An Artful Attention to Details


{Detail of A Space in Which to Stitch by Lisa Occhipinti}

In this age of online social networks, e-vites, and Kindles, I sometimes feel like a luddite. While I appreciate the way connections can now be made around the world, I also see that such "progress" is sending many artful practices and pastimes the way of the 8-track. Fifty years from now, will we be buying historical collections of emails on our electronic readers instead of beautifully scripted assemblages of handwritten letters? Sadly, I think so. My husband recently read an article to me discussing one school's decision to stop teaching students cursive handwriting. Typing would be the replacement. It makes sense I suppose, but handwriting is such a deeply personal expression of ourselves, and I cannot help but feel a sense of loss for future generations who will be less and less encouraged to learn how to use something as simple as a pen.

All this to say I have a special fondness for those who take the time to live an artful life in large and small ways. Lisa Occhipinti is one of these rare souls, and I marvel at her attention to detail. She is not only the author of The Repurposed Library, but she sends me handwritten thank you notes on canvas, which I have framed in my studio. She is the creator of mixed-media assemblages, book sculptures, beeswax-dripped paper roses, jewelry, fabulous fashion ensembles, and, recently, a lovely little address change notice. She is an artist in every sense of the word, and The Repurposed Library is a gorgeous reflection of her talent and creative vision. With "33 Craft Projects That Give Old Books New Life", the book gives readers easy to follow instructions on how to create his or her own repurposed creations.

I am thrilled to help spread the word for Lisa's new book not only because it is an inspiring, artful creation, but because Lisa lives day in and day out as an ARTIST in every sense of the word. The energy behind The Repurposed Library is genuine, the love she has for her subject matter sincere. I started this entry the way I did - with a bit of a rant about the freight train our lives are taking towards all things digital - to acknowledge that, these days, it takes time and effort to keep details that are tactile and handmade flourishing. I am grateful there are artists like Lisa who are part of the movement to keep this unique kind of creativity alive.

Head here for her beautiful book trailer, and here for a recent feature of her in The New York Times. If that isn't enough for you, Lisa has even given me a FREE downloadable project pattern, which can be yours for one quick click of the mouse below. Pick up your very own copy of The Repurposed Library today!