Our boss bought an old restaurant across the pond from our rented office this year. He then renovated it into a state-of-the-art IT facility with all sorts of amenities, not the least of which is a huge back deck that will be in much use next summer, I am sure.
We moved in Thanksgiving week. This view is looking from the old office across the pond to the back (and deck) of the new place.
I love giving these types of gifts (that capture an important moment in someone’s life) more than any other. It is probably why I have continued doing this for over 30 years.
5 Things I love:
- Creating books
- Making things people love
- Giving thoughtful gifts that strengthen relationships
- Teaching kids how to have giving hearts
- And especially involving others in the joy of doing something creative (because I believe EVERY person is creative!)
These loves coalesced a month before Mother’s Day this year when I saw this book sitting tucked away in a little store. It was like fireworks went off!
In April of this year my mother had 22 (in June #23 arrived) grandchildren ranging in ages of 17 to a year. 14 of them are under the age of 12, so this was perfect. It even had 22 blank pages!
With a little logistics work, it happened and I got it back in time to present one of my favorite Mother’s Day gifts of all time — from all of them! (This, another book, is now my second favorite – I believe this one tops it.)
Here are some delightful excerpts:
Simeon gave grandma a colorful superhero cape – it was fun to see some of the kids use that same concept on their pages. Kids are so creative!
Lizzy knows Grandma loves her hummingbirds so she drew one and pasted it in. Several of the older kids wrote notes on their pages.
Our Typography final was a 4 week project to create a book. I chose to print mine on one sided canvas paper (meaning I had to sew the pages back-to-back) and to bind it with leather (for durability.) I also sprayed each page with a Krylon protective spray.
This book should be able to endure many, many years of loving hands flipping through it.
- Read the book “10 Commandments of Type”.
- Retype the 10 commandments (rules).
- Illustrate the rule with typography.
- Illustrate how to break the rule.
- Put all of this into a book format.
In other words, we were to have 20 typographic illustrations, 2 of which were required content.
Simple enough, but I was not interested in re-typing a book that did not impress me (I never did read it all.) So I came up with a whole different take on the same concept and turned it into a gift for my mother. Since 20 pages were required and I have 18 nieces and nephews, the subject matter was pretty much a no-brainer. The rules were turned into “Boundaries” and “No Boundaries”, which seemed an appropriate word for kids.
The pages were laid out in a spread format, so each spread (the boundary on the left and the broken boundary on the right) actually went together. Something that is not noticed when each page is read separately in the slideshow below.
The photos are all my own and taken in 2010. The writing is also my own and strives to capture something specific about each child.
During this process, I fell in love with these kids all over again. This has to be my absolute favorite project I have ever done at the Art Institute. How in the world will I ever top it?!
I ended up making two of these. One I turned in to my instructor and the other I gave to Mom as an early Mother’s Day gift. Keeping something like this secret just isn’t in my skill set.
For the entire book and photos of the process: