Sunday, September 27, 2009

Re rereading

There are readings--of the same text--that are dutiful, readings that map and dissect, readings that hear a rustling of unheard sounds, that count grey little pronouns for pleasure or instruction and for a time do not hear golden or apples. There are personal readings, that snatch for personal meanings...

Now and then there are readings which make the hairs on the neck, the non-existent pelt, stand on end and tremble, when every word burns and shines hard and clear and infinite and exact, like stones of fire, like points of stars in the dark--readings when the knowledge that we shall know the writing differently or better or satisfactorily, runs ahead of any capacity to say what we know, or how. In these readings, a sense that the text has appeared to be wholly new, never before seen, is followed, almost immediately, by the sense that it was always there, that we the readers, knew it was always there, and have always known it was as it was, though we have now for the first time recognised, become fully cognisant of, our knowledge.
A.S. Byatt: Possession, pp. 471-2 (1990, 7th impression, Chatto & Windus)

One of my great pleasures of getting older (those of you over 50 will scoff, but please bear with me) is re-reading.

There are many books that I read over and over. I've been keeping a formal reading list since 2000 (before that I just made diary entries if a book really impressed me), and now that it's been nine years of proper record-keeping, I've noticed a pattern. I seem to have a rotation of re-reading, so that if I read a new book and love it, I'll re-read it three years later, and then it gets in line with the other rotations, and they will emerge every five or so years amongst a lot of new reading. I might read a book that makes me think of Jane Eyre, and so I'll pull Jane Eyre off the shelf. If it's only been a year or so since I last reread it, I'll get a page or so in and feel that the re-reading is wrong, and put it back. There needs to be a decent interval, so that the book can feel familiar but still hold some small mysteries and pleasant surprises.

(This applies to other forms of entertainment as well: I can watch movies I like regularly but not constantly, and I can't watch a tv comedy again within at least six months of it first appearing, to BB's despair -- he is a Ricky Gervais addict, unfortunately, and many of my evenings on front of the computer are soundtracked by RG's insane and very annoying laugh.)

There are books on my shelves that aren't listed in my Reading List, which means that I should re-read them and decide if they still belong on my shelves. I decided, last week, to start with Possession, since I last read it as a student and I'd loved The Children's Story and many of her short stories so much.

And this is when I came to that conclusion about getting older. I've been thinking about this a bit, as you do when you roll over another year, as I do on Thursday. Thinking about fashions, how I scoffed at my mother grimacing at what I was wearing twenty years ago, and now I grimace daily as I walk through the art school wondering how that student over there managed to find the burgundy and gold acrylic Sussans jumper I chucked out when I finally grew a bit of dress sense.

A friend once told me that Proust is not worth even tackling until you'd had a bit of a life. I thoroughly enjoyed Possession as a 23-yo, but I wonder now how much I'd really understood of it. I must have talked about it in tutorials, maybe I even wrote something about it. But reading it on the other side of 40 made such a difference! Don't get me wrong, I'm not dissing the girl I was: it's just that I would have loved the fairy tale bits and not thought much of the academic parts and the abstinence parts (or the bits where you make space to understand who or what you are -- or who or what THEY are), which really are the guts of the book. So I'm looking forward to tackling a few more of the unlisted books on the shelf.*

It was the Lifeline Book Fair this weekend. I had to go to the Blue Mountains to celebrate a family birthday, so I popped in on Friday and found a few treasures, and then we dashed back today in time for the Sunday arvo trash. Lots of yummy poetry books, nice bindings to pull apart, and a couple of obscure things printed in letterpress that I need to do some research about.

I also found a gallery in Leura who are going to stock some books and prints of mine! huzzar!

*sorry, meant to write more here, but my train of thought has been shot to pieces by BB, who wants me to commit to coming to bed or not... NOT, but now that my concentration has gone, I might as well. Gah.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

remembering to purchase



I worked late back at the art school this evening, later than I'd expected, but I was elbow-deep in inky type at the time I said I'd go home, and there was no way of stopping until all the ink had done its work.

