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Archive for March, 2010


March 31st, 2010

Just a quick note to blab about a fun project I worked on this week — which includes an illustration of a hockey goal light:

The graphic is going to be used to promote a contest for all fellow Ottawa Sens fans: the winner gets two VIP goal judge seats to a playoff game, right on the glass. Plus a bunch of other stuff like access to a buffet, intermission munchies, and access to the VIP lounge. (Click here or on the graphic above to enter.)

I’m hoping that I can come help get ballots filled out at one of the upcoming games… it involves wearing a construction hat with one of these red flashing lights on top of it and approaching peeps to enter. As you may know, I’m all over helmet-wearing AND hockey, so I hope to make it out one of these days.

In terms of the illustration, I did it in Adobe Illustrator. I drew the outlines and highlights with my Wacom Cintiq, and then all the other elements, I created with the pen tool and my old school mouse. A fun fun job, all around!

horn tootin' , , , , , ,

Lightning Round with Rhonda of MyHandboundBooks

March 29th, 2010

In this age of living on our computers, I still make sure to always have a nice sketchbook on hand. There’s something about putting things down on paper that can’t be replaced by anything electronic… Rhonda of MyHandboundBooks has a special relationship with paper, and her creations are drool-worthy. I’ve bought a couple of her books (one for my sister-in-law, one for me) and was impressed with how well-made and beautiful they were. Take a look for yourself, while we have our little Q&A.

1. How and when did you start bookbinding and paper marbling?
I started bookbinding in 2001; paper marbling didn’t happen until 2008.

2. How did you make the leap to making this your full time gig and selling your work online?
When my son was 2-years-old, I went back to work full-time to an office job. That lasted 5 months. During that time, I discovered Etsy and realized that I could probably manage without the “real job” and I wouldn’t have to miss so much of my son’s childhood!

Brown Suede Leather Diary - Replica Medieval Limp Leather Book Structure

3. Introvert or extrovert?
Depends on the situation, but mostly extrovert.

4. Ideal lazy Sunday?
Hanging out with my family.

5. You used to be a librarian; what’s your favourite book?
There’s no single favorite. But a few that always come to mind when I get this question: Frankenstein by Shelley, A Fine Balance by Mistry, Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Hardy, Catch 22 by Heller.

6. What is your kryptonite?
Ice cream.

7. Where do you get the supplies you use to make your books?
I try to shop locally as much as possible but there are some things that just aren’t available here so I have to shop online too.

Lime Suede Mini Journal

8. You live in lovely Halifax… How did you land there and what’s your favourite thing about it?
After a few years of commuting to work, driving for over and hour to Halifax every morning and another hour back home every night, I moved to Halifax to eliminate that commute. Walking to work was so much nicer! My favorite thing about Halifax is our proximity to the ocean, seeing sailboats and gigantic cruise ships and Theodore Tugboat whenever we want to.

9. What was the first concert you ever went to?
Kim Mitchell

10. Happiest kid memory?
I grew up on a dairy farm and the best memories are hot summer afternoons that smelled like fresh cut hay and the hay elevator clanging in the background.

11. What’s the last movie you saw in a theatre, and did you like it?
Avatar…it was better than I expected.

12. Worst job you ever had?
Waitress at a Pizza House, as the new hire, I always had the late shift with all the crazies looking for food after the bars closed. I didn’t stay there very long.

13. What’s your most popular item?
Lately, my Bookbinding Kit has been very popular.

14. Any suggestions or words of advice to other Mom’s who wish they could turn their hobby into a business?
Take it seriously; get the support of the people around you; dedicate time to your business so that you have official working hours.

15. If you had the time, what’s something you’d work at improving or learning?
I would continue to study book arts. It would be a dream to go to Eurpoe to study bookbinding.

16. Dream vacation spot (barring logistical / budget limitations! ;)?
Various locations in Europe where I could visit libraries and see books significant to the history of bookbinding.

Oak Wood Journal

17. What’s your go-to dish to bring to a potluck?
Spinach Salad with my own homemade dressing. MMMM.

18. What do you like best and least about being your own boss?
Best – I don’t have some boss telling me what to do. Least – Nobody sends me a bi-weekly paycheque!

19. What are you most proud of right now?
My kid. And the new kid that is due in June. Making books is easy in comparison to this parenthood stuff.

20. Finish this sentence: “I am…”
I am so glad that Spring is here.

Primordial Wave - hand marbled paper

Find out more about Rhonda and her handiwork:

Thanks for playing along, Rhonda — and a big woohoo to you as you count down to bambino #2!

etsy.com , , , ,

B is for Baby

March 26th, 2010

The last couple of years, I’ve been surrounded by pregnant folks and newborns. Even one of my cousins (whom I swear I remember used to call people who had kids “breeders”) is expecting! I recently mentioned becoming an Auntie Em, something I’ve gladly been learning to be.

Now, I understand the practicality of having a registry for baby showers (otherwise, Mum might get 342 burping cloths) but I tend to stray from the list and try and make something. Here are a few name prints I’ve done for friends in the past, to celebrate the arrival of their little ones… once printed and framed, they’re a constant ‘hello’ from me right in their nursery:

(For anyone who’s wondering… I do these on my Wacom Cintiq; the outlines are done in Adobe Illustrator, then I do the colouring in Corel Painter.)

So is it me, or are baby bumps everywhere these days? Maybe it’s just something in the Ottawa water.
And do you have a go-to baby gift?

general rambling, horn tootin' ,

© 2010 Emily Chen Design & Illustration. All Rights Reserved.