The Power of Art with Children (or Why Every Child Should Make Books, Lots of Them)

This is an extraordinary example of a partnership between an artist and school children.  Titled, If I Had a Garden, this book is a real treat. I’d tell you more about what I loved, but I’ll ruin the surprise…

Thank you to Klaus von Mirbach for sharing this on the BookArts ListServ.


You’ll find more of Klaus’ work in his blog. I think his work is amazing!

I especially enjoyed his photographs on his work with schoolchildren.

Have you made art with school children? I’d love to feature your work, too. Please email me or leave me a comment.


A Valentine’s Flutter Book for Your Sweetheart

Ginger Burrell - Valentines Flutter Book Directions (2 of 7)

I love Valentine’s day. I know many people scoff and I certainly would be the first to argue that you should be telling your loved ones a lot more often that they are special to you… That being said, I can’t resist sentiment, red hearts or glitter!

Last year my Valentine’s gift to you was the instructions for a book with a  Polymer Clay Mosaic cover. This year I thought I’d make you a Flutter Book (also called an X Book, Maze Book, or a Cut and Fold Book).

Ginger Burrell Flutter Book Roses Are Red 2014

To create the graphics for this book, I took a basic red heart and used Adobe Illustrator filters on it. This simple technique creates both the variation and the similarity that hold the book together. In a nod to the Valentines of our youth, the text is an assortment of “Roses are Red” sayings that were collected from around the web. The heart on the last page is white in the middle so that you can write in a message of your choice. (Feel free to add glitter…)

Here is the file, print as many as you’d like. Click the link to get the PDF.

Ginger Burrell Flutter Book Roses Are Red 2014

To assemble your book, first print on the highest print quality that your printer will produce. If you’d like a paper that feels velvety and more special than plain copy paper, try Hammermill Color Copy. (Trust me, you’ll fall in love with this silky paper.) Be careful when you print – my print dialogue kept defaulting to “fit to page” which changes the dimensions and will make your book turn out catty-wampus. It is designed to have the hearts and poems centered on each page.

After printing your page, fold the paper in half  (with the images on the outside). Use a bone folder to make the crease sharp.

Ginger Burrell - Valentines Flutter Book Directions (1 of 7)

With your paper still folded, fold each end into the middle fold.  Remember to crease every fold. Unfold.

Ginger Burrell - Valentines Flutter Book Directions (3 of 7)

Ginger Burrell - Valentines Flutter Book Directions (4 of 7)

Now fold your paper in half lengthwise and unfold. Again, crease carefully.

Ginger Burrell - Valentines Flutter Book Directions (5 of 7)

Re-fold your paper in half, with the images on the outside, and cut with scissors, very carefully, from the top of the fold, down to the horizontal fold.

Ginger Burrell - Valentines Flutter Book Directions (6 of 7)

Keeping your book folded, use the outer two folded halves and push inward. The cut halves will fold the other way, so you have an X. Lay flat and press, starting with the back page. Voila!

Ginger Burrell - Valentines Flutter Book Directions (7 of 7)

Ginger Burrell - Valentines Flutter Book Directions (2 of 7)

Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your loved ones!


New High-Tech Vest Can Make Readers Feel Like They’re IN a Book

[Thanks to Margaret Fenney for pointing out this tech on the BookArts ListServ.]


“Climb” into your book in a whole new way with this new wearable tech. A wearable harness, in tandem with a specially designed book, makes your reading a whole new experience. Appropriately they chose, as their first title, “The Girl Who Was Plugged In.” The MIT inventors have titled it Sensory Fiction.


Andrew Hayes: Volumes at Seager Gray Gallery

January 31 (or Feb 1) to March 2, 2014

The  Seager Gray Gallery is a wonderful supporter of book arts and artists’ books. In February, Andrew Hayes: Volumes, will be featured. We always like to wander up to Mill Valley, not only for the Seager Gray Gallery, but also for the great shops, restaurants and concert venue.

Andrew Hayes: Volumes at Seager Gray Gallery

Andrew  Hayes - Andrew Hayes Placer an altered book and steel sculpture at Seager Gray Gallery in Mill Valley California San Francisco Bay Area

[Placer, 2013]

Andrew Hayes’s sculptures embody a tactile exploration of scale, a push-and-pull between the immense and the intimate. His juxtaposition of materials from the tough environs of industry with those more familiar to the softer world of study, and his use of forms reminiscent of monuments, architecture, and landscapes in objects that can be held in your hand invite a pleasant confusion about the indicators of size.

