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…blogtober day 22 :: camp gifts…

…blogtober day 22 :: camp gifts…

I’ve had a note saved on my phone for months. Inspiration had struck, on a random Thursday, on how I could create a “mail order camp experience”, without repeating what I’ve done the last couple of years. But just because I’ve known what I was going to do, and even had a decent idea HOW I was going to do it, doesn’t mean I was going to do it any sooner than the last minute.

I was lamenting how very far behind I was, and Car tried her best to talk me off the ledge. “Only do it if it brings you joy”. It does indeed bring me joy to create something fun, even when we can’t be together in person, but more than that, it’s an acknowledgement to myself, that this is only temporary. “It might break me to NOT do it,” I replied. To not do camp gifts would feel like a defeat, an acceptance that camp might never be what it once was. The gifts themselves are less important that what they represent – hope. Hope that THIS will be the last year, so of course I’ll continue to do gifts to fill the void. The process of last minute crafting and running to the post office and watching the tracking anxiously is almost a love language – you matter to me, camp matters to me, this sucks but next year will be better.

I’d had big plans to spend time working on them (and hopefully finishing as well) last weekend, but real life and chores intervened. Instead, it was Monday afternoon before I even pulled my supplies out, and got to work. My plan for this year? Interactive, sensory zines. A7 sized, they would be the perfect way to encapsulate yet another year of camp at home, without requiring a lot of storage space or headspace.

The cover, in the bottom right, is a simple grouping of three different gelli prints I created specifically for this project, using some of my newly acquired calligraphy paper. Inspired by the view from our usual beach house, a bit like last years mug rugs, it’s simple and effective. I was considering adding an under-layer of watercolour to really make it pop, but I was concerned how the Kraft cardstock would react, so stuck with just the papers.

Opening the zine, pages one and two are the two most interactive. Page one (bottom left, top left, top centre) was created with four circles of cardstock (cut on my cricut), layered and folded to create a little a peekaboo section, to house a “camp clock”. Also cut on my cricut from watercolour paper, I drew a clock with the numbers fallen to the bottom, and the hands saying “camp time”; indicative of time having no meaning while we are in camp mode! Page two was a cut out & pull the tab page. The back layer, revealed by “drinking” the coffee (aka pulling the tab), was actual coffee grinds (freshly ground, of course, from my favourite beans), modpodged onto a spare sheet of cardstock. I was very pleased to learn the scent remained upon delivery!

For page three – top right, I created the “sea” for a beach page, using some blue silk I’ve had in stash since I was a teenager. It was a remnant I picked up to use as a base for silk ribbon embroidery, but was much more than I had needed at the time. Even cutting out six pieces for the zines barely touched the sides of the “remnant”, which is really more an end-of-bolt piece. For the sand, I pulled a piece of cardstock that looked a bit like seagull prints along the beach, and tore it so the white edge was exposed, reminiscent of the foaming edge of the rolling waves.

A camp tradition is a group foot photo, which we did a version of, for our first camp covid. Inspired by that, I cut another round of circles from watercolour paper on my cricut, and divided them into six, and labelled the segments in alphabetical order. The idea is for everyone to decorate their own slice, take a photo in a designated orientation, and I will splice them together in photoshop to create a group photo.

The last double page spread, pages five and six, are dedicated to our camp activities where we at least pay lip service to our reason for being there. In honour of our three million untouched projects, I made a supplies page, just begging to be touched. There’s yarn, washi taped in place, and then “quilted” with two rows of stitching. There’s a fragment of book page, in honour of our many reading discussions. And there’s a row of stitched crosses. Crochet, art, quilting, reading, cross stitch…all our major projects covered.

Finally, page six is a little square of photos from a decade of quilt camp. I think I managed to get at least one photo taken by each of us. I’ve included the cabins of our first camps, and the island of one of our bonus camp. Projects, and breakfasts, and in the centre – my little Dr Suess meme that has come to represent (for me anyway), quilt camp at home. I created the squares in Layout, saved that, then in the Project Life app, made a 2×3 collage, saved THAT, then grabbed my Selphy and printed the resulting image. Crop, tape, hashtag, done.

To close off the project, I simply left the back page blank, aside from a little note about the project. “An interactive zine to mark Camp Covid 3.0. Made with love by Rach @barefootcrafter. Oct 2022”. A bit like a quilt label, it’s anchoring the zine in time and purpose. In years to come, when we empty our craft rooms and pack up a life lived well, this little note will take us back to the moment when we wished we could be somewhere else, together.

I do have a video flip through, but silly me filmed it in portrait orientation not landscape, so it won’t really work for YouTube. Look for that on my instagram stories later today.

All but one of the zines made it on time (and I’m pretty sure the friend still waiting doesn’t read here, so I’m safe to share), thanks to an emergency dash to town to get them express posted on Tuesdays truck. Maybe next year I will get them finished before the last minute? Probably not.

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