50 books in a year of being 50

In this year of being 50 I have decided to follow one of my creative passions
and make 50 handmade books over the year.

Early next year I will find a way to exhibit the books and auction them.

The money raised will go to Plum Village in France,
a monastic retreat centre inaugurated by Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh.

Monday, 3 April 2017

A glass book!

I'm really pleased with my latest foray into glass-making.
Having made 50 (paper) books last year I had a crazy idea of making a glass book.
One of my favourites of the 50 books was the one with Shakespeare quotes
so I was keen to recreate this, especially now I know how to adhere words to glass.
My lovely daughter had bought me a full day session for Christmas and birthday 
so I was ready to play!
It took a bit of discussing with Jane - the lovely glass-making expert -
and I just had a very strong image of what it would look like.

This is how they started off, one 'page' for each quote and one for the 'front cover'.


Then into the kiln -


And here's what they looked like cooked, ready for the words.


With words adhered, out of my oven.


And close ups of the pages in the finished article, joined together with wire and beads.
  

 

Although I had anticipated the pages standing upright like this


I decided it looked too regimented, and much prefer the way it has ended up, casually lying back, supporting each other, as you can see the words much better like this!



So happy with the finished results and huge thanks to Jane https://www.glasshousefusion.co.uk/
#attheglasshouse for all her help! :)









Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Loving kindness for Donald Trump


The Loving kindness meditation (also called metta) is 
'a practice of cultivating understanding, love, and compassion by looking deeply, first for ourselves and then for others' Thich Nhat Hanh - No Mud, No Lotus: 104.
I have resolved to practice this beautiful meditation every day throughout March, choosing Donald Trump as the 'difficult person'. 

This is my motivation - 

'To love is, first of all, to accept ourselves as we actually are ... in this Love meditation, "know thyself" is the first practice of love' Thich Nhat Hanh - No Mud, No Lotus: 104.

The practice begins with offering words of loving kindness to ourselves, then to others.
The steps I will follow will be
myself
someone I love
someone I have difficulties with (Donald Trump)
the whole world.

These are the words I will use - 

May I be peaceful, happy and light and body and spirit.
May I be free from anger, afflictions, fear and anxiety.
May I learn to look at myself with the eyes of understanding and love.
May I learn to identify and see the sources of anger, craving and delusion in myself.
May I know how to nourish the seeds of joy in myself every day.
May I be free from attachment and aversion but not be indifferent.
May I be able to live fresh, solid and free.
(adapted from Thich Nhat Hanh - Chanting from the Heart: 42).

Having first said these words towards myself, I then offer them to someone I love
(may you be ... etc.), then DT, then the whole world (may we all be ... etc.)

I will practice this meditation every morning (UK time about 7am). 
Feel free to join me at any time for one day or many days.
We can manifest drops of love that can join together to create an ocean of love.
I am also motivated by Robert F Kennedy's speech in 1966, sending forth tiny ripples of hope to build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.

Few will have the greatness to bend history; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation ... It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a <person> stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he/she sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centres of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
June 1966 from South Africa against apartheid.

I hope you are inspired!

Sunday, 21 August 2016

The final total

And the final total is ... drum roll ... £1,421.47.
Thanks so much to everyone who has contributed and who turned up this afternoon.

The end of the auction is finally here!

Here we are at last.
It's a beautiful day. The sun is shining and the bunting is up.
And the first visitor is already here!


The house is filled with a plethora of colour as the books, cards, tea-light holders and other sundry items are all on display.




The books are in situ in our lounge. 


 The kitchen dresser is full of colour.



 In contrast, the tea-light holders my husband has made are a simple, natural wood.


Everything is ready for the off!


Saturday, 20 August 2016

Bids for the 50 books

My clever husband has suggested a post with all the 50 books on and how the bids are going - so here it is! Your easy reference point all in one blog.

1. Feather book 
8.5 x 8.5cm, 92 pages. Calico cover printed with 3 feather prints. Pages blue, white and graph paper.
Current bid £10

2. Button book
16 x 11cm, 154 pages. Turquoise cover with paper buttons & real buttons down spine. Pages blue & purple, graph paper & dictionary pages.
Current bid £12

3. Turquoise paisley
16 x 11cm, 154 pages. Black background and colourful paisley. Pages, are blue, purple, pink and cream,  interspersed with graph paper and dictionary pages.
Current bid £15

4. Marbled windows
14 x 14cm, 114 pages. Navy background with 4 windows cut out to reveal marbled fabric.
Pages white & graph paper.
Current bid £10.00

