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Failure after Failure: A Handmade Booking Journey
by Dustin Fisher

They say in the movie business that you’re never happier than when you see your first daily and you’re never unhappier than when you see your first rough cut. Well, I was never happier than when I made my mockup and never unhappier than when I finished the first box for my final.

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(Ball added for scale. Baby added for cuteness.)

First, let me talk about my schedule. After turning in my mockup on Thursday, I felt a sense of relief for an hour and a half. Then I knew it was going to take a Herculean effort to finish three of those things with more precision (and complete) in a week’s time. I started Friday night and worked for the four hours each night between outing my daughter to bed and her midnight feeding. It was clear that wouldn’t be enough. So I adjusted my work schedule such that I would also put in four hours after her midnight feeding and try to nap with her during the day to catch up. It was a radical concept which could easily backfire, but it was my best chance at manufacturing enough dedicated time for this project.

I did this from Sunday night through Wednesday night and started sending Meredith panicked emails at 4am with lines like “THE SKY IS FALLING!! Fear for your life and save your cats because as God is my witness, the Nothing is coming!!!” I’d then retract them in the morning with stuff like “I’m sorry again. I think I had one too many ‘project progress twizzlers’ and they were eating into my brain.” It was an unhealthy schedule, despite what just-power-through-it Dustin thought. I was thankfully for my sanity’s sake, given an extension to Tuesday, and I promised to have the one box finished by class Thursday. I’m pleased to say that my daughter, not final-project laden anxiety, kept me up all last night. Somehow I feel that’s a victory.

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(Baby missing from picture as poker chips are not baby-proof)

Briefly, because there’s nothing I can do to make this more interesting, this project turned out to cost a lot more than I thought at the outset. The decks of cards alone cost $105 for four. Between artist paper, book cloth and binder board, I probably paid another $40. Then I needed lots of stuff printed and there’s no real cheap way to do that now that I can’t just use my work’s printer. It cost me $30 at Staples just for the one mockup. I was thankfully able to get my wife to sneak into her office before work and print out the stuff I needed for the project. Also, I wasted $40 on DoubleTac, but that is being reimbursed to me for the remainder of the product since it didn’t work for my purposes. So using Meredith’s math, I should probably charge upwards around $125 for these. I may just try to cut my losses.

OK, with the benefit of time and sleep, I can now see that the sky was not indeed falling. My project underwent a few setbacks and has a few inconsistencies, most of which even a discerning eye that didn’t put them together wouldn’t notice. So I’m going to itemize my failures in three different categories below: Failures obvious to everyone with eyes (Level 1), Failures a scrutinizing eye could find (Level 2), and failures only I will likely ever know about (Level 3):

1)      Case One – Book cloth too small (Level 2): After the mockup was so successful when I was just winging it and cutting the book cloth as need be, I thought I’d measure out the book cloth for the remaining boxes and cut them before I started gluing the binder board to make things easier on me. Well, there were some gross mismeasurements. The book cloth in total was about an entire inch shorter than it needed to be. I needed to peel off the binder board after gluing it down on several occasions. This pissed me off more because I thought I had accounted for the “spine” of the box and everything than because of how I was worried it would look. As it turned out, it looks fine. There are some stray pieces of binder board showing because the book cloth doesn’t wrap around where it was supposed to, but a Sharpie disguises that pretty well when using all black book cloth as it turns out. (Note: This was the discovery that made me lose my mind and start sending those emails the first night)

2)      Inserts too big (Level 3): I wanted the inserts that held the chips to be looser so you could take them out and move them around. Because of another miscalculation, the inserts are pretty flush against the box. But that was a stylistic choice that the buyer doesn’t need to know didn’t work right. They all fit and that’s what counts.

