Paper toys 2016

The Hoss clan had dinner together last night, celebrating Ellie and Mark as they get ready to head back home to West Virginia after our usual summer of fun.  With all of us in attendance it was the perfect setting to distribute this year's paper toys for holiday giving assignments, so I hustled to get them done, finishing up finally on the car ride to Scituate. 

The panorama that wraps each was taken at one of our parties on Ellie and Mark's ocean-view front porch, and hints at the happy craziness that's gone on there over the years. 

But this time their departure is different.  They're packing up everything and clearing out on to new adventures.  After a lifetime of ownership they've sold their cottage and won't be returning to it.  They will, howeverbe returning to us, for more happy crazy times, where ever we are.  We'll make sure of that. 

The collector

I discovered Marlene's postcard album when I was going through her things.  I was in a hurry then so bundled them up, and they've been sitting on my shelf since. Recently I circled back.

She collected postcards when she was a girl during the 1940's and continued through the 50's.  It was either the rage to send cards back then or widely known that she collected, since there are several hundred in the bunch.  Probably both are true.  She had them to and from friends and family (among them Hattie, Hilda, Mildred, Martha, and Mitzi – for those who follow my sweater designs). 

All delightfully vintage and visually interesting for that, of equal treasure, especially for me, are their backs.  I saw where they lived through delivery addresses and their hand in their writing.  Reading through I met my mum as a girl and a teenager, and my grandmother Mildred younger than when I knew her.  I met my great-grandmother Martha too, for the first time. 

Included among this vintage set, was one a little less so.  At the very end of the postcard pile I found this.

Apparently I felt the need to clarify as sender.

I've put aside my knitting for the past several days to make their container as these cards are box-worthy for sure – keeping kindred spirits alive.

 

 

Making boxes

With holidays now over I can post about my gift to the new couple that was most certainly a labor of love. Digital images are just fine, but I wanted Juliet and James to have something in their hands, to hold, when they reminisce about their wedding weekend. 

Using Artisan State, I made 6 layflat books where landscape-positioned photos (most shot by Fat Orange Cat Studio) each span across 2 open pages.  See more details about this project here.  (I heartily recommend both vendors, btw, for book making and wedding photography, respectively.) 

Once the photo books were in hand it was clear they could use a case, and that's when my project took the unexpected turn of opening up the world of my not-that-distant past (which sometimes feels like a lifetime ago) and re-igniting my interest on that front.  In addition to knitting over the years I've had fun making books and boxes to present personal collections of photos and objects.  When I left my administrative job at Harvard I intended to focus all attention on these.  I don't recall when or how my interests shifted and knit design took center stage – where it remains – but it will likely have to share a little of the spotlight for my attention from this point on.

Venturing into my wedding box project, after all this time I had to remind myself about the technical details.  My glue containers, labeled with dates to track shelf life, told me it had been 5 years since I touched them.  I also soon realized that I needed to find new sources for some materials.  Paper Source, once great for book artist supplies is now more of a gift store.  And although Blick carries book cloth, its sheets are very small and weren't suitable for the project.  A google search yielded Harcourt Bindery in Charlestown that sells supplies along with fabulous hand bound books for all purposes, and a trip to their studio workspace reminded me why I loved this craft.  I walked away with a sheet of book cloth large enough to wrap my dimensions twice, and renewed inspiration to get started. The project also motivated me to take an inventory of where I'd been.   Here's some of what I found.

5 years ago, I left 2 projects underway – Watch Boxes (a collection of the 24 wrist watches Marlene and I had saved over the years) and Postcards (postcard correspondence collected by my mum during the 1930's and 40's).  
I'll aim to get back to these, finally, in the new year.