My challenge tonight was to make a book from whatever I could find in the hotel room. I thought it might be challenging; I didn't think it would be all but impossible. You see, this is a casino hotel. And many casino hotels are notoriously stingy with their room amenities. They don't really want you in the room; they want you in the casino. There was nothing--NOTHING--in the room to work with, no even a chintzy little notepad or a single sheet of writing paper. I considered cutting up the phone book, or perhaps the Gideon Bible, but I couldn't bring myself to do either. I was reduced to rummaging through my purse for something--anything--from which I could conjure up a book.
Luckily, I had a nice Arizona Highways spiral calendar. And a small spiral notebook with a few blank pages left. I found a pretty photo of a poppy close-up on a week already past and tore it from the calendar. Then I tore the last 8 pages from my little notebook. I trimmed off all the fragmented edges from the spiral binding and made a "2-sewn-as-1" book (again, from Alisa Golden'sbook).
It's an easy construction I've done here once before. Basically, you make two signatures from your pages, open them up back to back with the two mountain fold facing each other and stitch through all the layers as though it was a single signature. I made a cover from my calendar photo by folding it in half, then making two more folds on either side of the spine fold to create a "lip" (for lack of a better word). When you lay the two signatures on either side of that extra fold and sew through the whole thing at once, that lip juts into the center of the book.
I think you can see what I mean in the second photo, taken under awful flourescent light on the bathroom counter.
Luckily, I have my trusty new "traveling bookmaker's tool kit" with me. Here's what I'm taking with me to Mexico so I can keep up with this daily challenge:
* a couple of X-acto knives and extra blades (because I know they are hard to find where I'm going)
* beeswax and needles
* waxed linen thread
* paper clips
* a couple of small binder clips
* small cutting mat
* glue stick
* glue brush
* 2 awls
* a small strip of velcro
These are the things I use constantly, virtually every day. If it's not on that list and I need it, I'll have to find it in Mexico or make do with something else. I just didn't think I'd have to make do quite so soon! Next time I'll pack at least a few sheets of paper!