My little sweetie and I after her last walk for the evening just hanging out taking cat naps before going to bed for the night. She had a big day running and playing at the dog park for over an hour today. Molly will sleep good tonight. Me, on the other hand, we'll see...
Since I had a plan in mind for the construction of the book all I needed to know was how big to make it. There are a total of 29 artists who generously donated their wonderful art and are 37+ pages that will make up this book. That will include the cover page, content page, acknowledgment and dedication pages and a personal page from me. A few artists sent me 2-3 pages which was a blessing and special gift.
So after receiving all the art I figured the spine had to be the height of the pages with a little extra and the width of all the pages after being made into signatures which ended up being 4.5" wide. I purchased heavy book board from the art store and as shown in the photo above the total of the book will end up being 9"x4.5"x8.5" totaling 22" all around.
I added black book cloth on both sides to give it strength with a 3/8" gap in between the board pieces so it would fold and close comfortably.
Next I started to prepare the signatures using vellum paper for the transparency factor. Each cover page was personalized in calligraphy with the artists name leaving about 2.5" of the actual art page showing.
Once the signatures were sewn I cut down the 2" that I requested so it wouldn't interfere with the viewing of the art page through the vellum as well as the back...then with thin double sided archival tape I adhered the edges down.
As each signature was finished I added to the unfinished book. It was so exciting to see each page get added.
This book is going to be so awesome when completed if I do say so myself...
To figure out a covering for the book was probably the most challenging part. Because there is so much incredible art inside I decided to do something very plain and simple outside. While brainstorming with my friend and also contributing artist, Lisa Holtzman, I chose plain kraft paper with a simple design of a paw print and heart to gently decorate it. I hope it meets with everyone's approval...
The next step is to work on the title, content, etc. pages which I will attempt to do in calligraphy with the exception of the list of artists and their links to make it authentically an original handmade book. Once all the pages are completed I will hand sew the signatures onto the spine and add the covering. I have a sheet of wrapping paper from England that has dogs printed on it that I may or may not use as the interior paper. It may be too much... but we'll see. The last touch will be the closure which, if I can find a dog collar bigger than 22", I will attach that around the book and add a tag that reads "If found return me to A Place to Bark".
I'm hoping to finish the book in the next few weeks and will post my progress along the way.
This experience so far has been so fulfilling for me. I've wanted to do a project like this for several years now. Being a big old softy for our kindred spirits, I've always done something to support their plight whether it be sponsoring cats and dogs, donating money to every organization that sends me address labels to adopting from the shelter. It has always been the animals and children that send my heart a flutter and can bring tears to my eyes and I suspect I will continue to do so until I can no longer.
My gratitude and appreciation for the artists that have help bring this long awaited project to be realized cannot be expressed with words and will forever remain present in my heart.
It is now safe to put the book together. I've been taking photos of my process which I will share here. I have the vision now to pull it off. So far, it's going rather well I think. I'm just happy to have all the pages finally and can move to the next phase.
I have one more artwork due to arrive any day from someone who wanted to participate and joined in at the last minute... and that I believe will be it!
Can you believe all this incredible art that will fill the pages of the book? :O) There will be 32 pages of such wonderfully diverse interpretation of the theme, Heart of our Kindred Spirits. I feel so blessed and am in so much gratitude. I have all the pages together in alphabetical order but I must say that I have one page in particular to take the lead. It's just screaming out to be the opening piece of art...Patricia van Essche's "will Bark for a Place". I think it's just perfect for what it's for so I'm making an exception to let one page be out of order.
All the boards and materials are purchased and just waiting to be cut down to size. But first I think I'll make a prototype in light weight card board to make sure it will all work out. Also, I have most of the wording worked out for the title page, acknowledgments, credits and content, and what the book is about. It should end up having around 37 pages in all. I am also looking into having the book put into a printed version. I must have a copy of it for myself and so many of the artists are requesting one as well. I'll take orders once I get the prices worked out.
This project is bringing me so much joy. It's something I've been talking about doing for quite awhile and intuitively knew it was what I needed to do. I'm so pleased that the opportunity is now.
Okay, so I think I'm nearing the end of contributions. I believe there should be 5-6 more due to arrive shortly and then the work begins. I have big plans for this project that keep growing as my imagination takes flight. I'm gonna have to hang on tight. This is the first time I'm doing something like this and I have a feeling there will be a learning curve I'm going to have to experience. My imagination seems not to have boundaries but in reality I know there are quite a few. I'll keep you posted... Forever in gratitude, Happy Mother's Day everyone!
This incredible page was donated by Lori Vliegen and received as one of the first contributions. I neglected to add her page. What was I thinking? Bad, bad, bad me. So so sorry Lori. I just today noticed it wasn't posted. Lori, you must have been thinking I didn't like it, oh my! Actually, I was trying to keep it for myself...!
I'm expecting about 10 more donated pieces that I'm excited to receive. I'll be starting on the construction very soon and I have some wonderful ideas in mind. There will probably be a title page, acknowledgment and content page, maybe some quotes all in original calligraphy and photos. Each artist will have a cover page introducing them...this book is going to be awesome with all this incredible art as the focal interest.
At the moment the only thing that has me stumped is the cover but I feel confident that when I get there it will reveal itself to me. At least I'm counting on that to happen.
This project has been something I've been talking about for quite awhile and for it to be nearing it's completion is so thrilling. I have such a sensitive passion for the animals and have done many things over the years to try and help in a small way. At one time I had 5 cats and 2 dogs that I was sponsoring in my apartment and looking for homes for. All but one got adopted and my Gabby girl is still with me.
This week I received these wonderful contributions for A Place to Bark Fundraiser. They will make a fabulous addition to the ever growing book that I will be creating and auctioning off in the very near future.
There are no words to describe my excitement and anticipation when I open the mail to find another piece of incredible art that has been so generously donated to help this worthy cause.
The deadline is getting close and arriving quickly. I truly hope that everyone who has agreed to participate will do so. It's going to be an incredible book filled with original art from wonderfully creative artists.
I am so impressed with everyone's eagerness to help. Bernie Berlin, the owner of A Place to Bark is very much in need of donations to help complete the facility that houses hundreds of homeless animals that have been rescued from puppy mills and kills shelters. Bernie's plight is an awesome undertaking and I was compelled to do my part in helping even in some small way such as this. I am very sensitive to all animal rescue causes and give a little to several of the rescue missions monthly.
I have two kitties, Tallulah and Gabby, that are no longer homeless.
I'm so grateful to be able to share my art with others. I'm mixed media and love doing lots of different mediums. My main stay is calligraphy of course and most of my art has words in them, hence "The Word is ART". Hope you like what you see and come back often.
Have a blessed day. Renee
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I've been a professional calligrapher and designer for over 35 years and have had extraordinary experiences. I am proud to say that my clients are from all walks of life and a handful of celebrities that are faithful to my work. I've been blessed to be able to earn my living by doing what I truly love to do. I will always remain grateful and proud.
Come visit to see some of the calligraphy work that I do and ...