An Everyday Book Every Day

My friend Chantal sent me and Oliver and lovely, ornately-crafted letter earlier this week, wrapped in an envelope of her own creation. I turned around and turned the envelope into a book and mailed it back to her. It wasn’t a Big Important Project, it was an end of the day “I’ve had too much coffee and have too much unused creativity” project. I loved it.

I read someone a few weeks ago reflecting on their work, and they mentioned taking maximum advantage of the “golden hour.” In photography and film this is the time, around twilight, when you can take photos like this (Boston, MA, 6:35 p.m., April 6, 2019):

Golden Hour photo taken April 2019 in the Boston Seaport

In work, and creativity, though, the golden hour doesn’t need to align with the sun: it can be any time of the day when conditions are ripe for maximum creativity. 

Upon finding this hour–I’ve a sneaking suspicion that for me it’s the first hour I’m in the shop every morning–and then using it for something other than catching up on email, prioritizing my ticket queue, and generally entering the QEW of frenetic work life seems key to establishing a healthy creative practice.

So that’s what I’m going to do, for the next while.

Every morning when I arrive at the shop, I’m going to leave the computer off and make a book.

Not a Big Important Book, but an improvisational see-where-the-wind-blows-me book. Like the one I made for Chantal yesterday. I suspect some will be ugly. Some won’t work. Some will be frustrating. And some will be awesome.

Here’s today’s:

Photo of today's Everyday Book

Photo of today's everyday book, from the back.

Photo of the middle of today's everyday book.

The cover is cut out of a cardboard envelope I received in the mail; the inside papers are pink card stock (which, really, was too heavy for this task, but I love the colour); the cord for the binding is Michael’s hemp beading cord; the twine for the button enclosure is baker’s twine from The Bookmark; the yellow buttons are from the shop button jar. The stitch is a simple pamphlet stitch, the sewing of which was so breezily satisfying after the rigours of the coptic stitch experiments of earlier in the year (here, here).