Now that I've tried reinventing the bookmark, my second creative challenge is to come up with three widgets to use with promo for my upcoming Lords of the Darkyn trilogy. The immediate problems: I'm not a widget lover; I think 99% of all widgets are a waste of time and materials. I want something unique and different that is my idea, which rules out all the mass-produced advertising-type junk (thank heavens.) And I want to make it myself, which limits the range of possibilities to what I can reasonably produce without making a complete hash of it.
I've been keeping my eye out for inspiration and hoping the universe would conk me on the head with something fabulous. Which it did last night when I made a stop at World Market for some international treats. I always check their bargain bins for interesting sale items, where this time I found a set of three notes made into scrolls:
It was a real eureka moment. Scrolls are what books were before there were books, and as it happens Nightborn, the first novel in the new Darkyn trilogy, features a scroll as an important part of the story. Perfect idea for a widget! I even knew what I could do with different materials to make it low-cost, give it my own personal spin, and end up with something that has a good chance of not landing in the trash bin.
Next problem: I've never actually made a scroll, so I needed to do some research. I promptly went over to BAM to hunt for some how-to guidance, and in the process found Alisa Golden's Making Handmade Books. This is practically an encyclopedia of book making, and features a wide variety of beautiful and unusual bindings and forms. Ms. Golden offers fully illustrated, step-by-step instructions paired with beautiful finished examples of the different styles, so you can see what the end result should look like. Btw, if you're an art journalist, book maker or someone who for whatever reason fashions and binds your own books, this should absolutely be in your library.
Lucky for me it also included how to make a scroll book, the instructions for which I can adapt to use for my widget project. Reading through it also gave me a great idea on how I can secure the scroll in an interesting way and still assure that every component of the widget can actually be used for practical purposes. I love art, but I love not wasting or throwing away things even more. Now I just have to experiment with the design and put together some prototypes to test out the vision and see if I can make it work in reality.