Thursday, January 3, 2008


This is story I sort of meant use for a December entry. But, I missed. But, Christmas isn't really 'completely' over until January-6th.
I want to show you these two books. I found them in a bookstore that had just opened before Christmas, the summer of the last year, my country school ran. Now, I know that is a very long sentence. But, if I gave real dates. It would give me away.
Anyway, one of the times we went Christmas shopping, I 'HAD' to go to the bookstore. To me it was joy and riches to see all of those books for sale. Mom and Dad let me have almost half an hour there. I was 12.
I had a great time going through the books. Then I found the Crafts books. Oh, my. So many and such amazing things to make. I was just so enthralled. When I spotted these two books. By someone named: Pedro De Lemos. I didn't know who he was then. However, I realized he must be quite well known in the greater Arts and Crafts field.
The books were $4.00 each. Quite high. I knew they were expensive. But, I took a chance and showed them to my Dad. Both he and Mom weren't sure. The books seemed indulgent and frivolous. Also, I had just had a birthday, so I wasn't due for a present until Christmas. and that was a couple of months away. Please, that's ok, buy them for my Santa present after the school play in December. Well, if we do you can't have them until then. I said, that's ok. Besides they will not be really a surprise. Yes, but I will look forward to having them. Hum, well ok. And that's how I got them. Mom, already had a present ordered for me, so, the craft books were from Daddy.
I have looked at these books, over the years and tried to make some of the things pictured. But, most of the projects called for materials no one knew about. Such as; whiting. What is whiting? I finally found out it is just plaster, screened extra fine.
I did make some of the paper projects. They were simple and I could use any sort of paper. I did some potato stamps. Messy. Not for me. Tried soap and wax carving. That was not my talent. I still have the soap horse. It's still in my cedar chest.
But, what really captivated me, were the wooden toys. I didn't get to make any of those until I was an adult. And I sold them in a local gallery. So, after all, the books have been well used. And my parents got to see, what I made and that I could sell them.
There were people out there who found my toys pleasing.
I did find out about more about DeLemos, because when I went to college, I asked my art instructors and I found more books by him in the libraries. I, of course checked them out. But, I never bought any more of them, because the first two had projects that appealed to me more than in the rest of the series. The treasured craft books remain a strong source of inspiration for me yet.

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