3)       DoubleTac is not the same as StudioTac (Level 3): Yeah, I didn’t even use it so nobody will know anything about this, but the StudioTac was supposed to be my savior. But three art stores local to me didn’t have it. And Utrecht was closed at 745pm when I got there Wednesday night. So I went to the MICA store and they sold me this crap and told me it was the same thing but a different name brand. They lied. This is why I hate MICA. (Note: This is what spurred the second night’s panic-ridden email)

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Inside the case inside the case)

4)      Case #2 is really the mockup amended (Level 1): I figured after my first box was so much worse (in my eyes) than the mockup, why not just make a couple amendments to the mockup to have it be final product material? So I added some book cloth where need be and put the new artist paper over the old artist paper and voila! My only issue was that the front cover elements were just glued on rather than being inset in chip board (a Cheerios box). So I made some chip board and cut it out so that the elements would show through and glued it to the front. You can tell there’s obviously extra book cloth on top of the old book cloth, but it could just be a design choice, not a mistake. At least when you’re not looking at it in a series of three, you can.

5)      Book Cloth is inside out (Level 2): The black book cloth has two sides to it, one shinier and one darker. The darker side looks to me like it’s supposed to be the outside. After putting together the first case and hating it already because the book cloth was an inch too short, I noticed it was inside out too. Then I noticed it was inside out on the mockup too and I hadn’t noticed that for a whole week so it probably wasn’t that big of a deal. Again, only if you look at the third case that looks like I wanted them all to look would you notice.

6)      The Velcro doesn’t like sticking to artist paper (Level 1): One of my cases has artist paper on the flap all the way to the sides. There is Velcro used to hold the case shut and the Velcro seems to peel off the paper pretty easily. But it should stay together long enough for me to sell it. This is a technique I learned from a car I bought off Craigslist. The muffler fell apart two days after I bought it. Nice work, sleezeball from Craigslist.

7)      The inserts that hold the cards are not put together so well. I accidentally put the card element on first, so the hinge would either cover it up or need to be short. And so they’re too short and keep falling off.

There were some successes in this process, though none in that first week.

1)      The third box, as I just mentioned, I finally got the way I wanted the rest to look. I cut it as I glued, like I did with the mockup, which made it easier to be precise and make adjustments as needed.

2)      The handle turned out to be a pretty awesome functional and artistic element. My wife’s suggestion of using the rope shows just how much smarter she is than our entire class put together.

3)      Glue stick. F@$# StudioTac. The glue stick works just fine to get the paper onto the cards.

4)      The cover looks awesome with the book cloth peeled behind the chip board to uncover the inset artwork.

5)      I added a cover to the box that the cards are in (inside the case). The lid has the book’s title and tagline “Play your cards right and you just might make it out alive” and the bottom of the box has the about the author element. I thought it was a fun place to put that.

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Copyright, colophon and About the Author)

6)      The concept of having a choose your own adventure book made into a deck of cards turned out to be a lot of fun to write and I feel like a pretty decent success. I honestly hope to possibly make this the first book in a series, with others to follow that may have to do with strip poker, etc. The writing took a heck of a long time but turned out to be lots of fun.

All in all, I loved this project. I also hated it, but ultimately, I have something fun to show people, even if my wife isn’t too thrilled about paying $2100 for me to take Arts & Crafts.

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(My book, inside out)

Final Project Final Progress Report (4-25-13)
Dustin Fisher

This project turned out to be much more of an undertaking than I thought it would be, as evident that I haven’t slept more than 4 hours any day this week and that includes the naps Mabel lets me take with her during the day. This is due partly to the large amount of time I have spent on the project once Mabel goes to sleep, but also on the stress-induced insomnia that seems to pop up around stage performances and other major projects. Also, I have a baby and she likes to wake up and play around 1-2am every night. Seriously, when I hear the baby cry and set down my things for the night and finally get her to sleep again, all I do is lie awake in bed with cards floating through my brain. I’m looking very much forward to the day when I’m done this project and can resume not sleeping because of basketball playoffs and other things. I’m so very jealous of the people that can just whip up their mockup in one night. I hate them.

