Above: Nine new books, of various sizes from 8 x 10 inches (the two taller books at the back) to 7 x 4.5 inches in the center (a lovely little pocket landscape book). Various papers for text papers, including some new papers that I'm going to be testing. Click on the image to view an enlargement.
Readers following my tweets (I rarely tweet but yesterday I couldn't help myself) will know that Friday was a bit of a binding binge. (I also threw in an ice cream break for good measure so it was pretty much a perfect day.)
I started the day with 20 textblocks ready to go and all the boards, fabric, and decorative paper (which I make myself) cut. So all I had to do was make the cases and case in the textblocks. I averaged 20 minutes a book on this; a steady and relaxed pace for me. I did four books and just as I was finishing up and going to take a break my friend Linda called and stopped by for a chat. (Another contributing factor to a perfect day.) Then after a couple of hours of resting my hands I was back at it for 5 more books.
I have 11 more books to case in and hope to do 7 or 8 of them today and finish up on Sunday with the remaining 3 or 4.
The first 4 were dry enough before bedtime last night that I got to take them out from the weights. I couldn't stop smiling. Making things makes me happy, but making books, holding them, knowing all the fun I'm going to have filling them up, makes me practically pass out from joy. I haven't been able to bind books for some months (because of other commitments) so this is a particular treat of time I'm enjoying. (And finally all the stacks of paper that have been waiting in Rubbermaid bins to be sewn and glued will be cleared out. I feel less claustrophic as well.) The air is full of possibilities.
The best thing about the books that are emerging right now—somewhere in this lot is the first journal of 2012. That makes me giddy.
I hope that you can all find time as the year wraps up to make something that feeds your creative energy. Sometimes we have to work these projects in around other elements of life but a couple 10 minute breaks to cut bookcloth and boards, a hour here and there sewing signatures, pretty soon you have a pile of books. The same can be true for paintings (a few sketches at the zoo over the weeks, prepping a canvas one evening, finally you're ready to go), and any number of things.
I like to produce things and I have to admit, part of the joy that these books bring into my life is the physical reminder that I used my time productively. All the little bits of time. I wish in 2012 that you would all give that gift to yourselves.