Lamb Days at Eidolon.

We bought four sheep in January as a small start to see if keeping sheep is something we want to do. As they were dropped off the previous owners mentioned that we'll one day look out our window and see little lambs running around our yard. We were confused because we only bought ewes with no plans to breed them. Our faces must of shown our confusion because the previous owners explained further; they didn't keep good track of which of their ewes got pregnant last Fall, but they knew rams had been with the ewes we purchased. 

As the weeks went on we noticed two of our ewes, Mable and Hettie, are pregnant. We were actually excited because it didn't take long to learn that sheep will definitely be part of our life for quite some time. 

Last week Mable had twins—rams—and they are so cute!  

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Gavin is the gray lamb, and Pip is the all black lamb. Welcome ram lambs! 

Crossing the Bench: 19th Century Collecible Books.

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This month has been filled with many different kinds of bindery projects: Clamshells, historical rebinds, facsimile title pages, and restoration.  

Below are some fun before and after photos of 19th Century collectible books. The biggest issue 19th C. books have are broken hinges and torn end caps, most commonly due to how thin binders of that time would pare the leather, and the overall poor quality of the leather produced in that century. 

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If you're a collector of this time period make sure to keep your leather bindings hydrated, and your book conservator on speed dial.  

Spring is Beginning to Hatch at Eidolon House!

Spring is beginning to hatch here in our small town of Wills Point, and I'm so excited! Spring in East Texas is amazing!  There is so much life and greenery here, and I love watching everything come back to life after winter.  I do feel like winter sort of skipped Texas this year, although I'm not complaining about that at all.  

We've added six chicks to the Eidolon House ecosystem, and I couldn't be more excited about that.  They are two days old, and a few of the little cuties were ready for their close up today.  A few blooming trees and wild flowers around my neighborhood were ready for their close up today too!  Enjoy a bit of Spring as you scroll through the photos.  

Aaaannnnndddd, a photo shoot with animals wouldn't be complete without a little poopie. 

Crossing the Bench: 1572 Bishops' Bible Restoration.

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This big guy was a mess when it arrived, but with a lot of TLC we were able to save this book, and even extend its life. 

Restoration stats: Repaired split wooden board, rebuilt end-caps, new embroidered end-band, new straps and brass hasps to match the existing catches, and leather conditioning all over. We also added a facsimile general title page. 

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Saturday Night Shenanigans with Sheep. . . and rabbits.

Sheep are positively delightful! I can not say it enough; they are so fun, sweet, and they each have their own personality.  We just love them! 

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Crossing the Bench: Custom Enclosure For The Book of Hours (14th C.).

We had the awesome opportunity to make an enclosure for a lovely Book of Hours.  A Book of Hours is a Christian devotional book that was popular in the Middle Ages, and is the most common type of surviving Medieval illuminated manuscripts.  Each manuscript is unique, but most contain prayers and psalms, and most have limited illumination or decoration such as capital letters.  Books made for wealthy patrons are extremely lavish with full page miniatures

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The particular book we built an enclosure for was most likely made for wealthy patrons as it has six full page miniatures, and other smaller miniatures throughout the book. The book was most likely rebound in the 1800s, but we suspect the original binding was jeweled, because of the markings and empty spaces beneath the leather. It was so tempting to lift the leather on the cover to have a look, but we resisted.  But seriously, I'd love to see what is under that leather.  

We were commissioned to make a folio sized enclosure with red leather, Medieval in style complete with a leather braided head band, and brass clasps. This was such a fun project to design and make. Medieval leather tooling is one of my favorites! 

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We wanted the center panels to be unique just as the Book of Hours are. I decided to recreate two images found within this particular book: The Crucifixion on the front cover, and the Resurrection on the back cover.

Applying the cuir ciselé technique I drew the images in the leather, then glazed the images with paint and shell gold (22k).  I'm pretty happy with how the center panels turned out, and I feel they represent this special book well. 

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I made extra long clasps to add another dramatic element to the enclosure, which is also period appropriate as long strap clasps were the foremost fastening mechanisms in this books time period. 

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Just as the binders of the past left their marks, our makers mark can be found within the tooling design.

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