Finding my Book Folding Mojo

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Last June I did my first ever book fold. I had seen some on Pinterest and decided I would like to try doing it as the skill for my Bronze Voyage Award. I joined a book folding group on Facebook and, after admiring the photos of the amazing work of other members, I asked how I could get started. The owner of the group suggested a simple pattern that I could get from her Etsy page.

I didn’t want to start with an easy one though. The following month I would be seeing Carrie Hope Fletcher at the Young Adult Literature Convention and I had the idea of presenting her with a book fold of her “Hopeful” logo. I ordered a custom pattern, found an old hardback on my bookshelf that I hadn’t looked at for years and got going straight away. Considering it was my first attempt, I was very pleased with the result and Carrie seemed to like it when I gave it to her.
From that moment I was hooked. I made them as birthday presents, anniversary presents, wedding presents, donations for raffles… Any reason I could think of to do one, I did. I was even asked by some of my colleagues if I would make book folds for them. I gradually got more confident and my decorating technique improved too. I was really proud of the work I was producing and I was glad I had found something “arty” that I was actually good at.

Between June and December last year I completed 19 book folds, which looking back is a little crazy. I must have been doing about three a week. We are now edging towards the 11th month of the year and so far I’ve only completed seven. Granted four of them were two-liners which take me quite a bit longer, but I’ve clearly lost my mojo and I want it back desperately. I knew I had lost it when I had the chance to go to Tom Fletcher’s Christmasaurus book signing and I didn’t make him one even though I had for both Carrie and Gi. I’m a terrible, terrible fan! Tom, if you’re reading this (I wish!), I promise I’ll do one for your next signing.
I sometimes wonder if part of the problem is the pressure that I put on myself to improve the skill. I did my first two-liner at the beginning of the year and since then I’ve felt that I should only be doing those because they are harder and therefore “better”. That’s not true of course. It’s just me being hard on myself. Some of my favourite folds have been the ones that didn’t take very long to do at all.
So it’s time to get my mojo back and I have a plan. I have two orders for book folds intended to be Christmas presents and I have also remembered I said I would do a fold for one of my friends which I completely forgot about (sorry Bev!). They are all what I would deem ‘easy’ folds (easy for me means one-liner and less than 200 folds) so I could do all of them in less than a week if I have everything I need to hand. I have also now got a suitable work-space where I can sit comfortably to mark and fold to my heart’s content which I have no doubt was a contributing factor to my lack of enthusiasm. Leaning over a tray on your lap is not the most comfortable position to work in, especially when you’re doing 400+ folds.

One of the reasons behind wanting to rekindle my love of this pastime is the self-care aspect that I discovered I was benefiting from. There is something incredibly relaxing and satisfying about lining up the edge of the page with the mark and creating a sharp, crisp fold. I find that the repetition allows the process to, in a way, become a form of meditation and my mind clears completely while I’m doing it. Then of course there's the joy of seeing the pattern develop with each fold that is made.

You can see all my full portfolio of work (get me trying to sound all professional) on my Book Folding page at the top. If you would be interested in a tutorial on how to get started with book folding then please let me know in the comments below.
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