Pantry Collection - Wasabi Blank Book

Here's the next offering from Sinister and Phred - a Wasabi Blank Book.

Just the thing for hot haiku, shopping lists or just to jot a quick note.

This small book measures barely one inch by three inches but contains a fair number of pages. It is bound with hemp cord using a traditional Japanese Stab binding technique.

Hot stuff, don't miss out.......

Pantry Collection Books

Well, I guess I've been replaced. You may remember my post on the moving game . It seems while I was gone there was some serious moving to do and that young scalawag Sinister up and took my job.

Now his name makes him get teased a bit, but he's no D
arth Vader kind of bunny.

Seems his dad was a big Olde Englishe Historie type fan and when young Sinister was really tiny it was noticed he much preferred his left paw. So instead of a nice sporty name like Lefty, old dad up and gives him this highfalutin baronial name Sinister.

Don't know if he's trying to make up for the teasing, or if he's just quick witted as well as handy, so to speak, but anyway he's taken up the moving game and seems to have done just fine.

Of course moving at this time might be a little easier, it wasn't packages or things which someone might have been interested in, but rather things that Mrs. Farmer Brown was throwing out. It's been the season of cooking up at the farm house and we've noticed lots of coming and going and toing and froing among the farmer folks. Mrs. Farmer Brown has been particularly busy in the kitchen side of things what with taking casseroles and baked goods out to who knows where. She'd lightened the pantry quite a bit we think and the pile of recyclables was getting bigger and bigger.

Of course that was sure to attract the notice of the Baker's Feet Irregulars and they pointed out to Phred that there seemed a lot of cardboard and other stuff just laying there waiting to become something.

Phred of course saw books.
So young Sinister volunteered to try his paw, so to speak, and soon Phred had all the chipboard he could want for testing some of his book binding theories.

Here's the result, we'll call them the Pantry Collection and present them over the next few days.

First off, one after our own heart and we are assured there were no rabbit casualties:
The Pantry Collection Annie's Pasta - Bernie the Bunny of Approval Note Taking Book with bonus:

Happy Holidays to Everyone

The beach has been great the last few days. We had a day with small surf, but big boats moving through the jetties into the shipping channel. Even an oil rig coming in for repair. Then later the winds were a little better and the surf was too.

Now it's time to head back to the warren and see what Phred and crew have been up to.

I hope you all had a pleasant and joyous Holiday and may your New Year be bright and surfingly awesome.


Surf's Down - Winter's UP

Well, we had quite a run during late summer and fall. I can't tell you how many waves were ridden, garden patches harvested, or jars of produce were canned. Let's just say it was tons!

Phred and the youngsters continued with the book and paper making and they have some really neat stuff they will be showing off this winter. The artists colony were all invited over for a great Thanksgiving Feast and let me tell you, artsy types can sure party. Truth is though, they still get up (okay, maybe not exactly IN THE MORNING) and get some serious work done. We got some marvelous batik paper out of them and this is Phred's first book of December.

They'll be plenty more coming because he has agreed to do an exhibition of Art Books for a poet friend. The whole thing will be a gallery show in January.

Right now here's the Lady Bug Lady Bug book.

Our Chop

Surfbunny (c) 2009

Here is our chop, I had this made up years ago while surfing in the Orient and have used it on many boards. Now it seems Phred wants to put it on bookboards of all things. Can you believe it? He uses good wax on thread! and GLUE on boards...... He'll never ride a wave off Maui......

Paper on books and books on paper

Well Phred has me really going here on all this paper making and book making - oops, sorry Phred, "Book Binding" - stuff. Seems a day can't go by now but Farmer Brown is walking down the lane to the mailbox and coming back mumbling to himself about where in tarnation are these packages coming from and why?

He mumbles into the dooryard and places the packages on the little shelf in the mud room and calls out to Mrs. Farmer Brown, "Here's another one Hon. What you think these crazy people are up to?"

She just kind of grunts a reply and then everyone seems to forget about the whole thing.

Phred meanwhile has his ear peeled for the sound of one of his Baker's Feet Irregulars to come charging down the warren and into the book binding shop to give him the breathless news that "another one has arrived."

Then they call me down from whereever I'm contemplating the proper wax to use for the current temperature and humidity level and give me my orders to go up to the house and bring that package back here where it belongs.

Well I guess I've carried a few things in my life and perhaps helped an item or two move from here to over there without too much attention called and so I must be the perfect stooge for this ongoing game. I'm noticing though that a couple of the youngsters are watching my every move and it's almost like they are in pantomime of what I'm about to do or just have done. Got to watch them or they'll be trying their hand at the moving game perhaps a bit before they're ready.

Anyway, back to the packages. Seems like they all are coming from the Amazon or some such. Not so big, but solid and heavy, like there were books or something.

So one day I just stood there after handing it to Phred and seeming like daring him to not rip it open while I watched. He couldn't hold out very long and soon enough he showed me that I was indeed hauling coal to Newcastle so to speak. Yeap, I'm bring books into the bindery, the place where Phred makes books, the place where he tells me books are flying out to new homes all around the world.

I do admit he had me haul two packages down to the mailbox where the postman made them move from here to somewhere else, but seems as though we are getting more books in than books are moving out.

Oh well, I guess some fella named Keith Smith must need to get some lettuce too, he sure packs a wallop in his books for shear numbers of diagrams and curlicues and needle in and needle outing he describes in his books. Guess we've got Vol 1 and 3 now and Phred seems pretty keen to find vol 2, 4 and 5 soon it seems. Real catchy titles too. Non Adhesive Binding - Books Without Paste or Glue Volume 1 - now there's one sure to keep you up at night until you get it finished!

