Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Safe as Houses

I love our little house, and our green yard, and the art studio we've been building out back. I love the picket fence we put in the front and the privacy fence we put behind. I love the siding we're hanging over the old ugly ply board, and the new yellow color, and our plans for a red door. I love every little thing I've planted, everything we've built, and our work has transformed this place. Talking about leaving it is heart-breaking.

So I won't entertain those thoughts. For now we're here, safe as houses. And I'm planning on keeping it like that for some time to come.

Instead, I'll show you some cool stuff . . .

These are my next recycled book boards to be turned into ReBound handmade blank books. Some of these covers are over 100 years old, as you can see by the inside stamp on one: "Princeton Theological Seminary -- 1880".

I used to get sad thinking of these old books being taken apart, but it's really very democratic this way. They get scanned, reprinted, and sold to colleges, universities, seminaries, and churches all over the country. And now that I've found a use for some of the covers, I can sleep a little better.

Here are two I just finished. These are going up in the shop post haste. You can see they're not nearly as old as the upcoming batch, but they're still lovely, don't you think?

This first one is a sweet little thing. The binding came still attached at the spine, so I wrapped the case in this lovely vine-and-berries paper and gave a solid stab binding a bit of dressing up with some cross stitches.

And here's the second one. I used the same decorative paper for both of these, but the bindings are very different . . .

This is a coptic binding, something I'm getting better and better at not muffing up. Sometimes the stitches tear the paper, but my hands are becoming more sure of themselves, as you can begin to see. I think coptic bindings are rather elegant, and have the benefit of opening flat. It makes them perfect to use as sketchbooks or guest books.

And here is my last show-and-tell of the day: a skirt I made recently from some vintage fabric I found at the thrift store on half-price day. I think it looks rather 1950s, and I've been sewing enough recently that I was able to make it without using a pattern.

The buttons, which you can almost see here, are more bakelite, caramel colored coat buttons from that auction lot I picked up in Tennessee last spring. I'll edit in a close-up of the buttons later, as they're too lovely to ignore.

That's plenty for tonight. The two finished books I featured will be up on Etsy; but I'm keeping that skirt. ;)

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