Do we have a treat for our readers today! Emily recently shared with us on Instagram, a darling little square album for Instagram prints she used for her PostalPix photo prints. Little did we know, she not only makes them herself, but sells them on her Etsy page! We had to reach out to her to get more info and lucky for us, she shared a bit of her story to get to know her and the Plum Umbrella a bit more.
Tell us more about yourself! What do you do for a living? Where ya from?
- My name Emily Schmidt and you can find me on Instagram at @theplumumbrella. I don’t have a blog, but my Etsy shop is theplumumbrella.etsy.com. I live in Raleigh, NC and I’ve worked at the Libraries at NC State University for 12 years. I’m the Conservation Lab Manager in the Preservation Department, where we repair books in the collection and keep them in working order. Often this means completely rebinding a book – removing the old cover and spine linings, sewing on new endsheets, reshaping and relining the spine, cutting and covering new boards. Sometimes we also just replace the spine piece or repair pages that are torn. It’s a pretty unique job and I love getting to use my hands everyday.
What are your passions? What inspires you?
- I’m a very visual person, a lover of color and pattern. The right color combination can totally brighten my day and change my mood. Give me a teal next to lime green or a rich purple with a light blue. I’m inspired by bright, vibrant scenes as well as dark and moody ones. I could get lost for hours staring at a great pattern.
I’ve been learning the craft of bookbinding for 12 years. At my day job I repair books; at home I make them from scratch. There is a joy in crafting something from start to finish – envisioning how it will look and how it will function – and in the process of turning paper and fabric into a beautiful book where someone can tuck away their personal thoughts, dreams and memories.
My passion is combining my love of color and pattern with my love of bookbinding.
Tell us more about your project and your handmade journals!
- In this digital age, we all have so many photos hanging out on social media, which is great for accessibility, but we lose the experience of holding our memories in our hands, on actual paper. Photo prints feel better. You can put them on your shelf. You can hand them to someone else. You can flip through your experiences. You can tell a better story.
I make and sell 5” square photo books, along with other kinds of handmade journals. My hope is that these small photo books will offer a unique place to put those prints, either to keep for yourself or give as a gift for someone else. Capture the moments of a trip. Share priceless memories with a parent or grandparent. Keep pictures of your children each year and flip through to see them grow. Collect images from a relationship and give them to a loved one. Put your memories back into your hands.
The photo books are a non-adhesive bindings which allow the pages to lie flat with open. They hold 24 blank pages. They are sized to hold 4” square prints. I bind extra thickness into the spine to accommodate for the thickness of the prints when they are added later. You can attach your prints with photo corners or photo tape. Each book is designed to hold 24 photos to be attached to the front of the pages only. (Adding more than 24 photos will cause the book to expand).
My tip for attaching your prints using photo corners:
• Lay your photo in place on the page.
• Put a paper weight or other small, dense object in the center of the photo.
• Lift each corner individually and slide on the photo corner.
• Press the photo corner down to adhere.
• Repeat on the other 3 corners.
Be sure to check out The Plum Umbrella’s listings over at their Etsy shop! Interested in sharing your DIY with PostalPix Instagram prints or photography n our blog? We should chat. Looking for more inspiration? Be sure to check out the rest of our blog or #PostalPix on Instagram.