I’m so glad there was a second more serious mockup because if I had to make three of these things on the timetable I would have given myself, it would not get done. That said, I know I need to start work on these three things tonight. One failure of mine for this project was to have never adjusted my original timeline to account for the addition of the case element. When I finally sat down on Tuesday night and wrote out how much still needed to be done, I worried it wouldn’t all get done. As I type this, the case is pretty well completed, but the bulk of this project hinges on the assumption that I can successfully glue these stories onto the front of these playing cards. I need to wait for my daughter to wake from her nap so I can go to Staples and get them printed and them cut and glue them by hand during her second nap. I don’t plan on doing all the cards for the mockup because this is my deck I can play around with in case I need to switch up the weight of the cards, etc.

I figured out a fun way (suggestion from my wife) to create a handle. I bored two holes into the binder board and managed to shove a rope through there. I’m very happy with the handle. Also, I used Velcro to keep the case closed. I didn’t feel like the magnets would be strong enough considering the weight of the poker chips would be pushing at it while in the carrying position. I don’t think it’s drop-proof and I don’t plan on finding out, but I don’t even really know if all the book cloth and binder board and glue is drop-proof either. The entire thing could break apart, so what the heck is the point of having a drop-proof seal?

There are a few things I still need to do for the final that I did not do for this mockup. 1) I need to find out how the text sits on the card and possibly adjust the artwork to up to 54 cards to account for the card identifier on the side (9 diamond). This could be a huge undertaking, as I’ve already underestimated how long other things would take to complete. Also, I don’t know what the opacity of the paper will be, so I may need to adjust the paper I’m using and I’m running out of time to experiment. 2) I want to have the artwork on the cover of the case inset into chip board. I know how I’m going to accomplish it and it isn’t difficult, just another step. 3) I will need to make the individual chip-holding elements inside the case bigger. I wanted to allow for easier access to the chips, but they seem to be more unstable than I’d like. 4) I also want to make a card-holding element inside the case that will hold the deck of cards at an angle. I may not get to this. Also, I want to have another small item in the case with the name on it. I may not get to that either. 5) I need to adjust the measurements on the case to account for the thickness of the binder board. That will be easy.

All in all, this project has been fun but exhausting. I spent the entire weekend finishing the text, which is 5,610 words long and weaved in an intricate flowchart of 52 different cards. I came into this class as a skeptic, insisting I wouldn’t sacrifice content for form. And I didn’t. I did what I wanted to do and made a book I’m proud of outside the parameters of it being a class assignment. And it’s sure different than anything I’d have thought of to do had it not been for the outside-the-book thinking this class promoted. I just hope I’m able to get it done on time. 🙂

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(This is the document I used to write my book. Annoying, isn’t it?)

Final Project Progress Report (4-11-13)
Dustin Fisher

What you feared would happen certainly did. You were concerned that the writing would dominate the project. I was convinced I would be able to find a pattern and churn out 52 cards in a matter of a few hours. Well, I spent a lot of my time and mental energy focused on creating the text and not enough on anything else regarding the project. But there’s also another reason for that.

My vision of the project didn’t have a whole lot of hand-made elements involved. I would order the playing cards with specialized art that I would create for the card backs, glue my story to front of the 52 cards and create some artwork to add to the box that would ship with the cards. Not a whole lot to it and I was worried that there wasn’t enough off a hand-made element in it to qualify for this class. This is why I wanted to run it by you before spring break.

Our misunderstanding has now been pretty well documented and I can appreciate that the project needs more of a hand-made element. You mentioned that there should maybe be three “special edition” books with something else to them. This, though I know we had mentioned it before in class like that, put things in a place in my head that was easier to get a vision about it. That’s when I came up with the idea to make a poker carrying case, complete with the book (deck of cards) and chips. I came up with the idea when Meredith emailed me and told me to do it. I haven’t had much creative clarity much of the week, so I am thankful for that suggestion.

