I spent this past weekend at a two-day Handmade Christmas craft fair. I always sell out atbecause I don’t make very much to begin with, but what little I do make is well-wrought, one-of-a-kind, and so special that I don’t have to hawk my wares, demonstrate anything, deliver a non-stop sales spiel, or offer bargain deals on things. The sort of folks who buy my stuff know exactly what they want, don’t question the prices, and often come to the annual two-day Marara Christmas craft fair looking for me.
In between meetings with these particular customers, I spend a lot of time just waiting and watching the rest of the holiday shoppers flow past me like a river. I try to bring something to work on every year (because it looks less awkward than standing at your table with your hands behind your back, smiling at every passerby, or having to converse with lonely people who pretend to be interested in your work when they really just want to tell you about themselves) and this year I took the black cover of my Sketchbook Project 2011 to work on.
I used graph paper as a guide, and pricked all the holes out beforehand with a bookbinder’s awl; then I worked an allover blackwork pattern—reminiscent of buttons now I think on it—in black embroidery floss with a tapestry needle. It was very soothing, repetitive work that made the hours fly by quickly. I wandered off in my own thoughts about Nightmare, and escaped the horror of hearing “Rocking Around The Christmas Tree” 27 times in a day.
It’s a quiet, rich, and serious start on the sketchbook, and I am loving the subtle black-on-black (yet highly tactile) effect on the back cover. No doubt I will continue to work with thread on the front cover, but the monotony of the pattern needs a focal point.