grown ups are like that....

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Blank Page




Recently, I took a sewn book making class with two friends at a local art gallery. I was very excited, but even more than that I was scared. Of what? It was just a three hour introduction to a basic craft. What was so intimidating about that?

The class got going, and I felt so damn jittery. What was wrong with me? What was I so afraid of? But I dove in (over?) eager to learn everything and to absorb as much as possible.

As the class progressed I thought, "I am good at this," and I suddenly decided to make one for practically everyone I know. In my head I began picking out colored papers and delicate jewels for the spines. I mentally budgeted for beeswax and colored linen thread.



A few weeks goes by, and the three of us gather again to make more books, share supplies, and chat. My friends talk about their teaching jobs--one is a creative writing professor and the other an artist and instructor at the art museum. I listen to them talk about classes, about the pieces they are working on.

I push the needle and thread through the paper--stab, pull, tighten.

The scissors make a zip, sip, zip, sip sound as I try desperately to keep my lines straight. I don't want to waste the pretty and expensive paper we are using.

I look at my girlfriends, and they are so beautiful sitting there sipping their wine while I munch snacks, and I am grateful to have their warmth and beauty gracing my life.




It is late, well past midnight, so we close up shop and clean up scraps of paper and bits of thread. We examine what we have made and feel proud, good. I set the wine glasses in the sink, and put away the leftover snacks. My artist friend hands me an unopened bag of chips as she goes to leave.

"Nine pounds to lose, still, I say," as I decline the offer.

I brush food crumbs off of my baggy sweatshirt as we say goodbye.

I've made books non-stop since that evening. Some I've already given away, and a few I am saving for Valentine's Day presents. They sit in a colorful stack on my shelf waiting to be presented to their new owners. Their pages are blank and empty, begging for a story to be written.









*Leave a comment on this post, and I'll enter your name in a drawing for a hand sewn book. Drawing will be held February 14th.


17 comments:

Sue Fisher said...

What a great project/skill to take up. Consider me curious as to the final product.

Momma said...

I got mine yesterday. It's sitting where I can see it almost all day. I love it! Thank you!

Kyla said...

Those are very cool! Love the writing, too.

de said...

They are beautiful. I'm terrible with blank books, though - I can't stand to put anything in them.

Anna said...

what a beautiful creation. I might adapt this idea to use when I teach art classes this Spring at the Juvenile Detention facility or in my new mentoring position.....

Trisha Johnson said...

These are absolutely beautiful, Christine!

Aliki2006 said...

What a beautiful post, Christine. And I'm not leaving this comment just to get one of those lovely, lovely books--I really mean it!

InTheFastLane said...

That looks like a great project and a fun way to explore your creativity.

Liz said...

Oooohhh! I am absolutely fascinated and in LOVE! I adore the practicality and tactile-ness of it and the endless possibilities :)
Great blog too...I felt like I could have been sitting right there enjoying wine with you!

leigh said...

Those books are dreamy.

Bon said...

they are beautiful. more, the idea that so much of you and your excitement and nervousness and wonder about making them is in them? that's beautiful.

Anne Panning said...

These are great, Christine! What a lovely post.

Anonymous said...

C--I think I already won, just reading this post. What a full, poignant, masterful rendering of your internal, that you so generously shared. Amazing.
Bless.
Steve

Lindsay said...

These are beautiful!

Caurie said...

Such a beautiful piece Christine - I wanted more!!!! And, I adore my book.

Kelly Myers said...

And would you believe this girl doesn't have a craft supply bin?

Magpie said...

They're lovely. My SIL is a bookmaker too, and teaches kids to do it.

bookmakingwithkids.com