5. Wooden birds
4 x 3cm, 116 pages. Gold cover, turquoise spine. Cover with 2 wooden birds.
Pages from old poetry book (Wordsworth).
Current bid £13.00

6. In out in a box
4 x 4cm, concertina. Blue & white paisley box. Concerntina page with gatha - in, out, deep, slow, calm, ease, smile release, present moment, wonderful moment. 
Current bid £15.00

7. Two birds poem
15 x 16cm, 4 pages with cut outs. Poem written by Lauri. Printed and cut out pages.
Current bid £20.00

8. Cream and hessian
20 x 19.5cm, 82 pages. Heavy cream cartridge paper, stitched spine with beads.
Current bid £20.00

9. Family hands
25 x 20cm, 16 pages. Hands related to each person's interests in the Bower/Keenan family.
Current bid £20.00
10. Sparkling stars
6.5 x 10cm, concertina. Gold paisley concertina book with poem by Lauri.
Ribbon & magnet closure.
Current bid £17.00

11. The ocean of bliss
16 x 15.5cm, 23 pages. Pale blue pages with poem by Lauri. Felt embroideries front & back, poem hand-written.
Current bid £35.00

12. Coptic binding
16 x 11cm, 60 pages. Red and purple cover with pink, purple and cream pages and brown coptic binding on the spine.
Current bid £20.00

13. Green envelopes
11 x 7.5cm, 16 pages. Quirky book with an envelope on each page for ideas or secrets that need keeping safe.
Current bid £25

14. Sangha poems
15 x 10.5cm, 20 pages. Poems written on York Sangha related events since 2012.
Current bid £35.00
There are 4 copies of this book.

15. 21-day retreat Plum Village
15 x 10.5cm, 28 pages. Poems written on the 21-day retreat Plum Village 2014
Current bids, £15.00, £20.00, £10.00, £22.00
There are 4 copies of this book.

16. Mind is a great storyteller
15.5 x 21.5cm, 12 pages. Poem written by Lauri with last page as cut-out.
The covers & pages are decorated with decoupage.
Current bid £14.00

17. Borrowers' turquoise
3 x 3cm, 166 pages. A tiny book for Borrowers. An assortment of quirky pages made from photocopied paper with random printing & marbled fabric.
Current bid £20.00

18. Borrowers' maroon
3 x 8cm, 136 pages. A tiny book for Borrowers. Pages made from fine rice paper.
Current bid £10.00

19. Inner silence
15 x 14cm, 4 pages. The simplest of books just for displaying Thich Nhat Hanh's lovely quote, 'inner silence does not require external silence'.
Current bid £15.00

20. Words of peace
22 x 7.5cm, concertina. Concertina book. Each page has a cut out centre to display a card feather. Each feather has a word printed onto it.
Current bid £35.00

21. Go Outside
15 x 21cm, 24 pages. A book featuring 21 of my own poems all about being outside in nature.
Current bid £25.00

23. 10 Love poems
15.5 x 10.5cm, 10 pages. 10 individual leaves with a hand-written poem by Lauri
on each inside a folder.
Current bid £23.00

24. Acorn
9 x 10cm, 1 page. A hexagon folding out into a bigger hexagon. Words by Kahlil Gibran.
Current bid £25.00

25. Silence heart
8 x 8cm, 17 pages. Heart shaped book with the poem by Lauri, Silence is palpable.
Current bid £11.00

26. Snowdrops
19 x 19cm, 10 pages. Heavy cartridge paper book with Clare's snowdrops print on the front & Snowdrops poem (by Lauri) inside.
Current bid£ 20.00

27. A box of gift tags
16 x 7x4cm. A handmade box of 50 gift tags, range of sizes.
Current bid £20.00

28. We are skylarks
11.5 x 12.5cm, 12 pages. Hand-printed, we are skylarks poem by Lauri.
Current bid £25.00

29. Bring mind and body home
21.5 x 15.5cm, 60 pages. Quotes from Thich Nhat Hanh along the bottom of each page.
Current bid £20.00

30. Blue leaf
6 x 5.5cm, 124 pages. Small plain book with marbled leaf on the front.
Current bid £5.00

31. Printed leaf
21.5 x 15.5cm, 60 pages. Printed cover and printed leaf or heart on each page.
Current bid £15.00

32. A handful of hearts
14 x 12cm, 140 pages. Handmade paper with a heart on each page.
Current bid £20.00

33. Circular book
5.5 x 13cm, 384 pages. Colourful pages sewn into a circle, a never-ending book
Current bid £15.00

34. In out small book
4 x 3cm, 40 pages. Tiny book with printed words on each page of Thich Nhat Hanh's gatha in, out, deep, slow, calm, ease, smile release, present moment, wonderful moment.
Current bid £10.00