I had been charged with the job of obtaining more cough medicine on the way home. Best Beloved has his lurgy today. In the past I have called this the Man Flu, but actually factually it is some horrid lurgy all of his own, devised by someone from the tenth circle of hell, and he falls prey to it at least twice a year. It follows a set pattern, and one of the main symptoms is a foul mood. He is normally very pleasant man, but when he wakes up sounding gravelly and grumpy, I run a mile. As long as he has his bed, a bottle of whiskey (he swears the fumes help) and a bottle of this particular cough medicine and a gameboy, he is ok. But ask him a question, try to tell him a joke, wonder what the weather is doing, and you get a very rude and exasperated reply. He doesn't want sooky treatment, he doesn't even want to see your face, he just wants to curl up, sniff whiskey and die. Alone. With the occasional cuppa brought to him. So I tend to stay out of the way.

So. I'd worked late. There was a good chance that all the shops that stock his favorite cough medicine were closed, which would guarantee a really grumpy evening. Oh noes!

Luckily, just down from the art school is a new complex of student residencies. It has a Scottish name, which is very odd because everyone who lives there is Asian. Underneath the ressies is a bunch of shops, one of which is an Asian food store. It's not a fancy store, but every time I go there, it has what I want, and more besides. I went in once to buy some afternoon tea and came out with a very sharp mini-cleaver bought for $3 that is fabulous for chopping herbs. The best thing about the store is that it sells milk, and it's open really late and it's on my way home.

I went in and asked the man behind the counter if he had cough mixture, the one in the box with the nice pictures. He instantly reached for the box of Benadryl behind him.

No! no! the one next to it... his hand hovered over the box I meant, and then moved back to the Benadryl. No, I wanted the other one... yes! The one with the Chinese man on it. Thanks!

As he handed me the box of Chinese cough medicine, he said
Can I ask, how do you know about this medicine?
My auntie studies Chinese medicine, she says it is very good, and we now like it, it works very well.
Ah... that's interesting, because...
...because you don't look Chinese.

Heh. I don't know why, but that made me laugh all the way back to the car. Back at home, I blessed the store for its flexible retail hours, as BB made a grab for the box, and headed back to bed, leaving me to enjoy Spucks&Spacks in peace. I tell you what, if I could have an album of Don Walker's best Chisel songs sung by Jimmy Barnes' brother John Swan, I'd be the happiest woman in the world. Just putting it out there in the universe, you just never know your luck...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Amazon Throne redux

Firstly, and this is probably to your relief, I've decided to stop apologising for being busy. Enough snivelling, more fun and breathing. OK. Onwards.

A few weeks ago, when Betty swung by and we did a bit of arty sightseeing, I included my studio in the tour. He did what every reading person does when they walk in: browse my bookshelves. And of course, because he is a big Tom Phillips fan, the first thing that caught his eye was my copy of The Humument.

Just in case there's anyone who doesn't know about this project: it's probably the most famous altered book that there is. Phillips is an Englishman who gave himself a project: find a book that would cost him less than something tiny and pre-decimal, and play with it graphically. He gave himself a few rules about what he was doing, and created a character out of finding two words that appeared together infrequently, and then got so caught up in what he'd created, that he kept buying more copies of the book and publishing editions of his altered version. That link, above, goes to the Official Humument Site, where there are slideshows of the pages, etc.

One of the factors of finding the book in the first place was not just cost, but geographic proximity to London's secondhand book district. Phillips is one of those artists who likes to explore his local area, and is fascinated by the concept of place. Alongside his celebrated portraiture work is a whole body of work based on exploring one area, or a journey taken frequently. This is something he has in common with Betty, who frequently posts about geographical places from his memory.

I also like Tom Phillips, but I actually have an edition of The Humument (commercially reproduced, of course, nothing original) because there is a long tradition (at least, at my art school) of art students becoming obsessed with it for at least a term, and trying to do their own version of playing with pages in the same way. I am no exception.

I recently stumbled upon my version again, named after the title of my found book: Amazon Throne. I blogged about it a few years ago, briefly. Bernice wanted more. So I'm going to share some more. There is a vague storyline, based upon a character called Domitila who is a South American princess being married off to some charmless prince called Dom Joao. She's sharp, he isn't. And that's about it. Apart from that, I just had fun with the crappy women's magazines that my Nana has been giving me for years (I just got a pile the other day!). I combined paint, drawing and collage, in a much cruder way than the master artist Phillips. Remember that I was in first year of art school, or maybe even before that, when I was doing night classes. It still has the power to make me chortle, I love having a sense of humour.

I hope you like these. They're in no particular order, much like my mind :)
My absolute favs from the series are in that earlier post, but I like these too.

