Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Supplies Shop Just Opened!

This winter I came to Romania to visit my family and while here I discovered that me and my sister have a lot of materials which we don’t use, accumulated due to our greediness for supplies over time… So what better thing to do than to open a supplies store and sell them on Etsy? We buy our materials from various sources, sometimes fairs or markets, so some may have small irregularities here and there, but what we wish to do is to offer affordable stuff for your craft and describe them as accurate as possible as we know how important it is to have a good glimpse of what you buy.

Visit our shop at and give us your suggestions and opinions!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy holidays!

I wish you all Merry Christmas and a successful, Happy New Year! May 2010 be your best year to date!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Very Useful Present

I'm happy to introduce you to my brand new photo lightbox. I just got it from my dear sister who is a photographer and it seems also an electrician when in need.
I’ve always had troubles photographing my books such as lack of skills and lack of light. There were rainy days when my poor books were waiting for the sun to come out so they can get into my shop. I hope the suffering is now over.

She gave me a few tips so I can share them with you, in case you wish to construct one for yourself. She says it is quite easy and not expensive. What is needed:

- A cardboard box (this one is from Ikea) as big as you need to accommodate the objects you want to photograph;
- 8 neon lamps (8 watts, type T5, 4 warm white and 4 cold white), series-connected, placed two by two on left, right and top sides. These lamps are normally used for kitchen furniture to illuminate drawers, etc… there are other more sophisticated types for larger color spectra (suck as Aquasky from Phillips) but these ones were a good compromise;
- connecting cables (they usually come together with the lamps) and plastic clamps (to fix the lamps onto the box);
- paper for the background. She used white but I want to experiment with different colors and even with fabrics.

Here is a test I made today. The photo on the left is made with the lightbox and the one on the right is taken in my balcony. But today I was lucky because it was a sunny day. The photo in the lightbox shows the colors much more realistic and much better details in the white region, because the pages of the book are actually light yellow. Also, it provides light diffusion which is hard to achieve otherwise.

The cost for my box was ~70 usd. Good luck in case you want to make one for yourself :)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Real Bibliophile

Today was a funny day at the fair. It seems that some people don’t care for books anymore, while others go so far as to dig them up from the garbage container :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A treasure from a trip to Lisbon

Last week I went in a very short trip to Lisbon. The weather was awful but I was really excited by the trip as I wanted to buy bookbinding supplies (very hard to find otherwise) and to go to my favorite fair from Portugal: Feira da Ladra. That is the fair I went to every Saturday for almost three years, before moving to the north of Portugal.
Saturday was raining, at the fair people had everything covered in plastic foil and I was already getting disappointed that after walking up and down those streets several times I was still unable to find something nice. And then there it was: one of the most beautiful bags I ever found! The man who sold it to me even made me a deal on the price because it was raining, haha. I was so happy! So here it is. Beautiful!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Front Page

Today I made it to Etsy's Front Page! And that is a huge thing :)
I think I was really lucky lately, perhaps with the Christmas coming... I was featured in 4 gift guides and made it to the front page two times this month, thanks to the sweet Amy from Ponder & Stitch and now to Etsy. Thank you guys!

A day later: Update ... and in the Storque, where it sold immediately :)  

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A tiny family

I just noticed what a cute family I put together: the father, the mother and their two sons with their wifes :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

And another book

Yesterday I finished one more book. This one is so dear to me. I made it for my Etsy shop but this is one of those books that are just so hard to let go :)


Keys, many little keys!

Since I started to make books I developed a passion for antique keys: to find them, buy them, use them! I think they go great together with my miniature books.

So last week I finally adventured on eBay, and found that it’s like a wonderful universe of everything your heart desires (yes, I know, I’m probably the last of my species that never shopped on eBay till now). I felt like I was going to the fair from my own home!

I’ve done some research from before to learn how to bid in the last minute, and after losing two times I finally won one! Then, under the shopping frenzy, I kept buying until I end up with more than 60 old little keys!

The first lot already arrived by post. They are beautiful!

Now, “all” I have left is to actually make the 60 journals… :)

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Magic Journal

Today I finally finished a journal that has been waiting in my studio for a looong time. I've been playing with ideas for it since a few months but I liked so much this leather that I wasn't quite sure how to get the best out of it. I think this might be the first journal I make that looks somehow romantic, doesn't it?

A Festa da Castanha

Yesterday was the Chestnut Fair here in Portugal. Traditionally, we cook chestnuts and drink 'jeropiga', which is a strong sort of wine. We cooked ours in the fireplace :)


They got a bit burned, I must say :)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Saturday's Fair Finds

Saturday is the most exciting day of the week for me: the day of the Flea Market!! In Portuguese, Feira da Vandoma, from Porto.

I love going there each time I can, it’s really like lottery! Look at my finds from yesterday:

A very vintage tool bag which I bought to use the leather for my next books but now I'm not sure anymore, it really looks great just the way it is.

An interesting agenda from 1914, it certainly smells like an oldy! It has mostly blank pages inside but also a few writings from different time periods, including some anachronistic entries, from which I suppose it was used by someone who randomly marked important events from his/her family history. The agenda starts with the sentence: “My son got divorced from his wife according to her wish”. There are other interesting entries, and this got me thinking, apropos of today’s blogs and information sharing… how would this person feel to know that his/her journal will be sold at the fair and read by anyone (like me), and how, on the contrary, most of us today are willingly keeping open journals and can’t wait others to read them :) It’s quite a change, isn’t it?

And finally, I got something else that is worth being shown. As my boyfriend said when he saw it, this is a Cobra-Zebra leather hide!! It is actually painted and I don’t know why I bought it, I will probably not use it for my books but I guess it is not something that you see every day :)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The surprise

Last week I got the most fabulous surprise from my boyfriend: three books from the 18th century! I just love their bindings. They definitely need conservation treatment, they are in such advanced state of degradation that I was almost afraid to open them.

All three are bibles printed by the Plantin-Moretus in Antwerp, a publishing house established in 1555 that has survived to the present. Today the printing firm has been transformed into the fabulous Plantin-Moretus Museum.

Here are some great photos of the museum:

Thursday, October 15, 2009

First blog, first post…

Today I finally decided to start my own blog... I’m not sure yet what shape it will take as blogging is really a whole new world to me. But I am really excited on the idea of sharing with everyone my work and studio experience.

My name is Teo, I am a freelance artist and I live in Portugal. I come from a family of painters, so my love for arts and crafts has been with me since childhood. I have a background in conservation of paintings and a Master in visual arts. I try not to let a day pass by without painting, but I am attracted to each and every expressive discipline of art… I’ve recently developed a huge passion for bookbinding which has transformed into an addiction. Making art journals combines so well my passion for books, painting and antiquities. I love to collect antiques and historic art materials, especially pigments. I am one of those people who never get bored, and I like to make so many things that time seems never enough…

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you will enjoy!