Methinks... & Links

Hello lovelies.

It's been a while since I've been here, I know. The fact is, I think I'm going to retire this blog. I worked hard on it, and it's done some good for me, but I just don't have the time for it. The shop keeps me busy enough, and my Big Girl Aspirations of being a writer keep me busy too.

So for now, here are the places where you can find me:

CinderLisaDesign - The shop of course is still and will continue to be updated. Available in the shop are a variety of things, but mainly softcover journals, coptic bound journals, miniature journals, and kooky spiral bound notebooks.

CinderLisaDesign on Facebook - Here is where you'll get all the latest news on my shop. Come follow me!

CinderLisa on Twitter - I try and keep up with my crafty Twitter. You can definitely find updates about the shop here. :)

CinderLisa on Ravelry - I'm a knitter, crocheter, and spinner, and I love it. It's my (somewhat) selfish craft. Come friend me. :)

Lisa Asanuma
, Writer's Blog - This is my personal website and blog. Here is where you will find me at my most in-depth. I'll talk about Etsy here sometimes (it's a part of me, after all!) but this blog is devoted to my writing and reading, mainly.

Lisa Asanuma on Facebook - Here is where I check in with people from my writer's profile. Come friend me and find out about all my posts and free reads. :)

LisaAsanuma on Twitter - This is my Twitter for my writing profile. This is where you'll find me most often. A lot of commentary, a little snark. Mostly book love.

Fly Me Away on Tumblr - I LOVE Tumblr. Tumblr is my catch-all. I blog about my Etsy shop here, and there's a lot of love for books, fandom, food, bookbinding, knitting, crochet, yarn, pretty decor... and cupcakes. I reblog a lot of photos of cupcakes. <3

Tales From the Hollow Tree - I post free YA fiction stories here every other Friday, with my friend Isabelle Santiago filling the Fridays in-between. If you like a bit of fantasy, come read. Did I mention it's free? Follow the Hollow Tree on Facebook or Twitter, too.


Okay, I've been absent from the blog for a while now... been too busy getting married (pics of some of the handmade goodies to come!) and branding my writing, but I wanted to come in and showcase a little treasury I made that I just love, love, love. :)

Levi's Traveling Journal Project

A few months ago I got a very interesting email. A woman from a consultancy in London contacted me and seven other members of the Bookbinding Etsy Street Team asking if we'd be interested in participating in creating custom books for Levi Strauss & Co, for a project that revolving around inspiring young women who've proved themselves transcendent in some way—either changing their own lives or their communities.

The opportunity seemed almost too good to be true. Levi Strauss after all, is a household name. (Though jarringly many of the kids my age who I mentioned the project to didn't know who I was talking about, until I said, "You know, Levi's. The jeans company?") To get commission work at all is a special thing—well, for me, many of the other bookbinders on Etsy are more familiar with it!—but to be getting a commission for a big international project like this is mind-blowing. Many of us took the leap of faith, though, and decided to go through with the project.

So much about this project excited me. The company, the mission, the fact that it would mean stretching my boundaries and creating books that were larger than I was used to. It also thrilled me that the woman from the consultancy immediately turned to ETSY when Levi's told her what they wanted to do. She found the Bookbinding Team (we call ourselves BEST!) and gave the links to Levi Strauss, who then selected the shops they would like to participate.

I can't begin to tell you how flattered I was when my shop was selected to be one of the eight shops participating. Eight shops! Out of nearly 175 in the Bookbinding Team. I was amazed and humbled to be selected, as I know that many of the bookbinders on the team have not only been doing this a lot longer than I have, but also have been formerly educated in bookbinding, whereas my training has come from the University of Youtube, growing up in a quilting family, and a LOT of experimentation.

I was really excited about making these journals. They were to be at least 10" by 10", with 72 pages back and forth, but we were encouraged to do whatever we wanted to, creatively, and I couldn't have been happier with that.

My shop has two really distinct styles in it, and so I wanted the journals I made to reflect that. I work mainly with felted wool, either in a raw format, or quilted over in cotton fabric, so I decided that I would do my signature softcover binding in one of each formats for this project.

"Patchwork Mosaic"

The first journal I decided to do came together in a way that surprised me. I knew I wanted to do a sort of mosaic out of felt, but I was planning on piecing bits of felt together, Crazy Quilt style, and then cutting the result to fit the size I wanted. When I started cutting up pieces, though, and laying them down on the base I was planning on sewing them to later... I really liked how they looked simply laid out.

I ended up ditching the piecing idea altogether, and instead quilted the bits of felt down where they lay, giving the journal a very nice and unusual textile feel. The closure came together very naturally for me, and I love the way the raw wooden buttons look against the blues, greens and beige's of the mosaic work. This book feels very Oriental to me, which is also fitting, considering I'm half-Japanese!

"Coral Snake"

The second journal I made was a little more traditional by means of construction. I took several pieces of red and yellow fabric, laid them in stripes with thinner stripes of black fabric between them, and quilted the book together along the lines of the colored strips. The resulting look reminded me of the Coral Snake, so I named it accordingly.

