Saturday, February 11, 2012

bookmarks

Does this look familiar? I bet it does to many of us. I am actually not that much of a reader, but would seem to be better at starting books than finishing them.


Which means that there is a high need for bookmarks in our house.


I love bookmarks almost as much as I love books. When the kids were small, we often made bookmarks specific to the books we were reading. It was a good activity for boys who couldn't sit still while listening, and it was a nice exercise in turning abstract words into something more concrete. I loved seeing their interpretations.


Some bookmarks are manufactured as such and given as gifts:
Some were made as advertising or promotion:
Some are cherished handcrafted items:
I am even known to use random scraps of paper to mark my reading place—do you do this, too?
I could tell you the story of each and every one of the above bookmarks, where they came from, when I got them, what their significance is. I mean it: I really love bookmarks, signifying as they do the optimism of continued learning and the promise that even if you are too tired tonight, you can pick up again tomorrow. Bookmarks save your place, just like a friend.


And bookmarks are on my mind right now because of a question Elizabeth posed on twitter a few months ago: what is an easy way for a non-crafter to begin crafting?


I've thought about this, and I believe the best way is to just make something you can use. At its most basic, crafting is simply the personalization of objects we keep around us. Whether you add a bit of color or whip it up from scratch, the functional property is what separates craft from art, isn't it?


So if you were to make a bookmark, how would you do it? Would you draw and color a strip of cardstock? Glue pieces of newspaper or glossy magazine together and brush with Mod Podge? Would you add a magnet to hold it in place? Fold origami? Stitch up some leftover fabric from a favorite shirt?


Try doing an image search for "handmade bookmark" and see if it doesn't inspire you. If you want to be particularly timely, type in "valentine bookmark." I think a bookmark is the ideal Valentine card—how about you?
English: The photographer's wedding ring and i...Image via Wikipedia

10 comments:

  1. I totally agree! We have soooo many bookmarks, of every kind you mention. The latest addition were made from a set of flickery valentines -- packing tape on the back turned them into nice fun bookmarks.

    I also think bookmarks are the perfect craft for doing with kids -- even the youngest!

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    1. What a great way to make almost any piece of paper into a workable bookmark! Thanks so much--I'm going to try this soon. :)

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  2. If you are not a reader, I don't know who is!

    But lovely post, as always. I've never attributed qualities to bookmarks, now I shall look at them more closely. I don't have nearly so many bookmarks as you, not nearly so big a pile on my bedside (even with an ereader, I still have books I can feel), but my treasured are the ones C made for me so so long ago. And now, I'm happy to say, XX is collecting her own "save-your-place friends." Good stuff.

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    1. Third from left in picture number 3 is the one XX made for me a couple years ago. I love it.

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  3. Wow, you have a wonderful collection of bookmarks! I always use scrap pieces of paper for some reason? And with my son now devouring books, bookmarks are becoming in high demand around here. Great idea to make some for ourselves.

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    1. I love random pieces of scrap for bookmarks, too. Right now I am using a photo of a college friend's old dog (!) as my bookmark of choice. It reminds me of him and how much he used to make me laugh.

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  4. I know you love bookmarks & was just thinking about this 2 days ago when I found in our "out basket" by the door one that I made for you for Valentine's Day *2 years ago*! Where did I put it? If I find it, it's yours. Really, this time. Love XX's : ) Sela has a bajillion - I find them everywhere... except in books : D

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    1. No problem on the bookmark--only if it shows up and is easy, thanks! :)

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  5. Thank you for this Suzie!!!!! I need all the crafting help I can get and I think I can do this!!

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    1. I would love to see what you come up with! :)

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