Sunday, February 21, 2010

Fluttering About

I seem be an artistic butterfly lately, fluttering from one craft to another, barely staying long at any one.

Last year my curiosity about bookbinding focused on taking classes and learning different binding styles. Here is a recent effort, my first try using coptic binding with hard covers.

Binding signatures into leather covers blossomed into designing book closures and adornments, so I landed in the green field of wire and jewelry-making. Here are some of my designs in copper and wire.

Gliding over to join a friendly sewing group, I am starting to darn socks and take up a crochet hook again, wondering if I might make a giant migration and try a sewing machine.

Which is a bit strange, given my history. With a grandmother renown for her skillful and creative stitching skills, a mother who often made us clothes, and an artistic sister, I was a bookworm not interested at all in sewing. Yet, I tried embroidery as a teenager and my step-Mom taught us how to crochet one summer and I made simple throws and bed spreads.

I am intrigued by sewing paper as described in craft magazines and books, art blog posts and online class offering. Rhonda Miller sews Christmas cards into a book and sparked an examination of my hoard of cards and postcards from decades past. Mary Ann Moss has an online class “Remains of the Day” that utilizes daily paper ephemera and special photos to machine stitch a journal together. Both D.J. Pettitt's and L.K. Ludwig's online classes, although different in approach, encourage introducing your own photos to create meaningful, authentic journals. Although I have not taken any of those classes, I am moved by their general concepts.

Rationalizing that I only have so much time and room to create, I have resisted learning how to sew. But, given how butterfly fickle I've been lately, perhaps I'll soon relent and begin sewing old cards and letters onto journal pages, start making photo transfers onto fabric as well as paper, and maybe appliqué a memento to adorn a book cover.

Re-reading books about art journals, I like ideas that use personally significant pieces. Sorting old paper and fabric pieces, I am gathering ideas how to showcase them in mixed-media journals or paintings instead of filing or boxing them away.

But, first and foremost, I need to clean up my studio. You don’t know what a mess a fluttering butterfly, with projects all over the place, can make!


  1. I think butterflying is a good thing in order to get in touch with each craft. later you will probably find the ones you want definitely to get stick with. The Bookbinding work is impressive!

  2. thanks for stopping by...
    and i've enjoyed looking at your flitting about as a butterfly!!
    gorgeous book! i say: i haven't "declared a major" yet, an old college joke.
    butterflying, i like that word!

  3. Butterflies are one of my favourite painting subjects! I really identify with so much here!

  4. Thanks for your positive words, Diana; it really helped me ease up on being hard on myself.

    Hi Neva. Yes, we must allow ourselves to taste the nectar of the various art and craft flowers around us to see which appeal the most. Painting will always be first in my heart, though. I love spontaneous exploration without worrying about results, quite the opposite of crafts.

    Thanks for visiting Susan, and for becoming a follower! It really makes my spirit soar to get such lovely comments and creative followers!