was a 4X6 book ring album similar to the previous ones I have shown here on the blog. For this book, I used photos from Sam's wedding and I gave it a landscape orientation instead of the standard.

I'll be sure to show the details of that book once I get the rest of the journaling done in it. I spent a majority of the day just playing with how I could make this book work in a landscape orientation. Seeing what others were working on and how all of their photos and materials were coming together helped. As well as the conversation. Between talking about our lives and things we do outside of crafting, I had slowly made everything I was working on, fit in a way that made the book work. Also, Sam was in love with it when she saw it that evening. I think I will be making her something similar for Christmas!
Off to the right in the photo, you can see the stack of books I made the day before. I love all of the papers we had access to! Not just that, but all the other materials as well!

After lunch, we had some great burritos, we started on the second book. It was another version of an accordion style binding like the one we did on the first day, it has a floral pattern on the spine. The second one was made a little differently than the first. I put a hot pink cover on the front. I wont be showing pictures for awhile since I will be giving that specific book as a gift.
I had a great couple of days and the other women there made it so wonderful! Thank you to Jennifer, Mer, Karen, Tiffany, Mere and Holly for great conversation and inspiration. I am still brimming with motivation! And Of course HUGE thanks to Elise for taking the chance to teach an in person workshop! And Teahouse Studio for making it all possible.

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