Monday, April 27, 2009

A Forest of Books

Man, it's been awhile since I went a'blogging.
I even promised to write about Alyssa's and my monthly recipes, and so far haven't.
My excuse, or at least the one I'm using, is that I've been increasingly distracted by Baby Prep. My due date is late May, so there's still about a month till then, (unless the bean is early!) but whether late, early or "on time", I know these last days will go really fast. I've been scheming to make my own mattress (for a discontinued, oddly sized, craigs-listed co-sleeper), buying fabric for bumpers and sheets, sorting clothes from generous friends and neighbors, going to childbirth prep classes, renting a tub, and gathering supplies for birth. In reality it's not a whole lot to do, and we're certainly keeping things low key and collections minimal (no dedicating and painting a baby nursery or buying baby toys or anything like that), but it was a lesson for me to realize that just choosing a carrier or stroller can take hours of sorting through the customer reviews and recalls, not to mention the multitude of options. Guh.

Anyway, one project that I've made time for and can now share are the personalized bookplates I made for A's birthday.

When I met Adam (for the second time), he was 22 and living in CA with very few possessions. Part of that was because he'd simply moved out with little: only a duffel bag and a guitar tossed into his green Tercel (which I still drive). The other reasoning was because there was, I'll admit, some kind of delusional romance to sleeping on the floor in just a nest of second hand blankets and borrowing your nightly reading from the public library, not to mention knowing you could roll all your belongings up into an arm load or two and be off (whether you ever went anywhere or not).

When I entered into his picture, I was the collector. I too moved out to CA in a tiny car, but mine was packed to the hilt with art supplies, music, books, clothes, even my sewing machine made it out. As our lives morphed, our collections grew mostly due to my tendencies. For the first few years A was always diligent about semi-annual purging, but over the years he has picked up one real habit. I don't know whether my pack-rat-isms have rubbed off a little, or if stable life has let his own tendencies grow, but what A really loves to collect are books.

We've affectionately taken to calling him the Book Troll. This can be seen in action if you ever walk into a (cheap) second hand book store or library sale with Adam: he can be witnessed hobbling around with his arms wrapped protectively around a sizable stack of treasures.

Well, last year A lent out his favorite book and never got it back. This was a little devastating for him. Though we don't have a lot of first editions in the house, this one was, and also had a kind of sentimental value, so I decided for his birthday that I would make book plates for his loaners in hopes that they would encourage borrowers to remember from whence the books came. I chose to make a drawing of mushrooms to go along with A's Book Troll persona: it helps me have little daydreams of him as a furry footed book collector, reading amongst the moss and cold stones.

The plates started as a drawing:

And from there got messed around with on the computer:

And finally converted into the final:

I found the fonts here, the rest is either drawn with a pen and scanned in, or shakely drawn with a mouse. I'd really like in invest in one of those digital drawing tablets, but having never used one, I'm not sure if they'd be worth the expense (anybody know?). I'd also like to do more of these. I always talk about starting an etsy shop (one of those non-follow-through things), but if I ever get around to it, maybe a selection of book plates would go in (and thanks for the idea, Lyss).
Ahh...nothing like starting off a shop selling something people hardly ever use!

Oh, and Happy Spring :)


Alyssa said...

No defeating your shop before you've begun it, young lady. People do use bookplates, gosh darn it!
And if they don't, once they see the work of Miss Megan Monday, they will.

Krystina said...

love your prints!
Miss Monday I don't know if you remember me but my name is Krystina and I was in Miss Dodd's photography class last year. I made the print of my sister running her hand through her hair wearing a black sweatshirt for my portrait project... If you don't remember me that's ok, it's been awhile.

Krystina said...

thank you!
yeah it was. I'm at MCC now for Photography and then I plan on transferring to RIT. :)
I want to do Graphic Design and Photography cause I don't feel like I can stick to one medium. I'm taking Drawing 1 now to help build by Portfolio and, like I said, I like to switch it up now and then.
So where are you teaching?

Pink Lady said...

adam monday smith???

barbara said...

love the book plate!
you asked about the tablet - i switched to a simple wacom pen and small tablet a few years ago, as i was having trouble with my wrist if i used the mouse too much. drawing is so much easier and more intuitive with the pen, and i soon loved the pen so much that i stopped using a mouse altogether.
i have since upgraded to a full A4 size wacom intuos tablet & pen and will never go back to using a mouse. it takes a little practice to get used to the pen and they don't come cheap, but it's definitely worth making the switch.

all the best from switzerland

MeganMonday said...

Barbara! Thanks so much for the comment (those are so nice to receive!) and the heads up about the Wacom tablet... I've been coveting the Wacom Bamboo Fun, it might be time to splurge...

Anonymous said...

Just a vote for the Wacom. It is *critical* for drawing on the computer. seriously.


Julia said...

I would totally buy a book plate from you if you sold them on Etsy. So beautiful!