Thursday, February 12, 2015

add-and-return etegami

Last December, shortly before Christmas, I received this 8 cm square handmade accordion book from Emanuela in Italy. The cover was made from sturdy textured paper with notches to stabilize the pretty silver bell and red ribbon that held the booklet closed. On the first page Emanuela had glued a square of coarse, hand-torn washi painted with the character for Happiness, but all the rest of the pages were blank. I treasured it and admired it for three months until the day it suddenly occurred to me that she probably meant it to be used, not just admired.

So, seeing as it was the week of Valentine's Day,  I filled it with images and words having to do with love. The images were mostly small prints of my own etegami from recent years. And the words were mostly quotes from classic poems about love and friendship and comfort for a downcast heart. There were ten pages, and since two spaces were unavailable because one was pasted to the cover and another had been used by Emanuela, that gave me 18 spaces (counting both sides of each page) to fill up. I also put an illustration on the front cover.

I will be sending the booklet back to Emanuela. That way she can see how much pleasure her little booklet gave me, and maybe seeing our work combined this way will give her pleasure too.


  1. What a super delicate and wonderful attention!
    I am sure she will be delighted.

  2. What a lovely flow that has, now that it is finished! So many wonderful ways this type of expression could be shared. Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. Wow, you really turned this great gift book of Emanuela in something so beautiful ! She will treasure it !
    Happy Valentine's day !