Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Week 39: Happy Birthday!

   The book-of-the-week for Week 39 is titled Happy Birthday! This book is presented as a pop-up birthday card. The cover is the envelope, which is covered with collaged-on pieces from a map of Virginia and a hand drawn map... starting in Bonn, Germany and ending in Raleigh, North Carolina. The cities on the envelope are listed in a loopy path.

the envelope and card...
   The card imagery and text is a combination of letterpress printing, stenciling, and pen and ink. The front of the card has an image of a house with a red roof. The roof was letterpress printed using a large font wooden type "V" which was printed upside down. The turquoise door was also printed using an even larger block of wood type. The black windows, door knobs, and curtains were printed over the turquoise door using more large font wood type and metal border type. The text was printed with 14-point Benbow type and 30-point Goudy Hand-tooled type. 

This is the story on the front page of the card...

It was a dark and rainy
night... She came home
tired after work. No one
remembered her birthday.
Oh well, at least the cat
would want to cuddle...
She reached for the front
door knob and looked
over her shoulder, a big
black raven was perched
in the tree!!! staring at 
her!!! and the limbs were 
making scary shadows on
the ground! Some wild
animal was crying in the
woods!!! Was that a
snake rustling in the...
leaves?! She reached for
the doorknob... She...
opened the door...

The pull tab was painted with orange ink then overprinted with 14-point Sans serif type. The rain was stenciled on with acrylic paint and the shadow behind the pull tab door was hand drawn with pen and ink. When the pull tab is pulled the door swings open revealing the words...

Oh! Oh! Oh!

Then the card is opened to reveal the spread. Five-color letterpress printing of surprise birthday wishes and a handwritten note to the birthday girl show she isn't alone with her cat and a bunch of scary animals after all.

Surprise! Surprise!

From there to here, the map of a year has some surprises and some things you can count on.  I'm so glad your map has brought you here!


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Week 38: Lost Again?

   The book-of-the-week for Week 38 is a pop-up book titled Lost Again? The cover is a vintage map of Miami, Florida with blue linen book cloth spine and hand-drawn sign post with the title, Lost Again? written on it.

the cover, a map of Miami

   The title page is the same sign, hand-drawn with colored pencils. The paper used for the entire book was 100-weight cover paper from the French Paper Company. A combination of markers and colored pencils were used for the illustrations. Alternate page spreads incorporate pop-up mechanisms.

the title page

This is the story...

page 1... So why don't you just stop and ask someone?

So why don't you just stop and ask someone?

I figure they'd probably give me the wrong directions...

page 2, box pop-out with swinging arm..

It's this way, Dude.

Lost again Hon?
Hun, You're always late. Why don't you try using a map?

I would, but I can never get...

refolding the map, vee-fold pop-up

it refolded!

So why don't you use maps?

So, Why don't you use maps?

All those Lines make my brain explode!

an exploding head volvelle


So, why are you afraid to ask for directions?

So, tell me why you are afraid to ask directions?

I think I'll look silly.

ha! ha! box pop-up

Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

What do you do when you're lost? ... I just keep driving around

I never ask directions.

What do you do when you're lost?

I just keep driving around, and eventually I get there or give up.

...spiral across the centerfold pop-up
Happy Trails! 

The End

What a place to be lost!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Week 37: Lyon Street

   Week 37's book-of-the-week,  Lyon Street, is based on a medieval book structure called a vade mecum. These little traveling books date back over 400 years. In the same category as girdle books, they had long leather thongs that tied to the belt (girdle) of the owner, or were hung from a chain around the neck. Often these little books were filled with very small text of necessary reference information, such as medical terms for a doctor, accounts for a business man, liturgy for a priest, or map co-ordinates for a sailor. The Oxford Dictionary describes a vade mecum as a handbook or guide that is kept constantly at hand for consultation. The origin of the words vade mecum is latin and means go with me. This structure was chosen for the book Lyon Street because it seemed the best fit for a book that focuses on relationships and long-lasting connections while simultaneously spotlighting the significance of memory, identity, and place.

a gold tooled title on the cover...
   Like the ancient books from medieval libraries, the petite 3-inch by 4-inch Lyon Street is covered in leather and has gold tooling for the title. A black satin ribbon and red button create a wrap closure. A second ribbon, threaded through the spine, makes a handy loop for attaching to a belt or wearing the book around the neck.

inside the cover, the button shaft with the ribbon

When the book is opened,  the two covers are glued to either side of a single multi-folded sheet of paper. 