35. In out concertina
4 x 4cm, concertina. Pastel coloured handmade paper with threads. Concertina rice paper with printed words of Thich Nhat Hanh's gatha in, out, deep, slow, calm, ease, smile release, present moment, wonderful moment.
Current bid £10.00

36. In out long
7 x 2cm, concertina. Gold and  cream paper with words printed in brown - Breathe & go slow, in, out, deep, slow, calm, ease, smile release, present moment, wonderful moment.
Current bid £18.00

37. Book decoration
5 x 5cm, 4 folded pages. Purple and pink decoration.
Current bid £8.00

38. Framed book
6.5 x 9.5cm, 90 pages. Small simple book made from handmade denim paper
with a colourful frame on the front.
Current bid £10.00

39. Coptic marbling
10.5 x 15cm, 124 pages. Purple pages with a marbled edging on the spine. 
Sewn together with coptic binding.
Current bid £10.00

40. In, out windows
11.5 x 13.5cm, 24 pages. In, out, deep, slow, calm, ease, smile release, present moment, wonderful moment printed onto squares and hanging in separate windows, 1 per page. With a decoupage cover.
Current bid £18.00

41. Green jewel coptic
26 x19.5cm, 40 pages. A coptic bound, plain notebook with handmade thick cream paper and a green cover woven with jewelled papers.
Current bid £22.00

42. Pastel coptic
16 x 16cm, 192 pages. A coptic bound book made from pastel pages, graph paper and card of varying sizes (height from 9 to 15.8cm).
Current bid £15.00

43. Lotus book
  14 x 14cm, 144 pages. A version of coptic binding with each signature being sewn directly into the outer spine of the cover & decorated with beads. The pages are two shades of lilac.
Current bid £10.00

44. Shakespearean love quotes
14 x 10cm, concertina. A luxurious concertina book with a love quote 
from Shakespeare on each page.
Current bid £30.00

45. Book of charms
10.5 x 27cm, 96 pages. A coptic bound book with sewing charms attached to the spine. The covers are bound with thick handmade paper interwoven with threads.
Current bid £12.00

46. Lilac coptic jewels
8 x 8cm, 128 pages. A coptic bound book with jewelled beads decorating the front cover. 
Lilac cover and pages.
Current bid £20.00

47. Magpie book
14 x 15cm, 22 pages. A concertina book encasing plastic pages
with a quote embedded in each page.
Current bid £30.00

48. Big book small book
16 x 22cm, 108 pages. A large sketch/note-book with two weights of cartridge paper & a tiny book 
(3 x 3cm, 92 pages) as the closure. The cover is green & maroon bookcloth.
Current bid £50.00

49. Love poems box
12 x 12cm box , 10 folded pages. 10 love poems. Pages are folded into squares to reveal one poem at a time. Encased in a maroon and gold box.
Current bid £25.00

50. Thay the bodhisattva
26 x 21.5cm, 36 pages. Poem describing Thay's hands with each page as a hand. Poem is hand printed & each page is illustrated with henna type patterns. Coptic bound & decoupage cover.
Current bid £38.00

51. How long does it take?
11 x 15.5cm, 92 pages. A simple multi-signature book with turquoise and gold cover & heart bookmark.
Current bid £10.00

From the first book ...

Tomorrow is the day! It's actually here and happening tomorrow!
I never really thought when I made this first book 



where things would lead to! 
I have been making books for many years and have loved experimenting with different ideas and trying new ways of making books throughout the year.
I started making a list of ideas for the 50 books and there are several still on the list that I haven't made yet, so it doesn't stop here!
Let's hope tomorrow brings lots of visitors and more bids!
All to a VERY good cause - Plum Village.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Open House and end of auction - this Sunday!

Open House
Venue - 10 Garth End, Collingham, Wetherby. LS22 5BH.
Date - Sunday 21st August
Time - 12-4pm

SUNDAY 21ST AUGUST is the date set for the end of the auction of the 50 books, and at this point I will be able to inform everyone if they have 'won' the book or books they are bidding on. I am holding an Open House in Collingham, 12 - 4pm. You are welcome to come and browse the books, have some refreshments and look through other small items for sale (candle holders and cards).

Tell your friends and family. Tell complete strangers!