start of something new

I love paper. It’s kind of ridiculous how much I love paper. I have always collected paper; it’s not that I scrapbook, I have no desire to put everything in a book and decorate it. I’d rather collect it, look at it, touch it, and then put it away. Strange that such a functional material brings me equal pleasure whether I’m making use of it or simply possessing it. Just the other day, when I was home from work because I was sick, I reorganized my scrap paper and came across a piece that was used to wrap a gift given to me by an older Austrian woman who was an artist. She rented the house owned by my then-boyfriend’s family. The paper is orange, has a soft texture, and looks like it was block printed-a small, abstract floral design. This woman painted thick, wooden furniture with rosemaling designs-I thought her work looked so Hansel and Gretel European, here’s an example of rosemaling: I felt fortunate to receive a gift from her and remember her fondly when I see that paper.

My 14 year-old daughter has recently become interested in sewing; I loved sewing as a teen and it has stayed with me. I like how simply a skirt comes together. I love to make little totes. When I was pregnant with my 7 year-old I nested so intensely I made her crib bedding; the quilt and the bumper padding-I stopped short of making the sheets. When I was working on my undergraduate degree I didn’t have much money for Christmas. I bought a bunch of felt and embroidery floss and made hand puppets based on the characters from Shrek 2. They were a good diversion from the stresses of life; I enjoyed hand-stitching the puppets, trying to match the colors of my felt to the characters in the movie, matching felt with floss. It was a satisfying project.

I am brewing an idea. I would like to do something that incorporates my joy of sewing with my love of paper. I have sewn on paper before; it is an effective adhesive, particularly when one’s paper is rough, uneven, or fragile. I am considering writing a children’s book that uses sewn bits of paper in the illustration. I haven’t sketched it out yet, it’s still in my head. I have not attempted to sell a book before, but I have begun researching the process, made easier because I am a “newly-minted librarian” (thanks, Maura).

More than anything, I want to start creating things that make me happy. When I am productive I am happiest. I am inspired by simple patterns, textures, colors; these can combine to create art, to tell a story, to make someone laugh. I will continue to write about the process of extracting ideas from my head and turning them into tangible pieces of art. For now, feel free look at the work of Clare Beaton, a children’s book author whose work I greatly admire:

Thank you for reading.

Published in: on March 8, 2009 at 5:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

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