Covers and Content

Bookbinding, writings, general creativity

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Life likes me

The sad news first (sad to me, that is) – The machine bookbinding company where I worked four years ago went broke and closed. I’m really sorry for that, a little bit because I was thinking of asking for work there again, but mostly because I really liked the place and the people. It was my first real job, and I was good at it and liked there.

The good news, then – They had some six packs of paper (and that’s the big, uncut sheets of paper I’m used to, about 70×90 cm), some books and some other interesting stuff. And a friend of my father who worked there (the one who got me the job in the first place) made sure I got all of them! They’re now crammed into my really full storage room waiting for when I have space enough to make a small workshop. 

And I got a cutting machine from another of my father’s friends, so now I really have all I need to get started. Except space, of course.

I can’t really say how fantastic this is. 

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Chocolate

I have realised, again, that we eat far too much chocolate. Yes, today us my first day at work at Marabou, the Swedish chocolate factory that’s located conveniently close to where I live, and where I’m working night shift this week. And I think we’ve produced about six tons of chocolate – and that’s just my shift, and my small part of the factory.

It’s starting to get light outside, and I’m actually not that tired. Maybe I’ll even have some chocolate.

It’s okay to give up

…or so I have been told.

Possibly it was me doing the telling. But I hope it’s true anyway.

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Okay, this is going to be pretty rambly and personal. Feel free to skip it if you’re just here for the pictures of pretty books. There will be more of those tomorrow.

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The thing is, I’m not going to finish all I should this year. Not ever nearly everything. This doesn’t come as a chock to me. I’m very, very used to failing.

When I do stuff for others, I have no problem doing it – I’m a good worker, my bosses have always liked me. When I do stuff that I’m not supposed to do, I have no problem with doing it – the Sherlock Holmes fanfiction book, for example or… well, nearly everything I put up here, really. When I’m supposed do stuff for myself, I… I just can’t. Homework, when I was in school. The historical books now.

(I want to defend myself and say that it’s not only my fault, that the schedule we decided on last spring might have worked for me but for some reason we never used it, and when I talked to my teacher about it, he didn’t really… I don’t know, get it. But I know I should have taken more responsibility for it.)

 

But the thing is, I decided that’s okay. I’m trying not to feel like a failure, because I’m really not. I’m still a bookbinder, I’m good at making books, I’m just not good at getting around to do it. And I can… well, I can accept that.

Now I just have to find a way to not be mad at my friends when they ask me if I’ve gotten my journeyman certificate yet…

Giving gifts

Is there anything better, really?

Well, yes, of course it is, and you should know that. Marbling papers.

But next to marbling papers, giving gifts absolutely is the best thing in the world.

I’m not necessarily good at it. I forget birthdays. I panic at Christmas (luckily my brothers are as bad as me – there is a collective “you’ll get your present later” said at Christmas Eve and that’s that).

But when I do remember a birthday, and get an idea, I can go completely overboard with gift-making. It’s not enough to make homemade toffee, I have to make a box for them too. It’s not enough to make a pair of miniature book earrings, I have to make a box for them. Then a gift box to put the box in. And a pop up birthday card (I think I managed to stop somewhere around then). When I’m making stuff that will (hopefully)

Sometimes I worry about going too far. I don’t want people to feel pressed to give me stuff. I hope the birthdays I forget don’t stand out too much. I hope I won’t ruin myself buying stamps enough for the rather heavy letters I send (but I just keep thinking of more stuff that my penpals might possibly like and then I have to send it).

Also, the one who gives the best presents wins, right?

You do not want to miss this…

…if you like writing, ceramics, art, absurdity, genius or any of the above.

Karin Eklund is a Swedish ceramics artist studying in Norway, and I heartily recommend that you check out her blog, especially this post about a new universe, illustrated with ceramics.

 The new universe was first discovered in the 1960’s by a fluke in the piping. A team of four German scientists were sent there to investigate. It wasn’t until they came back and tried to explain that everyone realised that no one spoke German. And before they could send in a new team to investigate this exciting new universe, a plumber from Swindon fixed the piping problem and with that also the only known gateway to the new universe. But no one forgot its existence…

Are you still here? Why? Go read the rest and look at the pretty pictures!

(Don’t be scared off by the fact that the introduction is written in Swedish. The story is in English, and google translate can help you with the rest.)

Paper flower

For the opening of my college’s spring exhibition this Friday, we were a bit short on money for fancy flower arrangements. Instead, I made paper flowers out of marble paper scraps and real twigs, that we handed to a florist and got these  bouquets. I’ve never heard so much praise for the flowers at an opening before.

Cake!

I was going to write something thoughtful here, but then my whole evening just disappeared. Have some cake instead!

Chocolate cake that me and a friend made for a vampire-loving girl’s birthday.

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Making parchment – part one

This is one of the things I’ve looked forward to the most this year – we get to make our own parchment. We started today by rinsing the sheepskins from salt (that they had been preserved in) in the lake. It was smelly and messy and wet, but fun nonetheless.

Then we mixed water and lime (as in the white powder, not the fruit) that the skins will soak in for 2-3 weeks, until the hair loosens and can be scraped off.

Pictures by Sandra Merten

Handstitched headbands

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Today I’m almost doing stuff I’m supposed to do.

Lazy Sunday

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Today I’m avoiding my roommates, weaving ribbons and watching an old Swedish children’s movie where the main character gets Batman’s help with fighting Saruman. It’s sort of awesome.

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