As for the outgoing? Well if the books coming in are about paper, the books going out are on paper. This week we shipped a set of ten to a gallery down in LA. ECO-logical Gallery I guess they call it. They specialize in reusing things in new ways and I guess Phred's Digital Journals with the computer disks and funny parts were a big hit in the recycle-reuse-repurpose world.

Also one of the painter rabbits' little canvases went off to a new home up in the cold weather country.

So, paper in and paper out. Not as catchy as wax on - wax off, but hey I can only supply one memorable quote per lifetime. Wonder what ever happened to that Okinawan guy I used to surf with. He sure was into those tiny trees............


Here's the pics of one of Phred's Digital Journals:

Paper making 101

Phred asked me to tell you a bit about paper making and the problems I've been having. I have been learning from scratch, pulling my whiskers out with worry - why wont it work?

I guess I better start at the beginning.

Paper is made of fibers, and being on a high fiber diet we have lots of fibers in all the warrens, the fine linen Linum usitatissimum the ladies have been weaving has wonderful long fibers, but it is way to valuable to experiment with. Carrot tops are OK but there is a lot of work and little paper making usable fiber. One thing that is in abundance is corn husks, guess humans and bunnies alike don't eat the husks of corn.

So following the directions from one of our tomes I found I had a lot of steps to go through to get usable paper making fiber from corn husks.

First you have to cook the husks, 12 hours later they were still too tough to do much with. Well back to burrowing through the library. Ah, you need an alkali to speed up the process. Soda ash from burnt wood ashes works and Farmer Jones heats his house with wood and has this big pile of ash...

I won't go into all the detail on how we finally made the stuff except to say it was a long hot day.

Cook the husks in soda ash and water, 3 hours later the the husk fibers are soft and pull apart.

The liquid went from being crystal clear to dark brown and smelt a little sweet, but what to do with it?

Well that started a long discussion among the brew bunnies, the baker bunnies and Aunt Aretha, our resident canning and pickling maven. It ended up we neutralized the alkali with acid - vinegar to be precise - if we keep this up Farmer Jones and his wife are going to wonder where all the pickling juice went, Aunt Aretha warned me she'd be making more than paper outta my hide if the pickling storehouse ended up getting a lock down right before cucumber harvest!

After you cook the fiber you have to rinse, then rinse again until the water runs clear, the underground stream the washer bunnies use was excellent for this step - those bunnies are pretty smart too, they had little grove shelves all worked into the stream bed and bank for sitting and holding pots and even a spot to keep their "refreshments" cool. I think I have to come back down here sometime and see just what those bunnies have found to need cooling.

After rinsing you have to beat the fibers, with all the energy the youngsters have you would think that was an easy thing to do. It took a little creative thinking but we put the fiber between some plastic and had them youngsters run and jump and hop 'til it was beaten to a pulp.

Then take the pulp and suspend it in water and use an old window screen to make sheets. Getting the thickness right took a little practice.

After forming the sheets they had to be pressed to get the water out and then dried. Took some thinking here too to get the pressing figured out, but the carpenter crew had an extra couple of barn boards and there was a rock or two we rolled on top and then the whole thing kind'a blended into Farmer Jones ol' "someday might be useful pile" out behind the machine shed and the sun did our work of drying.

From 1 pound of corn husks I got 12 thin sheets of paper.

I'll get Colin to take a picture and post here this afternoon. Not sure what we're going to do with the paper yet. Seems like it would make a great painting surface, or maybe note cards. Real pretty gold color and nice texture. Boy, it all makes me hungry for some of Juanita's tamales, maybe I'll hop over to the cooks den and see what's on the stove.........


Books and ETSY

We are having a great deal of fun with our bookbinding endeavors over on ETSY. It is surprising how the bunnies in the bindery have been able to create a book out of these endlessly interesting items.

I don't want to call it bookmaking - that's what they do down in the teenagers' warren. Seems there's a regular club of racing bunnies and an endless supply of the desire to bet on who can be first out the rabbit hole and into Farmer Jones garden.

In the bindery they are book binding and paper making. Wonderful activities for the hot summer nights and the cold winter days. They have a bunch of specialized equipment and seemly an endless supply of imagination.

Most of their works are currently in the "popular culture" genre, but I have seen a whole table laid out with ancient bindings of many of our most precious codex. I believe we are about to see some medieval style books appear.

The reason I found out about these activities was one day I went into the surf shack to wax up a board and confound it, I couldn't find my best carnauba wax block. I'm rummaging around in my traveling pack and tossing gear here and there when Phred sticks his nose around the doorway and and tries to get my attention without drawing my ire. Okay, so no wax anywhere, I guess I'll see what Phred's all whisker twitching about. He leads me to the bindery and laying there in the middle of a table, like in a place of honor, is my wax block. 'Cept now it has all these lines indented in it. Seems like it is the end all and be all of waxing the linen thread that some of the girls over in the spinning room have been making from Farmer Jones' Linum usitatissimum.

Who would have guessed!

I couldn't really be mad at Phred or the others, they were so excited about what they'd been up to. And darned if the books didn't strike my fancy too. So I slipped a small Pepper Journal into my pack after making a note on the first page to find another block of carnauba wax.

Here's the Pepper Journal.....