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Archive for July 2012

AccordionOne.jpgI made an alphabet accordion book. I didn't want to make an A is for Apple type book so I mixed languages. Specifically, I mixed Japanese and the English alphabet. The result is this A is for Love, Y is for Dream alphabet book. Why A is for Love? Because in Japanese love is pronounced ai - 愛.

Dream is pronounced yume -  夢. I went through the alphabet and tried to choose good Japanese words for the kanji. Some letters, however, don't really appear in Japanese: L, Q. And P. There are some words that begin with P in Japanese but way too many are words borrowed from other languages: Present (puresento) and pizza (piza). So I went with an English word: Passion and translated it into Japanese: 情熱 (jonetsu) which has more to do with the book than piman (green pepper).

AccordionFour.jpgThe book is about 150 mm tall, 3 meters long, and 30 mm thick when closed. And, if you want, you can learn 26 words in Japanese and English. Like the previous notebook with English and Japanese in the margins, this has proven to be quite popular with those who have seen it. All Japanese, they try to figure out why J is for trees, for example. Or why 樹木 (jumoku) is trees.

Also, I made a box for it. The box is yellow with a red & yellow elastic ribbon with a nice elaborate bow around it. It goes together quite well with the yellow book. Lots of yellow in this project.

All in all, I think this project went well. The process was: choose the words; make a dummy copy; print all the words out; arrange and measure; cut the backing paper; glue; make and attach the cover; make a box...Re-make the box; enjoy.  I made the box lid twice because the first idea I had didn't work out so well. No big deal, just more experience making box lids. Fun.


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BookFront.jpgThis is a lined notebook with seven signatures of five sheets each for 140 pages. It is A6 in size (pocketbook) and comes with a red ribbon bookmark. It has a lively blue flower/dragon fly book cloth cover and white endpapers. The more creative side of this notebook is in the margins. Marginal art, as it were. On each page at the top and bottom are words in Japanese and English. The pairs of words have something in common.

For example, one page has "garden (庭)" on the top margin and "chicken (鶏)" on the bottom margin. The connection between the two is the partial pronunciation. "Garden" in Japanese is pronounced "niwa" and "chicken" is pronounced "niwa-tori". (Literally, a garden bird.)BookBack.jpg

On another page at the top is "ugoku (動く)" and at the bottom is "hikoshi (引越し)". What's the connection? They both mean "move". The first one means move as in a book. The second one (hikoshi) means to move house.

On yet another page has "kimono" and "arrive". Here the connection is the kanji used in both words: 着. Kimono is 着物 (kimono) while arrive is 到着 (tochaku). Easy, right?

BookOpen.jpgWhy did I include words on a lined notebook? In this book's first outing, the cover attracted some attention. But after the person opened it, they became engrossed in reading it. Just four words per page but they learned something (either Japanese or English). After I pointed out there's a connection between the words at the top and bottom margins, they tried to find it. Content, in this case, provoked interest and discovery. And I think books should inspire discovery, don't you?

At the bottom we have three pictures of a Work In Progress: A is for Love/Y is for Dream which includes Japanese & English again. It is an Alphabet book but with Japanese words instead of English. A is ai which is love: 愛. Y is yume which is dream: 夢. In the middle are the strips of paper that will be the backing (instead of green). Each one is 110 cm long and about 155 mm wide. Some of the words are tossed on top.



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