The closure on this one took a lot of hunting through my button stash. I wanted five perfectly mismatched silver and silver-and-pearl buttons. Sure, I could have used five of the same button, but when I laid that out, I didn't enjoy it as much. It took some time, but I finally finally found five buttons that complemented each other, while still giving some variety. A crocheted string wraps around the buttons in a corset-like way, and there is a tiny crocheted star motif on the end of the wrap for a little fun.

These books, along with the others created for the project, are currently being sent throughout the world to be decorated and inscribed by creative young women who have made a difference. This is their opportunity to tell their own story in whatever way they so choose. Later a documentary will be produced to tell the story of the books, and they will be put on display in a gallery setting.

It's really an honor to have contributed to this project. I can't wait to hear back from Levi Strauss, and see what's become of the books I've sent them!

Bookbinding Team Swap!

Okay, I'm way late in posting about this, but I couldn't just NOT do it. Recently The Bookbinding Etsy Street Team, of which I am a more than proud member, did a book swap with a fabulous 21 artists participating. The book I got was from surfbunny, and it is just gorgeous.

The little blurb from the team blog is here:

This book from SurfBunny, aka Duane, is made entirely of handmade paper. The cover is mulberry paper with included skeletal leaves, and the pages are kozo with silk fibers. Duane shares some interesting history behind this style of binding. "The binding is a pamphlet stitch variation of the Japanese Daifuku Cho [trans. Great fortune notebook] book. This type of book was carried by merchants of the Edo period who used them as account books. The tassels were usually quite long and allowed the book to be tied into the merchants belt for security."

I thought the history was fascinating, and really exciting, considering the fact that I'm half Japanese.

The picture really makes the book look impossibly soft and beautiful, doesn't it? Well, it's softer and prettier in real life. I'm half-considering handing this around at my wedding as a guest book... but I don't know if I want to do that. The idea of lots of (not so careful) people handling it makes me nervous!

This is the book that I made for the swap:

I call it "Flashdance" and it was really just an excuse for me to play with my new sewing machine. I had a blast making this journal, and hope to make ones similar to it in the future. :) The inside is just as colorful as the outside, filled with lots of bright happy pages.

It went to PrairiePeasant, who makes some particularly lovely travel journals. She was kind enough to rave about it on her blog here. :)

And the Winner Is...


Congrats! You get 15 mini party favor notebooks! Email me at CinderLisaDesign at gmail dot com with your address color preferences, if you have them.

Do Me a Favor? Contest!

I've been absent a lot on here lately, and that's partially because a lot of big things are going on in my life right now... the biggest of which is—I'm engaged! :-D Haven't set a precise date yet, but I'm planning on June, 2011.

I've also introduced wedding and party favor sets into the shop, just recently. To help introduce this new section in my shop, (not to mention just celebrate in general!) I thought I'd hold a little contest!

So, if you want to win a set of 15 mini notebooks to use as wedding or party favors—or just for fun! Here is what you have to do:

Leave me a comment telling me one little aspect of what would make the perfect wedding for you. You can be as specific or generic as you like. For example, you can say "I want there to be lots of flowers," or you can write me a ten-page narrative detailing everything from the ceremony to the honeymoon—just don't expect me to read every sentence of it, necessarily.

You can gain one extra entry each for the following:
-follow this blog!
-follow my twitter
-become a fan of CinderLisaDesign on facebook
-tell me what is your favorite item in my shop, and why.
-link to this entry, wherever you want (each link is an entry!)

Please do me a favor and post a SEPARATE COMMENT for every qualifying thing you do. This way I can use a random number generator to select the winner.

Winner will receive a set of 15 2.25 by 3.25 inch notebooks, which will be randomly selected by me, unless you have a specific color spectrum request that I think I can match for you.


Coptic Crazy & BEST book swap!

I spent the other day sewing up some mini coptic-bound notebooks, all bound for the shop! The more I play with coptic, the more I love it. Such a simple, quick way to bind something, and it never fails to look great!

This appeals to me especially because I'm always seeing things that make me think "Oooh! That would be a fun notebook!" In this picture alone you can see that, along with some fun scrapbook-paper-covered notebooks, there's also one with a Chocolate Frog Card cover of Lord Voldemort from Harry Potter, and one made from a mini box of Corn Pops. I have to admit that I have a large pile of things just waiting to be turned into coptic notebooks, I just have to get to it!

Also, I recently participated in the Bookbinder's Etsy Street Team's tenth team swap - my first time getting to participate!

I made a forwards-backwards envelope book for the swap, and mailed it to anticovalore, who has a gorgeous, gorgeous shop herself.

This is my book that I made, above, and here below you can see the book that I recieved from kurberry:

I absolutely love it! The detail is lovely and the cover is so touchable... I can't quite explain it, but I'm a very tactile person, and I want to hold this book all the time!

Check out the Bookbinding Team blog for other books that were in the swap! They've all been fabulous so far!