Sunday, January 29, 2012

More Failed Stitches and Folds Covers

With the deadline fast approaching, I still have little done with my sketchbook. Ahhh. Basically, I have to make this work tomorrow evening.

Last week, after making the cloth Mette Ring (and digging into my fabric stash) I decided to try piecing together fabric covers for my book. My idea at the time was to find any and all random (flat) craft projects I made in the past that didn't have a place, and incorporate them into my book. Kind of a hodgepodge assortment of Things I Make. I took my yet unfinished quilt as an inspiration and pieced together blue/red scraps around a cross stitched QR code and my MMM embroidery. The result was two pieces I was not entirely satisfied with.

front cover

back cover

The plan was to crop these to fit the 5"x7" dimensions of the sketchbook. The front cover would look basically as is; the bottom would be skewed so the MMM was on the diagonal.

That's where I was -- completely stuck -- until, as I was falling asleep a few nights ago, I remembered my book arts workshops in college. My school had a hidden Book Arts program that would meet a few times a term in the conservation/preservation department in the basement of the library. I discovered it by chance my freshman fall and basically went to it all four years I was in college. At first, I was the only student in the midst a group of middle aged women (with the exception of the friend I dragged along with me). During my time a Dartmouth, things changed a ton: a new conservation/preservation director arrived, and the book arts program got a dedicated space in a higher level basement. More students attended. It really blossomed. I have to say, it is one of the things I miss most from college.

Anyway, I made so many books while I was there and I still have them, stored in a shoebox on my craft shelves. I brought it out with me to California and occasionally would open it up and nostalgically sift though my books. There was this one book with an accordion spine and some really interesting movement when you open the book and lay it flat. [This makes no sense! But I'll add pictures of it when I finish my book.] I thought of it while I was falling asleep that night, and knew that's what I wanted to do.

Unfortunately, those cloth covers do not jive with such a dynamic inside. They seem dowdy in comparison. Seeing those covers, I would never expect to find that inside. And I mean that in a bad way, not a surprisingly interesting way. So, those covers were scrapped.

It's always frustrating when you spend time on something and then, ultimately, it doesn't work. You want to salvage it in some way. You fixate on your original idea. Sometimes, you just have to scrap it, start over, and hope for the best.

Tonight, I made the new covers. Much simpler but more fitting with the inside. The bulk of the project is the inside which I have a vague idea of how I want to finish... it requires a ton of stitching on paper and hidden images. I think it's really too ambitious to finish in (!!) one evening, but I'll see how much I can get done. It's going to be a true Project Runway Make It Work moment, and I'll stay up tomorrow night as late as I need to in order to finish it.

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