custom bookbinding and unique papers

I spent a wonderful couple of days with my friend Ginny Moreland in Black Mountain, NC where I was reminded of the process of marbling. As with most artisitic endeavors time and experience are crucial to doing the thing well and I haven't marbled in almost 2 years!  Marbling is a lot like magic: one floats pigments on top of thickened water, creates a pattern in the pigments, and lays a sheet of paper down to pick up the results.  But weather conditions, quality of the pigments, technique, characterisitics of the paper - all of these will influence the final result, so one never knows exactly what the finished dried paper will look like.

Who writes anymore?  Don't we simply type brief messages into Facebook or Twitter, send IMs or emails, and text on the phone?  Who reads an actual book?  We have e-readers and i-Pads; we have devices for listening to podcasts and audio-books while we are driving or running or knitting.  Why hold a book when you can get 2 or 3 things accomplished simultaneously?

With the goal of starting my new website and its blog off well, I signed up for the self-study version of “Blog Triage” with Alyson Stanfield and Cynthia Morris.  The first assignment is to describe the people I want to visit and read my blog.  But please do not go running for the delete button if you, dear reader, do not believe you fit the following description!

anne sewing smI started blogging almost two years ago when I knew that I had received a Fulbright Fellowship to go to Romania to teach for a year (see  I enjoyed keeping the blog and using it to share my impressions of the culture and my activities while there.  That blog came to a screeching halt in May 2013 when I got so very busy trying my best to fit in EVERYTHING before my daughter and I left Romania.

My trip to Romania had a number of impacts on me, one of which is very relevant to this blog.  While there I had a profound sense of balance in terms of the way I was living life.  When I returned home to North Carolina I had to work very hard at maintaining that sense of integrating work with play, feeding my soul along with my wallet when I engaged in work. I came to the realization that it was time to stop considering what life might be like if I were a full time bookbinder and paper maker and actively work to make it happen.