So I’m at this point now where I have everything for the book in front of me, all in one piece. Or I think I do. I’m still trolling through the photo archive, the endless folders, seeing what I missed. It’s so easy to not see things that are missing from the table when they’ve lived only in your head. Because they are still in your head, so things don’t seem incomplete. Do you know what I mean?
The last technical sections go out for final Team edit today and tomorrow, and the press has ordered our paper. It’s really on rocket power now, we are completely off-gantry.
I’ve used a very successful editing strategy, I think. I accumulated about 25 people who were interested in the project, and used them in teams of 9 to vet drafts. Some are accomplished beaders, some have never done a single stitch, but they are all terrific writers and readers. It was… stunningly successful. And no one felt over-used, or I don’t think that they did. And everyone contributed. Our Team Pages are packed with names.
Here is one of the spreads from the Basics section, the Simple Flat Square. I’d be curious to know if anyone takes credit for this pattern, or if it simply exists, like so many sensible ways to put beads in spots to make shapes. It’s a delicate thing, to say, “This way of putting beads in spots did not occur before it occurred to me.” I hesitate to say it in any case, but sometimes it seems to be true. We haven’t ever seen anyone else ever make a Zigged Band, or a Hornwing, but…. they might have. We are attempting to make no claims, but also to pass out credit when it is due. It’s a balancing act. I again think of Harry Truman, saying,
“It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit.”
I’m still holding and working on the finish of some of the more personal pages. And, stupidly, trying to decide between a hot red spiral and a black one. This is a much harder decision than you might imagine. The red is so… hot. I’ll probably get half red and half black, because it’s impossible. It’s like saying, do you want your 1968 convertible Camaro to be red with black leather seats, or black with red leather seats? Who could make such a call?
I struggled over the paper. Like hair, I think paper should be soft and touchable. I hate touching things that should be nice and finding them to feel artificial, stiff, slippery or dusty. I don’t like frosted glass or the feel of newspaper, and I hate hate hate coated paper. It’s nasty. But it’s great for photographs. I had to work to find a natural paper that really showed the detail. I think/hope/pray I got it right. I am an amateur by definition in every endeavor because I am always doing new things. I never know what in hell I ought to be up to or avoiding.
One thing I am very good at is ordering postcards, and man, this set is FUN TO MAKE. Jeroen Medema’s shots are mindbendingly good. I can make an entire set just of his whimsy. And I am also good at buying beads, that is a snap. I am ordering more more more Delicas for the cigar box kits, but that will end soon. The kits will all be shipped with the books, so if you want one, get it in December!!!
I am shagged out from all of the hat-wearing. It’s just a massive amount of work that is never done, but will simply be hacked off quite soon, probably in mid-sentence, and fed to the press. I am the painter who would never finish a painting, the poet who would never release a volume.
The light just flooded my room, the full-on sunshine, sparkling off of and reflected and refracted by the skillion tiny droplets of water left from the raging storm that came on at 2:30 am. It was so intense that it was light outside; pink light, and the wind was gusting like we were at sea and the air was warm and cool swirled together like an ice cream cone, you could feel both on your arm.
I went out in it, in my nightie, to rescue a few things in the garden, and Miss Fish sat up in bed just exactly like a little Meercat to watch out the window. Now, after 8 in the morning, it’s gentle and soft, and she’s sleeping it off with her favorite toy/communication flag, a Q-Tip.
I wish I had the time to tell you the thousand ways I love you. But I don’t.