Thursday, January 17, 2013

Soft books revisited - about toys, books and kids stuff

Do you know what? 

I think for a very first time since like three years, since I‘m sewing, crafting, developping new ideas, learning, testing, re-making and searching for something more, for new ideas, for proper execution, for very many little things and tiny little approuvements how to do my best, do you know what? Yes, it all takes time, that‘s why you may never see me doing simple stuff like many thousands people are doing and happily merchandising out there. Well, enough as for preface, isnt it?

Back to the point - for the first time in last three years I have made something that in my opinion is just right for me, just as well executed as I‘ve expected, and it‘s something that I really like as a product, because it matters to me, it's meaningful, it has purpose, and it's 100% me, and that I really like it as an idea of different usability levels, and well, it‘s a BOOK. A soft book. Made of fabric.

Do you know how many different children books I‘ve seen, blattered, bought, taken from library , chased online since I got first pregnant with my little girl four years ago and fall in love with children book art? I have no idea, but it feels like hundred thousands. 

And even if I‘m quite often very pleased with paper books, especially with french, argentine and old german ones, or some from Ost Europe, I‘ve never had a soft one. I wanted to, but they were all oh-so-ugly, so simple, boring and cheap. Well, yes, I do have a soft spot for good wooden toys, old ones, good quality paper in books, innovative toys, all things upcycled, and MADE WITH CARE AND PURPOSE,  and skill, and passion, yes, I‘m very picky and mostly dissapointed with all the cheap and tacky polyester and plastic stuff for children, that takes like maybe ¾ of surface in many children toys departments.

What are actually people are thinking of, while designing and sewing so terribly silly things (I mean lots of soft books out there). I know, soft books are for the youngest ones, so maybe why bother? And yes, I‘ve read a whole lot about what is important in that age, like contrasts, differently textured surfaces etc.etc.etc., I'm not an expert, but I'm a mother, who thinks of all things useful, challenging and interesting for both of us, me and my child, that's quite enough.

So after I was sort of a bit upset with my first trial, I kept pondering over how to make it better, so here‘s the concept:

This book involves three degrees of usability, what could be fun both for children and parents, from the simplest to the more complicated ones.

FIRST– recognising and identifying simple forms, and there‘re LOTS of them. For the youngest ones.

SECOND – like couple of months later – you can play with your child and explain how the most of everyday objects are represented with those simple forms.

THIRD – for older kids – seeing how the same forms can be used in different ways – the same forms, with different results. There‘re three double pages containing images that have been made with the same amount of basic shapes, but each time the result is something new.

And yes, this book has been sewn with variety of fabrics, like corduroy, linen, wild silk.
I‘m quite pleased with the finishing and the binding – certainly better than the free motion stitching from my recent post.

And last, but not least – I‘ve finally got acquainted with many functions on my digital camera – could it take me any longer? It was all a matter of a couple of hours searching online for manual and reading it. That it! When I‘m thinking about all the painful hours I‘ve spent before, arranging everything outside and using only automatics, then retouching the photos since the grey winter days have come and I didn‘t have enough light anymore. Freezing and blaming the greyish patina on photos. Why didn‘t I make I earlier? Anyway, now I‘m happy. And changed my signature as well – I simply do no want to bother myself anymore with digital pencil.

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