For the hard of screening, the text reads There was a noticeable shortage, but regal bearing made up for minor deficiencies

Translation: She loved rich ostentation. With animal vigour she indulged in voluptuous excesses, refusing to cede an inch of her fishwife's vocabulary

No, this was no time to think of menus

Actually, when I peer into the bits that I can read under the paint, I wish that I'd kept this book intact. As you can see, I'm using large chunks of sentences, not 'found' words, and the writing is tres amusing. I can remember liking it, but not thinking about keeping it. Pity.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cheesy pooofs

Late last night I needed a break from interminable photo resizings and lists of ex-military types (long story), and did a touch of internut cruising. Writing about my timid web trolling is like reading a children's story: I went walking... ...and what did I see? It's nowhere in the league of the wonderful Ample Sanity or BibliOdyssey.

Still, when I find things that belong together, they're worth mentioning. I laughed like a drain at Whatladder's trolling, and then I stumbled across this:

Which is just so apposite. It starts slowly: hang in there, it's worth it, especially if you thought Jah Jah Binks was an outrageous waste of time and money, as I do. You can fast-forward, I think the fun starts at about 1:25. (I was a bit shocked when Bumblebee laughed and then said 'that music is so funny, where does it come from?', and then I was thankful that he's never watched Benny Hill.)

And finally:

funny pictures of cats with captions

OK, back to work. I have to move plinths today. And keep resizing photos. *sigh*

Sunday, September 13, 2009

making space in/on the head

A couple of days ago I parted my hair in the centre after washing it and combed it straight. As you can see a few posts down, my hair is very straight and in a bob shape and I'm growing my fringe out.

Paper people

Usually, after a shower, I part to one side, comb and leave the house. When I look in the mirror later at work or in the studio, there it is, parted to one side and lying flat. Very flat. I have had to make friends with my flat straight hair and my ginormous exposed forehead because I don't like the feel of hair on my forehead, and I hate hair in my eyes when I'm working.

A couple of days ago, when I decided to do something a little different and part in the centre, I glanced in the bit of mirror I had at work and saw this:

...which is ok if you're paid to look like Professor Snape, but not if you are not. And only marginally better than looking like Nana Mouskouri,* who was the bane of my childhood.

So. What I'm leading up to here is that I had another of my 'OMFG, I need a makeover' moments, and I booked a session for today with my favorite hairdresser, who cuts layers like a dream and has been wasted on my hair for a year or so now while I've been growing my short hair out.

She greeted me with open arms, almost wet herself when I told her the Snape story, and declared that I was to be 'De-Snaped' instantly.

Up to now we've been working to a 'plan' of how to grow the layers from the last time I freaked out (and cut my hair to an inch all over), but I've come to the realisation that I quite like the dilemma of hair that isn't rational; I like the battle of having to deal with its moods. Once it's grown out and manageable, I get a bit bored.

Don't get me wrong -- I don't like hairdriers and don't like having to style my hair, or curl it, or straighten it (! Straightest hair in the universe -- but you get my drift). But I've decided for now that I don't want sleek hair. I'll change my mind again later, I always do, but for now I'll have fun.

Mel (my hairdresser) knew just what to do. She grabbed a razor and some thinning scissors and she went freestyle all over my head. There was no plan, just fun. When she'd finished, I was fluffy, whispy, ragged, but with bits that made sense -- I still have length at the back, and I can tuck the front behind my ears when I work. And the pile of hair on the floor was big enough to make a wig for someone. So much hair! So I also feel light-headed, which is marvellous when it's a freakishly hot day like today.

Check it out (obligatory bathroom mirror shots):

fluffy 1

fluffy 3

fluffy 2

Happy! Bumblebee said that he can see lots more grey hair, but I look younger. Excellent! It's my birthday in a couple of weeks, I'm turning the universal magic age (42) and I'm looking just as I want to look. Fabulous.

I think the haircut and the show coming down was a great conjunction: I feel like I've used up allmost of my scraps, and now I can start fresh. FRESH! Love it. If you'd like to see what the show looked like from above, which gives a pretty good overview, click here.

I made the most of Bumblebee as a studio assistant today:

child labour 1

child labour 2

He found such tasks highly exotic (he also wields a mean paint roller), lucky for me. But it's shown him a less alluring side to making art, and he thinks he won't be an artist now. Heh.