I intend to get some binder board and make the three cases of out that, wrapped in book cloth with a couple cutouts for pictures on the case. The only thing still up in the air is how to fasten down the lid. The book cloth serves as a hinge, but I need to find a way to fasten it. I have a few ideas, but I’ll need to do some brainstorming and experimenting.

The first mockup is a mess. I managed to put together a case out of cardboard that isn’t cut properly and printed out the 20 cards I have text for and glued them to the front of 20 pieces of paper with the card back logo printed on it. My printer ran out of red ink, so that fell off after the first 5 pages or so. I would have liked to print the cards on playing card-quality card stock but I got the runaround from Bookmakers who sent me to Staples who told me to go to Michaels after I had allotted all the time I had to run around this week. I also figured this would be kind of a moot process anyway, as the real experiment will start when the real cards come in. I may have been better served to glue them to the fronts of another existing deck, but I ordered an uncommon size and I would rather see the artwork as it will appear than to worry about the texture of something that will change when I get all my supplies anyway. Besides, I have already done that and I know it works.

The cost for the Collector’s Edition will probably fall somewhere in the $40 neighborhood, as I’ll need to replenish the money I spend on poker chips. That will be pushing the boundaries of my cost, but I’d rather not price out potential buyers. I will know a lot more next week when I have a much more improved (hopefully) mockup.

Final Project Book Plan
Dustin Fisher

I was motivated by a project we saw in our first class done by Kimberley Lynne. She made playing cards with laminated sheets of paper and had them in a pouch. By design, her cards were intentionally able to be thrown around and read however the reader wanted to. Or something like that. I liked the idea of making my own deck of cards from the very beginning, with the subject matter being something that had to do with poker (or cards in general).

I thought it would be awesome if I made up a mystery that could be put together with clues given by every card. I also thought that would be really hard. I settled on my first idea, which was to make a “choose your own adventure” type of story in which you would be sent from one card to another to continue the story. THEN, I came up with the idea that this could be a hand of poker and every card you’d be sent to would be the next card you would draw. So the cards you would be holding would actually be your hand. Or something like that.

But that meant writing A LOT of story. Thankfully, the gimmicky process of writing a CYOA book in very short format wouldn’t be that hard. Or so I thought. It turns out being clever is a tough thing to sustain over 52 playing cards, regardless of whether there’s a formula to follow or not. Also, I realized there isn’t really a formula to follow like I had hoped. Or rather, if there is, I don’t know it. So I’ll be writing a lot in the next few weeks.

There are plenty of ways to accomplish what I want to accomplish. I could print these all on card stock and cut them to size and call it a day. But you might not actually be able to shuffle and play with them, which is of relative importance. I could print them on Xerox paper and laminate them like Kimberley did. But you might not actually be able to shuffle and play with them. Maybe if I rounded the corners. But that’s a lot of meticulous precision. Or a lot of cards not shaped the same, which would likely affect their action, to borrow a music phrase. So those options are Plans B and C (not sure which is which).

Plan A came when talking with a buddy of mine about the project. He’s a gamer type who has looked into printing his own cards before. In fact, he gave away playing cards for his wedding. But that didn’t even come up in this conversation and wasn’t though about until later. We talked about card stock and rounded edges and he mentioned there was a place where you could make your own deck of cards for about $90 per deck, provided you sent them the artwork. But I don’t have that kind of money and I don’t think that’s what this class is about. So I went trolling for playing cards that had interesting backs I could use and I would just glue my artwork to the front. I had done this before to make my own Magic cards. Unfortunately, that proved to be about impossible.

