Saturday, March 22, 2014

Making My Own

Recently on an early March afternoon, I read one of my favorite Margaret Wise Brown books, "A Home for a Bunny" to my grandson. "Spring said the robin. Spring said the frog. Spring said the bunny." I don't know anyone who isn't happy to see Spring. All winter I knit with gray, sage green, and shades of blue, so while winter lingered in my neighborhood, I ordered one skein of brightly dyed yarn to knit some cheerful socks. Sometimes you just have to make your own Spring color.

A few days later, I went to the grocery store for a few items, including a lemon. The bright yellow fruit was so inviting, I bought enough to fill a small glass bowl. I made lemon muffins and some lemon flavored simple syrup for lemonade. On one warm afternoon, I made some fresh lemonade and enjoyed it on the deck in the sunshine.

Indoors, I am learning to make books. I checked out some references from the public library and then searched the internet. At Christmas, my daughter gave me a book on bookmaking and I was off on a new adventure. I began by making two small books with blank pages. In the first project, I used the cover of a book I bought at an antique mall for seventy cents. I also improvised some bookmaking supplies from my embroidery, sewing, and quilting days. Instead of ordering book binding tape, I reinforced the spine with a piece of fabric backed with iron-on interfacing. When I made the second book, I cut the cover and spine from cardboard leftover from framing a piece of embroidery. I covered the board with cotton quilting fabric. I substituted a strip of linen left over from an embroidered sampler for mull, the speciality fabric glued to the spine of folded papers before they are attached to the cover.

Next, I made two chap books of my poems. I purchased some watercolor paper for covers. I used pearl cotton embroidery floss and a tapestry needle to sew the books together with the pamphlet stitch. One of my daughter's photos became the cover art. I finished the book with a contrasting strip of 1/8 inch ribbon. The book contains a title page, a dedication, the poems, and a copyright statement, all exactly the way I want them to look. While publishing and marketing my writing is intimidating, making my own books intrigues me. After all there was a time when books were made one at a time by hand.

Whether the subject is books, socks, lemonade, or spring, sometimes you just have to make your own.

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