*This photo was taken just before I had my last hair freak-out which resulted in this. Sigh. I miss that really short hair, but BB doesn't.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

catch it while you can

Only two more full viewing days of my exhibition... I wish I'd booked the gallery for another week, but I didn't think I'd enjoy seeing it on the walls this much :)
I'm going to try and send some of the works elsewhere, but I haven't decided where yet.

Speaking of fast shows, there's a little gem on at the ANU School of Art Foyer Gallery at the moment: Julie Monro-Allison. It opened last night and only runs to Saturday:

if you can catch it, do. It's very lovely and includes my favorite ingredient, wit.

*ALSO* If you want some more quality artist's book action, check out Charlie Sofo's latest post.

Heh de jour

Cartoons from the Issue of September 14th, 2009:

Actually, the whole slideshow is pretty good.

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Shelving ideas

Putting together my exhibition, one of the serendipitous things that helped it was that the exhibitor before me, Nick Stranks, had built a long mantlepiece-type bookshelf right around three of the gallery walls. I checked with him that the shelving was a prop, not an integral part of his concept, and then asked him if I could use it as well. He had no problem with this, since it deferred the taking-down of the shelf, and he'd also get someone to help him do it. Win win, as they say.

I went back to my studio, all excited, and fretted over what to do with the shelf, which turned out to be very long indeed.

I ended up using one side to hold my collection of flotsam and jetsam (vintage books made into blank books and boxes), and the other side to hold a number of my 'souvenir' working books (I dubbed them Re-collections), and then for the central sweep of shelf I created a small series called 'Night Ladders' that depended upon the shelves for their display.

This one you've already seen, it's called Night Ladders: After. It is a concertina papercut that can fold back into the vintage book cover. The book is called 'After Suicide'. I've been carting the book around for ages now, but the inside was quite dry and boring, so I gutted the cover a few years ago and had been toying with the idea of just using the cover as an altered book in itself, showing how gutted and empty the aftermath of suicide can be for the survivors. But I like this better. There's darkness, growth and change in it. Works for me.

Next along the shelf is Night Ladders: Escape. It hovers on the wall above the shelf, and the ladder goes completely down to the end of the shelf, sitting just shy of the floor. This is the only one of the four that doesn't fold up into itself. Instead, once the book comes off the wall, it can close up, and the ladder wraps around it, so it's still a book object, but a bit more sculptural. Everyone loves the ladder, and I'm glad, because it took a long time to make! I love it too.

I still can't work out which way the escape goes, into or out of the book. I guess that's why I like it so much. The title on the book cover is Escapes and Adventures. I like to make the cover titles a part of the work, because that's what catapults me into the work in the first place.

Next one along the shelf is Night Ladders: Grim. All the printed papers used in these books come from a huge project I helped with earlier in the year, producing a couple of editions of artists' books for light-trap Press. One book was called Twelve Labours (about Herakles), and the backing sheets for that were used in After and Escape. The other book was called The Night Ladder, and this one is what the title of my series comes from. Both books used poems by Angela Gardner, and TNL was mostly reinterpretations of fairytales, plus a new poem from which the title was derived.

Grim has used the backing sheets from TNL, and especially a poem from it called 'Bluebeard'. It's another concertina book, this time using a vintage copy of Grimm's fairy tales. Yes, I know Bluebeard isn't by Grimm, it's by Perrault, but I had Grimm on hand, and once you lose an em, it all works beautifully. It's my hand, my wedding ring. And it looks very creepy when you stand in front of it, so droopy and extended. The book cover is the same blood-red as the hand.

The last one starts on the shelf and then extends diagonally upwards to the top of the wall (Megalo has short internal gallery walls, because it's a constructed space inside a large atrium). As you can see, I wanted the four pieces to really USE the space of the shelving. One thing I like about them as a group is that they'd be very hard to show in a normal glassed plinth or even cabinet. Anyhoo, this is Night Ladders: Vision, with the text of the poem 'The Night Ladder' visible at the start and end of the upward climb. This was Angela's love poem to her partner; this series is my 'like' poem to Angela. I do like her work, a lot. The book cover is 'Night Vision' by Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer. I like to think he'd have liked this book too.

