Friday, March 1, 2013

Girls Raised in the South: Book-In-A-Day Wk 9

Girls Raised in the South
Title: Girls Raised in the South (G.R.I.T.S.)
Structure: Whirlwind
Dimensions: 7 12 x 6 14 closed
Video of my process. 


I'm so excited to bring you this ninth book-in-a-day because I've been searching for a way to pay homage to the women in my family. And while one book will never be enough, this feels like a great start. 

The book is really about the sayings that I grew up hearing in my house and in the houses of other southern women raised in places like my hometown. These sayings, at the time, held the only truth I knew and I couldn't wait to repeat them when I was little. Of course, like many things, I outgrew that desire, but I sometimes find myself spewing all sorts of southern phrases that many of my west coast friends find baffling. 

When I sat out to make this ninth book in the series, I knew that it would be difficult for me to pick just a few phrases, but I was determined to pick the ones that were around when I was little. There are a lot of newer sayings, but I was looking for the tried and true. The ones that seem to have staying power. So of course I consulted the best source I have access to; my mother. 

Just sitting and talking was powerful. Because I come from an oral tradition where stories are typically passed down through the women in my family, I was able to learn a great deal, not just about the phrases and the sayings, but about my great-great grandmother: Mabel King. As I listened, I felt more and more proud to come from such a strong and determined woman. Thus, the book was born and dedicated to her. 

ABOUT THE STRUCTURE & CONTENT: I think I woke up with that structure in mind, so I tailored my content, in a way, to fit the way the structure works. I didn't want to write poems this week, and after listening to my mom, I felt like I needed to tell a story. That story turned into a manifesto of sorts, or maybe an instruction manual. The phrases show up in italics. 

I wanted the pages to be lightly colored with pink, so I used a homemade ink spray with watered down metallic pink acrylic ink and a homemade purple alcohol ink spray to add a bit of contrast to the dark pink text, which I simply printed on my color ink jet printer. (For a list of materials, visit the ning site).

The other element I was determined to use were the silhouettes. For some reason, I had that on my mind for several days and was determined to get them in there. I'll likely use silhouettes again because I actually found them to be really powerful images. The stark black color on the light pink was exactly what I was hoping for. I did, however, make a few mistakes with the silhouettes. 

Mistake 1: I made the silhouettes before I did anything else, so I already had them glued to a heavy card stock, which turned out to be heavier than I wanted in the book, but I kept it. 

Mistake 2: Some of the silhouettes buckled when I added the glue. I think it was mostly the ones that had come from magazine images originally. I could have remedied this by copying them onto regular printer paper before painting and gluing them. 

Mistake 3: One of the ones I really wanted to use was much too big. It will likely appear in an art journal page later along with the others that didn't make it in the book. 

All in all, this was a great book making experience. Each week I'm finding so many things that inspire me that it's difficult to pick the one that will get my attention. But no worries, I'm keeping a list for the days when the ideas are not as abundant. 

EDITIONING: It's likely that this book will become an open edition. Now that I've made the prototype, I can see exactly what I'd need to do to edition it. Plus, I'd really like to give my mom (and her sisters) a copy. 

I'm looking forward to what next week brings, I'm thinking about something a little different than the first 9 -- stay tuned. If you're watching the videos, I'm honored! If you're making the books, I'm intrigued, so please post them to the flickr group or on the Giving Hands Creative Community site.
See you next week!!


  1. This is too cool. I love the silhouettes!

    1. Thanks, Sue! I had fun making them. Learned a lot about black gesso and magazine pages :-).


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