my cookbook

5/26/2012

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A few weeks ago I was given a design assignment by one of my professors to create a book. I was thrilled, as I've always played with book designs in my head and can't get enough of them in general. This is the second book that I've made, but it was much different this time because I only had a week and a half! I decided to create a simple cookbook of my favorite recipes, since I take so many pictures of food. I'd still love to make a much larger book and spend more time on it one day, but for now here's a small sample:

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baked egg
chai madeleines
heart
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I painted all of the illustrations including the front and back cover, with watercolors. I could have made it a lot easier on myself if I didn't, but I wanted playful brush strokes going against clean text. I'm really in love with brush lettering as well, so it was fun to play with it.

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The back cover was done in about 15 minutes because I had reached my deadline! Somehow, it all miraculously came together and I'm content with it for now. I can't wait to try it all over again in the future with many more recipes x

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49 comments

  1. I really cannot believe you managed to create something so beautiful in such a sort amount of time! I am totally in love with the design and illustrations, truly wonderful work!

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    1. Wow thank you Kailey :) I am my own worst critic so I wasn't sure how I felt about it, but your comments are so lovely! x

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  2. What a gorgeous book! I would seriously buy this! xx

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    1. That's so sweet! I would definitely love to make one with many more recipes and possibly have it for sale. A big project to attempt later in the year :)

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  3. That looks so beautiful! If I saw this book somewhere, I would seriously buy it!
    Where did you make this book?
    Love,

    www.ofthefoxandthedeer.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you Fay! I made it using Blurb, but I designed all of the individual pages in photoshop (I didn't use blurb software) x

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    1. They were all beyond simple because of my time constraints! Haha x

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  5. This is so adorable! I hope you included some traditional Mexican recipes too. I really liked reading that post you did for Cinco de Mayo. Since growing up in California, I've always been surrounded by Mexican food though most of it is the Americanized versions. :( I would love to see some more Mexican recipes on here someday! x

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    1. Thank you Rachel, that's lovely to hear! Unfortunately not one Mexican recipe made it to this book :( This was such a small book (only 12 recipes) so I didn't even begin to cover Mexican food territory. I would love to keep sharing "real Mexican food" on the blog, and hopefully don't scare off some folks because it's so different than taco bell haha x

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  6. Excellent! I can not wait to see more of your recipes here! Beautiful book Valerie! x

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    1. Merci Lola! I hope summer is full of lots more cooking x

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  7. omgosh! you're such a talented little lady, Val! :) I love this book! You should be so very proud of yourself <3

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    1. Thank you Sue! I would say the same thing to you, as I always enjoy your photos with written text on them x

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  8. I am blown away. Honestly. Amazing. You are so very talented with such a great eye. Your professor must be THRILLED with the result.

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    1. Thank you for the lovely compliments :) He hasn't seen it yet (I turn it in next week) but most Art professors are highly critical so I'm not sure what he'd think haha. The good thing is that it pushes you to try various things because you always feel like it's "not enough". Sigh!

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  9. Hi there! Such a beautiful book, you´re really talented, indeed. How did you manage to do something so fantastic with that short time? I am really fascinated about it.

    Regards!

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    1. Oh goodness, it was not easy. I spent all morning, afternoon, and evening on it. Then I showed my professor my first version and he wanted me to change almost everything in 2 days. So I spent 2 full days editing what I had previously completed! Argh. I will say that my right arm is not happy to have been overworked so much on the computer haha x

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  10. Oh my goodness, this is wonderful! I love that brush-written titles and those illustrations are so cute! You've so talented to do such a great job in that short time! :o

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    1. Thank you Louise! I hadn't done any illustrating/painting in YEARS. I had to bring out my rusty skills and luckily was going for an "infantile" look anyway haha.

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  11. That is so unbelievably gorgeous! I can't believe you did that in such a short time! Fantasmo :) I'd buy it!

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  12. Your book is BEAUTIFUL! I would love to have it (:

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    1. Thank you Jill, maybe later this year I'll make a bigger version available! x

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  13. This is absolutely amazing! I cannot believe you created such a beautiful book in the amount of time you had. I would totally buy this! What was the first book you made about?

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    1. Thanks so much Emily, it was definitely not easy! The first book I made was in 2009, and it was some of my photography that is featured on my cargo collective portfolio. It came out looking a little strange though haha! x

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  14. This is so cute! I love that you mixed both illustrations and actual photos :)
    I'd also totally buy it- the dishes look delicous!
    What program did you use?

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    1. Thanks Mariana, I am definitely not an illustrator (in fact I hate my drawing courses) but I wanted it to feel a bit personal. I used photoshop and my scanner to include the paintings that I did. Then I used Blurb to upload the pages and make the book. It's not very difficult, but it's certainly tedious! Argh...

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  15. woowwwwww i am amazed. Bravo!

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  16. this is absolutely amazing! i can't believe you made that, it looks so professional. you should bring it out for sale xx

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  17. Oh my! Are you selling this? I would love to get one!!

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    1. Hehe thank you! Unfortunately I'm not at this moment, simply because this was a class project and it only has 12 recipes! I would want to include over 100 if I were to sell it :)

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  18. Oh wow, this looks so so great! I would definitely buy a copy!

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  19. wow, i can't believe you whipped that up in a week and a half! it looks wonderful! it's definitely something i would pick up and have a look through if i saw it in a book shop or at a friend's house. you could even make a bigger one in your own time and sell it.

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    1. I definitely want to make a large one in the future, perhaps with different designs and tons more recipes. Thanks so much for the lovely words x

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  20. oh wow this is so amazing! it looks really professional - i would buy it!!

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  21. THis is so cool! I totally regret not doing something artistic in school. How did you get it bound into a book? Its so professional looking :)

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    1. I designed all the pages in photoshop and used Blurb to publish it :) Thank you! x

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  22. Wow, this came out amazingly well! And it all looks soooo delicious.

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  23. Wow darling it looks gorgeous! You have design skills sweetpea!!! I love the painted illustration style and as always your pictures are delightful! :) I'm glad you had fun, you always work best when passionate about it! :) xxx

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    1. I totally agree Zoe! I was definitely passionate, although very tired by the end of it. Thank you x

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  24. I'm really blown away. It's 100% in line with your aesthetic, and so, so, beautiful... I love the watercolours and your photographs are wonderful of course. Also, I've been meaning to make egg in a basket since I saw V for Vendetta, randomly. Wonderful work, Valerie.

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    1. Aw thanks Emily :) The egg in a basket was something I grew up with but I never knew what it was called! It tastes do delicious on late nights too haha x

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  25. It's absolutely gorgeous! Congratulations.

    Sarah x
    www.tellhershesdreaming.com

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  26. this is amazing! can't believe it's "just a school assignment", :)
    i love the watercolors you did.

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  27. I can't believe you were so speedy! <3 It truly looks like the most amazing book - really!!

    x
    Lost in the Haze: a Fashion Photography Blog

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  28. This looks amazing! Before I read that you created it just for a class, I was wondering where I could buy it! Good job!

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