When I say 'printed papers', I mean that when you print pages using letterpress and a cylinder proofing press, you use other pieces of paper to 'pack' the cylinder. Some of them are wrapped around the cylinder with a lightly oiled paper on top, and this is the tympan packing. Other pieces sit under the main piece of paper, to provide more pressure as you work with the type or plate. When you've finished, there is usually a quantity of paper that bears the embossed impression of the text/image you've been printing. Sometimes the embossing is so lovely, I keep the paper as-is. Most times, though, when I've finished printing, I'll run the packing through my rollers to remove most of the ink before rolling up my sleeves to clean the press. These over-printed packing sheets are what has been used in this series and many other of my pieces. I love the random marks, the variations in tone, and the echoed text that re-invigorates all the enthusiasm I had at the start of a long project that I'd lost through endless hours of press-setting and paper-shifting.

Anyway, what started me writing this post was a link sent to me on one of my various list-servers. It's a fabulous collection of imaginative bookshelves. I know you all love books, otherwise you wouldn't be reading me, so I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

I had the chance today to meet up with Betty today to have a look at the show and my studio and have coffee and talk about places and movies and children etc. It was delightful, and I'm starting to get used to having time to do such things again. O joy, Spring is springing, and there's time. Except I'm meant to be at a meeting in 15 minutes, and I'm late. Poo.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Colonel Duck was probably a bit disappointed that I didn't mention his presence in the last post, but that is because I was saving it for today's post.

people watching

There's a few photos of him in my flickrset of the opening, but this is my favorite.

The look on his face tells me instantly that he's people-watching, and most probably watching some child doing something silly. Both my parents are people-watchers, and it's a gift they handed down to me.

Happy father's day, Dad, and thanks for all the support.

(I'm not sure how much Dad will enjoy this site, but I'd thought I'd put it here, because he loves silly animal things, and your dads might too.)

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Pressings: the opening

Me like a tree

Hello from my wonderful opening. This photo was taken by Antonia, who is one of the Megalo team. I'm holding up the wrong arm to echo the work, but you get the idea. Sorry for the insane grin, I was a bit nervous. I'm wearing a shift thing that I think of as my 'tuckshop uniform'; it's cut like those uniforms nurses and tea ladies used to wear, but it is black with some funky black & white detailing. I found it at a Melbourne op shop, and thought it fitted my general theme of vintage + recycling.

Nix & Sparke
Another Antonia image, of two lovely Canberra artists: papermaker Katharine Nix on the left, printmaker & illustrator Franki Sparke on the right.


This is the opening according to Bumblebee.

Well, not really. I gave him the camera and asked him not to use the flash, so he struggled a bit with holding the camera still enough to get clear shots. He seemed to perservere, because I have a lot of blurries followed by a few good shots:

not blurry

Not sure that Sarina (Sarina fair, on the left of the group) would think it was a good shot, but by Bumblebee's standard, it's excellent!

Steev & Gen
This is Steeev, one of my oldest friends (you might have seen him lurking around Progressive Dinner Party), and Genevieve Swifte, who does gorgeous art and books, with her daughter Disa. At the back of the photo is Lady Duck, looking suave.

A Bumblebee photo; he loved all the little kids who came, I have lots of photos of them all making faces and running around. This is the back of Mummy Crit, with her delicious baby Erik. her other son, D'arcy, REALLY wanted to touch one of my more active-looking books, so I promised him that he could come to my studio after the show and look through it (it's one of the Not For Sale pieces, because it's a personal souvenir of a collaboration).

It was a really lovely evening, and I'm really glad I didn't have any speechifying, because it allowed people to just relax and talk and look at the work, which tried its best to look nice and, I think, succeeded. I'm going to go in during the week and take some 'proper' shots of the work and put them up on my website for a bit of a virtual showing, but I'll let you know when that happens.

One thing I really loved was seeing people looking hard at everything.


I hope they got as much out of the work as I got making it...

Bernice has also done a bit of a post on it, and there's more photos in a flickrset, if you're interested.

Ooh, I almost forgot to acknowledge how bloody amazing Best Beloved was. He didn't get a chance to stop and talk to many people because he was pouring drinks, food-wrangling, washing up empty glasses and plates, and being generally wonderful. He really earns his title sometimes.

Thanks to everyone who came! It was great!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Pressings day

Just to remind you that today is the day my exhibition opens.

Six o'clock
Megalo Print Studios + Gallery (Canberra Technology Park, 49 Phillip Ave, Watson)
glass of wine

(and probably a few other people)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Nice things

This afternoon I was contacted by Megalo (the gallery where I'm showing my work) who wanted to know if I could drop everything and go on the radio. Apparently the local ABC had a bit of a cancellation and thought they'd fill it with some Local Art. Hooray!

