My first day off in weeks …

… and I've somehow managed to injure my right foot, making walking painful. No problem, right? I'll stay home with my new Russian stories and read myself into a coma of happiness and joy. Oh, but we're getting our soffits (ironically, spell check recommends I change this word to "Soviets") replaced. The noise of people walking across the roof, using power tools to remove the old in order to install the new, is so annoying. And I can't escape it. It's upstairs, downstairs and all around the town.

Blimey.

I wanted to use part of today to zip over to the art studio in town and ask them what sorts of classes they offer. In high school I was quite the "artiste," breaking my teacher's heart when I told him I was majoring in English, not art. To my 18 year old self I couldn't see what careers lay in the field of art. I didn't know about graphic artists, and my teacher never illuminated me. He just cried, softly, into his oil paints, the gleam of all my first place ribbons for sketches and watercolors blowing softly in the breeze above him, along with all those stupid macrame plant hangers. My prodigy!, he wailed. My life may as well end...

To console himself he continued teaching another 20 years or so, pretending he'd completely gotten over me, the artist who never was… I'll have to tell him I'm finally interested in pursuing art again (muffle, muffle) years later. If he remembers who I am, he may finally be at peace.

At least I have the satisfaction of how well my English degree has served me. That series of administrative assistant positions, oh how they fulfilled me. Wasn't he just so silly suggesting I pursue a degree with so few real career options …?  My degree looks nice on the wall, though. And my two honor society certificates balance out my husband's. Soon my Masters will fill that last, coveted spot. Then we'll be even – not that it's a competition, of course. Of course.

So, this art studio. I know they offer drawing/sketching, and painting. They have nude models for figure drawing, so I've heard. I'm not sure I could handle that, trusting myself not to point and laugh or turn beet red, drawing a sexless stick figure to avoid my nudity issues. Or one missing the naughty bits, to "fill in later," if the teacher should ask. And I'm sure s/he would. As a last resort I could pull a Picasso, moving parts around, calling it "abstract." Now that has possibilities.

What I'm really interested in now I may not be able to find out here in the suburbs. Yesterday's post will give you a hint. A very strong hint – book and paper arts. I want to not only make my own paper, but also bind it into a journal. I have the book I inter-library loaned yesterday, plus the one that came in the day before:

500books

The work is unbelievably beautiful. Every piece doesn't look like the codex we're accustomed to, but most are recognizable as books. The only one I could attempt without book arts training is made with a crocheted wool cover, the interior resembling the paper I've seen in scrap booking sections at the craft stores. This one appears doable:

IMG_9815

The idea of making a journal from crocheted wool would never have occurred to me without this book. But this would be a relative cinch, considering I've known how to crochet since junior high, (muffle) years ago.

For the paper, I'd need to fold it a couple of times to get the right size, then cut the separate sheets. If I get the edges wet I can easily pull them off to make them look  rough and handmade. Then, crochet the rectangle according to the size of the pages.

To attach the pages themselves, that's first done in sections. The pages must be sewn in individual sets of several sheets, then sewn onto the wool, allowing enough overlap to make a flap. They can be decorated with beads, or buttons, and ribbon would be a good method of tying it closed.

And voila! A good gift or journal for my own use. I could even crochet a bag to hold the book, to keep it safely tucked inside. Maybe something with a big, decorative button.

But the others… Many are made from leather, faux bone, wood, and elaborately cut-out heavy stock papers. Interiors are either handmade paper or other materials, such as birch bark. Just stunning.

IMG_9816

IMG_9818
 
Ah, to have this kind of skill. I suppose one works up to it, usually by taking book arts courses. I'd love to do that, but the expense would probably be above our budget. Maybe a general course wouldn't. Otherwise, I can learn by trial and error, as people do.

At the very least, I can make a crocheted book or two, then try my hand at the art of paper making. I found the "recipe" for that online. Sounds messy but not too tough.

A new hobby for me! One to keep me out of mischief. Because I have so much free time.

M-A-N-I-A. Gotta love it.

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2 thoughts on “My first day off in weeks …

  1. You should check out Iliana’s blog, Bookgirl’s Nightstand, if you don’t already read it. She is a very accomplished journal-maker, and she posts lots of ideas, books and magazines on the subject, etc. She’s got an Etsy shop, too!

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