Monday, December 17, 2012

Some silences and not others

Embroidery does not come easily to me, and after all sorts of sewing and ripping out this weekend, I realized I was supposed to take the weekend (or should I say Sunday) off, doing nothing. I just have to repeat words now to finish the spine, and then the shifu will get ironed and then somehow sewn onto the book to become a cover for the cover.
Saturday was a work day, albeit an unusual one. I was part of a book fair to celebrate the 25th anniversary of a local bookstore (that is also now carrying my book, the first brick-and-mortar place to do so). There was an issue with heat and electricity, mostly that we didn't have much, so kept our coats on. But it was an impressive crowd of illustrious book folks; I sat there, amazed to have a view of Ed Young and Jerry Pinkney and their zillions of books surrounding them, an enormous number of years and experience and awards and good cheer and children taught between them. Pat Schories of Biscuit fame made the rounds to greet everyone and I treated myself to a zine by Isabella Bannerman (above), all proceeds donated to the Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Fund. James Howe came and found me because his niece, a board member of the Morgan, told him to, and I laughed at his and Ed Young's stories about famous authors being a dime a dozen. Amada, the bookstore owner, is one of those generous hosts who insists on LOTS of food and music, so we were treated to a huge spread and live music (flute, violin, voice, and accordion).
I was especially touched near the end when Ed looked through my business cards (all different images of my artwork) and noticed one of my favorites that has yet to find a home. He said, "I think people will eventually come around to what you are doing. Once all the digital stuff has gotten to a point where everyone can do the same thing, they will come back to this." I was honored that everyone took the time to walk around, introduce themselves, sit down, share stories, and spend time together. I was guilty of mostly staying in my corner because 1. I was starstruck and 2. it was the warmest spot. But it was on the way to the food, so lots of interesting conversations ensued. By the time everything was winding down, a store assistant asked me if I ever made hanji rings (I was making bracelets as giveaways for those who bought my book at the event). I hesitated, but she insisted, saying that Jewish culture is heavy in symbolism and her grandfather had been a Holocaust survivor, talking about how important "papers" were. She will get married next month and wanted something simple, humble, meaningful, and affordable. So I obliged, though I would have liked to add a drop of PVA for safety's sake.

If only glue could keep everything together! If only.


  1. well, gosh, if only love could keep everything together. love and glue! i love this post, so glad your day way positive and full of art and music and books...despite the chill. and what an honor to make these rings. and how happy you sound! i like the embroidery. and i like the recognition that your work is special.

  2. onesmallstitch7:14 PM

    it is so nice to come away from an event with a warm fuzzy feeling. the embroidery on the shifu is what a wonderful thing that would be - but I'd still keep my fingers crossed.


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