Tag Archives: Etsy

Check out my water polo designs on ViroBooks

Over the years, I have posted a few water polo posters and designs. This year, I finally decided to print some tshirts with the designs. Check out my designs at my Etsy shop, ViroBooks.

All profits will go to supporting the University of New Mexico women’s water polo team, whom I coach. UNM has a lot of talented players, but travel in this part of the country is truly taxing; our closest opponents are five hours away and we have frequently faced snow storms and car trouble.

I hope that ViroBooks will inspire my water polo designs going forward and inspire design in the water polo community.

Popping up again

I love pop-up books and cards. They join art and engineering in a way that tickles my brain. I love collecting books, and I love designing too.

That love of design has led me to reopen my Etsy store, ViroBooks. My shop has posters, pop-up cards, and hand-bound books.

My latest project is a set of four greeting cards: Cats dreaming of mischief. The cover shows a cat curled in sleep, and four different interiors show different kinds of idyllic kitty mayhem.

I had such fun designing and assembling these cards. I am brimming with inspiration, so look to see some future works related to New Mexico, Albuquerque, science, and more!

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New books in the Etsy store

I’ve been busy binding and I have two new kinds of products in the Etsy store.

  • Canvas-bound journal with original photo cover: a 90-page lined journal with a durable and colorful canvas cover.

  • Mini sketch book: 72-page 4.25″ x 5.5″ sketchbook with Strathmore sketch paper. Bound with a Coptic stitch for a very flexible yet strong spine.

 

All available books are listed here, or can be found at the Etsy store ViroBooks.

 

Hand-Bound Fairy Tale Collection Now Available on Etsy!

The hand-bound edition of Vironevaeh: Science Fiction Fairy Tales is now available for purchase at the Etsy store, ViroBooks.

A preview chapter is shown in a previous post. Additional pictures can be found at the Etsy shop.

The book is printed with pigment inks; this gives more vibrant colors that will not fade. Linen tape and fabric are incorporated into the binding, for additional strength. The paper is 32 lb (copy paper is 20 lb). All materials are acid free. This is a book that is made to last and last.

“Vironevaeh: Science Fiction Fairy Tales” is a collection of 10 science fiction themed stories with 65 original color illustrations, including 9 full-page illustrations. All of the stories take place near the alien city of Vironevaeh several centuries in the future. Enjoy stories about a stained-glass image coming to life, the relations between humans and other inhabitants of the planet, and how children of a new world might remember an Earth they never experienced.

Coming soon

I have three steps forward for the Fairy Tales coming soon:

  • I will be posting a PDF of Vironevaeh: Science Fiction Fairy Tales to Gumroad. This way people can get the PDF without the personal handoff Etsy requires.
  • Hand-bound copies of the book will be available soon on Etsy. Two copies are fully printed. I have also sourced all the materials required so I can work more quickly.
  • I will post a video of me reading one of the Fairy Tales on YouTube. This will also show what the hand-bound edition looks like.

Stay tuned for all these wonderful updates! I will post them here once I complete them.

Upon Book Binding- Getting started and some useful things

Book binding is pretty simple. I do not mean it is necessarily easy or fast, but that you do not need much equipment or knowledge to get started. I think when I first started binding (not much more than a year ago) that this knowledge was a big surprise to me. So, if you are interested in trying your hand at binding, take heart!

Most of what I have learned came from three sources: observation, YouTube videos (such as this one on the coptic stitch style), and this nice book on book craft. With the help of the library, this info is all free.

I once imagined that bookbinding required extensive tools. It is true that the books themselves take certain special materials (you can’t fake nice paper, for example), but the tools required for putting them together is dead simple. I use four g-clamps and a couple well-bound oversize books, shown below. Every book I have ever made was with these four clamps and these two books. Very soon I will be making myself some new presses according to this tutorial, except that I intend to use cutting boards instead of fiberboard.

The only truly essential materials are strong thread (beading thread or linen thread works well), paper, an awl, a cutting board, a cutting implement, book board, and copious quantities of elmer’s glue. I like to order my decorative papers and cloths from Hollanders, and most other supplies like book board, elmer’s glue, and linen thread from Amazon.

The first few times I made books, they were not great looking. There were two primary reasons for this: 1) I did not let the glue dry sufficiently before moving to the next step. Then when I did the next step, the unset material would wrinkle, bubble or tear, and 2) Some papers are really unforgiving and will bubble and wrinkle very easily. Copy paper for example is not designed to be absorptive, and thus takes some skill to handle. I recommend starting with drawing papers or high cotton content papers. These papers will not buckle with too much glue or bubble with too little.

Below are four books I did in the first six months of learning. You can’t see here, but all of them have some little wrinkle or foible here or there. Each was still really exciting; I still had made books! I hope this little discussion is helpful to anyone who is interested, or getting started. I find joy in every book I put together, sometimes to an extent that seems strange. For more pics (of more recent efforts), or if you are interested in my books, check out my Etsy store.

Check out new journals in the Etsy shop

I have added several new items to the Etsy shop, ViroBooks. These items are hand bound blank journals. Each of them has 90 lined pages of 32 lb paper. They have exposed spines with a coptic stitch pattern (this pattern gives the appearance of braiding along the spine). The covers are bound in 100% cotton papers of various patterns. They are $5 each. A couple example shots are shown below (more are on Etsy):

I am still gathering materials for the hand bound versions of Vironevaeh: Science Fiction Fairy Tales. These journals serve a few purposes: 1) drive traffic to the new and thus unrated Etsy store, 2) use up some paper I don’t currently have a use for and 3) practice to apply towards the binding of the Fairy Tales.

Hand bound versions of the Fairy Tales should reach Etsy soon!