14 July 2013

Creativity Journal - Day 8 (Book)

Transform an old book into something new by cutting, folding, gluing, and so on.
Oh, dear. Day 8.

This morning I read a post by one my favourite decoration/renovation bloggers, "This Sorta Old Life". It's about the power of failure. It's a good reminder because, I'm pretty sure Day 8 is going to end up failing. BUT in the process maybe I'll gain something of value anyway. Something that could not be gained by not failing.


First problem - I tend to look on books as something sacred. The thought of mutilating one is almost incomprehensible. However, I overcame my issues and found an idea I thought I could work with.

The plan was to raid the local op shops and find some books that I could turn into bookends. Our bookcases are open shelves. Smaller books tend to fall through the ends that aren't against the wall

Second problem - I experimented with some books at home to see if my idea would work in principle. Well, yes it would. However - I can see this will be post full of 'howevers' - I was envisaging matching books (i.e. encyclopaedias). The issue is that our bookshelves are full. Not just 'full' but FULL.Even after our recent decluttering, where we donated about a third of our collection to charity, our shelves are still full. Taking up a couple of inches on each shelf for a book end just wasn't going to work.

In playing with what I had, I realised that I didn't need a traditional L shaped bookend. If I had a flat, sturdy 'something' the depth of the shelf, and even just a couple of inches high, it could prevent the books falling out. This seemed to be moving away from the day's challenge, which is to transform a book, not just work with my book collection.

Idea - I have some old scrap books. Why not use one of them? It gets me around the issue of sacrilegious destruction of an actual book, they're thin, they're wide enough.

Now, how old is this scrap book? This all-but-blank-and-unused scrap book? Could I afford to sacrifice it? This scrap book was obviously intended as a interior decorating ideas book. The top of every second page or so has a room name. That's all. No actual ideas or information, just room names. And how old was it? One page was titled "Fred's Room". "Fred" was the bump's name when I was trying to avoid saying "it", but not knowing whether "it" was a he or she. She (as it turns out) is now 15. The book was probably disposable.

My idea - cut the book into four strips, glue all the pages together, paint each wedge, write words such as "book", "words", "read" and one more I still have to think up, on each one. Hey presto, end of shelf stops.


Firstly - glue the pages before you cut. Secondly - if you want to unintentionally wreck a book, soak it in a tub of water. If you intentionally want the pages to stick together, this will not work. I'm not sure what law of the universe is at work there, but I soaked the sections, laid them between layers of an old towel, put a weight on them and left them for a couple of days. Not a single page has stuck to another.

As I type the sections are sitting in a bucket of water SOAKING. I'm not holding out much hope for the success of this challenge. And I'm okay with that.

Firstly, I haven't lost anything. An hour or so of my time and an old scrap book that I was never going to use anyway. Secondly, I have worked out how to stop up the end of my bookcases. IF my current soaking doesn't work, the plan is simply cut out a couple of pieces of ply the right size, paint them up, write on them and produce the same functionality.

Which ever way it goes, when I finally have end stops on my shelves I will post an update.

What creative failures have you encountered?

1 comment:

Rita@thissortaoldlife said...

Thanks so much for linking to us! And, I just have to say: I have the same issues when it comes to creating with old books. I can't bear to cut them up. I love your idea of a creativity journal. Now you have me thinking about a list of creative tasks I could set for myself...