Tuesday, February 08, 2011

of dreaming and focus

Recently I've been kind of consumed with the idea of going back to my first crafting dream of bookbinding. If you've been reading this drivel for 5+ years you may remember that I made some early attempts not long after we'd moved to Tiny Town in an attempt to find something to occupy my time while job hunting and learning French (you can see some of my finished books here). I felt kind of stuck because I knew I wasn't doing most of right but I was having trouble figuring out where to go from there. I usually don't do well learning on my own and prefer the help of a tutor but I wasn't getting anywhere so eventually I dropped it and picked up knitting (much to my bank account's chagrin).

Anyway, now that I'm gainfully employed and speak French relatively well, I find myself revisiting my design ideas and longing to get my hands on better materials and take a class. This is proving to be next to impossible and has lead to more than one dead end. The art of reliure is still very much alive and well in France but, unfortunately, not anywhere near me. If I were to follow a serious course that results in a diploma, I'd have to figure out how to get to Paris once or twice a week, and my meager salary would hardly handle that. The médiatheque of Troyes is doing a 10 month course but it only meets once a month so that doesn't seem very encouraging. They're actually doing a stage that lasts an entire week in March but I haven't been working long enough to have a week off yet (nevermind what I would do with Fry for a week while I'm playing with paper and glue!).

So. Unless a class pops up out of nowhere, it looks like I'm mostly going to be on my own. The good news, at least, is that I've discovered that there is at least one shop in Troyes that sells materials for bookbinding - paper, cardboard, cloth and leather, etc. - everything except the actual tools (presses, clamps, paper shearer, bookbinding frame, etc.). For now, I'm trying to figure out the exact minimum I can start with and good book for a guide and see where I end up. I've even found plans for building my own bookbinding frame, so that's encouraging.

Well, here I am, dreaming out loud again. I find myself here a lot, and you may have noticed a running theme in this blog: my next greatest idea, my new business ideas, etc. It's true, I dream big, but somewhere in the middle of the dream and the execution, I seem to lose focus and it all falls apart. I'm hoping that if I keep this in the realms of bookbinding for pleasure instead of grand plans of taking over the world with my mad bookbinding skillz, I won't burn out so easily. So let's see where we end up, eh?

On a completely other heart breaking note, I received the awful news this morning that a friend from college passed away yesterday. Even though she'd been ill for a while, her death was quite sudden and unexpected. She was a brilliant talent and a totally hilarious comedian and a gorgeous soul, and she will be sorely missed.