On the 19th of July I happened to find, by accident, a posting here on WP about a contest of sorts sponsored by my very own Public Library. It took my by surprise not only to see my Library posting but also the reason; Art Books! Immediately my head shifted gears, thoughts started swirling at rapid speeds. ” I do that, I want to make one, Can I get a book made in time for the deadline July 27?, Yes, yes I can do it!!, Wouldn’t it be so cool to be a part of it? What shall I make? ” on and on the thoughts just kept coming.
That night after work I headed down to my studio and started rummaging through things. I settled on my first idea, a Star Book, having made two already for two different people I figured the binding style would save me lots of time as I’ve pretty much got that part down to a science. However to pull this off you must have 7 pages ( signatures ) or it won’t ” star “. As luck would have it at some point I had pre cut the first base pages, OMG what a find! It was meant to be.
The next morning I headed back down to the studio and picked out the color palate and paper I would use for the next layer of pages. With those measured and cut I stepped into my first big dilemma; what color to use for the last set of 7, which will be the ” holding pages ” for my artwork. I went with a creamy ivory cardstock because not only did I have enough of it but I could change the color with paints/inks if I needed to. With the base chosen I was off to work.
I do my very best thinking while I’m driving. Really, it’s true, I don’t know why that is but it seems like my subconscious mind goes into overdrive more than my car does. So, on my way to work that morning I was tossing theme’s around. Thinking about the fact that this is a ” freebie “, a book not commissioned for someone else other than ME! I had to create 7 two page pieces of original work. Pieces that are from my heart and my head.
Vintage! I’m all about it. I love to make things look old and worn but loved at some point time. I use a lot of quotes because they give me a jumping off point, I lean to History, Humor, Nature, Art, Music, Dogs and Gardening. I spent all of last weekend putting a couple of pages together. Then during the beginning of the week I grabbed every free second I could find to work on this book. Things went along pretty well but seriously I had to Friday morning ( yesterday ) to have the book completely finished, photographed, copied to a CD, application filled out and to the Library! The pressure was mounting as fast as my doubts. The critic on my shoulder was getting heavier each moment and I could just feel the breeze of that clock ticking.
I kept pushing myself because I really wanted to enter this contest. Tuesday is my “short” day at work, so that gave me some quality time and I found someone to work my night shift on Wednesday, more time. I asked my boss if I could come in later on Thursday as we are always over staffed that shift. He actually told me to take the day off!!! I was beside myself with joy and thankful for his generosity.
By Thursday morning at 5:30 I had finished three pieces. I needed to do four more, bind, cover and put all of the pages together. Then comes the fun/tedious part; ribbons, charms, beads and finish work. That’s what makes the book interesting and fun, gives it the “wow” factor. I had placed three hidden tags behind pages, included a little origami book within the book, added propeller spinners, game spinners and other assorted eye catching trinkets but by 6 pm I still was not finished. UGH.
I just kept going, I was hungry, I was tired and I was stressed. My poor cat and dog were beside themselves with confusion. Every couple of hours I emerged from my basement studio to take the dog out, get a breath of air and sunshine, a drink, feed the cat and dog and listen to the neighborhood kids play and laugh. Then I was back at work on my book.
Thursday night at 10 I was done. In more ways than just finishing the book. One last outing for Honey, my dog and I went to bed. Alarm set at its usual 4:45 am. I awoke to Adele singing on the night stand in her fabulous voice. It was Friday, deadline day. Before even putting my feet on the floor logistics of the day ran through my head. The book still needed to be photographed and copied to a CD, the application form to be filled out, and so continued my day.
I got everything book related done. Went to work with book in tow because everyone wanted to see it except the Library. ( They only wanted the photo’s, if my book get’s chosen to be on display then I deliver it to them. ) At lunch and with the help of a work friend I made a mad dash downtown to the Library and hand delivered my entry.
That’s it, done, I did it. It was an exhausting 7 days. Drove me crazy but in a good way. It pushed me to limits creatively I never would have gone to otherwise. I pulled myself from every direction to complete this because I believe in myself enough. I learned some things about myself during my 7 days of crazy and I found parts of myself that have been missing for years. The Star Book 2012 creation part is over, but the process still lingers and all of the fights I had between myself and my critic are now put to rest.