|pulling out one of my old hobbies - book making|
Sound familiar? At this point, I know the routine; this always seems to happen after I complete a major milestone. Burn-out combines with the impostor syndrome to sap my energy and drive. I've learned to work through it, but it's still hard. Especially when it lasts as long as this particular round.
One of the ways I've learned to deal with this is to indulge in some creative cross-training. Turning my hand towards something totally different for a little bit as a way to jump-start my creativity, or more importantly in this case, simply to refill the creative energy well. This past summer, I decided to participate in a gift exchange with fellow cruisers on Septembers' transatlantic journey, and that my gift would be little handmade, travel sketchbooks. Then I got carried away, and somehow found myself needing to make thirty of them. Yep, 3-0, thirty books, each with handpainted paper covers and sewn signatures.
It was only mid-July, and I had until mid-September to complete the project. If I made a book a day, I'd be set! But since this was supposed to be a fun little extra craft project (an addition to my regular work, not a substitution), I set myself a rule: I couldn't work on the books between 7am and 6pm Monday-Friday, as those are my normal 'working hours'. As an extra little challenge, I decided that I'd use a different stitch pattern for each book. If the goal was to stretch, then I should really stretch, right?
|One of my all-time favorite books on book-making|
Bookmaking doesn't require a lot in the way of tools: an awl or large needle for punching holes, something to cut your papers to size, a bonefolder for creasing the pages, and a large-eyed needle for the sewing. Everything else is just extra, or ways to make things easier.
|scoring the spine with my bonefolder before folding the cover|
|stitching a section - the needle is so BIG!|
|continuing to stitch|
Since the books were for a cruise, I went with 'oceany' colors for the covers and had a great time playing with acrylic paints using my collection of brushes, scrapers, sponges, even finger painting. I made a complete mess of my studio, and it was totally worth it! For the interior sections, I sacrificed a couple of blank sketchbooks, cutting and folding the pages to size. For the stitching, I used cotton rug-warp leftover from my long-ago weaving days. (A side goal of this project was to use up 'stuff' from my collections).
|I sewed this one onto 'tapes' so show the ridged design of the cover|
|Thirty finished travel sketchbooks|
Did it help my issues with beading? I fear the jury's still out. But it was definitely fun; doing something crafty purely for play. For the reasons I started crafting in the first place, way back when.
Have you indulged in any creative cross training lately? I'd love to hear about it!