That’s when I remember John’s wedding playing cards. I went looking online for a place that would print regular playing cards with specialized backs. Turns out I can get them for about $15 each. I can afford that. Also, they have jumbo cards as an option, which is good because the amount of text I’m writing may not comfortably fit on a normal-sized playing card. I need to solidify the artwork for that before I can order those, which is the first step of the physical process. Speaking of which, here is my production schedule, followed by my proposed materials and explanation of pricing:

 

Production Schedule

4/4:        Production schedule proposed
4/5:        Finish cover art
4/6:        Order four decks of cards
4/7:        Finish writing at least 26 cards
4/7:        Complete alpha artwork for card front
4/8:        Print and test one card on existing deck of jumbo cards
4/9:        Finish putting all 26 cards into print-ready format
4/10:      Print and paste other 25 cards, along with artwork on back
4/11:      Turn in half mockup
4/14:      Have other 26 cards written
4/18:      Complete all changes in card artwork
4/18:      Finish cover artwork
4/21:      Have all 52 cards printed and pasted on one deck
4/25:      Turn in one-page progress report
4/25:      Turn in complete mockup
5/2:        Present books in class
5/2:        Turn in one copy of book
5/2:        Turn in two-page self-evaluation
5/3:        Enjoy a two-beer night with my wife after Mabel goes to sleep

 

Proposed Materials

  • Four decks of regular playing cards with specialized backs ($15/each = $60)
  • Xerox paper
  • Glue

I imagine charging $25/copy of my book to cover expenses and time, and because it serves a function other than being a piece of art, and I feel that may attract people to pay a higher price. If my book catches fire (with sales), I feel that $10 for ordering more cards and gluing 52 apiece plus the cover is sufficient. Maybe.

 

Project Future

In the future, I hope to possibly turn this into a franchise of different CYOA cards. For this first deck, Caught Cheatin, the main character (“you”) are caught by the husband of a woman you were having relations with and he challenges you to a hand of poker for your life. From there, a number of things could happen ranging from your bloody death to you being an undercover cop to alien abduction (still alpha testing). I rather enjoy the tagline “If you play your cards right, you just might get out alive.” I also thought about having a deck devoted to a game of strip poker and selling them together (“If you play your cards right, you just might get lucky”). But not now. That seems a bit much for this final project.

Book Artist, Schmook Artist
Dustin Fisher

I think I heard Bill Joel perform “Book Bindin Girls” in concert back in the 90s.

Once again, I feel like we’re arguing about semantics. Peter Thomas made something, and for some reason he seems to be very concerned about whether or not people call it a book. This is not uncommon in this genre. I suppose that’s important to some people, but I’m not one of them. It’s a work of art, which is likely where the term “book art” comes from. Whether or not his final product should be considered a book is of little consequence to me. But we have a whole class dedicated to pushing the boundaries of what is defined as a book, so maybe I’m on rocky ground bringing it up.

To draw a parallel without getting too political, there is a lot of hubbub about whether or not gays should be allowed to marry. Marriage is a religious institution, but it carries certain political benefits with it. Religions have every right to deny gays to be married under their bylaws, but the country is a different entity. If there’s a way to grant a civil union the same political benefits (hospital visitation, tax breaks) as marriage, who cares what it’s called? Call it a wickersham if you will. Same with book art. Call it a malgamuffin. It’s still a work of art.

Of course, Amazon doesn’t have a category for malgamuffin and it would be nice to be able to explain your art to people. And the beat goes on…

Like some of the posts before me, the line about how book art will be the only form of art left (maybe it wasn’t that extreme) resonated with me. I could appreciate how he says it’s the only medium that uses all four dimensions, though any three-dimensional art that takes time to look at could challenge that comment. However, it’s a pretty bold prediction to say that two-dimensional art will disappear because of the access to creation of it. “Anybody can make it” he says. Which is why it will probably never be more popular. I would guess the world would tend toward multimedia more so than book art. Art museums will likely tend toward interactive art we can’t even think of now in 20 years. But as a memoirist, I tend to think the world is leaning a lot more toward nonfiction than fiction these days. So if I were a book artist, I may be similarly biased.

I found Peter Thomas very funny and personable and it balanced out the shock of the first few seconds when I opened the website to find a 47-minute video. His diatribe on what to do if you’re looking at a book and somebody asks you about the Dodgers made me think he was a professional emcee.

