Saturday, January 28, 2006

A story set down in pen and photos

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My husband is happily plunking away on his banjo in the other room, celebrating the fact that after more than half a century, he is finally achieving a goal to make his own kind of music. I have my own goals, of course. In fact, look at the sidebar and you'll find a link titled, "43 Things I Want to Do." I haven't listed 43 yet, but I keep accomplishing a few of them, thus shrinking my list a bit. One of the things that used to be on that list was "Watch the Whooping Cranes in flight practice." I was able to do that, and wrote a detailed account in my other blog here.

Somehow, a blog entry didn't seem like enough, thus beginning something that could easily have been another item on my how best to create a memento of that event. I've told stories about cranes, and that seemed like one good way to honor the hard work of the folks involved in Whooping Crane conservation. Watch any of the crane family as they hunt and you can understand the source of one story, the one about a man and woman who wanted a story, and told the same one every single night about a crane hunting...thereby thwarting an attempted robbery. Cranes figure into many folktales and legends of the world, and watching them lift off gracefully into the air, rising closer to the sky, it's easy to understand the imagery as it's told in story.

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Even the stories weren't quite enough for me, surprisingly enough. Usually, a story is more than enough. Finally, I was able to put together a little something in which to treasure my experience. I'm lucky enough to be part of manufacturer's design team, one dedicated to celebrating cultures of the world through their designs, Grassroots. One of the really fun products I get from them is a platform box. Basically, it's an oversized matchbox, but can be reinvented in so many ways, as my fellow designers have shown. I chose to re-invent one into a book about the cranes. I've done some bookmaking in the more traditional sense, and this project gave me pause to ponder a slightly different approach. Like many things in life I've tried, I'd do it a bit differently next time, but am happy to at last have a keepsake recalling my wonderful foggy morning experience last August.

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At 6:37 PM, Blogger Keathe said...

Thanks for the sneak peek! I can't wait to see all the pictures from CHA! (I really can't wait to get all this stuff in my hands though.) :)

At 7:48 PM, Blogger Sherry said...

Ohh thanks for the Peak. :) Very pretty!

At 8:03 PM, Blogger alecia*grimm said...

Great idea to make the box into a book. Super pics & story too. Thanks for the peeks.

At 8:36 PM, Blogger grover said...

now that is one cool project!!!!
and you know what..i knew not a thing about whooping cranes!!!

At 9:59 PM, Anonymous Pam Alexander said...

I love new ideas for making unique books. Love the cover!

At 7:54 AM, Blogger Sarah said...

Lovely work, Gwen! I can't wait to see it all!

At 9:00 AM, Blogger Rachel said...

Wow! That's a cool way to immortalize the story of the cranes. I wish I had been there - I love watching birds in flight.

At 11:22 AM, Blogger Elaine said...

That box is really, really cool....I'll have to get my hands on some of those! Your work with it is gorgeous!

At 4:28 PM, Blogger Nancy said...

this is just beautiful!
My mom has always wanted to learn to play the banjo - and we love listening to them!


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