Handmade Books


I must go down to the sea...

I must go down to the sea...

Yesterday Gladys arrived to help me start the process of putting finishing touches on the journal. We had left blank spaces to add photos. I  worked all week to select and print up possible photos to use. I experimented with sizes and various crops. Originally I had planned to have some of the pictures printed  at Costco, but I couldn’t find my 50 free photos coupon.

Thank goodness for the Epson 2200, Photoshop and Qimage.

Gladys had been working hard as well, finding her favorite poems and quotes. She leaned heavily toward  Emily Dickinson. Those fragments of poems just seemed to fit the feelings evoked and captured the spirit of our sea side retreat.

Jad called just as Gladys rang the doorbell. She wanted to know how the journaling was going. So we were together again, even if some of it was voice without presence.

It was amazing how much easier it was to have the whole thing come together with a second person collaborating, helping to pick out papers, seeing layout possibilities and weaving in repeating echos.

beach walk

beach walk

We found it hard to stop working once our rhythm was established. We were very late getting to Costco and barely had a quarter of our cart full before they announced it was closing time.

tide pool hunters

tide pool hunters

I came upon these two handsome young gents during an early morning walk. After getting permission to take their photos, I was able to get pictures of the small creatures I had hoped to photo in the small pools. Things don’t always go as planned. I liked the pictures even better with my two assistants.

We didn’t finish all the work yesterday but we found a spot for everything and tucked it into place so that I could finish on my own. Thank you, Gladys.

Today I am off with Michael to photograph the Salem Harbor Maritime Festival as soon as I do this posting. I hope we can avoid the thunderstorms this afternoon!

sunrise from my windown at MJSC

sunrise from my window at MJSC

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The Front Cover

The Front Cover

This spring I took a fabric painting class with Autumn Hathaway.

Every summer she makes a fabric journal for her family to share the experiences of their summer. Although I couldn’t take her journal course, she was very gracious about giving me advice on her technique and was even available to answer an email when I had a question.

I have made books before but not this particular style with the signatures sewn directly into the spine of the book. I worked non stop for two week ends and many week nights trying to finish the cover and get the inside pages decorated.

The sisters took a little convincing to get in the spirit of journaling our retreat. Once Gladys got going she was a power writer. Jad was slower to get started but by the end of the week, she was seeking “the book” out as well.

 

An inside page

An inside page

Here is one of the inside pages.

The photo is one I took last summer looking out my bedroom window of birds atop the cross at the Marie Joseph Spiritual Center. I did an image transfer onto a piece of muslin. The rest of the elements were collaged on and then pasted onto the page.

Jad was grateful for pages like these because it meant fewer surfaces needed to be journaled.

Keeping the journal added a whole new dimension to our trip. It also preserved memories in a way we could never have done by just trying to use the power of recall. This will be invaluable when we are all sitting around a winter table and someone challenges a memory. “Look, it’s right here in the book. Told you so!”