Another...and Another

The bookbinding bug lives! I can't stop myself. I see beautiful paper and I want...NO, I need, to make it into a book. Since last Friday, I've made two more pretty things and thought y'all might like to see a few pictures.

A Book for Me

This one I made especially for me. The paper on the front cover called to me from the shelf as I was in Michael's one day. It probably would have made me happy to use it on the back, as well, but some part of me likes to have variety, so I chose a coordinating sheet, which is not visible in this shot, but it provided the green dot visible in the top right corner. Another bit of the J.Crew shoebox was used for the cover board and some green embroidery floss sacrificed itself for the binding. I made the book over 500 pages. Yes, that is a lot, but I like big fat books. Believe me, it's perfect!
Side Detail
This book is my first commissioned job. Jordan's mom wanted to give one of her students a sketchbook/journal for Christmas, so she bought the supplies and I made the book. Basically, she bought a regular sketchbook and I used the thick board on the back and the pages to make a pretty sketchbook. My habit of binding too tightly came into play, so I built in an elastic strip to keep it closed.

These pictures are my favorites, but don't show much detail, so if you want to see more check out my picture set of homemade books.

Laid Bare...Almost

Written two weeks ago...

Most of you, my faithful readers, will not be surprised when I tell you that this has been a tough semester for me. The infrequent, somewhat cryptic posts could have clued you in. Or, if you know me outside the blogosphere, the constant look of confusion may have done it for you. Anyway, it's the hardness of life that's kept me from posting because some things really are too personal. Today, though, I've felt prompted to share a little bit, at least.

Some of you may read the word "semester" and think that I'm struggling academically. But, other than having difficulty finding the motivation to complete the work, school hasn't been much of a problem. I've been learning some things and enjoying my classmates. Preaching has been especially good, which is a huge surprise to me.

My current struggles have been more internal; emotional and spiritual. For the past fifteen years or so, I've believed myself to be a basically stoic person. I've begun learning, though, that I am not so much a stoic as a stuffer. Ever since I can remember I have distanced myself from my emotions and now, suddenly, all of the emotions that I'd stuffed down inside myself have decided it's time to come out. The best illustration I can think of is how the Titans were released from their bonds to wreak havoc on the earth in Hercules. (Yes, I just referenced the Disney version of a Greek myth.)

Of course, in the midst of unexpected and unprecendented mood swings, I haven't been able to explain it quite so succinctly before. It's taken me several months of thinking about and talking about these things to understand what's going on with me. And, I'm sure there's still a lot more to understand...

This new understanding hit me in a fresh way as I was listening to a classmate's sermon on Matthew 11:16-19, which goes like this:
"To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others: 'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge and you did not mourn.' For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon.' The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners. ' But wisdom is proved right by her actions."
The constant refrain in Jason's sermon was that the people just didn't get it. But, one thing he said was especially striking to me. I can't quote him directly, but the gist was that weddings and funerals should be two life events to which we are intensely connected emotionally. Yet, the unresponsive children in this passage were able to contemplate both with dispassion. And, then I remembered all the times my friends had shared news with me, news of engagements and illnesses, of exciting opportunities and huge disappointments, to which I responded with a meager "congratulations" or a wan smile, when I should have been crying or rejoicing with them. The joy and pain that I should have shared with my friends was absent because I had learned not to feel.

Sometimes, I wish I could go back to not feeling because pain hurts. (Obvious, huh?) But, at the same time, I now realize that not feeling pain and sorrow also deadened my ability to feel joy and happiness and I know that I don't want to go back to that. I want to cry when I need to cry and jump up and down when it's time to do that. If you've ever been disappointed in my reactions to your news in the past, know that I am feeling them now, intensely. And, while I can't promise that I will have the right reaction when you bring me your joys and sorrows in the future, I can promise that I will try to experience them both with you.

I am Elliott and I feel.

Both Sides Now

both sides now, originally uploaded by kate e. did.

I made another book. This one has a pretty obvious mistake, but I think it's beautiful nonetheless. Originally, I was going to keep this one, but I suddenly realized that if I never gave any of these away I would eventually have to stop making them.

Another One

I made another book today. It took me about three hours from start to finish; not too shabby for an amateur. Here are some photos:

It's just a tad bit larger than a quarter sheet of printer paper (4.25"x5.5") and contains 120 leaves or 240 pages. For the covers, I used pieces of cardboard from a J.Crew shoe box that I found in the recycling bin downstairs and paper that I bought from a designer on

For the binding, I used blue DMC embroidery floss that I waxed with my nifty waxing contraption purchased in from Talas in NYC. My first book's binding was a little floppy, so I overcompensated a little, making this one too tight. But, honestly, I'd rather have to use some outside means to keep it closed than have it all sloppy.

The same paper that I used for the covers, I used for the signature wrappers. Signature wrappers seemed like such a silly idea until I put them to use, now I realize that they just make the book that much prettier! This picture shows why I love coptic binding. Journals that lie flat on their own are awesome.

If I weren't such a perfectionist, I would try to sell this one. But, I don't think I could charge someone for the rough corners and raggedy edges and too-tight binding... Anyway, I really love doing this. I think my next binding project will be upcycling on my favorite children's books, Katie the Kitten.

My First Sale!

Friends, I have some exciting news. I made my very first sale on Etsy. Someone bought an 8x10 of the photo to the right. Maybe it doesn't seem like a big deal, but it was such an awesome feeling for someone to actually be willing to spend money on some of my artwork.

Anyway, if you're looking for Christmas presents and think some of your friends and family might like some of my work, please stop by my Etsy shop and place an order. Any special requests are welcome! Almost all of the non-people pictures on my flickr page are fair game!

Buffet of Color

Buffet of Color, originally uploaded by kate e. did.

So Done

When I get busy and stressed out, my first reaction is to stop doing whatever it is I am supposed to be doing and find something that does not need to be done or, at least, doesn't need to be done until after something else. That's what I'm doing right now. I have a midterm exam tomorrow in my church history class and instead of studying, I am writing a blog entry. Before this, I was looking at Etsy. I can't afford to buy a single thing I want on Etsy, but I constantly torture myself by looking at it.

Anyway, I thought I would take a moment to lament before I got back to doing something that actually needs to be done.

Go! Buy!!

So, I've listed some of my photographs on Etsy. If you love me and you love my photos, please stop by and see if you might like to purchase some. Slap 'em in a cute frame and you've got an instant Christmas gift.

Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade

I Did It...

I love making things and giving them to people, so I took a pledge to either make or buy homemade things for people this Christmas. Maybe you should think about it, too... Go to Etsy. Not everything homemade has to be expensive.

I Took The Handmade Pledge!

If you want to, you could even buy some of my photos, which are handmade by me, for Christmas gifts. A link to that action will be forthcoming shortly!

So Not Done

My systematic theology midterm was due today. I sent it to my preceptor several hours ago and wish that I was never going to see it again. You could say it's not good, but that would be an understatement. It's not only not good, it's terrible. I feel sort of ashamed of turning it in. It's not that I didn't try. I tried! I tried so hard. I thought about the questions, I read and reread the material, I spent hours writing, but none of it worked.

With the rest of my week, I get to write my first sermon ever, make a paper proposal, and take an in-class midterm. I'm going to try to make the most of it, but it's all a little overwhelming. Feel free to pray for me.

On a Level

, originally uploaded by kate e. did.


Ancient, originally uploaded by kate e. did.