So here I am in me working gear*, holding a couple of 'nice things made out of old books and recycled paper', just before I went into the studio to talk to the lovely Louise Maher. We had a great conversation, and they've promised to send it to me as an MP3 so that I can cringe along in the privacy of my own studio.

It was absolute gold putting the word 'recycled' into my title. I'm actually recycling papers I've created with my own printing work, but Louise was really more interested in my use of old books, and we talked at length about the Lifeline Bookfair and the way I plunder its treasures only after I've given people every chance to buy the books. I rattled on about how books aren't our primary source of information anymore, and therefore have even more become objects of desire, so extending the life of old books by transforming their initial design makes lots of sense. I also talked about books as primal symbols, and that when you use books in art, you're bringing the viewer halfway towards your art, because they understand what a book should be, and you can work with or against that. (In that line of thinking you can also substitute the word 'painting' and it works well too.) She also got interested in my letterpress work, and we talked a bit about the instant gratification of manual typewriters.

I don't know how those 'radio hosts' (don't think they're called DJs anymore) can concentrate with all the paraphenalia around them. When I was doing some community radio (way back when John Howard was in opposition), we just had a couple of CD decks, a turntable, ads on tape(!) spools and a few buttons and twinking lights. Now there's computers and banks of flashy things and multiple tvs running with the sound turned down. I'd be unable to think straight with all the distraction. I was very impressed.

Everything is ready. I've put the numbers on the works, had some more invites printed (I ran out of the meagre amount I printed in a vague attempt to keep things emailable, forgetting that people love hard copy souvenirs), and have bought a load of yummies for the opening. I didn't go the catering route -- just decided to bung on some cheeses and chips and fruit. I did take some time tonight to make some little savoury baked ricotta thingies, just because I had nothing else to do. Luxury!

Now I need my beauty sleep so that I can actually hear what people are saying to me at the opening. Ooh, bum, just remembered that I forgot to book the restaurant for afterwards. Oh well, I'll have to do it at the last minute and cross my fingers! Can't be totally organised, can one?

*Actually, the research chick told me they were going to take a photo for their blog, and I was dressed in my scraggiest flannie shirt, printing with red ink at the time (which makes me look like I've been gashed all up my arms, or like I've slashed someone else), so I dashed home on the way to the radio station and cleaned up and changed into what would ordinarily be my working clothes, anything BUT the flannie! I have standards, you know ;)

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


I'm sitting here with a happy sleepy cat on my lap, sipping brandy, feeling happy and sleepy myself.

Today was install day, and it went pretty smoothly apart from having to paint the entire gallery space thanks to some lazy patching and non-painting by the show before last. Luckily Megalo has a lovely flotilla of interns who made the dirty work less arduous:

We had to paint the walls and all the plinths, because some of them were borrowed from other places (it's a plinth-heavy show).



It was very hard to take photographs; all I had was my crappy little digicam and half the gallery lights aren't working (hopefully they will be fixed tomorrow), but here are a few teasers:

This is called After. The photos don't do justice to the detail embedded in the black shape.

The kites became Let Go. The bit down the bottom is a book spine, with the edges of the pages facing outwards. It started as kites escaping from the book, but ended up as a very lovely tree.

Do you know how hard it is to drill holes in coins? This is a nostalgic piece about catalogues and poetry, in a 'traditional' palm-leaf binding.

This is called Me, Like a River. It started life as a flag book, but ended as a tunnel book.

It's not all seriousness. I am including some of my favorite book covers (usually found at the Lifeline book Fair), converted to blank sketchbooks or boxes. It's really hard to think about letting these go:

You can't have this one, it already belongs to Zoe, for services to catering. It comes with a sample of the poetry inside, comparing a naked woman to a lump of bratwurst. Sterling stuff.

I love the Valley-of-the-Dolls-Henry-Jamesian style of this Austen cover. I find her eyes really creepy.

Ah, Zindel. Master of my twelve-yo universe.

And a soupcon of politics, just for the halibut. This one is a clamshell box, lined with some of the illustrations.

I think it's going to be a lovely show, if I may say so myself. I surprised myself today: all my obsessional planning helped a lot. Now I'm starting to think about ways to rest...