I'd been waiting for over a year to find the perfect project to use these in. In March my wife Allison took a trip to Boston, and she returned with a short poem titled 99 cents. I read it and immediately knew that this was the project I'd been waiting for. The poem is mysterious, funny, and a little dark. For a poem of it's size it can do a lot of different things.
The chapbook came together pretty easily, since I already had the covers ready. The interior pages came from a notepad called 'Poo Paper' which is essentially elephant feces turned into fine paper. I was delighted when I realized that the pages of this notebook were 8 by 8, and when quartered fit perfectly with the 2 by 2 covers.
The rubber stamping was simple enough, a single word to page. The cover required a white label, and I went through each of the possible ink colors before settling on the red.
The only formatting issue I struggled with was the binding. Due to the miniature size of this publication certain bindings were ruled out pretty quickly. I knew I couldn't use staples, they'd be incredibly tacky, and too quick for a chapbook like this. Also, a Japanese binding didn't work, as the margin needed to be minimal. I finally decided to attempt the binding by using Allison's sewing machine.
I'd done a little sewing in the past, so the machine wasn't completely foreign, but the book binding needed to be clean, straight, and double-stitched, so I practiced for a while until I felt quite comfortable with the machine. I still had a few mishaps with the first few copies though, which unfortunately dropped the print run. After about 10 or 12 bindings I realized that I needed to tie off the loose threads at the end, and once I started doing that the sewing became easier and more consistent.
It's great to have a new tool to use for Puddles of Sky Press bindings. I'm already thinking of new uses for this machine... What's that stitch-selector do anyway?...
99 cents by Allison Chisholm is being sold for $4.50 + shipping. Find more details on our CHAPBOOKS page.