 The paper for the text block is mould-made Italian paper that was dipped in walnut ink and then printed with a 4-color lithograph of a map of Lyon Street.

old the top section down...
The sheet is gate folded to accommodate the extra space needed for the map.

then fold the other section up...
   The story of Lyon Street was printed onto handmade Japanese paper with an inkjet printer in Helvetica font. Then, the stanzas were cut up and collaged onto the lithograph.

fold the first section down one more time

a close up of the lithograph map
This is the story that goes with the map...

Lyon Street

In the 1950’s, the post war
building boom was happening 
all over the country as the 
young men came home from 
the war, finished their 
veterans’ college educations, 
and started families.

In Raleigh, the rambling homes 
on the grid of shady streets 
were being added to by rows 
and rows of red brick duplexes 
and tiny row houses. They dotted
curved sunny streets on rolling 
hills of once-plowed farmland 
that were recently Raleigh’s borders.

One of those streets was Lyon Street. 
The families that lived on Lyon street 
were mostly young couples with two 
or three kids.. The kids spent their days 
climbing trees, riding bikes, playing 
kickball in the street, and “war” 
across the bare grass yards 
split by honeysuckle hedgerows
and dotted with wild onions and 

The young couples met after work. 
They sprawled out in woven plastic 
lawn chairs sipping whiskey sours 
and PBRs… the men grilling
chicken legs and burgers, the moms
fixing cole slaw and sliced tomatos. 
They played cards and listened to
their HiFi’s. They shared their 
upheavals and their hopes.. and 
they grew up, just like the kids. 

Twelve families… They started in the middle
of the street. The Stevens, the Larsons, 
the Coopers, the Coleys, the Cannons,
the Carvers, the Walkers, the Gustafsons,
the Kennersons, the Fullenwilders… 
and on either end, the Boneys, and
the LeGrands. Really, one family,
connected by a street.

In a couple of years, 
the families began to move. 
To settle into newer neighborhoods 
even further out. Streets lined with 
split-level houses, colonials, and 
spacious ranches… with trees, and 
landscaping, and neighborhood pools 
for the kids.

The families were spread out now.  
But somehow Lyon Street continued. 
They met for parties
and weekly Bridge Club… 
exchanged Christmas cards, 
and attended the funerals of 
the ones that passed.
And Lyon Street wasn’t really 

a place, but a state of mind.

Some historical vade mecum books...

15th century manuscript with fold-outs
Bodleian, MS. Ashmole 6. A 15th century vade mecum (‘go with me’), 
page from a 15th century physician's folding almanac: London, British Library,

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Week 36: Welcome to the City!

   The book-of-the-week for week 36 is a right angle double gatefold book titled WELCOME TO THE CITY! A variable edition of eight books was printed. Each book consists of a single sheet of cardstock laminated on both sides with a map and then letterpress printed with the poem. For the book shown in this week's post, a map of the area around Washington DC and Virginia is the background. Maps used for the other books include Delaware, coastal North Carolina, Durham North Carolina, and central Pennsylvania. The typeface used was 14-point Caslon Bold.

title page and page 1:
Welcome To The City!
Have You Lost Your Way?
   The process to create the folding structure involves cutting an H-shaped slit in the center of the book after right angle gatefolds (folding paper edges toward the center line) are made. This makes it possible to flip the panels inward and outward.  As this is done, the shape of the book changes from a rectangle to a cross, then back to a rectangle again, and then back to a cross, and finally back to a rectangle. So that four different page spreads are revealed (eight pages). Following the folding pattern over and over again makes reading the book somewhat like singing a round. Reading can continue indefinitely.

side panels swing in, and pages 3 and 4 are revealed
upper and lower panels swing in, and pages 5 and 6 are revealed
pages 5 and 6... Don't ever give up! Just follow the signs.
flipping the panels to reveal pages 7 and 8...
turn to see pages 7 and 8... This Way! That Way!

final flip.. and it's back to the beginning.

And around and around it goes... the never-ending book... WELCOME TO THE CITY!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Week 35: Word Map

   The book-of-the-week for Week 35 is titled Word Map. This small accordion book with paste paper cover and handwritten text is an homage to the beauty of words.

pastepaper cover

The simple four-page 5 x 5 inch folded book looks similar to the game board for a Scrabble® game. In Word Map the words build off each other, connecting in one spot and leading to more words. Many words are left out, but can be added as they come to mind.

opened accordion
Most of the words are positive... some are not. In addition to the title, the first section has words like TODAY, WHY, MAYBE, YESTERDAY, EACH, PERHAPS, YAY, WILD...

title page
The last section of the accordion has words like DWELL, LIFT, FEELINGS, LOST, TOUCH, HELP.

last page
The last word is STORY.

India store signs in Passage Brady, Paris