From the essay by Wes Stitt

Andrew  Hayes - Furrow

[Furrow, 2014]

Reception for the Artist is Friday, February 7th, 6-8 p.m.


Free Custom Printed Fabric Swatch – Spoonflower – 24 hours only (Hurry!)

Just a quick post to let you know about a fun freebie!

Have you ever wanted to see what your photographs, drawings or paintings would look like on fabric? Ever wanted to make your own book cloth? For just 24 hours Spoonflower is having a free swatch with free shipping. The Silky Faille isn’t the best option for a hard book cover but you’re creative – I’m sure you’ll find something to do with this special fabric!

I’ve used Spoonflower before and think it is pretty nifty! It is very easy to upload your digital image and you’ll be tickled with the fabric that shows up in your mailbox that only you could have made…

Do you know of any free or low cost giveaways for artists? Let me know!


Graced with Light at Grace Cathedral and Alta CA (a new restaurant in SF)


Grace cathedral for blog (1 of 6)

Last weekend we went to see Graced with Light at Grace Cathedral. This site-specific installation, by artist Anne Patterson, is well worth the trip to San Francisco.

Grace cathedral for blog (2 of 6)

An extraordinary 20 miles of simple red and blue ribbon transforms the space into a magical experience that transcends any specific faith and  immerses you in a wonder of interconnectedness.

Grace cathedral for blog (4 of 6)

It is at the same time joyous and solemn.

Grace cathedral for blog (3 of 6)

Be sure and visit the Interfaith Aids Memorial Chapel (to the right when you enter Grace Cathedral) and see the altarpiece by Keith Haring.

Grace cathedral for blog (6 of 6)

A short video I shot while there. You can see how the air currents make the ribbons appear to sparkle. The chanting is from a wedding taking place.


Alta CA (Don’t miss the acorn squash soup!):

While we were in San Francisco we also decided to try a new restaurant, Alta CA. It is conveniently located near the arts district – an easy walk to the symphony, ballet or opera, and yet slightly hard to find. Your best bet is to park near City Hall and walk over.

The highlight of the meal (other than running into Donna and her husband)  was the Acorn Squash Soup. The combination of the silky squash, smoky chili sauce (not spicy) and toasted pumpkin seeds made it the best acorn squash soup we’ve ever had.

The service was excellent. Our server chatted with us about wine options and brought us several small tasters before we decided on a glass each. His enthusiasm and knowledge added pleasure to the meal.

Do you know of site-specific installations in the San Francisco Bay Area worth a visit? Do you have a new restaurant we should know about? Please add to the comments!


JARRING: Letterpress Books for Sexual Assault Awareness


As you know, Violence Against Women is a pet project of mine. I’ve done a lot of work on the topic and hope to do more. As part of my BFA project, I created the artists’ book, I’m Telling You Now. My philosophy is that every story we tell about violence against women makes it a lighter weight for the survivor to bear – because we can all help carry the story.

Today I received an email from Mirabelle Jones about her Jarring project. Please take a moment to take a look and, if you can, support her project.

From Mirabelle:

“My name is Mirabelle Jones and I’m a Los Angeles-based book artist with a mission to end the stigma and silence surrounding sexual assault using the tradition of the artist’s book as a medium. In 2011, I embarked on a project called JARRING—a set of 3 artist’s books in an edition of 50 that share the real-life, anonymously submitted narratives of survivors of sexual assault and rape with the goal of raising funds for crisis centers and creating a publicly accessible archive that promotes discourse in our communities. I recently completed a letterpress studio arts residency at Women’s Studio Workshop where I printed the first of the three books in the set, but funding is still needed to complete the last two books. I have recently launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for the project, with the goal of donating any funds which I receive which are in excess of the project’s requirements to rape crisis centers. I hope you will have a look at the project and consider making a contribution! In exchange for your contribution, I am offering broadsides, blank journals, and original copies of the books. Please have a look at the link below and thank you in advance for considering making a contribution!”