Also, I did appreciate his comment about how art costs more and garners more respect if it’s on a wall. Some book art takes just as long to create and is every bit as arty as wall art. And he’s right, the world will probably start to value book art more in the next 20 years when the world starts to realize what it is. I’m sorry, I mean wickersham. The world will start to appreciate wickersham much more.

This project certainly forced me to get organized more than I normally do, and it worked with a great deal of success. The one glaring exception to all this is that every aspect of the project took a little longer than I had planned, approximately twice as long, in fact. All that will be detailed down below.

The overall impressions I had when doing this project was the effectiveness of the assembly line. Well, a one-person assembly line, which would probably make Gerald Ford turn over in his grave, but I stand by it. Instead of making each book, I finished certain tasks first, which I’m sure everybody did. But it did a couple things for me. First of all, I felt that it cut down on the quality of each project as I wasn’t caring for it specifically. Whereas I trimmed the construction paper covers down to the millimeter after adhering them to the mockup, I didn’t have that kind of time with all the work that needed to be done. Similar cuts in time were made when adhering each page. The mockup is able to open up fully because each page was very specifically and painstakingly placed. This took probably 5 minutes or so for each page. With four pages and ten copies, that would have made that part of the project take 200 minutes, or 3 hours, 20 minutes. That is a lot of time to spend on one aspect of about 25.

The one-man assembly line also (obviously) made things more efficient and made me think accordingly. For example, I was cutting out the back covers and rather than have the strips 6×3 spanning two 3×3 covers, I cut them to all be 3×3 and was able to paste them individually rather than worry about meticulously folding them so they wouldn’t bubble up.

The biggest hiccup I ran into had to do with a change I made from when I made the mockup. I had used regular Xerox paper as hinges on the inside, but used construction paper on the outside (mostly to cover the cardboard labels of “Cheerios” and “Red Baron,” etc.) and on the inside covers. Shortly after my presentation in class on Thursday, one of my construction paper hinges broke. I realized that though construction paper is heavier (or seems heavier), it is much less dense and susceptible to tearing a lot easier. So I decided to go with 32-lb paper hinges everywhere and cover them up with construction paper. Doubling up the paper made the fold much harder to manage and the cover wouldn’t close. Unfortunately, I had been working on this as an assembly line and by the time I noticed this error, I had already pasted ten pages that way and hadn’t folded them while the glue was wet. So they were stuck that way. I then proceeded to cut into the construction paper without cutting through the hinges, hoping it would relieve some of the tension and the cover would close accordingly. This eventually ripped two of the covers off, so there are two of my ten copies that have bandaged inside covers. If I had it to do over, I’d have tested this method out first. Thankfully, it led to an idea that made the back covers more fun and easier to put together.

The following are the steps I used in the order I used them. I broke the steps down into design, materials, and construction for my purposes:

  • D – Insert graphics onto to title page (30 mins)
  • D – Insert graphics onto colophon (10 mins)
  • D – Change text on copyright page (10 mins)
  • D – Change text on colophon (5 mins)
  • D – Fix dash on heart, spade and diamond (5 mins)
  • M – Cut out 3×3 cardboard pieces (100) (2 hours)
  • M – Cut out 6×3 black construction paper (30) (30 mins)
  • M – Cut out 6×3 red construction paper (20) (30 mins)
  • M – Cut out 3×3 black construction paper (10) (15 mins)
  • M – Cut out 3×3 red construction paper (10) (15 mins)
  • M – Print and cut out info pages (copyright, title and colophon) (30) (1 hour)
  • M – Print and cut out graphic pages (40) (2 hours)
  • M – Cut out plain hinges (90) (45 mins)
  • C – Fold graphic pages (40) (2 hours)
  • C – Cut out cover cutouts (cardboard) (10) (20 mins)
  • C – Tape info pages (30) (30 mins)
  • C – Apply plain hinges (90) (2 hours)
  • C – Apply construction paper hinges (50) (1 hour)
  • C – Tape covers (20) (10 mins)
  • C – Cut out cover cutouts (construction paper outside cover) (10) (15 mins)
  • C – Cut out cover cutouts (construction paper inside cover) (10) (15 mins)

For a total of 14 hours and 15 minutes. That’s about right.

