between the pages
It’s like slipping on that skirt that makes me want to go dancing, or running my hands over a checkered blanket with visions of a picnic on green pastures by the river with water babbling. The blank pages ripe with possibility; snow-white, begging for thoughts, stories, recipes, a note from a loved one, to grace the pages. Each letter formed carefully, quickly or sleepily- a dance in ink traveling the hills and valleys of a handmade book. The buttery leather cover, soft and protective, fills my hands. I feel alive and full of hope when I hold it next to me!
I have a notebook or journal for almost everything. I keep one with kitchen experiments documented like a scientist. I have a thin school notebook from Uganda in which I document my fiber projects. Another holds ideas for this blog and for upcoming handmade book projects. One holds scribbled lines from poems that could someday take shape. Another slips into my purse, peeking out with its orange button eyes, and keeps tiny memories of places I’ve been, people I’ve met and conversations I’ve had.
While thumbing through books at the library, which is one of my favorite sensory places, I came across a book about how to design and make a journal that is perfect for the task at hand, whether it be taking notes on foods and recipes, sharing memories with a family member, or documenting a trip to some far away country. Before finding this book, I was running rogue, making books however my mind could figure out to keep the spine together and the pages from tumbling out. I devoured the book and have since made three journals using different techniques outlined by the author, Qwen Diehm. The leather-bound journal pictured at the top is the latest. The pictures below show two different books made with old sheet music as their pages, one with part of a watercolor painting as it’s cover, the other with a music book jacket as it’s cover. Each has an ink drawing inside as a little surprise, a small tactile gift for the future filler of these journals…