50 books in a year of being 50

In this year of being 50 I have decided to follow one of my creative passions
and make 50 handmade books over the year.

Early next year I will find a way to exhibit the books and auction them.

The money raised will go to Plum Village in France,
a monastic retreat centre inaugurated by Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Book number 11, The ocean of bliss

Current bid for this book stands at £35
This book is based on a poem I wrote on a retreat in 2008, and have been working on it (in terms of how to present it) ever since! And here it is!
The book measures 16 x 15.5cm and is hand embroidery on the front cover with variegated threads and handmade felt. It has 23 pages. This 

 This embroidery is the first page and represents the 'seashells' - all the things (important or not) that occupy the mind.

This embroidery is the back cover and like a zen circle represents the mind that is still, quiet and clear.
Here are the open pages.

The words of the poem are -
" how long will we spend
paddling in the shallows
before we are prepared
to risk diving deep?
The ocean of bliss
calls constantly to us
ever-present, waiting,
watching, beckoning.
The proliferation of seashells and
soft, soft sand is beguiling
to a mind caught up with noise.
Only in the depths
beneath the turbulent, tossing
and constantly moving sea
will we find the centre
that is ever still."

Book number 10, Sparkling stars

Current bid for this book stands at £15
I recently went on a Makers retreat and we were invited to make a concertina book. I have done this before but I was intrigued to see what may come out in a room inspired by other people. I also had some lovely gold paisley paper with me that I was keen to use for something, so I decided this was it. I had also written a poem about the night and the early morning so here were the words.

Here is the book closed, fastening with a ribbon and magnets, and here is the book open, giving a better indication of the colour of the paper. The book measures 6.5 x 10cm (I was rather interested in small books on this weekend, they got smaller as the weekend went on!)
The book is a concertina that folds in on itself.
The words say, "the sparkling stream of stars at night has become a morning full of birdsong. The moon gently smiles upon an awakening world, inviting us to dance in oneness".

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Book number 9, Family hands

 This is the most unusual book I've made so far and started with an idea of drawing round each family members' hands. For some months they sat on the table as I wasn't sure what would happen next. Then I had the idea of cutting the hands out from book pages relating to each person. Here's the inside of the book. It has a concertina spine, 16 pages and the cover is decorated with decoupage papers. The size is 25 x 20cm.

Book number 8, Cream and Hessian

Current bid for this book stands at £20.
This is the largest book (so far!). It measures 20 x 19.5cm and closes with elastic. It has 82 pages of heavy cream cartridge paper.

The spine reveals the stitching which is brown linen long stitches with small white beads at top and bottom and on the middle stitches. There is also a metal 'hand made' tag in the shape of a hand on the spine.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Book number 7, Two Birds

Current bid for this book stands at £20
Book number 7 contains one of my short poems, Two Birds.

This book measures 15 x 16cm and is hand printed both on the front cover and inside (each letter printed individually!) with just 4 pages and the bird prints suspended in the middle of each page.
The words of the poem are:-

This bird’s song
is muted
by a cage
that is
too narrow
too small
too heavy
too dark.

This bird sings
echoing through
all the valleys
there is
no cage.

Book number 6, In, out

Current bid for this book stands at £15
Book number 6 comes in a box!
You can see from the ruler next to it it's a very small box! Just 4cm squared. Made from some lovely paisley craft paper.

And inside is a little concertina.

With the words of Thich Nhat Hanh,
in, out, deep, slow, calm, ease, smile release, present moment, wonderful moment.
Beautiful words to decorate!

Book number 5, Wooden birds

Current bid for this book stands at £8
This book is a very small cute one that I made as a variety to the other bigger ones earlier.

 It is a delightful 4 x 3cm with 2 tiny wooden birds decorating the front cover.

 The 116 pages are from an old poetry book (apologies to Wordsworth).

Book number 4, Marbled windows

Current bid for this books stands at £10
This lovely square book is 14 x 14cm and has 114 pages of plain white thin cartridge paper and graph paper. The front cover has 4 cut out windows to display the small pieces of beautiful marbled cotton fabric. The book closes with a dark green ribbon which also peeps out in the spine. You can just see it in the left hand side of the picture. The cover is navy blue bookcloth.

Books, numbers 2 & 3, Button book and Turquoise Paisley

Current bid for this book (no 2 Button book) stands at £12
I made the next two books at the same time, same size with different covers. They each measure 16cm tall x 11cm wide.
Number 2 - Buttons
This has paper buttons glued to the front cover (that was a good day, discovering there were 2 paper punched for buttons!) and real mother of pearl buttons sewn down the spine. 
One of these serves as the closure round which to wind the thread. The cover is a turquoise bookcloth. This has 154 pages and a thread and button page marker. 
The pages are a random mix of most plain pages in various colours, mainly blues and purple, interspersed with graph paper and pages from a dictionary.
Current bid for this book (no 3 Turquoise Paisley) stands at £15
Number 3 - Turquoise Paisley is the same size as Buttons and has the same number of pages. The colours of these pages are blue, purple, pink and cream, again interspersed with graph paper and dictionary pages. 
This is the cover, covered in some beautiful paper I got from a fabulous website called Namaste http://www.namaste-uk.com/. They sell lovely items imported from Thailand, including both of these wonderful papers.

 The turquoise is used for the spine and as the endpapers, the inside covers. The book closes with two ribbons, in blue and turquoise.