Monday, January 26, 2015

The Coptic Stitched Handmade Book

My new beginnings got a little waylaid by an awful cold. But inbetween down times,  I've been learning how to coptic stitch little blank books.

There are a million chances for imperfections: gluing paper onto cardboard for covers, lining up little holes for signatures & binding, the stitching itself, zut alors! I am needing faith & patience with this craft that isn't naturally easy for me. I'm learning that sometimes what I perceive as imperfections along the way are inconsequential in the end. Other times, they are, but I'm learning to accept them as part of the practice.
Part of January has been about sifting through lots of old tidbits of paintings & drawings. Tossing, filing, & re-purposing some for covers & content.
How did it begin? A generous art friend, a prolific & diverse artist who enjoys sharing her joy, gave me a handmade blank book. Click here to see her blog, "sew sew art". At the top, are categories of tutorials. One is "Making Your Own Sketchbook". She refers you to a great Youtube by a bookmaker named Sea Lemon.
Beth's concept of the handmade sketchbook is that it be a "repository", a place in which to put one's ideas, scribbles, plans, notes, inspirations...The book itself is beautiful & precious, & also a wonderful organizing tool. Hallelujah! 
Little scraps of miscellanous doodles get honored here & get the attention they deserve.
The 6 X 9 inch pages take a variety of media & they, as well as the SPIRIT of the handmade book, inspire new doodles & new play. (To the left of this page I've pasted in a greeting card whose design I found appealing & that is related to my own graphic marks.)

After my practice books, I'm ready to make a few books to give away, & to share the craft of the coptic stitched blank book with a few friends. The gift that keeps on giving! Thank you!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Beginnings

Gone is the noise & visual clutter of commercial Christmas.
It's my time for clearing, for new beginnings.
Sweeping away the old makes room for the new.
 No soothing, white January snow yet this year, 
but I see & feel fresh, unmarked whiteness everywhere.
It soothes me, calls to me, in a more peaceful way
than all those December colors.

Happy New Year, Dear Friends.