Monday, June 13, 2011

Summer Reading Program!

Find Summer Reading Information here.
It's Summer Reading, a huge tradition in my family and at my Library. But I'm not in Mooresville anymore and I've had to adjust to the Monroe County Public Library's program.

The theme this year is Stretch Your Mind. Stretch Your Body. Stretch Your World. And they have nine different ways to do it.

The first is to re-read a book you loved as a child. So, I'm reading Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren, which was one of my favorites. I want a horse on my veranda and a monkey named Mr. Neilson! And I really really want to host a pancake/croquet breakfast at some point.

You know that line from Meg Ryan's character in You've Got Mail? "When you read a book as a child it becomes part of your identity like no other reading in your life can." Well, I whole-heartily agree. Some say that books and reading are forms of escapism, but I really don't think so. I read to find myself. I think children read in order to discover parts of themselves they hadn't known about before. Children read differently than adults because they use books as launching points for their imagination, while adults read superficially, leaving the book as soon as they close it.

If you think about it, imagination really is about creating stories, truths, morals, and images internally, rather than externally, which is a rare ability in today's society. So many people I know look for guidance outside of themselves, either through social mores, religious doctrine, or celebrities, and by doing so, I think they miss the depth of life. Reading changes people when they're young because it forms an inner compass. Socializing only forms an external dependence on "what others think".

Anyway, enough rant. It was barely intelligible, so I apologize. That's not to say it won't happen again though. Moral of the story: teach your kids to read, and to read regularly.

Friday, June 10, 2011

My First Sales

Tomorrow I'm sending the first books I sold on my Etsy shop away to their new homes, so for now, I'm going to write them a little farewell.

This little burlap covered book is landscape oriented and filled with Strathmore sketching paper. The pages are hand torn and the endpages are upcycled brown paper. The feeling I was going for was completely natural, and transforming the mundane into art.

The next book is a bit different than any I'd made before. It's covered in weathered leather, and bound in the traditional Coptic Stitch, which bares the spine. The spine itself is hand-sewn with waxed thread. Inside there are white sketching pages and beautiful Florentine paper which I glued to the wrong side of the leather with archival bookbinder's glue. To finish it off, I attached an ornate nameplate on top to allow it's new owner to designate it's use.

The third journal I sold, is one of the best hard-back, casebound books I've made, which was themed in Jane Eyre. Jane is this quiet, staid, and very Victorian heroine, and I tried to capture her character in the muted, neutral colors incorporated throughout the journal. However, the cream filigree of the cover paper is still very feminine and beautiful. On the cover, I placed an artist's rendering of the final reunion between Jane and Mr. Rochester, salvaged from a reader's digest edition that was falling apart. 

I used traditional binding techniques to make this journal: by hand sewing the signatures of Wausau stationery with bookbinding thread, and using PVA (bookbinder's archival) glue. It's finished with white headbands and camel colored cardstock for the endpapers.

The fourth book I sold was my all-time favorite. For this mini leather journal, I was inspired by the scene from Disney's Pinocchio when he carries a belted stack of textbooks to school. I wondered what kind of journal Pinocchio would carry, and I decided on this smooth tan leather with black leather straps to incorporate the belted look. 

Each page is hand-torn Wausau Astroparche writing paper with an antique parchment finish, which are hand-sewn in the limp binding method with waxed thread. The end papers are hand-made turquoise paper with a bit of a sheen.

Well, more to come later. I will surely miss all of these beauties, but I'm sure they're going to good homes!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Settling In

Welcome to my Blog!

I've had blogs before but they've never gone well, mostly because I had nothing interesting to talk about. This is different, though! A couple of weeks ago I opened an Etsy shop (find here) in which I sell original artistic handmade books. So far I've sold four books, and I've only had items listed for a week!

So, I'm feeling secure enough to start a blog about both my process, and my finished product.

To the right is an example of my work. Find the listing on Etsy here. Or just browse around my shop!
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