Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Creative Juices

January is such a quiet time, perfect for creativity and thinking. I'm still working on my woven Advent calendar. First I trimmed the fringe on the top edge and encased it in fabric, like so:
 The fabric runs below a casing for the dowel rod on which the calendar will hang.
I carefully measured and folded the long woven fabric, creating deep pocket-pleats, pinning them, and sewing them in long columns of stitching to hold the pockets in place.
 The seashells indicate how the pockets will work. I think it turned out well (so far)!
That was the easy part, of course. The hard part will be knitting 25 individual items to slip into those pockets for the nativity scene on the top of the calendar. That'll take me all year!
Adam's been very creative also. He ordered the innards for making a fountain pen.
 You see the raw wood block above. He put that onto his drill press and carved it down into the shape you see there with the hefty bolt through it. I don't know all the mechanics of how he did it, but it turned out quite smooth. Here is the finished product:
 Peter expressed an interest in fountain pens, and we thought this would be a pretty one for him and Shani to sign their marriage license with and keep for a gift.
 All the metal pieces, of course, he ordered online and fitted into the pen. It's so beautiful and elegant.
Adam is interested in early writing technology in general, and for years he and Julia (off and on) have made their own books. He made another one recently. It will hold the book he's writing (also a very old project) called Tubal-Cain.
He bought mixed media paper, removed it from the booklet, cut it and folded it and pressed it. He hole-punched it with my seam-ripper.
He stitched the binding with hemp using the Coptic stitch, which looks like this:

 One advantage of this stitch is that the book will lie flat no matter which page is opened. Quite nice.
 He also made a little book for Anna, who flies away late tonight to return to Japan for another year of teaching. We won't see her again until next Christmas, and my heart feels broken. However, we know it's just the right place for her to be, and we're so happy she has found a place, a job, and people that she loves.
That's it from us! Are you doing anything creative in January this year?


  1. The calendar looks fantastic! I really look forward to seeing each little item as you knit them. I love hearing about your family projects. Especially books that have been in progress for years, lol. It gives me hope! I've really intended to make a handmade book and fill it with a story for my grandkids. I know that feeling of heartache when you know you won't see those kids for a long time. It does help knowing they are living their dream! :)

  2. Wow, your calendar is coming right along. I can hardly wait to see how this all comes together with your Nativity scene at the top and all of the knitted pieces waiting in the pockets.

    What a beautiful pen Adam made and the hand made book is wonderful too.

    You both are so creative and industrious. God's continued blessings on you both.

    I'm glad you had such a wonderful Christmas with your kids and that you have these memories to tuck into your heart while you are apart.

    Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady


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