Holidays, babies, books, travels & more books

This has been an eventful couple of weeks in blue bluer land -- as it probably has been for most people, with the holiday and all. Last weekend we drove up to DC to celebrate a friend's wedding and get some city-time. This week, we had family visiting here to celebrate Thanksgiving, which meant getting to visit with our adorable 6-month-old nephew.

The visit to Washington was a bit of culture-shock at first, since we've been living in bucolic bliss in the woods of North Carolina for the past 2+ years. Once we got our bearings, though, it was a blast to be somewhere walkable again with a convenient Metro system. It was Margarite's inaugural visit to DC, so it's only appropriate that we saw the President (speeding by in a tinted-windowed motorcade -- but cool, nonetheless). We didn't have much time, but we did manage to visit the National Gallery and the Natural History Museum (see Margarite staring down T-Rex above...).

The only book-arts related stop we made was at the Paper Source store in Georgetown, where I stocked up on their gorgeous decorative papers & other essentials.

The biggest book news here is that Vamp & Tramp Booksellers recently made their annual visit to our library. A visit from them is like the Christmas morning when you wake up to find a pony, a new bike, AND a brand new Vandercook printing press under the tree.

Vamp & Tramp represent a broad range of the best book artists working now, from the well-known and established to relative newcomers. Highlights this year included Julie Chen's incredible new book; a remarkable project from Midnight Paper Sales Press called Sylvae; and a beautiful book by Vince Koloski making use of glass & light to bring some of Jack Kerouac's haiku into a new dimension.

Those are off the top of my head, but they're just a fraction of the good work that was on display. Bill & Vicky Stewart (the Tramp & the Vamp?) have such good, eclectic taste that it's an education in artists' books just to see what they're carrying.

In that vein, I'm very pleased that they took Given Timbuk #1 along with them to show and sell. It joins one of my other books that they're currently carrying, the Googled English Frontier Deedbook. They've had a lot of success so far getting my books out into library collections around the country, so I'm thrilled that they're representing this new one.

As far as new work from the studio goes, check out these photos of a batch of blank books -- soon to be available at a local shop in Chapel Hill.