November 2017 I created the 1st version of the Lady books (Tantböcker). It was my first project and my first complete set of themed miniature books. I composed the texts in Swedish on a very strict frame – using words with four letters only – which yielded a lapidary-style. Each book portrayed a character: The Wild Lady (Vild Tant), the Party Lady (Fest Tant), the Grief Lady (Sorg Tant), the Away Lady (Iväg Tant), The River Lady (Flod Tant), The Loose Lady (Lätt Tant), The Mean Lady (Snål Tant), The Cunning Lady (Slug Tant).
I regard these books as a first attempt and I knew early on that I wanted to make improvements. In December 2018 I started making minor changes to the short texts. One of the books got a new title – The Mean Lady is now The Poetry Lady (Dikt Tant). The first version books had only 48 pages and I wanted to add more to give the books the right feel. I added a few pages with a short informative text, and 47 illustrations that mirror the character of the Lady verses. Illustrations are made in Illustrator based on a very simple vector line drawing that I manipulated into many variations and repeated all over. Little hand painted red dots are added to the illustrations – my home printer only produces black print.
The size of pages is 43×33 mm. Each book has 112 p. The book case is wrapped in the same yellow paper as the textblock, it has a digital design on front and back, and the red spine design is created with a hand rubber stamp.
When finally the editing and the illustrations were done and the sheets printed I ran into trouble. The way the textblocks behaved after sewing the signatures was unsatisfactory. They would not stay closed and flat and I tried to figure out why. It was of course due to a basic mistake – the folds (spine) ran across the direction of the grain of the paper. I had to reposition all the pages of all the books and print new sheets to cut and fold, etc. It was an important lesson in my learning the craft of hand made books.
This project was completed in February 2019.