The best part of this project is that I was able to catch up on my movie watching. Most of this didn’t need dedicated thought, so I was able to watch the Netflix DVDs I’ve had sitting on my TV stand since before Christmas. I had literally not watched an entire movie since MLK weekend when I battled insomnia that eventually sent me to prescription drugs. But that’s a story for another day. Since I started this project, mockup included, I watched almost a movie each night on average while working on this project. Here is a list of what I’ve seen because of this project and the grades out of ten that I give them:

  • Prometheus (Scattered good spots, I may like it better if I devote my full attention to it: 6)
  • The Number 23 (Underrated updated film noir-ish thriller: 7.5)
  • Flight (Great idea for a story, great plane crash sequence, a little long in the tooth: 7)
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild (Very moving character depiction of Miss Valley life: 8.5)
  • Paul (Who decided Seth Rogan was funny? Please, someone tell me: 3)
  • American Psycho (I’m curious as to who really wanted this movie made: 4)

Midterm Progress Report
Dustin Fisher

Things have gone strangely according to plan. I was even ahead on my production schedule for the mockup copy. But not because it was easy, only because I over-dedicated my weekend to ensuring I wouldn’t have to do this all during the week while watching my daughter. I already left the scissors on the rug while she was crawling around one day and watched her pick them up and proudly wave them around in the air. Thankfully my wife was not there. Now I’m working with several Exacto knives and a lot of swallowable size paper, so I’d rather make sure she’s not in the same room. That said, the project has undergone a few changes worth noting:

  • No paint: I was going to use the paint primarily as a way to cover up the “Giant Oyster Crackers” and other designs on the cardboard I am using for covers. Once I realized I needed hinges on both sides of the accordion design, I opted to just use construction paper to cover the outsides of the covers, rather than painting and then using paper hinges and hoping the glue would stick to the paint. The construction paper is doing what I need it to do anyway.
  • Size: Tiny. This is a Turkish Fold book, so it was already going to be kind of small. But I felt that using 8.5×11” paper for the pages was a little too large. I decided to make the pages a 6×6” square before cutting them to shape. When folded, this makes them into 3×3” pieces (at a maximum – even smaller after cutting them to shape). So the book is 3×3”. This turned out to be a great size since this has the feel of a novelty book anyway.

While there have been a few modifications for the mockup, there are still a few things I will probably change for the production of 10. They are as follows:

  • Page design: There isn’t much to the page design as is, but that probably won’t change too much anyway. A little bit of black or red color with a circular gradient and the quote in the middle of the page. I thought to have something different on each page, like blood drops on the heart, etc. Then I thought better of it. I didn’t want to take away from the Turkish Fold-iness of the pages. But some of the quotes are difficult to read. I may need to add more than just the white border around the text on the red cards, but I wanted to get feedback from class first.
  • Page printing: I’d rather use a laser printer than having that much ink. My printer also has small but noticeable lines throughout each page.
  • The inside hinges : While the outside hinges are made of construction paper, I tried to streamline the inside hinges and used Xerox paper. I will probably use the same resume paper for this that I used for the pages. Also, the exposed gray of the cardboard is obviously behind the page when it folds out. I want feedback on it, but I may have the hinge be as big as the page to cover up the cardboard. I was worried about using construction paper there with the actual resume paper glued to it. I felt like it might be too thick. I want to perform a small experiment before moving forward.

I feel very positive about my status right now. Without any adjustments, however, making 10 of these books, from cutting the cardboard to taping the last colophon on, will still take most of the weekend. Hopefully not daughter-watching time. But it has been a fun experience thus far and I’m happy with the mockup.