Two Ideas: Books

It was exactly a year ago that I published one of my favorite posts: "Two Ideas". Well, it's a new year and I have two new great ideas. Here are two innovative ideas for used books. I think I am starting a tradition! 

1. Souvenir of Texas

While travelling from Austin to San Antonio I made a stop at Bussey's Flea Market. A giant armadillo smiled at me from the Bussey billboard, promising that the crowds and heat would be worth the stop. Locals and tourists gathered around stalls of beads, leather, hats, scarves, antiques, and junk. It was almost closing time so I felt rushed and only stopped at the most promising tables among the hundreds. I didn't know what I was looking for- some sort of classic souvenir, maybe a coffee mug, a keychain, a toy, or boots. One dollar and 40 minutes later I had found the perfect souvenir. It was a thick mustard yellow book from 1961, " Roadside Flowers of Texas." The book was printed in Austin and is full of colorful illustrations of native wildflowers. What a lucky find! The book is a pretty perfect souvenir on its own, but I had an idea to make it even more special. I stopped at a gas station off of the highway and picked wildflowers to press among the pages in the book. The wildflower season was at it's peak, and in just one stop I was able to pick at least 9 different flowers- purple, yellow, pink, red, and white. I pressed the flowers in-between the illustrated pages to create my perfect souvenir.


2. Summer Sketchbook

While visiting family in St. Louis back in May I made a fun stop at The Book House. The Book House sells unique, used, and rare books (my favorites!). The building is literally a house, so there are many rooms filled from floor to ceiling with stacks and shelves of books. There was so much to look at. In the basement I found a used book called "It's Summer!" The plastic cover was old, stained, and unappealing, but underneath was a cool red font on red cloth, and I immediately knew I had to turn this book into a sketchbook. Back at home I took out the old pages of poetry and folded drawing paper to be sewn together for a new interior. Isn't this the perfect summer sketchbook?

Mother's Day Fluxkit

This year my mom went away on vacation for Mother's Day. My mom and dad took a trip to Italy while I watched their house and the dog. I made a Mother's Day gift that was small, waterproof, playful, and meaningful- a "When in Rome Fluxkit." A fluxkit is an art object that is interactive, contained, and open ended. Fluxkits were made in the 1960's as part of the Fluxus movement. Fluxus artrists appreciate simplicity, chance, and humor, and use multi media, found materials, and text in their artwork. In the past I have made "Merry Fluxkits" for a Merry Christmas, and a "Fluxkit for a broken heart" - when my friend's dog passed away. This Mother's Day Fluxkit was made from a plastic cotton swab box and consisted of 2 sets of cards that could be selected, arranged, and matched in a variety of ways. My dad surprised my mom with the gift on Mother's Day (which also happened to be her birthday!) and they had a fun time using the kit in Rome.

Here is my mom with her new friends at a fountain in Rome!