Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year, New Goals

As the new year approaches, I've been thinking about what goals I want to set for my work in the coming year (I'm going to avoid the depressing subject of personal goals, that ever-receding horizon filled with good intentions :) .

At the end of each year I like to take an afternoon and go out for a cup of coffee and just sit and think a bit about what I'd like to do in the coming year. I take my notebook and make notes and drawings, not always with the intent of accomplishing specific goals, but to spend some time daydreaming and thinking about possibilities.

Two things I'm already thinking about--

Leather. I really like making those leather journal/sketchbooks that I do for my Etsy store, so this year I'm going to have fun making more moon journals, and I just got a new book on medieval leather bindings, so I'm looking forward to working on a few new medieval-style designs.

Wood. One thing I really want to do this year is to set aside some time to make experimental books, just to explore the possibilities for book making. I'm intrigued by the idea of making books that don't have conventional texts, where instead the book itself is the text. I recently bought a couple of nice pieces of mahogany, a book on how to stitch Coptic headbands, and a severely falling-apart early nineteenth-century book of Jesuit writings in Latin. Somehow, I want to combine those things. We'll see what happens.

To all of the wonderful new friends I've met through this blog, I wish you a very happy New Year! Do you have any daydreams for the coming year?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Writers' Rooms

The Guardian Online has an ongoing series called Writers' Rooms. A simple concept, but interesting--a photo of the featured writer's workspace, plus a short essay by the writer about the room. They've featured contemporary writers, such as Martin Amis and Ian Rankin, and writers who have not used their workspaces in quite a long time, such as Charles Darwin and Jane Austen.

This is writer Marina Warner's space. The untidiness of her workspace looks all to familiar to me, I'm afraid. Although I like to think of it as organized chaos.

One thing that struck me about the rooms featured was how many of them have white walls. Don't know whether the writers find white to be less distracting, or whether they just can't be bothered to think about paint colors....

Monday, December 8, 2008

If you have 100,000 euros to spare.....

.....(and who doesn't?) you might want to pick up a copy of this book of photos of Michelangelos' art, called “Michelangelo: La Dotta Mano” (“Michelangelo: The Wise Hand”). It's a 46 lb. (20.8 kg.) limited edition handbound book that comes in it's own special storage case. The cover is a hand-sculpted reproduction in marble of the Michelangelo's “Madonna della Scala” (“Madonna of the Steps”). It's enough to made a book lover's heart melt....

If you'd like to daydream further about owning a copy, there is a short video about this book here: http://www.fmronline.it/,

Friday, December 5, 2008

Emily Dickinson leather journal

Here is another of my "moon" journals that I've been making for my Etsy shop (see my previous post for more about these). This one has a quote by Emily Dickinson:

"The moon upon her fluent route defiant of a road --"

Here's what it looks like:

I used turquoise moroccan goatskin for the cover. The reverse side of the leather has a lovely mottled look. I had decided to use a 19th century Japanese print of the moon to go along with the quote, and when I was rummaging around in my leather collection, I realized that the colors of this leather matched the print. I was unreasonably excited to discover this :) To me, the colours of the leather, together with the print and quote, create a sort of otherworldly effect that I think Emily would approve of...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

New Handbound Leather Journals

Got a few new journals finished and posted in my Etsy shop. I've been working on some leather journals with quotes about the moon--only seemed natural, since my business name is Moon Bindery! :) Here are photos of a couple of them:

The first one has a quote by Oscar Wilde:

"Beauty is a form of genius - is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation. It is of the great facts in the world like sunlight, or springtime, or the reflection in dark water of that silver shell we call the moon."

And here is a black elkskin journal with a quote by Albert Einstein:

"I like to think that the moon is there, even if I am not looking at it."

Had a lot of fun designing these. In non-moon news, here is a commemorative leather journal with a quote by Barack Obama:
"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time.We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. "