Translate

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Loving Tradition

It started sixteen or seventeen years ago. Christmas was coming. Rick and I had now been together long enough to know that this was no short-term romance and I wanted to give him something totally unique, something totally from the heart. So, I made the first of what would become many poetry collections.That first book remains his favorite. It may be the least polished of all of them -- a pre-made journal of natural papers, hand written, very simple drawings. And yet, some of the poetry remains in the all-time favorite category.



In the years since, I have made tiny books, accordion books, flip books, pop-up books, you name it. Many are in pre-made journals, some in scrap books, some stitched together by this woman with a stitch-aversion. They've reflected moments good, bad, frustrating, joyful, fun and not-so-fun. The 2001 book was 9/11 and probably one of the most depressing.



After the first year or two I realized that with the Christmas holidays, I simply couldn't do a good job with it. Too many stresses, too much else on the plate. So I moved the schedule to Valentine's Day, where it remains today.


Fresh from my Jacqueline Sullivan workshops, I decided to use some of the techniques I'd picked up over the two days -- and one that I picked up on my own.

For the cover, I used a 140 pound 11x15 cold-pressed watercolor sheet, folded in half. The techniques on the cover included modeling paste used with (and without) stencils, painted in an earth-sky palette. The star, button and beads were affixed after the book was completed.


Inside, I used a parchment cardstock (8 1/2 x 11), folded and distressed with Tim Holtz inks. The poems were printed on a cream stock and glued in place. Each page was embellished with washi tape, lace paper, tea bag papers or photo transfers.

 

Now and then a button would be used -- like these vintage French buttons that reminded me of bicycle wheels! Perfect for the poem about Rick's bike hikes.


The "key to my heart" was one that blogger Linda sent when she was going through her mother's old crafting supplies. She knew it would find a good home -- and it did.


All in all, I felt it was probably one of the books that best exemplified the art part of me (and better technique than a lot of them).


The poetry? Well, no one is going to make me America's next Poet Laureate. Despite years of listening to Stephen Sondheim's clever lyrics, the rhyming is routine at best (though Rick liked "aisle" and "smile" in the poem about Kevin's wedding!).


And damn. A typo. I thought I got all of those.


But he was happy. And I was happy. And another year of joyful moments burst onto the page -- bringing smiles.


(Some of you have asked about the photo transfer paper. Watch this space -- I'm working on a post on that!)

32 comments:

Karen S. said...

Very lovely. I made something very similar to this to place on every table at my daughter's wedding reception. i wonder how many kept theirs? Quite a labor of love these are.

Houseelf said...

What a sweet tradition. I think Valentine's Day is a good place for it rather than at Christmas when you are so stretched. The books look like one of those things you can think about for ages and adding just the right colour or paper here and there every now and then. A more contemplative activity than the Santa's Workshop atmosphere of Christmas.

Joanne Huffman said...

Such a lovely tradition. And, such a lovely book. What a wonderful collection he must have now!

Becca said...

Oh my goodnessm these are works of art stitched together with love. A truly priceless gift! You are one talented lady!!

~*~Patty S said...

All so precious and priceless...truly a gift of heART!
oxo

gigihawaii said...

I can't believe you have kept up with this tradition all these years. Awesome!

Annie said...

What a wonderful tradition, Jeanne. Lucky, lucky, Rick.

Marilyn said...

Jeanie,
It is just gorgeous! Not sure I would have the patience to do all that. Definitely done with love.
Thanks for sharing it with us.
xoxox m

angie said...

what a sweet tradition!!!!! hugs, angie

I need orange said...

What a lovely tradition! Thank you for sharing it with us. :-)

Friko said...

What a lovely way to mark each year of togetherness.
It shows how much you value your man. It’s also good to remind oneself how lucky one is to have a wonderful person to appreciate.

psychelyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tante Mali said...

Jeanie, this is so very special! A treasure made wiht passion and love! A wonderful idea and a heart toughing gift also to me!
Thank you so much and all my best for you and yours
Elisabeth

Mae Travels said...

