This morning I had high hopes for finishing my Book of Lists That Does Not Have Any Actual Lists, but I have a headache (it’s cedar season here in Central Texas) and cannot bring myself to poke holes & sew things together. Instead I have been having a very pleasant, relaxing time visiting others’ blogs and seeing what everyone has been up to in the new year.
I haven’t posted before now as my dad was here until just three days ago, and I also spent the days when the children went back to school rearranging the house for all our new stuff. So that was two days spent on my daughter’s room, and then a day and a half reorganizing my own play area. I still have more to do, but the public area is mostly sorted now.
Yesterday I did (finally!) get the chance to indulge myself a bit and made great progress on the aforementioned book. As per Gwen Diehn’s suggestions in real life Journals, my book type is a Coptic-sewn book with an accordion spine. Because I used 115 lb. acrylic paper (from a Daler-Rowney paper pad) for the pages, I needed something pretty stiff for the accordion, so I used watercolor paper. The accordion had to be 34″ long, so I had to join two pieces of paper together. I can see it would be less noticeable with lighter paper, but I am all right with how it came out. Very easy to do. I sprayed the paper with Zia’s custom sprays before scoring, folding, and attaching. I also made the cover boards using artwork by Isabelle du Toit that was on a Merck calendar given to me by one of my aunties. (I can’t find any examples of the type of paintings included in the calendar to link to, so you’ll have to wait until I finish the book and post pics to see!) Very pleased with the outcome so far and looking forward to finishing it so I can show it . . .
Right, onto the stated subject of this post. I hosted Christmas dinner this year (my cousin in town had a five-week-old baby–their 3rd daughter, oldest six and second daughter is 2-1/2, so it seemed only fair) for 11 adults and five children.
One of the things I love to do is a tradition of my husband’s family–I assume it’s an English thing and not just them but I suppose I don’t really know. Anyway, my lovely mother-in-law always has little table presents that she places at our spot, and we get to open them before tucking into the food. She does it for Xmas Eve, Xmas, and Boxing Day meals, and they are always something like emery boards or a little hair clip. Naturally, as is my wont, I like to be a little more extravagant than that, so my mom got an Ampersand assortment of panels, my son got a mini light saber with different crystals, etc. For my cousin’s wife, I thought it would be nice to bind her blog entries for 2010 (there were only six, but they were lengthy and full of information about their son, who turned 2 on New Year’s Eve) into a pamphlet.
It turned out to be a little more involved than I thought, but I was thrilled with the results. I found a free program for Word on the Mac that does all the work of paginating, and who knew? Turns out my printer prints on both sides of the page. I didn’t know it could do that. I don’t even think I know how to make it do it now–the program did it all by itself.
So, that took care of the text block, but I needed a cover and didn’t have much time. I took a sheet of kromekote and stamped a sand castle on the front cover, then added some seashells on the back cover. Using a lid and a permanent marker, I added a sun behind the castle. Then I did an alcohol ink background, using colors to make it look like a beachscape: caramel, terra cotta, and ginger for the sand; shell pink and butterscotch for the castle, sunshine yellow and sunset orange on the sun, and cloudy blue with sailboat blue for the sky. The inside I scribbled to make it look like a little kid’s drawing, and I added a sheet of tracing paper on the outside of the single signature to protect the paper from what I used to scribble with. The end result was very serviceable, I think, although I’m sure not as nice as what Diane received from her children–but it was free and handmade, so hopefully there’s something good to be said for that :-).