Cast your mind back a few posts (if you’ve been hanging around that long) and you might remember one I did which was heavy on photos because I had loads of things to write about but I couldn’t decide where to start and as a result I didn’t write about any of them and used photos instead. I said I owed you a thousand words for each picture.
From those 30,000 potential words I have selected one picture.
It might’ve been worth a grand in the old economy but I’ll let you have it for 808. Because it’s you.
Anyway in case you were wondering what this is a picture of, it’s a book in progress. A half-bound, case-bound book I made from scratch. I took this pic during an introductory bookbinding course I did a while back; you may not know this about me but I am a total stationery slut. That is, stationery not stationary.
I’ve always had a passion for beautiful notebooks, journals and papers; sometimes I think the real reason I’ve kept a diary all these years was so I could indulge my lust for them… once I bought them I had to fill them with words, you see. Not necessarily worthy ones, but at least they were presented nicely. You’ll see my entire collection in the fullness of time, notwithstanding I don’t get around to it, or The Apocalypse. Anyhow when Rory reached toddlerhood I had to give up hand-writing my journals because time. I couldn’t stop writing though so my ramblings migrated to the PC, and now I have hundreds of virtual pages yearning to grow up into a real book, which I am now able to make myself.
The course was held over a very hot weekend at the Queensland Bookbinders’ Guild in Brisbane. Making a book starts simply enough; grab four sheets of A4 paper and fold them in half, corners lined up perfectly. Repeat a dozen or so more times – easy peasy. I remember that much clearly; the rest is a bit of a blur. There was sewing involved; I cut my thread about 1.5m long so as to avoid the tricky stitch required to join a new one, and as a result when I pulled the (possibly overlong) thread through with a flourish I stabbed the lady next to me. I apologised profusely as she wiped droplets of red from her book and we joked about the literal blood, sweat and tears that were going into our creations. She stabbed herself a couple of times more that day and might have also nicked herself with her Stanley trimmer – but at least it wasn’t me the other times. I made sure she kept her fingers well away from the guillotine.
There was also a bit of this:
And we used several thingamabobs to measure things also.
Thankfully, you don’t want to hear every last boring detail and would rather a cooking segment-style cheat where I simply say “here’s one I prepared earlier”.
Thankfully we were given notes and a DVD of the entire process as my hastily scrawled notes and photos help not in the slightest.
My first few diaries were shitty DIY glued together leftover exercise books and I was pleasantly surprised at again being able to smuggle recycled matter into a handmade journal – ie bits of a Weetbix box went into the case (hard cover) and I covered it with some leftover wrapping paper. But it looks a helluva lot better than my first effort at age 11 with Clag and some textas. (Please note if you need to look up what Clag is I mean Wikipedia‘s definition NOT urbandictionary! OMG NO NO NOOOOO. NO.)
I’ve now begun the laborious job of printing off my virtual diary – after a final edit and some fiddling around to get the pages to collate in the right order and the right way up – and I must say seeing the sections stacking up is quite a thrill. Technically I’m self-publishing! This must be how real writers feel when they see their work in print.
…by my reckoning I’ve got about 20 more to go. I don’t think I’ll do the
difficult fiddly case bound style for this one though; there’s a course at the QBG in August for coptic binding which I might use instead. Squeee!