Thirty Days

Thirty days, from June 8 to July 8, I kept a small ‘morning pages’ journal.

I had this lovely little children’s hymnal that I had bought at the book fair for about a dollar, or less. I bought it for the musical scores. I removed the body of the text, carefully, using an exacto knife to cut it out of the spines while keeping the spine intact.

I measured it and found that 5 inch x 7 inch pages would be perfect inside the spine. However, I had some 140 lb watercolor paper that was 7 inch by roughly 9 inch (I think it is more like 9 ¼ inch or something)…and being too busy and too tired usually…I took advantage of what I had on hand and let the little extra bits go.

I folded the watercolor paper in half. I created two page signatures…which I bound in using a very simply pamphlet stitch into a cloth backing, which I then glued into the actual spine and cover of the book. The cloth itself was significantly smaller than the actual covers.

I thought I took some pictures of the apparently unconventional way I bound this book, but I can’t find those pictures right now. Of course. They are not that moving anyway.

I added tape and glue and a nice wide ribbon under and around the fabric to ensure it would stay in the book…then I glued the first and the last page to the front and back cover of the book itself, over the fabric…

The ribbon is the closure. It comes out from under the very first page and wraps around the book. I recently learned how to do a monk’s knot and I am just fascinated with it now….not that this ribbon is now long enough to achieve a monk’s knot, but originally it was…

I thought I left more than enough space for the pages to expand. I left at least 1/3 of the book unfilled just for this purpose. I was certain that I had left plenty of room for the pages to bloom, especially since I wasn’t actually planning to do all that much in the book.

Yeah, no. About day fifteen or so, the book began to get fat. A few days after that…I had to tape over the spine, which I had wanted to keep intact and original…because the blooming was cracking open the spine…

The purpose of the journal was to spend 10 to 15 minutes playing…just moving color around, using whatever felt good to me.

Well, I started the journal intending to work on more primitive faces…something I do not do a lot of, but something I actually want to explore more…

When I started, I was actually creating more detailed spreads, taking hours to work on the faces, really spending much more time than I had originally intended…it took me a bit to remind myself…this is not the purpose of this journal…that I needed to make things quicker, and easier, on myself, if I intended to continue the practice.

Creating faces every day is not an issue…but needing to work on the shading and letting them dry and adding more, and creating layers and creating depth…it was taking up too much of my precious little time and I was too busy with that than doing the actual work I needed to do…which was quickly killing my enthusiasm for the project.

So as you view the pieces in this journal…you will see the pieces shift from quite detailed to almost not detailed at all…

The other issue I had was I started out in a very good head and heart space…and then I began to get behind on many things, there were other issues, and I lost my ability to … buck up, I guess you would say…my girls go from smiling, and having a message, to just being present and showing up and having nothing at all to say…and every piece indeed sums up my experience very succinctly…

I do plan to have a video flip-through of this journal up soon.

This will be a very new process for me, and one I have longed to get into for over a year now.

How I will do it—without a shrieking toddler in the background, without dogs barking in the background, with decent lighting and who knows what else…I don’t know…but I will manage…Hang in there…I will let you know as soon as I get it all done.


watermarked-june 9 2015