You are so talented!

Patti said...

What an awesome idea! I love it, and I think I am going to "copy" it in some way for my own sweetie.

We used to do what I call a "love journal." Instead of buying cards, we would write letters to each other on birthdays, anniversary, Valentine's Day, Mother's and Father's Days, and just because days. We had one journal between us---I would write, he would write back, etc.

Well, wouldn't you know it, the journal has been lost. Over 20 years of love notes, and I can't find it anywhere.

(I also did this same thing with each of my kids, and it's a joy to look back on the memories brought back by the letters.)

Anyhow, I love your idea.

Love,
Patti

PS I'm not really blogging anymore. Not sure if I'll be back or not. Just too much going on in my life.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Wow, that is such a special tradition! I bet Rick really looks forward to getting this gift each year. The books are so beautiful and I am sure it's so fun to read the words!!

Gifts like this are by far the best kind that a person can receive. Looking back, the very best gift I have ever received is a journal that my mom kept of my senior year. I'll always treasure that gift!

Bella Rum said...

Jeanie,
What a wonderful and loving gift. I know Rick appreciates the time, thought and love that went into making each one.

Retired English Teacher said...

Each page is a treasure of love and creativity. I think the thing that touches me the most about this labor of love that you put together for your dear Rick is that he loves what you made him so much. He must feel so special, so loved, and so proud.

Maggie said...

Such a beautiful way to celebrate your life together, each page a treasured moment in time.
I have always thought that you were a very talented lady and now I learn that you are a poet, too. Formidable!

psychelyn said...

Wow, another stunner! Your stuff, all of them-they are really impressive. They always WOW me. On the top of it all is your time and creativity allotted to these. I still haven't started my scrapbooking plans hehe

P.S. Regarding email, I'm afraid I won't be able to see your mail even if you send me coz I don't really open it. I always check comments on blogger directly. Maybe I should now :)

I'm still planning to fix things up and if I do change blog, I'll definitely keep on following you.

Tracy said...

OH, WOW, Jeanie... this is soooo AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL!! :o) Your Valentine specials are just that--very, very special. What a lucky guy Rick is! Such wonderful work you did creating this one. All the colors, everything--it all speaks so much of HAPPY and LOVE! So glad you shared this with us. And look forward to your thoughts on photo transfer! Happy Days ((HUGS))

susieq512.com said...

Jeanie, you are so amazingly talented!! Such beautiful gifts to treasure for years to come. I love your poems. They come from the heart, and that makes them very special.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good morning Jeanie! I love it....the handmade gifts are always the best, and when they are from the heart rather than the store, there is that extra lovely element. I LOVE that aqua color on the cover! Much love back to you! Anita

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good morning Jeanie! I love it....the handmade gifts are always the best, and when they are from the heart rather than the store, there is that extra lovely element. I LOVE that aqua color on the cover! Much love back to you! Anita

The French Hutch said...

Hi Jeanie, How special to find something you love doing and have kept it going and becoming a tradition over the years. A special gift, made from the heart is so special. I love you have shared such special and personal poems and photos. Beautiful!

shoreacres said...

I always look forward to enjoying this tradition. Every year's is differnt, and delightful. And what fun it is to see one of Mom's key's on this one! That's repurposing of the best kind!

Arti said...

What a beautiful and meaningful tradition you've kept, Jeanie! These are fascinating works. And... Valentine's Day may be a more suitable time to share your hearts, more quiet than the Christmas season.

Beate said...

Wow, what a beautiful idea! Such a sweet memory. I simply love it. That is the most amazing Valentine's tradition I've ever seen!

Esme said...

This is nice. I like looking back on the years.

Keicha Christiansen said...

What a great idea and what great treasures to have to look back on your history together. I love scrapbooks and keepsakes so this idea really appeals to me.

Barb said...

You share your love in a wonderful, lasting way, Jeanie.

Victoria Zigler said...

Great tradition; really sweet!

Popular Posts