Above you see a journal I made in 2009. It was one of the first I made in a coptic stitch. When I made it I had not heard yet about 2-needle bindings, and thus this one here has a simple 1-needle stitch. But on the other had I added a fly leaf. – Before learning Coptic bindings I had been making case bindings, and making a book without a fly leaf just didn’t seem prudent. Now that I rediscovered the construction in this book, I think I ought to introduce that in my current work as well. As you can see it is a rather plain design. That is because I had added a leather cover. At the time I thought was a clever idea, but it turned out not so very beautiful after all, and I couldn’t sell it. And I rather dislike any book covers. (I tend to remove all dust jackets from commercial books as well.)
So this book entered my “to do” pile in my studio. I inteded to give it a new finish by adding a lino print on the front cover, thus making it easier to hold it the right way up when picking it up, as well as making it more interesting. It sat in that pile, and sat, and sat, and never anything happened with it. I moved it from here to there, moved it from my to do pile in Bonn to my to do pile in Nottingham, but somehow it always seemed more convenient to start over completely rather than decorate this older binding.
Now let me take a break here, I’ll come back to that later, first I need to change the subject.
Pain is not a nice topic to write or read about, at least when referring to the English word, rather than the French. You can see it in my title line nevertheless, – I hope that putting it beside the word sourdough didn’t make your cringe and turn away on the spot, and since you are reading this, I was successful it seems. You’re still with me? – Thanks. So, I have been in pain for four weeks now, suffering from really bad lower back pain. It doesn’t seem to be the average lumbago since it started off easy and then slowly got worse. And it is bad: I have difficulties with personal care like dressing and washing myself, but I don’t want to go into too much detail here. I am on pain medication now, which makes it quite bearable, really. But the pills also make me dizzy, and let me do crazy things like putting dirty socks in the fridge instead of in the washing machine, and generally they don’t let me think straight. – They puts me in a happy but neither very dependable, nor very productive stupor. And so I am trying to balance being happy and relatively pain free with being there for my children and getting some work done. – And surprisingly I did get some work done: Those who followed me on facebook saw the “346” scroll getting thicker and thicker until it was finished. I am currently editing it – though this takes a lot of time currently due to the forementioned stupor I am in most of the day.
And I also finished three pairs of jeansbook journal covers, all “size M” (the books not the pants), and more in other sizes are planned.
My work was about that far progressed some time in the middle of last week, when the pain got worse, I needed more medication, and I saw myself unable to stand and work without medication, or concentrate enough to work with medication.
And so, being unable to bind books or edit 346, I started something new (because I just can’t do nothing. What do you do when you do nothing?): Baking, making bread. (Not French bread though, it would have been nice to say I turned pain into pain.)
And since the first couple of experiments using fast action instant dried yeast were pleasant but not totally satisfying, I started to read about how to make sourdough bread. And it sounds easy enough, and so interesting: the chemistry behind it, the history, experiences of other amateur bakers… M. asked me this morning to please stop talking about sourdough. Apparently not everyone finds it as interesting as I do. I understand won’t bore you with more details. But, and now I am back on track, I felt I needed a journal for the dough and my experiments, so that if something goes wrong, I can track back my mistake.
And so I took one of the books from my pile. – It happend to be this red journal I talked about in the beginning. I briefly thought about it, but cutting a stamp just seemed over the top, and so I just gave a ballpoint pen a try to decorate the cover, and it worked! I am rather happy with the result. Now, this open weave book fabric might not be the best to use in the kitchen. It can’t be wiped and dough and other dirt tends to stick between the fibres. I certainly wouldn’t advertise it for kitchen use were I to sell it. But for my personal use it is good enough. Actually I am really happy with it. – Well, my pain medication make me really happy about anything at the moment :-) I hope to get more meaningful work done soon, and then show off my first complete 346 copy, or a pile of jeansbooks.
On the way to there I’ll probably need help to eat all the bread I will have to bake soon. If you are near you are welcome to come over, try some and possible take some home!
I am wishing you all a happy and productive week