Making the French Connection: Linkage

Making the French Connection: Linkage

I have already posted about learning the “French Link” binding technique, twice. But here I wanted to take a look at the bound backs, aka, the “spines” of my explorations of this binding, and see how they play as a collective grouping.

WEBaSample…sometimes the little “models become the pieces I like the most. This practice piece is made from repurposed board, newsprint, paper image, cord and ribbon.

I don’t think I am alone in being fascinated by groupings, collections, series, and other means of seeing how singular parts can come together to create  a unique whole.  A group of things brought together will often become something wholly different ( pun intended) then (indeed transcend) the sum of its parts.

Here then, I peruse my forays into The French Link, (a form of Coptic binding) as a way of exploring not only the technique itself, but also this phenomena of parts coming together to create new meanings, often unintentionally.

WEB3The book I made in the class. with covered boards and 6 sections. A bit wobbly with only 2 connector ribbons.

WEB2Seeking to heal the “wobble”, I added a third connector ribbon (my nomenclature), and two more ribbons to tie the book closed. Made of board covered with Eco-fi felt , repurposed paper, hemp cord, and ribbon.

WEB4Continuing the polka dot theme…this two connector ribbon book was made in honor of an eight-year-old’s birthday. The thickness of the ribbons also helped with the wobble.

WEB2Red and black book fit for a warrior, and one turning six, who is fascinated by outer space. Because the “space” connector ribbons have such bling, I used thin off-white linen thread for the stitching, so as not to compete.

WEB4Wanting yet more polka dots to show, I added some slits to the covers of this book to weave the connector ribbons through, thus adding strength to the structure. The pages are made of foam sheets, all the better for the three-year-old owner.

WEB4Inspired by the bear,  this book is a plain, brown, bare ode to the bear, a favorite ‘spirit animal” in our household. Made from bits and pieces of this and that…one of my favorite ways of working. With books, that is.

As I continue to delve into the rich and endless world of bookmaking as an art form, separating works into groupings lends some sense of direction and  organization around the process, a  container for limitless exploration.

Looking at books from the back can be an interesting vantage point. I have their back, so to speak. And so do You.


What Is Your M.O.?

What Is Your M.O.?

M.O. = Modus Operandi = Latin for “mode of operating” = method of operation = way of working = habits???

In other words, is there a method to our madness?

To me, the question of M.O. relates directly to the issue of motivation.

What makes us do what we do, and why do we do it, in a  particular way?  What motivates us?

This video, “The Surprising Science of Motivation” reveals that



and purpose

may have a lot more to do with our motivation…and thus, our M.O.  then we might think.

If  you feel so moved, give The Surprising Science of Motivation a listen and a look….

and share your reactions with us here.

We love to hear from you.

Remember, we are all motivating our way through this thing called Life, together.

Process = Patience

Process = Patience

We’ve all heard the adage, “Practice makes perfect.”  Most likely, it was (or is) parents, teachers, older siblings, mentors, coaches or masters we have encountered along the way who imparted this wisdom to us.  The truth of it is born out in our experience.  We may not reach perfection,  (Black Swan‘s Nina Sayers not withstanding), but we most likely will improve or even achieve mastery of whatever we take on, through practice.

However,  as we move along in life, most of us discover that just about everything is a process. Mastering a sport, whether it be rugby or ballet, requires undertaking various processes such as instruction, preparation, practice, performance and assessment/analysis, each involving numerous steps which are composed of yet more actions, which comprise the journey.  All great journeys by definition, start with a single step.

We  have to get started to cross the great water…

Each step is important, and each requires patience, though sometimes we can’t seem to see the end.

Sometimes we do get an inkling or a  glimmer, fleeting or not, of the prize at the top that awaits us.

A glimmer that might get clearer, as we draw closer,

revealing hitherto unheard-of beauty and intricacy.

The design may be revealed along the way….

and we see how it is made up of pieces..the pieces of every step.

I am reminded of this every time I begin anything, whether it be teaching a children’s art class, creating a mural, trying to close a deal.  We start with an idea, an intent, a desire, a vision, and then we must take the steps, go on the journey,  follow each process to its conclusion, without rushing, forcing or insisting.  We can “make it happen”, without making it happen, by realizing, it IS a process.

Patience is required for this process.   Process takes patience, just as practice makes perfect.  Our experience tends to be better, happier, more fun, and more satisfying if we at least accept the fact that all is process, and even embrace it.  Whether it is starting a new job where the details must be ironed out, or the agonizing process of applying or vying for a new job/project/program/home/apartment/mortgage….recognizing that it is a step-by-step process, and going along for the ride for all its worth will improve our attitude, impress those we are dealing with, and probably help to insure our success, perhaps more than any other single factor involved, because our maturity, acceptance and enjoyment will show to others.

Best of all, we will learn, grow, and develop in beautiful and intricate ways, hitherto unknown to you, by doing the work, making the commitment, and then going with the flow where others, and other uncontrollable factors are concerned.  Having patience with the process, knowing that each endeavor is comprised of multitudes of processes, steps, actions, reactions, responses, decisions and details will ease the pain of our process as a whole, and maybe even make it, an ever-deepening joy!

Here’s wishing You joy in your endeavors, and patience with your process as you take your steps, and go on your journey.

What process required your patience recently? (Or, not so recently?) 

If you are so moved, please share it with us here.

We love to hear from You.

Remember, we are all going through this process called Life, together.  Bon Voyage, and Bonne Chance!